December 22-29 Weekly News Round Up

A round up of current news stories on the state and national level, with a focus on feminist issues.

By Tess Koenigsmark

Connecticut is now requiring that all health insurance companies in the state provide coverage for medical treatments that are part of a patient’s gender transition.  This is awesome news, since many transgender people can’t afford to pay for procedures such as hormone therapy or surgery out of pocket, and being denied medical treatment has a very real impact on the physical and mental health of transgender people.

It’s that time of year again – best/worst stuff that happened in the past year list time! (If anyone has a less clunky name for this phenomenon, I’m taking suggestions.) RH Reality Check discusses 2013’s best and worst moments for women’s economic status. Topics include the minimum wage, abortion restrictions, and domestic worker legislation.

A comedy about a woman who gets an abortion will be featured at the Sundance Film Festival. There’s a real dearth of representations of abortion in popular culture, and one portraying a woman who is A-OK with her decision is especially rare.

President Obama signed a defense bill on Thursday that includes changes meant to improve the military’s handling of sexual assault. For example, under the new law military commanders will no longer be able to overturn jury decisions. However, the law does not go as far as the proposed Military Justice Improvement Act, which would remove prosecution of sexual assault cases from the military chain of command. While these recent changes are progress, I’m still hoping 2014 sees reform beyond reversing rules that never should have existed in the first place.

The Connecticut legislature has made a number of suggestions to help the unemployed, including addressing bias that harms older unemployed workers.

Connecticut’s healthcare exchange saw a flurry of action right before the December 23 deadline to sign up for health coverage that will take effect January 1. In total, 62,153 people have signed up since the exchange opened. People can continue to sign up for health insurance through the exchange, but coverage will start at a later date.

Happy New Year!

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