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Health Care


The need to reform our nation’s health care system, putting patients and their doctors — not the insurance industry — could not be more apparent to all than it is today. With millions out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and their health care tied to their employment, many are facing horrible situations involving their health care and their family’s economic futures. Women are particularly at risk today because of this.


  1. Women hold low-paying jobs with no benefits;
  2. Women hold part-time jobs with no coverage;
  3. Women are single mothers or grandmothers with dependent children;
  4. Women work in small businesses that cannot afford to provide health insurance.

Here are some talking points to use in contacting Members of Congress and your state representatives on Health Care Reform:

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:

  1. acceptance of anyone not enrolled in Medicare, irrespective of age or pre-existing conditions
  2. employers must have the option of insuring their workers through the public insurance option
  3. the federal government would have authority to negotiate prices and reimbursements for health care goods and services
  4. comprehensive coverage, including: hospital care, preventative services, mental health, substance abuse treatment, maternal health, ALL reproductive services, prescriptions, vision, dental, long term and home care, nursing home care, hospice services and rehabilitation services
  5. portable access to qualified health care practitioners of beneficiary’s choice
  6. no out-of-pocket costs for preventative services (no co-payment, co-insurance or deductible)
  7. income-qualified public subsidies would supplement an affordable income-based slidingscale based on the regional self-sufficiency standard

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.