Women’s Equality Day: We got the vote, now how about health care?

The health care system is failing women.

August 26 is Women’s Equality Day, commemorating the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, granting women the right to vote. It was a hard won battle, begun at the very first women’s rights convention in 1848.

The Suffragettes faced heated opposition, but would not be swayed from the cause they believed in. As our collective memory fades, we give little thought to the sacrifices and victories of the great women who came before us.

We’ve come a long way, but find ourselves in the midst of another super-charged fight, this time for comprehensive health care reform. The health care system is failing women, and it is women who must lead the charge for real reform that makes a difference for ourselves and our families.

From The National Women’s Law Center:

Insurers in most states are allowed to consider gender when setting premium rates in both the individual and group markets. As a result of “gender rating,” women, and businesses with predominantly female workforces, are often charged more than men for the exact same coverage.

In eight states and D.C., it is still legal for insurers to reject a woman’s health insurance application if she is a victim of domestic violence.

Insurers may exclude coverage for certain “pre-existing” conditions; if a woman has previously had a Cesarean section, for instance, insurers may refuse to pay for future C-sections or reject her application altogether.

Women need coverage for a full range of reproductive health services, yet it is very difficult—and sometimes impossible—for women to find coverage for maternity care in the individual health insurance market.

As part of its Online Series on Health Reform, HealthReform.gov reports these disturbing facts about women’s health care:

Less than 50% of women can get employer-based health insurance and even when they work for an employee that offers coverage, one in six is not eligible to take it, often because they are part-time workers.

A 22 year-old woman can be changed one and a half times more than a 22 year-old man in the individual insurance market. 

More than 50 percent of women have delayed care due to cost.

State and federal laws that protect individuals with employer-sponsored insurance do not apply to health insurance sold in the individual market. These include anti-discrimination protections in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, as well as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), which prohibits covered employers from charging different premiums or denying coverage based on age or health status.

Women still take on the lion’s share of responsibility for the health care of their families. Overwhelmingly, women are the ones who must leave paying jobs to become caregivers to elderly parents or other relatives. Woman bear the physical burden of childbirth and need ongoing care throughout our reproductive lives. Reproductive care for women is basic care that affects the whole family.

Eighty-nine years after winning the right to vote, another issue vital in the lives of women has hit the fan. Health care reform is a fight that women cannot afford to lose. We can take our cue and our strength from those suffragettes of long ago, who stood firm for our rights.

Take Action Now!

Demand Health Care Reform that Works for Women

Don’t Let Women Lose Reproductive Coverage

Honor the Women in Your Life

Photo: WomensHealth.gov


Jim D.
Past Member 8 years ago

Thanks Barb!

Indeed, we gotta have some fun in this nutty country (which I love by the way). Perhaps in honor Molly Ivins, who urged us to "raise hell and have fun doing it." (Democracy can work and be fun at the same time.)

But I doubt Molly would have approved of my caustic/sarcastic style. Maybe I need to tone it down and be more Molly-like.

Miss Ivins, in my opinion, was one great lady; and her death was a loss of a national treasure. And she undoubtedly would have applauded your intelligent and respectful style. Kudos madam!!!

Cyber hug,


Barbara Chally
Barbara Chally8 years ago

Jim, as soon as I read your post here after leaving other threads suffering from too little common sense, I just knew you'd have to post again to clear things up. How funny your comments were to anyone stopping to think about what you were writing. I laughed first time, but then I've read your take in threads like this before. Your humor shines when only one response is really logical unless someone like you redeems them and makes them worth reading!

I also appreciated your copying the portion you did of that post by that creature Echo, since I didn't come along until after it had been flagged and discarded, I suppose. That way I at least caught the drift of his heresy. Sometimes those add at least a little spice where there are no sensible opposing arguments related to subjects like healthcare rights for women, so I'd rather read them and then object! LOL

Jim D.
Past Member 8 years ago

Wow; no kidding. This riding up is sucks! Back to going commando.

