Sunday, April 25, 2010

Why Women Should Support Health Care Reform

Women should support the new health care reform for several reasons: 1) women usually make most of the decisions regarding family health care, 2) women usually live longer than men, 3) women usually require more medical care than men, 4) women have additional medical needs such as pregnancy, childbirth and childcare.

According to a report by the Commonwealth Fund, approximately 64 million women or 70%of Americans have no health insurance coverage, inadequate health care coverage, high medical bills or debt problems, or problems accessing health care because of the rising cost.

Many women have difficulty getting adequate health insurance because you usually need a full-time job which 52% of women versus 73% of men are likely to have. Many women continue to work full-time to continue receiving health care coverage but would prefer to work part-time or stay at home.

According to the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle victims of domestic violence have even higher health costs than other women for three years after the abuse ends totaling $1600 or more after the abuse ends.

According to a 2008 study by the National Law Center, prior to the health care reform, it was legal in most states for companies selling individual health policies to participate in gender rating by charging women more than men for the same coverage, even for policies that did not include maternity care. The health care premium differences ranged from 4% to 48%.

Health care reform will really help women because they can no longer be discriminated against and charged higher insurance premiums than men simply because they are a woman or for a pre-existing condition such as pregnancy, caesarian sections or other issues such as domestic violence and rape. Since women generally make only $.77 for every dollar men make, any reduction in health care costs is appreciated.

According to the National Women's Law Center whether women are insured or uninsured, they have many out-of-pocket costs that they are more likely to avoid health care or struggle paying for health care.

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