Letter from National NOW to Senate Concerning Health Care Reform:
October 16, 2009
Washington, D.C. 20510
The National Organization for Women stands with the 18 percent of all women in the United States who have no health insurance and with the countless insured women who have been denied critical medical services and those who have been charged more than men for insurance, with fewer benefits. NOW is committed to ending the status quo, where at least one-third of nonelderly persons are uninsured or under-insured and 44,000 persons die each year for lack of health insurance. NOW is committed to ending a system that puts profits ahead of patients.
The U.S. health care system has disastrous consequences for uninsured women. Millions of women are forgoing necessary health care, even critical care, due to costs. Uninsured women are three times less likely to have had a Pap test in the last three years, with a 60 percent greater risk of late stage cervical cancer. Breast cancer is 30 to 50 percent more fatal in uninsured women. Pregnancy-related maternal deaths are three to four times higher among women who receive no prenatal care, and going without prenatal care increases infant death rates by six times.
NOW has endorsed single-payer health care as the most affordable and cost-effective way to provide universal coverage. NOW will support a health care reform package with a strong public insurance option, administered by the government, with these minimum requirements:
We will be closely monitoring progress of the Senate on health care reform and urge you to vote for including a strong public health insurance plan.
Terry O’Neill, President
National Organization for Women