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

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.”