In a move that Texas Democratic Senator Wendy Davis called “a victory for women’s health care,” a federal judge concluded that a Texas law which would have closed a majority of Texas abortion clinics unconstitutional.
The new legislation, which was scheduled to go into effect this Monday, required that abortion clinics meet the same building standards as ambulatory surgical centers. US District Judge Lee Yeakel said that forcing the clinics to meet the same requirements as surgical centers would create “an unconstitutional undue burden on women throughout Texas and must be enjoined.” As a result of this law a minimum of 12 clinics would have been forced to close their doors, leaving less than seven abortion facilities open in the entire state.
Judge Yeakel said that the legislation is contrary to the “principles of personal freedom and privacy protected by the United States Constitution for the 40 years since Roe v. Wade.” He added that other restrictive measures on abortions recently passed in Texas, such as a requirement that doctors who do abortions have hospital admitting privileges, have already overburdened women’s reproductive rights.
“The court concludes that the act’s ambulatory-surgical-center requirement, combined with the already-in-effect admitting-privileges requirement, creates a brutally effective system of regulation that reduces access to abortion clinics,” wrote the judge.
The admitting privilege provision of the law was upheld last year in federal court, forcing over half of the state’s abortion clinics to close. The Texas debate on these laws achieved national attention last year when Senator Davis, who is now running for governor, spent 11 hours in a filibuster trying to block the passage of the law.
Davis’ opponent for governor, and front-runner Attorney General Greg Abbot, who strongly backs the abortion law, said he would appeal the judge’s decision.
The preliminary observations are in: the Affordable Care Act is reducing the number of individuals and families without health insurance in the United States.
Despite a lack of hard data and contradictory statistics, even ACA’s most fervent detractors are admitting that the uninsured are getting covered. It is clear that millions of people who did not have health insurance before the launch of Obamacare do now. This news is great vindication for ACA, as the main point of the law was to get people without any kind of health insurance to be insured.
The statistics prove that people are being helped by ACA, vindicating the president and the supporters of the controversial legislation.
“It will be better when we’ve got a whole year behind us, so we can tell how much [in the surveys] was noise and how much was reality,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin of the conservative
American Action Forum, a frequent critic of the law. “Having said that, it sure looks like there are more people covered, and that’s a good thing.”
Now that the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is finally getting underway in a real way, consumers may be wondering if their dental care will be covered under this new system.
Unfortunately for many people who will be buying health insurance under the ACA, dental care will not be included in the basket of benefits insurance companies will be required to provide. Many essential services will be covered, including hospitalization, preventive care, wellness services and psychological services. However, dental care has been left off the list.
“The ACA really falls short on adult coverage in dentistry,” said Robert Faiella, the American Dental Association president. “The dental side is not really addressed.”
Faiella continues to explain that leaving dental care out of the ACA was a huge oversight.
“We’re concerned about it because the law does not draw attention to the fact that oral health is very critically involved in overall health.”
Nadia Kiderman, DDS, who practices in New York City, agrees that oral health is crucial to one’s overall health.
“Everyone wants good health,” Kiderman says in her blog. “Dental health is an important part of a person’s life.”
Obamacare does provide some dental services for children, but it has not added coverage mandates for adults. One problem is that the ACA-approved pediatric dental coverage could raise the cost to adults by almost 57 percent, from $35 to $55, so they can insure their children. According to a spokesman for the Association of Dental Plans, this cost hike could cause adults to drop their own dental coverage. Executive Director of the NADP Evelyn Ireland says that although millions of children might receive dental coverage under the ACA, many more adults might lose their coverage “for a net loss of coverage in the overall population.”