Women’s Health Matters: Getting to Universal Coverage

Women must be front and center in any conversation about the future of our nation’s health care system.

Declaring that women must be front and center in any conversation about the future of our nation’s health care system, The National Partnership for Women & Families has released a new brief titled: A Framework for Making Universal Health Coverage Meaningful for Women The brief details their vision for a reimagined health care system.

“Women constitute a majority of our population and we spend a disproportionate amount of our income on health care,” said National Partnership President Debra L. Ness. “Women play an outsized role as health care decision-makers, paid and unpaid caregivers and advocates for ourselves and our loved ones. Yet all too often, our perspectives and health care needs are ignored and excluded.

The National Partnership is committed to changing that narrative.

We believe that all women should have access to high quality and affordable health coverage that fully meets their needs throughout their lifespan. And that should be true for all women and all people regardless of their race, income, immigration status, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Guaranteeing that every person living in the US has access to coverage would dramatically reduce disparities in health care access and outcomes and increase economic stability. Last year, the number of women without health insurance grew to 10.8 million. Twelve percent of uninsured women live in states with no Medicaid expansion, exacerbating racial and geographic disparities as Black women are more likely to live in those states. A shameful statistic for one of the world’s wealthiest nations.”

The National Partnership plans to distribute the brief to all the presidential campaigns as a policy guide. There are five must-have elements the brief outlines for universal coverage for all women, families and people living in the United States.

  • Guarantee health coverage for ALL women, all families, all people living in the United States. Period.
  • Provide the meaningful benefits women and others need to be healthy including: maternity care, contraception, abortion care, and the full range of reproductive care, preventive care, mental health, substance misuse, long-term care, as well as hearing, vision and dental care.
  • Protect women and families from high health care costs. Our economic security should not be put at risk or traded against our health care needs.
  • Ensure quality care and unbiased treatment, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, immigration status, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation. No one should face barriers to health coverage or discrimination of any kind.
  • Advance economic justice and the right to form a union for health care workers, especially home care workers who have historically been excluded from rights and protections.

About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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Llenda Jackson-Leslie
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