Sunday, October 11, 2009

Found: Some equity in healthcare, but not good news (by Liz)

I tuned into CSPAN2 last week to watch the women senators who spoke out on the Senator floor for healthcare reform. They were led by Senator Barbara Mikulski and her rally cry: "We the women of the Senate have fought for equal pay and equal work…and now we are fighting for equal coverage. We want equal benefits for equal premiums." Her colleagues went on to speak out against gender inequities in the current healthcare system including these facts:

- In nine states domestic abuse is considered a pre-existing condition- for the victim, not the batterer
- Having had a C-section, even if it was medically mandated, may be considered a pre-existing condition
- In many states, insurance companies can charge women more for coverage than they charge men
- Not all states are required to cover maternity care
- And, per Senator Stabenow, that the intent to adopt may be considered a pre-existing condition

Not much new here. If you've been paying attention, you've heard most of this already. But I learned something else--I found some fairness in the current system. Senator Stabenow reported that not only is being pregnant cause for automatic rejection of coverage from some insurance companies, so is being an expectant father. Not quite the gender equity I was looking for.