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HHS to make birth control free for all women

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The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was expected Monday to announce new guidelines that would require health insurance companies to cover women’s health care services, including birth control and and breast exams, without a co-pays or deductibles.

The new rules, made possible by President Obama’s Affordable Care act, would begin Aug. 1, 2012.

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“We know that half of women, according to studies, forego or delay preventive care because they can’t afford it and under the affordable care act that all changes,” White House advisor Stephanie Cutter told ABC News.

Services covered will include well-woman exams, screening for gestational diabetes, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screenings, and all FDA-approved birth control methods — including emergency contraception like the morning-after pill.

In July, an Institute of Medicine report recommended making contraceptives free to all women.

That report came under immediate fire from conservatives like Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly.

“Many women who get pregnant are blasted out of their minds when they have sex, and they’re not going to use birth control anyway,” O’Reilly said last month.

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Watch this video from the ABC’s Good Morning America, broadcast Aug. 1, 2011.



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MSNBC’s Dr. Gupta blasts ‘weak leadership’ of GOP governors: ‘It’s too little too late’

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On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "Meet The Press," medical analyst Dr. Vin Gupta laid into Republican governors' mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic as new cases explode across the country.

"Dr. Gupta, we have the governor of Texas issuing an order for Texans to wear masks. Not seeing the same thing in Florida," said anchor Katy Tur. "What is your medical take?"

"I think it's too little, too late. Both in Texas and Florida," said Gupta. "Florida especially, given what is happening with day-to-day caseloads. If I was Governor DeSantis, you need to be thinking about how to save lives. That's bringing in portable ICUs, making sure you have enough dialysis nurses. This is potentially even mobilizing National Guard. I know we are not talking about military forces, reserves."

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Young Americans urged to be more responsible in coronavirus fight

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Accused of failing to uphold their civic duty, younger Americans are behind the current COVID-19 surge, with several states moving to close bars, beaches and other places that saw huge crowds when lockdowns were eased.

The median age for new cases in Florida in the past few days has fluctuated between 34 and 36. In Los Angeles, 40 percent of new cases are among those under 40. And in the greater Phoenix area, the major center of the contagion in Arizona, half are under the age of 35.

In total, half or more of all the cases in California and Arizona since the start of the pandemic have been among the 18-49 age group, and the rate is expected to rise.

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Texas conservatives lose their minds after GOP Gov. Greg Abbott mandates masks in public

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Texas' Republican Gov. Gregg Abbott finally acknowledged that there is a serious problem as COVID-19 takes down the state's population.

It was just a few months ago that municipalities were deciding for themselves when and if they would reopen. But Abbott shut it down, saying that his orders "overrule any local jurisdiction."

In April, "Abbott and the state’s other Republican leaders have blasted local officials in Dallas and Houston for what they called overzealous enforcement of COVID-19 regulations, first zeroing in on Democratically led Harris County’s decision to fine residents for not wearing face masks, a penalty Abbott banned in his April 27 reopening order," ProPublica reported. "The fights came to a head this month with the arrest of a Dallas hair salon owner who refused to shutter her business, an act of defiance that was supported by a right-wing group that launched a GoFundMe campaign a day before she reopened that raised $500,000 before it was disabled."

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