Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a press event Tuesday, October 6, on women and health insurance reform with Congresswomen Jan Schakowsky (IL), Donna Edwards (MD), Mary Jo Kilroy (OH), Gwen Moore (WI), and Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal.
Pelosi passionately outlined what health insurance reform will address for women. Pelosi said “…women are charged nearly 50 percent more than men for the same coverage when they purchase insurance in the individual market…We will eliminate co-pays and deductibles for recommended preventive services, such as early screenings, mammograms, well baby care, well child care, and maternity services…If you have ever had a c-section,[it is considered a] pre-existing medical condition, or been a victim of domestic violence. Think of this, you have survived domestic violence and now you are discriminated in the insurance market because you have a pre-existing medical condition. Well, that will all be gone under this legislation.”
Speakers addressed massive gains women will receive with the proposed health insurance reform before Congress. Smeal reported, “that a whole host of women’s organizations have joined in supporting health reform with a public option, which greatly benefits women of all ages, eliminates sex discrimination from health insurance pricing, guarantees maternity coverage, and prohibits denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions.”
The Feminist Majority’s Women, Money, & Power Summit attendees who stayed for the Congressional Visit Day attended the press event along with leaders from major women’s organizations and women’s rights activists.