National Partnership for Women & Families

Ness Calls Today's Ruling "Bad News for America's Women," Says It Must be Overturned

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — January 31, 2011 —
"Today’s ruling in State of Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is bad news for America’s women — but it is not the final word. Judge Vinson’s sweeping ruling is a triumph of politics over law and over the best interests of the nation and in particular women. It imperils the progress we are already making. It must not stand.

The Affordable Care Act put America’s women one huge step closer to getting the health coverage and health care that they need. It is invalidating the punitive and predatory insurance practices that have penalized women for decades, providing coverage for essential women’s health services, making prevention a priority, and laying the groundwork to coordinate care for the sickest patients and their family caregivers.

Opponents are spending millions of dollars to challenge this law, when they could be joining the effort to improve care for those who need it most. If they succeed, we will go back to the days when people with pre-existing conditions could not get coverage, insurers dropped consumers or imposed caps when they got sick, and gender discrimination pervaded the insurance market.

That is not what America wants and not what America needs. This ruling must be overturned."

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at

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