Women and Healthcare – We’ve Got More Skin In The Game


It’s tempting to just screen out all the noise and hoopla about healthcare reform. The TV glows with dozens of “experts” nattering on and on. Newspapers are full of charts and graphs. One group yells, another group yells louder. It would be easy to shrug your shoulders, say it’s a mess, and look away. It would be so easy.

But you mustn’t.

What happens will matter to you terribly because you are a woman. Because women have babies, they receive more medical care than men. We get mammograms, pap smears, pre-natal care. We decide when a child is sick enough to go to the doctor. We make appointments for our parents, our in-laws, our spouses, and our partners.

Women are more likely to delay or go without medical treatment because of the expense. We put others first, at risk to ourselves. Women spend a greater share of household income on health care than men. They may be charged higher premiums, particularly during their childbearing years, or have maternity and pre-natal services excluded from coverage all together.

Most part-time workers are women, and as such have no access to employer-sponsored health insurance programs. Less than half of all working women can get coverage through their own employer. Many depend on their spouses’ employers, or if they can afford it, buy coverage on the individual market. Single women are twice as likely to be uninsured than married women. Our current system is rationed by cost, employment, and marital status, among other factors. As a result, in 2007 more than 21 million women in this country had no health care insurance at all.

So you just can’t afford not to care. You could be one of those women. You may be one of those women. The cost of not doing anything, for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country is far, far more expensive than finding a solution.

Educate yourself. Reflect and determine where you are in the debate. Talk to your friends and family. And talk to the people who represent you in Congress, where these decisions will be made. You have too much skin in the game to sit on the bench for this one.

Click here to learn more about why the current health care system does not work for women.


  • Idyllic Youth

    I'm really frustrated with this health care debate. First of all, as the plan stands now, it won't apply to me. This is because my husband gets insurance through his employer. Why should we be denied a public health option because we have the option of paying 200+ dollars a month for the privilege of having a $1500 deductible? Aside from that, whenever I contact my senators and congressmen to voice my opinion I get thanked for my opinion but told that because my MALE representatives don't agree they will not be supporting my opinion in D.C. Its enough to make some through up their hands and shout, "I give up!" I have begged my congressional reps for midwifery care, single-payer health coverage, and respect for everyone's right to have health care regardless of their ability to pay. Still, my cries fall on hearing but negligent ears.

  • talkbirth

    Great post! I confess to being kind of apathetic about the whole thing and this post was a good wake-up call.