Why Roland Burris Matters to Barack Obama, Right Now

Dear Readers,

I’m delighted to tell you that I’ve become an Huffington Post blogger.

Go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-sive for: “A Lesson for Barack Obama from the Harold Washington Playbook,” my first.

My second, “Why Roland Burris Matters to Barack Obama, Right Now,” is a featured post today. It is at the link above, as well as at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chicago.

As I’ve gotten into this whole (blogging) thing over the last few months, I’m thinking I’d like to be a muckraker of the 21st century women’s movement, or, if you will, the Rachel Maddow of my generation: the unrepentant feminist truth-teller, strategist, and, yes, when needed, rabble-rouser and occasional (metaphorical) bomb-thrower; one who understands, and helps others understand, that, lest we thought otherwise, the (needed) women’s revolution is unfinished.

Case-in-point: Just think about the Saturday-night massacre this past Saturday night.

Mr. Stupak, (in my opinion, Mr. Stupid), and his infamous colleagues did more harm to America’s women than has been done in a generation. Read the brilliant Cecile Richards on this one:
“Dear Rebecca,

“[Saturday] was brutal.

“While there are some who are satisfied with the health care reform bill that passed in the House of Representatives late Saturday night, I am not one of them.

“When it came down to it, Congress passed a bill that will undercut women’s access to comprehensive health care. Despite hundreds of thousands of voters like you and me who called on members of Congress to include women’s health care in health care reform, the bill that passed late Saturday night includes a ban on private abortion coverage for millions of women and would prohibit it in the new ‘public option.’

“Opponents of legal abortion and health care for women are emboldened by Saturday night’s vote and ready to bring their ban on abortion to the Senate floor. But now it’s our turn.

“President Obama campaigned on a promise to put reproductive health care at the center of his reform plan. Supporters of women’s health voted for him and contributed to his campaign in record numbers — and now it’s time for the president to reaffirm his commitment to women’s health, and demand that Congress reject any bill that leaves women worse off under health care reform than they are today. Take a moment right now to tell President Obama that we need him to stand with us — in both his words and in his actions.

If there’s anything we learned Saturday, it’s that women’s health is being targeted as expendable in health care reform.” _______________________________________________________________
Another great woman and feminist colleague, Marcia Greenberger, head of the National Women’s Law Center, cited the benefits of Saturday’s bill.

But, remember, we will get none of these, if the right bill doesn’t pass the Senate. And, here’s my question: Do we want any bill to pass the Senate that codifies women’s second-class status; that takes us back to the dark, pre-Roe, back-alley days?

Here is Marcia’s list of the bill’s benefits:

–gender-based pricing in health insurance is barred, ending the practice of charging women more;

–financial assistance would be available to members of a group that includes a higher proportion of women: those with incomes too high to be eligible for Medicaid but not sufficient to afford market-priced insurance;

–all insurance companies would be banned from denying coverage of pre-existing conditions, including pregnancy, breast cancer and intimate-partner abuse;

–preventive care, such as Pap smears and mammograms, would be required, benefiting numerous women who might otherwise skip such screenings; and

–a national insurance exchange will be created where small businesses can buy insurance at lower cost and where no higher prices to cover female employees will be permitted, a provision that helps women because most small employers are women with female employees.

Back to the Huffington Post.

Here’s what the HP blogteam suggests, so that thoughts can be shared, and, I hope, most-of-all, be used as encouragement to organize:

–Email/IM: Send a note, with a link to my posts, to any lists you’re on and encourage comment.

–Encourage your friends to share the post, too.

–Facebook/Twitter: Share the post via Facebook or Twitter.

Sisterhood is powerful: let us not forget this.


White Men Can’t Jump: The Senator John Kyl Edition

Good morning,

So here’s a classic: Check-out today’s USA Today story regarding healthcare reform:


Here’s the key portion of the story:

“Some Republicans, such as Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, say basic policies shouldn’t be required to include coverage for things that not everyone will use.

“‘I don’t need maternity care and so requiring that to be in my insurance policy is something that I don’t need and will make the policy more expensive,’ Kyl said during a debate about the legislation last week.

‘I think your mom probably did,’ Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., shot back.

“Their spat has become a hit on YouTube, with nearly 150,000 hits as of Sunday.

Here are some of the facts about women and health insurance, as reported in the USA Today story, based on information from The National Women’s Law Center, one of the best organizations around, of any kind. See:

“According to the National Women’s Law Center, a non-partisan legal advocacy group:

“• Forty states and the District of Columbia allow ‘gender ratings,’ in which insurance companies can charge women more for the same health coverage as men and can charge businesses with mostly female workers higher group rates. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 4.7 million women last year bought individual insurance in states with this pricing practice.

“• In eight states and the District of Columbia, insurance companies can deny coverage to victims of domestic violence.

“• Insurance companies may offer policies that exclude coverage for some pre-existing conditions. If a woman has delivered a baby by cesarean section, for example, companies can deny coverage for future C-sections. In other cases, some insurers will deny maternity coverage if a woman is pregnant when she buys a policy.”

At my recent blogpost for Today’s Chicago Woman:http://www.tcwmag.com/Blogs/Sive-Siftings.aspx, I begin with the following quote from an amazing woman, Adolphine Fletcher Terry (check-her-out here: http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=716).

“The men have failed…it’s time to call out the women.”

I’m repeating myself.


P.S. If you have a chance, call Senator Stabenow and Senator Mikuski, and thank them. They are great leaders for all of us.