A few weeks ago, we wrote about research from the National Women's Law Center that uncovered the existence of domestic violence as a pre-existing condition in eight states and DC. We were horrified, as well many other bloggers and reporters. Apparently, so were at least four female Senators.
At a press conference today on the Hill, Senators Mikulski, Klobuchar, Shaheen and Hagan were joined by Marcia Greenberger, co-director of the National Women's Law Center, to discuss how health insurance reform will improve women's access to quality health care. The four senators mentioned a plethora of disparities faced by women under the current system, including the fact that women pay more than men for the same coverage, the classifications of Caesarean section as a pre-existing condition and the lack of maternity coverage in many policies.
Sen. Mikulski kicked off the press conference with an enthusiastic call for "equal insurance for equal premiums!" That call permeated through the remarks of all four Senators, each of whom focused on stories and hard facts that illustrated how insurance companies are systematically discriminating against women. After listing the litany of ways in which insurers turn a profit at womens' expense, Sen. Shaheen exclaimed: "The insurance companies should be ashamed."
This press conference was just one of the many ways in which these senators, and others, are working to fix health care for all Americans, especially women. Sen. Klobuchar emphasized that "We have to start putting women front and center in this debate." The legislation currently moving through Congress does just that, by eliminating the notion of pre-existing conditions, such as pregnancy and domestic violence, and outlawing the practice of gender rating.
Stay tuned for video from this great event coming tomorrow.