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The National Partnership for Women & Families is a non-profit, non-partisan consumer organization with 40 years of experience working to make life better for women and families by promoting access to quality health care, fairness in the workplace, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. In my role as Vice President of the National Partnership, I also represent patients and families on the Health IT Policy Committee.
Family economic insecurity is on the rise. Increasing numbers of women and families are losing employer-sponsored insurance and either going without insurance or enrolling in Medicaid.
Compared with men, women are more likely to be in fair or poor health and face greater rates of disease or chronic conditions on a number of indicators. This is compounded for women of color, women with disabilities, and lesbians.
Women on average earn less than men and are more likely to live in poverty. Female households, which are on the rise, are especially at risk of of living in poverty. Many women also have caregiving responsibilities, which limit their time and ability to work outside the home and require in additional health care spending.
Because women live longer, they make up more than half of the Medicare population and are more likely to have multiple chronic conditions. As both caregivers and patients, older women have borne the brunt of shortcomings in our health care system – high costs, poor quality, and fragmented, uncoordinated care.
Women are often not receiving the preventive or chronic care management services they need to stay healthy. This is especially true for minority women and women with disabilities.
Members of the Consumer Partnership for eHealth (CPeH) have been working for more than five years to advance patient-centered, consumer-focused health IT (information technology).
Members of the Consumer Partnership for eHealth (CPeH) have been working for more than five years to advance patient-centered, consumer-focused health IT (information technology). We believe our nation is at a pivotal moment for transforming our health care system with the support of better information.
The Affordable Care Act allows for catastrophic health plans to be sold to individuals under age 30 and to those who are unable to afford comprehensive coverage. These plans are prohibited by law from providing any benefits aside from preventive services and three primary care visits before the enrollee pays almost $6,000 in cost-sharing.
The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to spend at least 80-85% of premium dollars on providing beneficiaries with health care and improving the quality of their care, and not on administrative costs and profits. The National Partnership and a number of consumer and patient advocacy organizations wrote to Secretary Sebelius opposing efforts to undermine this important consumer protection.
Access to affordable, quality health care is central to the well-being of older women. It is a key determinant of their quality of life, their economic security, and their ability to thrive, prosper and participate fully in our society.
High health care costs – along with the common practice of charging higher insurance premiums based on sex – leave many lower-income women with no or inadequate health insurance, little access to health services, and risk for economic ruin if they or a family member fall ill.
One of the most important issues that states face as they draft health insurance exchange legislation is who will govern the exchange. Although multiple parties have an interest in the competitive insurance market that exchanges will create, the primary goal of the exchanges is to serve health insurance consumers.
The undersigned consumer organizations are members of the Consumer Partnership for eHealth (CPeH) and the Campaign for Better Care (CBC). The CPeH is a coalition of consumer, patient, and labor organizations working on both the national and local levels that, since 2005, has advocated for patient-centered policies related to health IT.
The Affordable Care Act calls on states to review unreasonable health insurance rate increases to protect consumers and small businesses from unfair, discriminatory hikes in their premium costs. The National Partnership wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that this important protection apply evenly across all small businesses up to 100 employees and not defer to state definitions which may restrict its application to only groups with fewer than 25 or 50 employees.
I am writing to ask you to protect women and families in your district by opposing repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In recent years, my colleagues and I have talked to countless women across this country who struggle mightily in a health care system fraught with delays, discrimination, and denials of care.
In conjunction with Childbirth Connection, the National Partnership submitted comments on priorities for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) pediatric quality measures program. Through CHIP, the country has the opportunity to focus national resources and attention on performance measurement in the realm of child health care, including the promotion of healthy birth.
The Affordable Care Act calls for the creation of a comprehensive and coordinated National Prevention Strategy. The National Partnership believes that the National Prevention Strategy can play a vital role in moving our country toward a health model based on wellness, but urge the federal government to recognize the importance of sexual health as an essential, integral component of overall health and incorporate reproductive and sexual health into the National Prevention Strategy.
Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) can play an important role in supporting effective primary care. With appropriate protections in place, HRAs can be useful tools that engage patients and their caregivers in their health care.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the greatest advance for women’s health in a generation. It promises an end to the days when millions of women went without health insurance – or struggled to afford coverage as premiums skyrocketed based on nothing more than our gender, age or illness.
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