FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On First Anniversary of Affordable Care Act, Ness Urges Lawmakers to Focus on Making the Health System Work for Women and Families, and to End Efforts to Repeal or Defund the Law
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — March 24, 2011 — "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 or illness.
The now one-year-old law is putting us closer to the day when essential women’s services are covered, prevention is a priority, and care is coordinated so family caregivers don’t shoulder unmanageable burdens. Quite simply, reform is making affordable, quality health care a reality for women and their families.
The ACA is especially important to older women, who are more likely to have chronic conditions and to bear the brunt of shortcomings in our health care system — among them high health care costs and poor quality, fragmented and uncoordinated care. Older women also are more vulnerable than men to the increasing cost of care, due to lower wages and time out of the workforce to meet family caregiving responsibilities during their working years. The health reform law is helping to ease the burden and improve the affordability and quality of health care for older women.
It also does a lot to help lower-income women, who have gone with coverage and care for too long because of high costs, along with the once-common practice of charging higher insurance premiums based on gender. That has left many lower-income women with no or inadequate health insurance and little access to health services. The ACA makes a number of changes to our health care system to lessen the burden on lower-income women.
Women need the health reform law in place, and we need it implemented in ways that will protect our most vulnerable patients. We urge Congress to turn its attention to effective implementation, rather than wasting any more time trying to repeal or defund it."
The National Partnership is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to 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.