Health care issues in three acts - FAMILY, Global HER, and MOMMIES: Your civic action to-do list for 5-13-19

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3. More than 60% of working Americans currently lack paid personal medical leave, and 83% lack paid family leave. That leaves millions unable to take time to care for new children, sick loved ones, and themselves. The U.S. is the only industrialized country lacking universal paid family leave.

In a nutshell: The Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act will guarantee workers paid time away from their jobs to address personal or family health matters. This model will improve gender equality in parenting – through access to both paternity and maternity leave – and in employment opportunity, as more women will  have the benefits and protections they need to remain in the workforce. Funded through minimal employee and employer contributions (just two cents per $10 in wages) this program will increase worker retention and also level the playing field between small companies and large corporations.

Take Action: Check to see if your Representative or Senators have co-sponsored the FAMILY Act (H.R. 1185/S. 463). If they haven't, urge them to do so! (And feel free to thank them if they have.)


2. The Trump administration’s expanded Global Gag Rule to deny U.S. aid to any foreign organization providing comprehensive family planning services, including abortion, will deprive women around the world of access to vital health care. Women lose out here – on contraceptive information, pregnancy and pediatric care, and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

In a nutshell: Last week, U.S. House Committee on Appropriations released a new budget bill that initiates major progress on reproductive health rights, including the Global Health Empowerment and Rights (HER) Act, which would permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule.

Take Action: Ask your Senators and Member of Congress to support the Global HER Act (S.368/H.R.1055) as part of the House State and Foreign Operations bill. We must fight against the Global Gag Rule’s dangerous infringement on women’s rights and health.


1. The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world: Between 700 and 900 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes every year. Lack of affordable access to healthcare before, during, and after childbirth disproportionately impacts the health and survival of women of color and low-income women.

In a nutshell: This week, Sen. Corey Booker and Rep. Ayana Pressley introduced the Maximizing Outcomes for Moms through Medicaid Improvement and Enhancement of Services (MOMMIES) Act, which will expand Medicaid coverage for pregnant women and new mothers to address the crisis of maternal mortality. The bill expands postpartum care coverage, advances a community-based approach to maternal care, and confronts racial disparities in health care.

Take Action: Tell your Members of Congress that you want them to support the MOMMIES Act, or thank them if they have already co-sponsored it.