National Women's Law Center: Women Can't Wait For Reform
(Washington, DC) The House of Representatives has released its much-awaited final health care legislation. The following is a statement by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President of the National WomenÂs Law Center (NWLC):
ÂThe House bill marks another historic step on the long road to finally improving access to quality health care for millions of women and their families.
ÂThe bill will end key insurance company practices that discriminate against women simply because they are women. Women who have had Caesarean sections or who are domestic violence survivors will no longer be denied coverage under the guise that these are Âpre-existing conditions.Â Women who have breast or ovarian cancer will no longer be turned down. Women will no longer face barriers to getting coverage for maternity care. And millions of women will no longer pay higher premiums than men simply because they are women.
ÂThe House bill improves the Senate reform bill in ways that are especially important to women, such as higher premium subsidies for lower-income women, higher Medicaid reimbursements for primary care providers, and closure of the Medicare prescription drug Âdonut hole.Â But this reform bill isnÂt all it should be. One glaring problem is the inclusion of onerous restrictions on coverage for abortion care. We will never rest until those restrictions are removed. But in spite of its flaws, the bill is worthy of support.
ÂWomen have a major stake in securing this reform. As insurance premiums skyrocket, women make agonizing choices every day between paying rent or buying food and going to a doctor, and more than half of women go without necessary medical care because of cost. For many of these women and their families, how Congress votes will literally affect their health, and their lives, everyday.
ÂThe time for debate is over. Women have waited far too long already Â theyÂre counting on House members to stand strong and side with them to deliver health coverage they can count on. The time is now to pass this bill.Â
The National Women's Law Center is a non-profit organization that has been working since 1972 to advance and protect women's legal rights. The Center focuses on major policy areas of importance to women and their families including economic security, education, employment and health, with special attention given to the concerns of low-income women. For more information on the Center, visit: www.nwlc.org.
Contact: Maria Patrick or Andrea Maruniak, 202-588-5180