Picking some good fights: good news edition

Picking some good fights: good news edition

by digby

Ok, time for some good news for a change. Kudos to the administration for this one because it's likely to provoke a fight -- a fight that will be good for liberal;s to have:

Virtually all health insurance plans could soon be required to offer female patients free coverage of prescription birth control, breast-pump rentals, counseling for domestic violence, and annual wellness exams and HIV tests as a result of recommendations released Tuesday by an independent advisory panel of health experts.

The health-care law adopted last year directed the Obama administration to draw up a list of preventive services for women that all new health plans must cover without deductibles or co-payments. While the guidelines suggested Tuesday by a committee of the Institute of Medicine are not binding, the panel conducted its review at the request of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Administration officials have indicated that she will consider the recommendations and release proposed regulations very soon.

Though generally anticipated, the committee’s decision to include prescription birth control in its recommended list is controversial. Groups such as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America had argued that contraception is a basic form of preventive health care. In turn, groups such as the Family Research Council contended that individuals who oppose birth control on religious grounds should not be effectively forced to subsidize its use by paying premiums to insurance plans that cover it.

This one is still under the radar, but it's a very big part of the right wing assault on women's rights taking place all over the country. This will be a full blown federal counter attack. And it's one that should have a higher profile because liberals will win it.


More good news:

Metro Weekly: The president has said in the past that he opposes the Defense of Marriage Act, but he is yet to endorse the Respect for Marriage Act, which is the specific piece of legislation --

Carney: Senator [Dianne] Feinstein [(D-Calif.)], yeah.

Metro Weekly: -- aimed to repeal the bill. Tomorrow, the Senate will hold the first hearing into that bill. Is the administration ready to endorse that bill?

Carney: I can tell you that the President has long called for a legislative repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which continues to have a real impact on the lives of real people -- our families, friends and neighbors. He is proud to support the Respect for Marriage Act, introduced by Sen. Feinstein and Congressman [Jerrold] Nadler [(D-N.Y.)], which would take DOMA off the books once and for all. This legislation would uphold the principle that the federal government should not deny gay and lesbian couples the same rights and legal protections as straight couples.

If Obama endorses Feinstein's specific legislation, that seems to me to be a big deal. Good for him.