209 viii assessment of feasibility of change although

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209 VIII. ASSESSMENT OF FEASIBILITY OF CHANGE Although the Iceland Act seems like a highly progressive measure compared to FMLA, introduction of some provisions of the Iceland Act to the United States may not be out of reach. Perhaps surprisingly, despite the progressive nature of the Iceland Act, it was passed while a conservative government was in power. 210 This suggests that regardless of general conservative opposition to social welfare programs in the United States, the United States may be open to legislation designed to promote the dual earner/career model supported by Icelandic policy. 2 11 Although resistance to progressive changes to FMLA can be anticipated, it should be noted that the United States already has social welfare programs in place to provide or supplement the income of retired individuals, workers experiencing a period of unemployment, and disabled workers. 212 As such, it is not far-fetched to envision a similar government poverty, and poor health outcomes and further indicating that such welfare policies may be "successful in eliminating vulnerabilities related to gender"). 209. See Sara Rosenbaum, Realigning the Social Order: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the U.S. Health Insurance System, 7 J. HEALTH & BIOMEDICAL L. 1, 1, 19, 30-31 (2011) (suggesting that the passage of the Affordable Care Act signifies a fundamental shift in the relationships underlying the American Health Care system, which may one day create a "new normal" regarding our social expectations about healthcare). 210. JOHANNA LAMMI-TASKULA ET AL., PARENTAL LEAVE, CHILDCARE AND GENDER EQUALITY IN THE NORDIC COUNTRIES 13, 27 (Ing6lfur V. Gislason & Guan Bjbrk Eydal eds., 2011) ("[I]n Iceland a centre-right government brought about a quite radical change toward the individualisation of parental leave."). 211. See Anthony, supra note 13, at 484 (discussing American hostility to social welfare programs due to pervasive values of individualism and limited government). But see Bhushan, supra note 2, at 690-91 (arguing that political opposition is likely to prevent the implementation of a family leave policy similar to Iceland's law in the United States). 212. Boushey, supra note 54, at 172-73. [Vol. 37:1
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ENCOURAGING WORK-FAMIL Y BALANCE program providing income assistance to parents who need employment leave in order to care for newborn children. 21 3 A likely explanation of Iceland's ability to implement its work-family laws is the fact that, in the Global Gender Gap Report, it ranks first in political empowerment. 214 The United States, on the other hand, ranks sixtieth in political empowerment, making this dimension one of the largest United States-Icelandic discrepancies. 215 Improved visibility of women in positions of political power in the United States may serve to strengthen the likelihood of beneficial changes to FMLA. 216 In reference to the expectation of business sector resistance to changes to FMLA, it has been suggested that family leave legislation can correct market-driven problems associated with employers' decisions to offer more protective family leave than what is required by law.
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