BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Misbehavin’ Notification: Healthcare Reform Will Improve Outcomes for Women, Families and Small Business

Posted by joyinhome on March 22, 2010

Statement of Deborah L. Frett, CEO Business and Professional Women’s Foundation

The passage of health care reform will improve outcomes forwomen, families and small businesses. This initial solution may not be perfect but it is a critical first step to achieve systemic change in U.S. health care – the status quo was literally killing us. BPW Foundation has heard from both our employee and employer supporters that health care reform is necessary to achieve successful workplaces where women and families can succeed and businesses can profit.
We must continue to improve health care. Reform should include affordability, equality of access and care, stability and security, shared responsibility, and support for prevention. BPW Foundation supports health care reform that recognizes the diverse needs of women, families and small businesses as they work together to create successful workplaces.
Health care reform is a woman’s issue. Women are 50 percent of the population, 49 percent of the U.S. workforce and we are “paying” more for health care. The high cost of health care has a disproportionate impact on women because our incomes are less (22 percent less on average due to the persistent gender wage gap) and a greater share of our income is consumed by health care. On average, women of childbearing age pay 68 percent more out-of-pocket for their health care than men. Women are also more likely to delay or avoid getting the care they need because they cannot afford it.The extension of Medicaid eligibility, elimination of gender rating, offering of insurance subsidies and the prohibition on denial of coverage due to medical history and pre-existing conditions will improve outcomes for women.
Health care reform is a family issue. The uncertainty in the insurance market impacts children and spouses who count on an employee’s health insurance coverage that can be lost because of job loss, job change, a move or illness putting everyone in the family at risk. Ensuring that coverage can not be lost due to illness or denied for pre-existing conditions improve the outcomes of the entire family. The sheer cost of insurance coverage can be devastating to families. Additionally, expanding access to health care will decrease the number of uninsured especially working families with children. 
Health care reform is a small business issue. The cost of providing health care is crippling businesses of all sizes, especially small businesses. Women-owned firms represent 30 percent of all U.S. businesses and are the fastest growing percentage of small business owners. Sixty percent of America’s uninsured are small business owners, workers and their families. Small business owners want to provide health care coverage to their employees because it helps with employee recruitment and retention, increases productivity and is the “right thing to do.” The driving force behind the erosion of health coverage for small businesses has been cost. The creation of new marketplaces to buy insurance on the state and regional level and tax credits to enable and encourage small businesses to provide employee health care coverage will improve the bottom line for everyone.
I applaud our elected leaders for using this historic opportunity to improve the health care system. By expanding access, sharing responsibility through coverage mandates and ensuring that coverage is intact when needed most, they have put the country on the right track to do what is best for the people. In order to develop a strong workforce and economy, systemic reform should guarantee access to quality and affordable care for women, families and small businesses.”
Business and Professional Women’s Foundation (BPW Foundation) partners with women, employers and policymakers to create successful workplaces that practice and embrace diversity, equity and work-life balance. Through our groundbreaking research and our unique role as a neutral convener of employers and employees, BPW Foundation leads the way in developing and advocating for polices and programs that “work” for both women and businesses. BPW Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.

8 Responses to “Misbehavin’ Notification: Healthcare Reform Will Improve Outcomes for Women, Families and Small Business”

  1. Geri Martin said

    I have been a member of BPW since 1997. We normally discuss items that we support. I dont’ remember ever getting anything asking us how we feel on the health care bill or if we support or not? I don’t support it! It is going to cost even more for insurance now and our insurance was the same cost for both male and female. I have never heard of one otherwise? I don’t agree with using tax payers dollars for abortions? I think this is wrong.

  2. Joyinhome said

    You are correct; you did not receive correspondence regarding support of the healthcare bill. The structure to which you are referring was that of BPW/USA.

    I can assure you that your insurance was not the same cost for male and female. When actuarials compute the premiums as well as the “risk” of coverage, women are rated higher meaning at a higher risk and cost. The insurance company does not disclose this to the individual, you just see the overall cost.

    This bill is not what it started out as but I believe it will improve access and quality of healthcare for women and families. However, I look at this as a place for the country to start. I also believe that many people’s lives will improve b/c they will have health insurance when either they had been denied in the past or simply could not afford it.

  3. businesswom said

    The recently passed healthcare reform bill definitely works in favor of women, families, and small businesses. The benefits of disease prevention through primary care are immeasurable, until someone has an illness that keeps them out of work for months on end. Not only does healthcare reform afford everyone an equal opportunity for accessing care, it also ensures that businesses will achieve maximum productivity from their healthy employees. Well stated BPW.

  4. Thank you so much for BPW Foundation’s strong stand on health care reform. A friend of mine, while fighting breast cancer a few years ago, described her huge fight with the insurance company to get payment to cover treatment. And of course they dumped her after they paid up. She is now on a public health payment system in Minnesota because she couldn’t get any other coverage. I have friends who in their late 50s and early 60 s have lost their jobs and their health insurance. What are they to do – die quietly from their diseases? This health care reform will prevent all of these instances from happening. We are talking about a basic human right here. In addition, the League of Women Voters and Mayo Health Systems are in favor of it. That says alot about its usefulness.
    Diane Norland

  5. […] employers to offer breaks and space for nursing mothers to pump breast milk. Additionally the new tax credits for small-business owners who provide insurance to their employees, benefits women, as women own the majority of small […]

  6. tower200 said

    What I still did not know about the President’s plan is this portion about pre-existing conditions… Is there any lingo in this bill about wether or not there is a cap on what insurance companies can demand if you have a pre-existing problem?

  7. espressodog said

    @Tower200 Yes, the health care reform bill prohibits insurerers from denying individuals health insurance coverage due to a pre-existing condition AND from charging individuals with pre-existing conditions higher premiums or excluding coverage for specific conditions. Insurers will also be prohibited from charging higher premiums due to gender, health status, family history, or occupation.

  8. macky said

    Its related to family and women health notifications and there related costs and all.The cost of providing health care is crippling businesses of all sizes, especially small businesses. Women-owned firms represent 30 percent of all U.S. businesses and are the fastest growing percentage of small business owners. Sixty percent of America’s uninsured are small business owners.
    colorado springs

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