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Health Care Reform for Women, Too

By Francine Hardaway
 
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The Obama administration is serious about health care reform and about getting support for it. This was in my inbox this morning from Jenny Backus, probably because I held a health care meeting in my home and signed up on the health care reform site:

A Special Video Message for You on Women and Health Reform from Secretary Sebelius

Dear Friend,

We know that the health care crisis impacts every American, but our mothers, daughters and sisters are paying a particularly heavy price. Today, 21 million women and girls are uninsured. Women who try to purchase insurance find that the private market is often stacked against them. Premiums in the private market for young women are often higher than they are for men. In some states, insurance companies can legally discriminate against women and leave them with higher health care bills or inadequate coverage.

Today, in honor of National Women’s Health Week, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the HHS Office of Health Reform are releasing a report, Roadblocks to Health Care, that shows how our current system is leaving too many women without the care they need. You can watch a special message from Secretary Sebelius about the report by clicking here: http://healthreform.gov/video/women.html.

To read the report, visit www.HealthReform.gov.

Later this morning, Secretary Sebelius will join local woman business owners in Washington, D.C.’s historic Barracks Row neighborhood for a roundtable discussion. She will be joined by Tina Tchen, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, to discuss the unique challenges facing women when it comes to health reform, especially woman small business owners. We’ll have pictures of the event on www.HealthReform.gov later this afternoon.

We know America’s women can’t afford to wait for comprehensive health reform. Roadblocks to Health Care reports:

* In the individual insurance market, women are often charged higher premiums than men during their reproductive years. Holding other factors constant, a 22-year-old woman can be charged one and a half times the premium of a 22-year-old man.

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