Update: Pre-Existing Conditions, Women's Repro Rights, Census & the RNC, Fighting for Afghan Women
It was another busy week in Washington and I want to take the time to fill you in about what I’ve been up to and how Democrats are continuing to fight for our For The People agenda.
Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions
Let’s start with the good news out of Washington, DC this week; the House passed H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act yesterday, with my strong support.
There are 8,398,900 New Yorkers living with pre-existing conditions who need the protections included in the Affordable Care Act that prevent insurance companies from being able to deny them coverage. The bill I voted for yesterday would block the Trump Administration’s dangerous October 2018 guidance that gives states the ability to weaken the Affordable Care Act’s critical protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions.
In the wealthiest, most industrialized nation in the world, pre-existing conditions cannot be a prescription for bankruptcy. Healthcare is not a privilege, it is a human right and our nation needs to act like it. I was proud to vote for this bill yesterday and will continue to do all I can to protect and make healthcare accessible and affordable for everyone.
Stopping False Advertising in Women’s Healthcare Services
Have you heard of fake women’s health centers? Crisis pregnancy centers? No matter which name they go by, the mission of these fake clinics is to mislead, misinform, and outright lie to pregnant women in order to dissuade them from exercising their constitutionally protected right to have an abortion.
These centers falsely advertise to pregnant women, masquerading as legitimate medical clinics offering a full range of reproductive health services. In fact, many of them do not actually employ any medical professionals. This week I introduced a bill, along with Rep. Suzanne Bonamici from Oregon, called the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women’s Healthcare Services Act. This important bill directs the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on this practice of false advertising related to family planning and reproductive health services.
When a woman is looking for medical care, she should not have to question whether the person giving advice is actually a doctor or that the information they receive is accurate, objective, and complete.
Investigating Reports of Fake Census Mailers from the RNC
Today, I sent a letter, along with Congressmen Wm. Lacy Clay of Missouri and Frank Pallone of New Jersey, calling on Postmaster General Megan Brennan to consider an investigation into a reported mail piece from the Republican National Committee appearing to be from the US Census Bureau.
It appears that the RNC is trying to use the census for partisan political purposes by misleading the public and impersonating the census bureau. If true, this is a clear violation of the federal law intended to preserve the integrity of official government business.
The 2020 Census is too important for our democracy and our country to be messed with for political gain.
Meeting with Dr. Sima Samar, Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
On Wednesday, I had the honor of meeting with Dr. Sima Samar and Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal to discuss how we can keep working to make life better for Afghan women.
We need to include Afghan women and the Afghan government in the ongoing peace negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban. Under Taliban rule, Afghan women suffered under crushing oppression and are now speaking up to demand a seat at the table – and they should have one. This is a necessary component in making sure that the progress that Afghan women have made in recent years can continue.
As I told Dr. Samar, I will be sending a formal request to the State Department to keep women’s equality and human rights at the forefront during these negotiations.
In 2003, I led the effort to secure $60M to support women's organizations in Afghanistan and another $5M for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission to promote education and equality for Afghan women.
As always, your concerns still and always will remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.
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Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress