Is being female a preexisting condition?
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! A brave 16-year-old goes viral, BET gets hit with a gender discrimination suit, and women ask what the House passage of the GOP health care bill could mean for them. Have a relaxing weekend.
• Critical condition. Yesterday’s passage of the Republican health-care bill in the House raised a host of very valid concerns about what the measure would mean for women, should it become law. Some of the more terrifying headlines I saw even proclaimed that the bill makes simply being a woman “essentially a preexisting condition.” Let’s take a closer look at what that means.
The bill doesn’t specify what sort of preexisting conditions insurers may take into account if states seek a waiver from the existing federal law (which requires that companies cover people with such conditions). But there is a precedent for insurers treating sexual assault, Caesarean sections, domestic violence, and postpartum depression as grounds for either denying coverage or charging higher premiums.
The measure would also affect women’s health in other ways: It would block Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid reimbursements for one year unless its clinics stop offering abortions, slashing roughly 30% of its revenue.
Of course, it’s too early to know whether any of this will actually become law. The bill must still make its way through the Senate—and whatever version emerges from that chamber must go back through the House. But for women who are frightened about the potential implications for their health care, even today’s passage sets off alarm bells.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Do you get a badge for that? A photograph of 16-year-old girl scout Lucie Myslíková staring defiantly at a right-wing protester during a May Day counter-protest in the Czech city of Brno is latest shot of a young woman standing calmly in the face of police or angry protestors to go viral. Fortune
• Oops, they did it again. The problems at Fox News just keep piling up. The network has been hit with a new gender discrimination lawsuit, this time from Fox News Radio reporter Jessica Golloher. At the same time, one of the women who accused Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment said she would appear before the British regulatory group that is assessing 21st Century Fox’s attempted takeover of satellite TV giant Sky, and a federal investigation of the network continues. New York Times
• Betting against BET. And on the subject of lawsuits, Zola Mashariki, formerly the head of originals at Black Entertainment Television, is suing Viacom, BET, and former president of programming Stephen Hill, alleging rampant gender discrimination at the network. Mashariki was fired in March while on leave for breast cancer. The Hollywood Reporter
• A monumental app. In acknowledgement of how few women are represented in public statuary, Y&R has launched the Whole Story app. The app uses augmented reality to lead people to virtual statues, where they can hold their phone up to learn more about the woman and her historical contribution. WXYZ Detroit
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Home Office chief digital, data and technology officer Sarah Wilkinson is leaving the department to lead NHS Digital as its CEO.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• The art of soft power. Lisa Phillips, director of the Manhattan’s New Museum, has quietly become one of the most powerful women in the New York City art scene. New York Times
• SoGal gal. Fortune‘s Michelle Toh talks to Pocket Sun, the 25-year-old founding partner of SoGal Ventures. Her fledgling firm focuses on investing across national borders and in non-traditional startup areas. Fortune
• Class act. ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia talks about the backlash when the startup raised its prices and her move from CEO to executive chairman. Marie Claire
• The ultimate shopgirl. Linda Fargo, the Bergdorf’s public face and chief style maven, has opened Linda’s, a 600-square-foot shop-within-a-shop that she curates with whatever items catch her eye. New York Times
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