National Partnership for Women & Families

"S. 1955 is the Wrong Prescription for Women and Families," Women's Health Leader Warns

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — April 6, 2006 —
“Our health care system is in crisis. Nearly 46 million Americans are without coverage and health care costs are skyrocketing. It is critical that we find ways to make health care more affordable. But S.1955, the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act, would strip away vital consumer protections and make coverage more expensive for those who need it the most.

S.1955 has particularly grave implications for women and children. States have acted to ensure that women and children have access to the health care services and providers they
 need. S.1955 would sweep away critical protections that only exist in state law, causing women and families to lose important benefits and consumer protections. The bill would eliminate key health care benefits including screenings for breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancer, well-child care and immunizations, maternity care, emergency services, mental health parity, diabetes supplies and education, and other important benefits. For that reason, over 100 organizations representing consumers, patients, providers and others oppose this legislation.

In America today, quality, affordable health care is out of reach for too many families. But by eliminating the basic health care coverage Americans need and depend on, S. 1955 does more harm than good and should be rejected. In contrast, the Durbin/Lincoln Small Employers Health Benefits Program Act (SEHBP), S. 2510, focuses explicitly on the health care challenges facing small businesses and would provide access to meaningful coverage. Congress could make a real difference by approving meaningful reforms such as SEHBP that get at the real problems plaguing our health care system. ”

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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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