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My visit to the White House to discuss Women's Health

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I joined a fabulous group of women's health advocates at the White House on Wednesday to discuss how health reform will benefit women.  We all felt strongly that we need to urgently pass health insurance reform this year in order to bring stability and improved care to all Americans, but particularly women.

We discussed how health reform will improve the health and lives of the women we treat.  I wanted to list just a few benefits of health reform specifically for women:

1. Increased access to preventive services - currently 1 in 5 women over age 50 has not received a mammogram in the past two years. Health reform will end co-payments for patients for preventive services such as mammograms.

2. Ensuring a basic minimum benefits package - maternity benefits are often not provided in health plans in the individual market.  Health reform will ensuring coverage of basic health services including maternity benefits.

3. Decrease co-payment costs: one study showed that women report delaying needed care because of cost and one-third of women were forced to make a difficult trade-off to get health care.  Health reform will cap what insurance companies can force someone to pay out of pocket.

4. Improve choice in the insurance market: less than half of women have the option of obtaining health insurance through a job.  Health reform will create a health insurance exchange where there will be choice of quality health plans and subsidies for families to afford the insurance.

5. End Discrimination for Gender or pre-existing conditions: right now healthy young women are changed higher premiums then healthy young men.  Health reform will end discrimination that charges women more based on gender.

Share these benefits of reform with a woman you love.

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