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Newsletter of the WIN Womens Health Policy Network

November 2012
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Election Results Good News for Womens Health

With President Obamas re-election and a continued Democratic Senate majority, womens health also won big this November 6th. The election results provided a clearer path for full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On Tuesday, November 20th, HHS released proposed insurance regulations to fulfill several ACA provisions, many of which benefit womens health. No denials for pre-existing conditions: The proposed regulations prohibit plans from 1) denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions and 2) using certain factors to increase premiums, including pre-existing conditions, health status, occupation, claims history and gender. Essential health benefits standards: The proposed regulations map out standards for health insurers to include a core package of essential health services to include: ambulatory and emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance-abuse disorder services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services and devices, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services, and pediatric services.

Employment-based wellness programs: The proposed regulations implement and expand employer wellness programs, creating incentives that support healthier workplaces. Workplace wellness programs include reimbursement for fitness center and health club membership, health education seminars, and incentives for completing health risk assessments. The proposed regulations are effective for new plans as of January 1, 2014.

Meet a WINner in Womens Health!

Mara Gandal-Powers Fellow National Women's Law Center

islation and creating a fact sheet to researching a specific legal question for senior counsel. During the first year of my fellowship, I have been able to specifically focus on implementation of the ACA.

What is the most challenging asWhat led you to do reproductive justice pect of your job? Most rewarding work? aspect?
Over the four years I was in college, I saw time and again that womens health was being targeted by the Bush Administration. I was active in our campus feminist group, as well as the anti-war group. During the spring of my senior year I organized over 70 people from our campus to attend the March for Womens Lives. That experience sealed the deal for me. The most challenging aspect has been the periods of time when we had to wait to see if the ACA would still be around, specifically the periods up to the Supreme Courts ruling and the 2012 election. It felt as if everything advocates had worked for could be gone in an instant, and everything was completely out of our hands. The most rewarding aspect is knowing that Im on the ground-level during implementation of one of the biggest changes to our health care system. I get to be one of the people who ensures reproductive health is one of the things taken into account.

es there were invaluable. My classes in Individual Rights, Legislation, and Administrative Law have been very important to my understanding of the work I do. I also think working before attending law school has really helped me.

What are your long-term professional interests?

I dont have a 5-, 10-, or 20-year plan, per se. I know I want to keep working on issues related to reproductive health for as long as that work is needed.

What advice would you give to young women just starting out in your field?
Read as much as you can about reproductive health issues because you never know when something youve read about will come up in another situation. Work before going to graduate school because it will give you a better idea of what you really want to do.
Editors Note: This interview previously
omitted that the NWLC fellowship requires

How did you come to join the NWLC? What does your job entail?
I applied for my fellowship during my third year of law school. I previously interned at NWLC so I knew the type of work I would be doing and knew it would be a good match for my interests in womens health and skills I developed in law school. As a fellow I support the work of our reproductive rights team. This can be anything from reading a new piece of leg-

What skills/training have been most useful in your work?

I spent my last semester of law school an application process and included an incorworking on the Hill and my experienc- rect title for Mara.
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Upcoming Health Policy Events

November 28-29: ECRI Institute 19th Annual

New Health Policy Resources

American Public Health Associ-

Conference, Systemness within Healthcare Delivery. Washington, D.C. Learn more. November 29, 2 pm: HHS Webinar/Conference Call, Let's Move Faith and Communities! Learn more. November 29, 2-3 pm: National Institute of Environmental Health Science Virtual Forum, Childhood Obesity & the Environment. Learn more. November 30, 8 am - 4pm: International Conference on HIV Stigma and Establishment of the Center for Stigma at Howard University. Washington, D.C. Learn more. December 1, 9 am - 4 pm: University of Maryland Symposium, Environmental Justice and Health Disparities in Maryland and D.C. University of Maryland-College Park. Learn more. December 2 - 5: Association of University Centers on Disabilities 2012 Conference, Innovating Today: Shaping Tomorrow. Washington, D.C. Learn more. December 5 - 7: Community-Campus Partnerships for Health: Second National Community Partner Forum on Community-Engaged Health Disparities Research. Washington DC. Learn more. December 6, 2-3 pm: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Webinar, The Role of Community Health Workers in Asthma Management. Learn more. December 17-19: NIH National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities 2012 Summit on the Science of Eliminating Health Disparities. National Harbor, MD. Learn more.

ation: New infographics - What Does Public Health Mean for You? CDC: New report - Vital Signs: Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Severity -United States, 2005-2009 The Commonwealth Fund: New report - HighPerformance Health Care for Vulnerable Populations: A Policy Framework for Promoting Accountable Care in Medicaid Georgetown University Maternal and Child Health Library: Overweight and Obesity in Children and Adolescents: Knowledge Path HHS: Updated brochures and materials on implementation of the Affordable Care Act Kaiser Family Foundation: New report - The Role of Medicaid for Adults with Chronic Illnesses Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: New report - State Estimates of Adolescent Cigarette Use and Perceptions of Risk of Smoking: 2009 and 2010

Network Announcement
Thursday, November 29, 6-8:30 pm: Join the Womens Health Policy, Lobbying & Advocacy, and Health, Wellness, & Recreation Networks for speed-networking at Speed-date a WINner in Policy & Advocacy! Come meet other professionals in policy, government relations, and advocacy. All experience levels and fields are welcome. RSVP now!

Did You Know? November is:

Native American Heritage Month:

American Indians and Alaska Natives have diverse and unique cultures, languages and customs. Health challenges, however, are not as unique. Many First Nation communities experience the harsh impact of dia Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Lung canbetes, HIV, heart disease, substance abuse and infant morcer is the leading cancer killer in both men tality. During Native American Heritage Month, the HHS and women in the U.S. According to the Office of Minority Health is sharing information and reAmerican Lung Association, more people die sources to empower, educate and inform. Learn more at the from lung cancer than any other cancer. OMH website. Smoking is by far the biggest risk factor for lung cancer, causing 80-85% of lung cancer in National Diabetes Awareness Month: the U.S. The second leading risk factor is exposure to raNearly 26 million people have diabetes in the don, an invisible gas. Its easy and inexpensive to test your United States, and about 35 percent of U.S. home for radon. Find out more from the U.S. Environmenadults, 20 years and older, currently have pretal Protection Agency. diabetes. Racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected by diabetes.

This year, the theme for National Diabetes Awareness Month is Changing the Way Diabetes Is Treated by helping people better understand how to make the necessary changes in their day-to-day life to prevent type 2 diabetes, manage their diabetes, and live healthier lives.

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