President Bush signed into law the Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act yesterday. According to the Washington Post, Democrats contend that the bill does not do enough for seniors and could lead to the privatization of Medicare. Women’s groups are concerned that the bill will cause millions to lose their employer-sponsored health insurance and will face higher premiums.
According to the Boston Globe, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) called the bill the most “anti-senior, anti-disabled, anti-Medicare, antifamily, anti-worker” piece of legislation in the country’s history.”
As women account for more than 70 percent of the elderly poor and comprise the majority of those who are on both Medicare and Medicaid, women will suffer the greatest impact of these proposed changes. The National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) has joined with OWL and other women’s organizations, including the Feminist Majority, and consumer and labor organizations in opposition to this legislation.