1. House GOP unveils plan to replace Obamacare: Individual tax credits would supplant federal subsidies in draft bills. 

By Amy Goldstein, Mike DeBonis and Kelsey Snell, The Washington Post, March 7, 2017, Pg. A1

House Republicans on Monday released long-anticipated legislation to supplant the Affordable Care Act with a more conservative vision for the nation’s health-care system, replacing federal insurance subsidies with a new form of individual tax credits and grants to help states shape their own policies.

Under two bills drafted by separate House committees, the government would no longer penalize Americans for failing to have health insurance but would try to encourage people to maintain coverage by allowing insurers to impose a surcharge of 30 percent for those who have a gap between health plans.

The legislation would preserve two of the most popular features of the 2010 health-care law, letting young adults stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26 and forbidding insurers to deny coverage or charge more to people with preexisting medical problems. It would also target Planned Parenthood, rendering the women’s health organization ineligible for Medicaid reimbursements or federal family planning grants — a key priority for antiabortion groups.


2. Trump Tells Planned Parenthood Federal Funding Can Continue if It Stops Abortions. 

By Maggie Haberman, The New York Times, March 7, 2017, Pg. A20

The White House, concerned about the possible political repercussions of the Republican effort to defund Planned Parenthood, has proposed preserving federal payments to the group if it discontinues providing abortions.

The proposal, which was never made formally, has been rejected as an impossibility by officials at Planned Parenthood, which receives about $500 million annually in federal funding.

Mr. Trump confirmed the discussions in a statement on Monday to The New York Times.

“As I said throughout the campaign, I am pro-life and I am deeply committed to investing in women’s health and plan to significantly increase federal funding in support of nonabortion services such as cancer screenings,” he said. “Polling shows the majority of Americans oppose public funding for abortion, even those who identify as pro-choice. There is an opportunity for organizations to continue the important work they do in support of women’s health, while not providing abortion services.”

In private discussions with people close to Planned Parenthood, White House officials have suggested that there could even be an increase in federal earmarks if the work related to abortion ends.



3. ‘A Day Without a Woman’ ignites backlash over agenda.

By Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, March 7, 2017, Pg. A1

It’s being billed as “A Day Without a Woman,” but apparently only pro-union, pro-choice, anti-Israel women who can afford to skip work need apply.

The one-day “general strike” is coming under fire from the right and the left for its mixed political messages, as well as the havoc caused by the closure of some schools Wednesday driven by anticipated staff absences.

A possible reason for the absences? The U.S. protest is being led by the Women’s March on Washington, whose partners include the nation’s two largest teachers’ unions — the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, an arm of the AFL-CIO.

The Wednesday protest, which coincides with International Women’s Day, is billed as a worldwide “one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.” Participants are urged to take the day off from “paid and unpaid labor” and wear red.

One of the group’s premier partners is Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, which effectively shuts out pro-life women, said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.


4. Women gather at the heart of the Vatican to stir things up. 

By Inés San Martín, Crux, March 6, 2017

[O]n March 8 women from all walks of life will gather at the heart of the Vatican to explore the role they have not only within the Church but also in society, particularly in peace-building initiatives. Chantal Gotz, the event’s main organizer, said that it’s being put together with the support of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State.

Organized by Voices of Faith in the Casina Pio IV, home of the Pontifical Academy for Science, it’ll be the fourth consecutive year the Vatican is a stage for this storytelling event in conjunction with the United Nations-sponsored “International Women’s Day.”