193 the patient protection and affordable care act

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193. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010) (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 18031 (2012)). 194. Nicole Moody, Comment, Health Reform and the Plight of the Uninsured Pregnant Woman, 90 OR. L. REV. 643, 672 (2011). 195. See April G. Dawson, A Next Step in Health Care Reform: Ensuring the Protection of Employee Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, 56 ST. LOUIS U. L.J. 1, 4 (2011) (comparing the goals of the ACA to those of the FMLA). 196. See Moody, supra note 194, at 672 (discussing the family services afforded to women under the ACA). 2015]
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HOUSTON JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW milk. 197 In spite of strong Republican opposition to implementation of the ACA 198 , one may envision the ACA working in conjunction with an amended FMLA to provide much greater work-family balance for all American mothers by removing barriers to expensive pregnancy-related healthcare, protecting women's employment during and after pregnancy, and encouraging men to shoulder an equal share of childcare duties.199 Prior to the introduction of the ACA, women faced a number of obstacles to obtaining health insurance coverage for maternity care. 2 00 For instance, for a number of reasons, women have historically been more likely than men to rely on the individual health insurance market, which frequently has blocked women from attaining health coverage in the first place and often does not provide maternity care coverage. 20 1 The ACA provides a starting point for remedying these problems because it requires insurers to cover maternity and newborn care and prohibits insurers from discriminating based on sex when determining insurance premiums. 20 2 197. See HARA & HEGEWISCH, supra note 4, at 4 (discussing break requirements for nursing mothers under the ACA). 198. See, e.g., Moody, supra note 194, at 673 ("[T]he Republican Party has started a movement to repeal the entire ACA on the grounds of unconstitutionality."). 199. See, e.g., NAT'L P'SHIP FOR WOMEN & FAMILIES, Why the Affordable Care Act Matters for Women: Health Insurance Coverage for Lower- and Moderate-Income Pregnant Women, at 2 (2014), available at - library/health-careflower- and- moderate-income -pregnant- women.pdf (asserting that qualified health plans carry cost-sharing protections for maternity care services); see also HARA & HEGEWISCH, supra note 4, at 3 (noting that FMLA "ensures that eligible employees who are pregnant or new parents receive a guarantee of return to the same or an equivalent job"); Bhushan, supra note 2, at 691-92 (discussing policies that minimize risk for employers, increase flexibility for employees, and encourage greater caretaking among fathers as important goals of FMLA reform). 200. See Kyla Davidoff, Time to Close the Gap: Women in the Individual Health Insurance Market Deserve Access to Maternity Coverage, 25 WIS. J. L. GEND. & SOC'Y 391, 392-94, 396 (2010) (stating that healthcare coverage obtained through the individual insurance market rarely covers maternity care, and that women are at a greater risk of turning to the individual market because they are more likely than men to hold part-time jobs with no employer-sponsored insurance and are more likely to be insured through their spouses).
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