160935 Health care for all, health care for women: A review of state health care reform initiatives

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 8:50 AM

Amy Allina , National Women's Health Network, Washington, DC
Cynthia A. Pearson , National Women's Health Network, Washington, DC
National efforts to establish universal access to health care are still not moving forward, despite increased national public attention to the gaps and problems caused by the current patchwork system in the United States. A few states, however, have enacted universal health care initiatives, and several more are considering proposals this year. This presentation will review state-based initiatives to establish universal access to health care and discuss how diverse women's health care needs are, and are not, being met in those efforts. Women have unique problems and concerns in health care with respect to both access and services. State health care reform initiatives and proposals will be evaluated based on their ability to address the barriers that women face to obtaining insurance, accessing needed care, and maintaining and achieving health. Since the inclusion of comprehensive reproductive health services has historically been controversial in public health services, the presentation will specifically examine whether state reforms treat reproductive health services differently in any way and how that treatment is affecting women's health status in the state. Parity for mental health coverage is also a major concern for women and a likely source of controversy as states institute reforms. Finally, the presentation will include an assessment of the reforms' responsiveness to the needs of women who have historically faced the greatest barriers to health care, including immigrant women, women with disabilities and LBTQ women.

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to: (1) describe current state-based initiatives to establish universal health care; (2) discuss how women's health care needs are and are not being met by these efforts; (3) articulate key controversies relating to women's health that have arisen in health care reform efforts such as the inclusion of comprehensive reproductive health services, parity for mental health care, and efforts to ensure that health systems are responsive to the needs of vulnerable populations who face greater barriers to care.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.