FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Women’s Leader Echoes President’s Call to Reform Health Care,
Urges More Comprehensive Protections & Supports for Workers
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, DC — January 27, 2010 — “There was a lot to praise in President Obama’s State of the Union speech this evening. We especially welcome the call to pass health care reform so the nation will no longer stagger under the burden of skyrocketing costs and a fragmented, uncoordinated system that leaves millions without the coverage and care they need. No economic recovery will be sustainable without comprehensive health reform. President Obama was frank about some of the problems that stalled this bill but, as he said, it’s time to get this done. We now look to the President to put muscle behind that promise by working with Congress to finish the work to pass reform so we can contain costs, cover millions more people, and improve the coordination and quality of care. There is no time to waste.
We applaud the focus on economic and job growth, and increased supports for the middle class. We also welcome the President’s call to give women equal pay for an equal day's work. We hope the Senate will act quickly to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to address the gender-based wage discrimination that still plagues our country. And we support the President’s child care initiative, referenced tonight and discussed in more detail earlier this week, which is designed to improve quality and make child care more affordable for middle- and low-income families. That is long overdue.
We ask the Administration to prioritize guaranteeing workers a minimum standard of paid sick days, making paid family and medical leave available, and enacting the Employee Free Choice Act to restore workers’ right to choose to form unions in their workplaces.
The Obama Administration inherited a massive — perhaps unprecedented — set of problems that needed immediate attention. We understand that, and fervently hope that the coming year will see much more progress toward quality, affordable health care for all of us, fairness in the workplace, and initiatives that help Americans meet the dual demands of work and family.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a non-profit, non-partisan 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.