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Obama’s Re-Election: What it Means for Health Care Reform

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

After a hard-won fight in numerous battleground states, incumbent candidate Barack Obama defeated former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in yesterday’s presidential election. How will Obama’s second term affect families? For one thing, the President’s re-election eliminates the possibility of a full repeal of his healthcare reform law, Reuters reports.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was passed in 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court in June 2012, aims to offer benefits to 30 million uninsured Americans by 2014. Under the ACA, states will participate in insurance exchange programs, and families will have access to immunizations, pre- and post-natal care such as folic acid supplements, and preventive screenings such as mammograms without co-pays or out-of-pocket costs. The controversial reform is still facing approximately two dozen lawsuits, many of which seek to overturn a mandate requiring church-affiliated institutions to cover the cost of employees’ contraceptives.

Governor Romney vowed to repeal the act if elected. Now, “There’s sort of an immediate acceptance that this law will stay in place in some meaningful way,” explained Chris Jennings, a top healthcare adviser to former Democratic President Bill Clinton. “It’s sort of like a big barrier has been removed.”

To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, read our exclusive interview with Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Image: Map with stethoscope via Shutterstock

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The 7 Most Controversial Parenting News Stories of 2011

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Parents.com has named the 7 parenting news stories that were the most discussed, debated, and controversial this past year.  Written by your very own intrepid parenting news blogger (ie me!), the feature details the main thrust of each story, why it was controversial, and how it affected your lives as parents and families.

Click to read the entire feature, The 7 Parenting Controversies that Changed the Way We Raised Our Kids in 2011.  To get you started, below is the most controversial story, the “Tiger Mom” debate that erupted early this year and is still on the minds of many parents:

“Tiger Mother” Calls Parental Expectations into Question

What happened: Amy Chua, mother of two and author of “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” started a debate about how much pressure parents should put on their children to succeed. Her book, which was excerpted in January in the Wall Street Journal, attempt to explain why Chinese children are stereotypically such high achievers in math, music, and more. Chua’s description of strict discipline and unyielding standards sparked fierce debate over whether American parenting culture is too permissive. “What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it,” Chua wrote, “To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences.”

Why it’s controversial: The debate was fierce in the media and in moms’ groups across the country. Some said Chua was a “mean mom” whose sky-high expectations were unhealthy and damaging to her children, who could never hope to please her. Others countered that Chua’s technique was a refreshing change of pace from the self-esteem-first, “everybody’s a winner” paradigm of modern American parenting.

How it impacted your life: The “Tiger Mother” discussions — in the media and at playgrounds alike — opened the door to self-reflection over where your parenting style falls on the “Tiger” spectrum. For some of you, Chua’s argument was permission to be “harder” on your kids without feeling like you’re scarring them for life. For others, Chua’s perspective only increased your commitment to giving your kids a broad definition of “success.”

More controversial parenting stories of 2011

Image: Woman reading newspaper, via Shutterstock.

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