Merkley: Health Care Reform Essential for Improving Women’s Health Outcomes

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, female Democratic Senators spoke on
the Senate floor about how health care reform is essential for women.
 Huge disparities in costs of coverage exist for women and men today, with
women on average being charged more than what men pay for the same coverage,
and many insurance plans refusing to cover even basic services for women such
as maternal care.  While some have suggested we allow this practice to
continue, Senator Jeff Merkley agrees that we cannot treat care for women
differently than we do care for men.

“There has been some suggestion that insurance companies
shouldn’t have to cover services that affect just women.  Or that they
should continue to be allowed to charge women more for the same policies. 
That is ridiculous.  No American should be charged more or denied basic
medical coverage because of their gender.


“Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening
today.  While Oregon has gone further than many states in preventing
gender discrimination in insurance, in some areas of the country, women have no
protections from being charged more than men.  Honoring families starts
with making sure every member of a family is provided the health care services
they need.  We must end the practice of discriminating on the basis of
gender and ensure that all Americans are treated equally.”