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I Know All About The ACA’s Breastfeeding Benefit, and I Couldn’t Get Services Covered

Last week, the National Women’s Law Center issued the third report in a series examining insurance plan compliance with the Affordable Care Act, State of Breastfeeding Coverage: Health Plan Violations of the Affordable Care Act. Previous reports on women’s health coverage and birth control coverage found extensive violations of the law. The third report examines insurance plan noncompliance with the ACA’s breastfeeding benefits and comes to similar conclusions.

The ACA Is a Huge Step Forward

The ACA made dramatic improvements in women’s health coverage. The ACA ensures that health insurance companies can no longer discriminate against women, and requires plans to offer women coverage for maternity care and prescription drugs. And they must cover preventive services, such as breastfeeding supports and supplies and birth control, without any copayments, deductibles or coinsurance.

#Radio This Week: Women Win, America Wins

This week the radio show covers how powerful women are boosting our families and our economy. Check out our amazing guests! It's a can't-miss episode:

*Special guests include: U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; Monifa Bandele, MomsRising; Washington State Senator Pramila Jayapal; and Vivien Labaton, Make It Work.

LISTEN: In the DC-area, on many stations across the nation, and anytime on and TuneIn's Progressive Voices & on iTunes, where you can subscribe for free!

Thank you to radio experts Paul Van Erem, Sarah Howard-Garoutte, Melissa Byrne, Kymone Freeman, Alex Lawson, Peter James Callahan and Jon Sinton.

Covered Through a Parent's Plan? Your Prenatal Services are Covered

The Obama Administration gave expectant moms a belated mother’s day gift. Guidance issued recently clarifies that new insurance plans must cover preventive prenatal services without cost sharing for all dependents — including expectant mothers enrolled on a parent’s plan. This is great news for expectant mothers who discover once they are pregnant that they don’t have maternity coverage under their parent’s plan.

What New Plans Must Cover

National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum applauds Governor Cuomo's steps to strengthen nail salon worker protections

Gov. Cuomo introduced two new pieces of legislation to increase the State’s ability to crack down on unsafe and exploitative working conditions in nail salons and expand access to licensing for nail salon workers, and announced new regulations addressing safety and wage and hour issues in nail salons. The National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum Executive Director Miriam Yeung issued the following statement in response:
"The National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum commends Gov. Cuomo for proposing the strongest safety and wage theft protections for nail salon workers in the country.
"Today, Gov.


It's a revelation that hits every parent at some point in the Goldfish-cracker and Cheerio years: I cannot protect her from everything.

For me, it was in the bathroom of a Greek restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina, when she looked up at me from her toilet perch and began a conversation that went something like this:

Sasha: Daddy, what is it like to die?

Me: Sweetie, it's not something you need to worry about for a very long time.

Sasha: But Daddy, just tell me what it is like.

Me: It's like a deep, deep rest.

Sasha: Daddy (as a look of worry crept onto her face), are you still a person when you die?

Me: Oh, Sasha, I don't think you are. But your soul, the part inside of you that makes you you, goes on forever.

Sasha: (Worry increasing) Daddy, can you still see when you die?

Me: No, you can't, sweetheart.

Sasha: (As I leaned down to comfort her) Daddy wipe now.

And as abruptly as it started, the conversation was over, and she moved on.

Good Food Force Update: Healthy school snacks, family garden tips and holiday recipe share

Happy Friday! We're sharing a juicy update on junk food fundraisers, and the latest installment in our "Year in the Family Garden" series. Please read and share, and have a great holiday weekend!   
Latest on Healthy School Snacks in Ohio and Michigan 
The Smart Snacks in School rule went into effect this past year: yay! The rule includes a provision that allows states to decide the maximum number of school fundraisers that can be exempt from the standards per year. If a state does nothing, the number of exempt fundraisers defaults to zero. Michigan and Ohio are two of the small number of states whose legislatures have attempted to allow additional fundraising exemptions. Here's an update on where each stands, below, and read more on the blog.

  • Ohio: a bill that would allow schools to hold junk food fundraisers three days of each week is still on the table.

A Working Mom Shaping the Lives of Future Generations

Thank you to Mom-Mentum Editor Kate Fineske for graciously allowing me to cross-post this piece, which was originally published at Mom-Mentum.

Depending on the profession and individual circumstances, every mother has her own story about returning to work. Over the past several months we’ve begun highlighting our Mom-mentum members Return-to-work stories. Likewise, in her book Lean On and Lead, Mothering and Work in the 21st Century Economy, author and regular Mom-mentum blog contributor Shay Chan Hodges presents many diverse stories about the intersection of work and parenting.

This Memorial Day, tell Congress to support tax breaks for military families!

Happy Memorial Day!

This weekend doesn’t just mark the official start of summer, BBQ season, and sunny days. It’s also a weekend when we remember our nation’s families who that have sacrificed the most for our country.

It’s also the time of year when we see a lot of members of Congress wearing flag pins and expressing support of the troops.

But a flag pin alone isn’t enough.

Congress must stand up for the families of the brave women and men serving in the military, as well as for veteran families.

**Honor military families by signing on to our letter to Congress TODAY and ask them to support, protect, and strengthen the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax!

Latest on healthy school snacks in Ohio and Michigan

The Smart Snacks in School rule went into effect this past year, and ensures snacks foods and beverages sold in schools are healthy. Together with our partners, MomsRising submitted over  200,000 signatures from people like you who support these healthy changes to the school day. Now, snacks sold through vending machines, stores and a la carte lines need to be in kid-sized portions, and in general have fewer than 200 calories and be low in fat, sodium and sugar. Mom victory!
However, in response to concerns about limiting school fundraising options the USDA included a provision in the rule that allows states to decide the maximum number of school fundraisers which can be exempt from the standards per year. If a state does nothing, the number of exempt fundraisers defaults to zero. 
Many states are indeed doing nothing, opting to embrace healthy options for school fundraising activities (of which there are many - see below!). Michigan and Ohio are two of the small number of states whose legislatures have attempted to allow significant numbers of exempt fundraising days each year.

Let's Share Recipes and Safe Food Handling Tips! #FoodFri #Tweetchat

With Memorial Weekend ahead of us, I'm gearing up to visit family, enjoy a BBQ or two, and spend some time creating foods that scream warm weather and fun. It's the perfect time to introduce the kiddos and their friends to healthy foods. It's also a great time to swap recipes!

Join #FoodFri at 1pm Eastern, on May 22, 2015, to swap recipes and safety tips for the BBQ season, in both English and Spanish! Bring your favorite "virtual" plate to our table and browse others while you fill yourself with yummy, healthy goodness.

And, because a BBQ, just isn't a BBQ, without music,  we ask you to bring your favorite tunes as well! We're having a fiesta/party! So have fun, mingle and grab a few bites from our table. We're sure you'll find healthy can be tasty!

Click below and spread the word!


Tweet: Join me! Let's Share #Recipes + Safe Food Handling Tips TODAY @ 1pET. Use #FoodFri @MomsRising @MamasConPoder #Foodie




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