National Partnership for Women & Families

Women's, Consumer Leader Applauds President Obama For Convening Health Summit

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — March 6, 2009 —
"At a time when too many Americans are uninsured or underinsured, health insurance premiums are skyrocketing, and Americans have only a 50/50 chance of getting the right health care at the right time, the National Partnership for Women & Families today praised President Obama for convening the first ever White House summit on health care.

“Yesterday’s summit was exciting and energizing,” said National Partnership for Women & Families President Debra L. Ness, who spoke at the event. “While the participants were extremely diverse, there was real, across-the-board consensus that the course we’re on right now is neither sustainable nor responsible, and that it’s not working for businesses, state governments, the federal government, individuals or families. We all agreed that this is the time to truly transform our health care system, rather than just tinker around the edges.”

At the summit, Ness stressed the imperative “to address cost, quality and coverage — not one of them, not two of them, but all three. We need to make health care affordable, improve quality, and reduce disparities in care. The role of primary care must be strengthened and care coordination improved. The National Partnership supports realigning the payment system to encourage better quality, more patient-centered care and to ensure more effective use of health care resources.”

“President Obama did a real service for the nation in convening this summit,” she added. “It was a terrific start — but only the beginning. Now it’s up to all of us to help continue the work, so we can implement the health care reform the nation needs.”

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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