GOUVEIA: Bishops overreach on question of insurance coverage

GOUVEIA: Bishops overreach on question of insurance coverage
News from Attleboro Sun Chronicle:

GOUVEIA: Bishops overreach on question of insurance coverage

Saturday, February 18, 2012 12:25 AM EST




As a local columnist, I generally leave the debate over national policies and issues to others. But the recent discussion on health insurance and contraceptive coverage is simply too outrageous to overlook, and the effect on women and families in our area too profound to ignore.

It has become the latest hot-button national political issue. The Obama administration has backtracked on a part of the new health care law that would require employers, including hospitals and other institutions owned or operated by religious organizations, to offer health coverage that includes birth control. The compromise says religious groups do not have to pay for that part of the coverage. Employees can go directly to the insurance companies and they must provide the service at no additional cost.

Now the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has come out against the compromise, saying it has “serious moral concerns” over the revised policy. They point out contraceptives would still be paid for out of revenues earned in part from the religious organizations.

I was born and raised Catholic. Baptized, First Communion, Confirmation, seven years of CCD classes, Mass every Sunday until…………… continues on Attleboro Sun Chronicle

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Home health care industry fights overtime proposal
News from msnbc.com:

By Marisa Taylor

Imagine an industry that came through the Great Recession relatively unscathed financially. Now imagine that industry fighting proposed legislation that would afford its workers the same federal rights to minimum wage and overtime pay the rest of us enjoy.

No imagination needed, because that’s what’s happening in the industry for the workers who take care of us when we are too old or too sick to care for ourselves. Workers who care for homebound Grandma and Grandpa only earn about $ 21,000 a year on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the industry that provides some 1.8 million home health care aides to the country’s disabled and chronically ill population is fighting new legislation that would guarantee those workers the same federal labor rights afforded to all other workers by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Obama administration proposed legislation in December that would guarantee minimum wage and overtime coverage to home health care aides in the United States. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis pointed out that nearly 40 percent of them rely on public benefits like Medicaid and food stamps, and many lack health insurance coverage. Home health care aides are paid an average of $ 10 an hour, but man…………… continues on msnbc.com

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