Women and Health Reform

Posted September, 4 2008 by arianne

Lois Uttley, Director of The Mergerwatch Project–and HCFANY member–wrote a fascinating article about women and health reform that highlight these grim facts:

– Women are losing job-based insurance at a rapid clip: the numbers of uninsured women rose from 18 million in 1999 to more that 21 million in 2008.

– The number of women using government-sponsored health insurance (like Medicaid) is at an eight-year high of 29.8%.

– Women of color are disproportionately uninsured: Uninsured rates for Hispanic, Black, and Asian-American women are 28.9%, 17.9%, and 15.7% respectively.

Lois urges the electorate and policy makers to incorporate women's health needs into the health reform conversation. For the full article, please see: www.rhrealitycheck.org


Arthur Springer • Sep.23.2008 at 05:53:pm

Health care for all is not going to be achieved or sustained in an equitable and responsible fashion through this kind of divisive, propagandistic, discriminatory thinking. There are any number of good sources of material about men’s health and boys’ health available, including some barely adequate statements from the New York State Department of Health, that should be on this website, and are not. I see no point in arguing the substance of the matter to people who are not listening. The problem is the fundamental prejudice against universality and equity on the part of the special interest that has developed around the issue of women’s health and similar factions. Assembling all these fragmented special interests into another political coalition is not going to bring about health care for all. It merely reasserts a discriminatory and discredited ideology within the political class, and with no real constituency in society at large. Why has it become so difficult for health “advocates” to be fair and to express a humanistic ethic and the vision needed for serious social and political change?

Lois Uttley • Oct.14.2008 at 04:45:pm

There are several important reasons to focus on women and health care reform. Women’s experience with health insurance is somewhat different than men’s. For example:

–Women are more likely to rely on public health insurance than are men, meaning that we need to take special care in how we incorporate existing public insurance programs such as Medicaid into any state health reform plan.

–Women with private insurance are more likely to be covered as dependents under their spouse’s health insurance plan than are men. As a result, they are especially vulnerable to losing that insurance as a result of divorce or the death of a spouse.

–Women earn about 75 cents for every dollar that men earn, according to the latest Census Bureau statistics. So, women are more likely to encounter affordability issues in trying to pay for health insurance premiums.

–Women have gender-specific health coverage issues, such as whether their health plans will pay for midwives or contraception.

That said, we also need to recognize that women often are the health care decision-makers and arrangers for their entire families, including spouses, children and ailing older relatives. So, when we listen to women’s concerns about the existing health system, we are also likely to find out what is needed to improve health care for everyone!

Amice Iopim • Jan.24.2010 at 03:57:pm

Nice article. Go on with your workIt is good to see that you follow up about these important women questions. But sometimes I have the feeling that it is useless to think about it. Female situation is somehow gone from our minds and from public interest in recent months due to the bid economic problems created by men. There seems to be only killing and frustrations in a large range of areas. So why to look at it? … But you do the right thing: The well-being and health of the women is an main factor for the stability of the whole economy. It is the responsibility to look at it than to leave female questions as they are now. Go on please!.

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