165818 Raising women's voices in the debate over health care reform

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 1:10 PM

Byllye Avery , Avery Institute for Social Change, Provincetown, MA
Cynthia A. Pearson , National Women's Health Network, Washington, DC
Lois Uttley, MPP , MergerWatch Project, New York, NY
Women are key stakeholders in the debate over the future of health care in the United States. Often the health care decision-makers for their families, they face the daily challenge of stretching household budgets to cover prescription costs and co-payments. Women have personal reproductive health care needs that often go unmet, either because of lack of insurance or because of coverage limitations in some public and private health insurance plans. Women face difficulty in exercising alternative birthing choices in birthing, such as using midwives. As primary caregivers for elderly parents, women also are acutely aware of the gaps in our society's health care safety nets for people with chronic and debilitating illnesses.

Unfortunately, given these shortcomings in the current health “system,” the voices of many American women have been missing from state and national debates over health care reform. Especially marginalized have been lesbians, immigrant women, low-income women, young women, African-American women, Asian-American women and Latinas. Meanwhile, powerful interests who are at the table -- such as the health insurance industry, mainstream medical societies and conservative religious organizations – may actively oppose comprehensive women's health care.

This presentation will discuss the need for women to become involved in shaping health care reform, so that their perspectives about their health care needs and those of their families can be powerfully articulated. Presenters will discuss key features of a women's vision for health care reform and a plan for mobilizing women to speak out on health care reform.

Learning Objectives:
Understand the role of women in health care reform

Keywords: Health Advocacy, Health Care Reform

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.