176669 Raising women's voices: Health care for women, health care for all

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 12:30 PM

Cynthia A. Pearson , National Women's Health Network, Washington, DC
Byllye Avery , Avery Institute for Social Change, Provincetown, MA
Lois J. Uttley, MPP , Community Catalyst, MergerWatch Project, New York, NY
Women have much at stake in the health care reform debates. The current U.S. health care system fails to provide access to needed care for many women and for the family members whose care they often coordinate. The barriers involve coverage eligibility and limitations, cost, health care disparities, family dynamics and the willingness of health care institutions and individual health professionals to provide requested services. They affect both insured and uninsured women. Addressing the barriers that women face will build support for progressive health care reform solutions. In addition, addressing women's health care problems, such as preventing insurers from treating pregnancy as a pre-existing condition, will be essential to enlisting women in the movement for health care reform. The Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need initiative is doing this by engaging women from diverse communities in identifying their health care needs; prioritizing efforts to engage women from communities that are marginalized in health policy discussions and that face special obstacles, such as discrimination and language or cultural barriers; using a policy framework for quality, affordable health care for all that advances women's health needs to evaluate health reform proposals; creating partnerships between women's health advocates and consumer leaders for health care reform to strengthen understanding of each other's perspectives and create a powerful alliance for change; and educating health policy makers about women's perspectives on health care reform, with a focus on the need to include comprehensive women's health care in plans for expanding health coverage.

Learning Objectives:
1. Articulate the reasons why health care reform to make quality, affordable health care available to everyone is a priority concern for women. 2. Describe the women's vision for health care reform policy framework that outlines principles for health care reform that meets the needs of women and their families. 3. Discuss the work that women and women's groups are doing to advance the goal of getting quality, affordable health care for everyone.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am one of the key leaders of the initiative to be discussed.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.