201 id at patient protection and affordable care act

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201. Id. at 395-98. 202. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010, 42 U.S.C. [Vol. 37:1
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ENCOURAGING WORK-FAMIL Y BALANCE Regarding employer-sponsored health insurance, the ACA penalizes employers of 50 or more employees for failing to offer affordable and adequate insurance to full-time employees. 20 3 However, this mandate suffers from a flaw shared with FMLA, as women are more likely than men to work part-time, so even with the ACA in place, women's access to health insurance through their employers will continue to be disproportionately limited. 204 As a more positive development, the ACA offers a tax credit to small businesses that contribute over half the cost of their employees' insurance premiums. 205 Although this measure still does not resolve the problem of a lack of mandated family leave for employees of small businesses, it will ease the financial burden of such employees who could not previously afford health insurance, which is particularly necessary during pregnancy and childbirth. 206 Some research suggests that capitalism contributes to health disparities, and welfare-state intervention can curb this negative effect. 20 7 Iceland's Maternity/Paternity Leave Fund is an example of a welfare-state intervention policy that has been successfully used to diminish gender disparities in healthcare. § 18022(b)(1)(D) (2012) (essential health benefits shall include maternity and newborn care); 42 U.S.C. § 18116(a) (2012) (insurance plans may not discriminate based on a ground prohibited under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972); see Education Amendments of 1972 Tit. IX, 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a) (2012) (prohibiting discrimination based on sex for any activity receiving federal financial assistance); see also Moody, supra note 194, at 675 (detailing healthcare reforms to the individual health insurance market that affect pregnant women). 203. 26 U.S.C. § 4980H(a)(1), (c)(1), (2)(A) (2012). 204. See Moody, supra note 194, at 674. 205. Id. at 674-75. 206. See id. ("If small businesses choose to utilize the tax credit and offer employer-sponsored health insurance, pregnant women employed by small businesses will be able to access affordable health care coverage through their employer-an insurance option widely unavailable under the pre-ACA insurance regime."). 207. See, e.g., Sigrun Olafsdottir, Fundamental Causes of Health Disparities: Stratification, the Welfare State, and Health in the United States and Iceland, 48 J. HEALTH & SOC. BEHAV. 239, 241 (2007) (noting that "inequality in capitalist societies creates and sustains health disparities"). 208. Id. at 242, 249 (suggesting that Iceland's extensive maternity/paternity leave benefit policy is "female friendly," eliminating the link between single motherhood, 2015]
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HOUSTON JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW Given the ACA's posture as a move toward a welfare-state intervention in healthcare, it may be possible to borrow Iceland's Maternity-Paternity Leave Fund as a model for the amendment of FMLA, prompted by enthusiasm for healthcare reform created by the introduction of the ACA.
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