"For too long, in too many ways, [health insurance companies] treated simply being a woman as a pre-existing condition."
– Sen. Barbara Mikulski
It has been said many times in the Senate chamber — health care is a women’s issue. It’s true. Every day millions of women make decisions about their health care and that of their family members. According to the Department of Labor, women make nearly 80% of all family health care decisions. Our current health care system, however, does not adequately meet the financial and delivery needs of women, making health care reform a necessity.
Take a look at some of the alarming facts provided by the National Women’s Law Center:
- Women are more likely than men to require health care throughout their lives, including regular doctor’s visits to reproductive health care providers
- Women are more likely to have chronic conditions that require continuous health care treatment
- Women use more prescription drugs on average
- Certain mental health problems affect twice as many women as men
According to Marcia Greenberger, Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center, the health care reform law that the president signed into law this week, "marks a turning point for millions of women and their families who are closer than ever to securing access to desperately needed health care."
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act make several critical changes to our current health care system that will have a significant impact on women.
- Provides affordable, easy access to preventive screening, such as mammograms
- Prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to a women because of a pre-existing condition
- Allows children the opportunity to remain on their parents’ insurance policy until age 26
- Ends lifetime and annual limits on benefits