(Editor's note: I am and was being ironic. I have no idea why Iceland is doing better; I haven't studied the subject. But, indeed woman are every bit as good at running countries as a man. (Merkle, Germany, etc,)

What we need is 'human rights" period. Gay, Womand, Man, Black Green, whatever. Human DNA? Same rights.

Plus, when we pay woman, 75 cents on the dollar to men, men and women lose. We rob our female citizens of buying power that will benefit business and us all, not to mention it is wrong. Patently wrong ... I think women should file a class action, and get about a bazzilion dollars they're owned in back pay. IMHO ... :^) jd

Gayla S.
Gayla S8 years ago

Boy, Jim d. got his panties iun a wad. Right now the only country in the World that isn't suffering from this BS recession is Iceland. Why? There are women that run the country and are in charge of the banks.
Chocolate Dame, these darling (?) men can't understand why women are upset. He's probably still po'ed that he's either gay, single or a momma's boy. Go figure.

Jim D.
Past Member 8 years ago

Echo (echo):

"You femi-fascists can go stick it in your ear! The government has multiple offices for women's health, but not one for men's health! Men die six years sooner than women, and die earlier from every major cause of death than women do. You want equality? Go register for the draft like men have to do!"

I am with you, man. We've suffered the White Man's burden too long in this country. They took the presidency away from us, sort of (he's half-white) after a measly run of only 43 white male presidents. Christ, what's next??? Paying women the same as men??? Tell me it ain't so, Echo! Imagine the inhumanity of that. How much more do they expect men to suffer??


James D.
James D8 years ago

Ever since men and male deities became the model for acceptance as "fit for rule" - yes, at one point in time it was women and goddesses, do just a little research - women have been treated as second class citizens, at best, and as not-human, all too often. [If not for a group of strong-headed Celtic clergy (aye, the Celts still loved their strong women in those days), women would have been voted as having "no souls" by the Catholic Church, it went the other way by one vote - wonder if that would have ever been overturned?] --- What we need is "equal" thinking, not just lip service, combined with women (not those who have been brain-washed into practically being men) in a majority of leadership roles. For a change, let's try "women's issues" as the issues that receive the most attention. Since these "women's issues" are actually issues that have to do with taking care of "all people" as if they were important and counted, what a difference this would make in the world. People ahead of profits, health care ahead of profits, peace ahead of profits, humanity ahead of power-over. Want hope for the world? Give women their rightful place in the world, as the majority they are, and elevate the Welfare of All the People over the welfare of few mostly male power mongers.

Chocolate Dame
Jodi B8 years ago

Echo you Fascist Nazi moron! You stick it up your rear end! The cost of medical treatment and insurance for women is always double that of men! And women are twice as likely to be denied coverage from insurance for illness!! And the reason men are twice as likely to die sooner is because they are to stubborn or scared to seek preventative care for themselves in order to maintain their health. So by the time many men do seek medical care often they have advanced disease! And many women do serve in the military without a freakin draft, jerk off!!

Bob Stuart
Bob Stuart8 years ago

What a sickening title. In Canada, women account for 2/3 of medical bills, and still claim they are into equality.

Marilyn K.
Marilyn K8 years ago

Too many men have a say over women's health care. More women have to become involved. We have to keep writing and calling our media and our representatives.

This is too important an issue not to prevail. Let us be heard, we must be heard!

Kim C.
Kim C8 years ago

Those in congress who are against a public option for health care will tell you that every one has "access" to healthcare. An emergency room visit is NOT health care.

Those who state we have the best health care in the world are very mistaken. Well, IF you are extremely wealthy, then yes you do. This country lacks basic access to a doctor. If you live in Cuba,Cananda, UK or Viet Nam, this isn't a problem. Our country also has a severe rationing of healthcare. If you don't have health insurance your options are severely limited. Even if you have health insurance, that doesn't mean you will get treated for some condition. The health insurance industry's business model it to rake it in and don't pay for anything you can get out of. they are making record profits while 2/3's of the people filing for bankruptcy for medical costs. 3/4's of those people HAD health insurance.

Covering all American's for health care is morally correct. Making sure that women have access to ALL reproductive health care is also an imperitive. All forms of birth control need to be available. If you don't like a method, don't use it but don't stop others either.