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Public Statements

The Importance Of Health Care Reform To Women

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, it bears repeating, few Americans have more at stake in health care reform than women.

Forty States allow private health insurance companies to gender rate their premiums. As a result, a 25-year-old woman may pay between 6 percent and 45 percent more than a 25-year-old man to get the same coverage.

Fifty-two percent of women reported postponing or forgoing medical care because of cost. Only 39 percent of men reported having had those experiences.

Nine States allow private plans to refuse coverage for domestic violence survivors.

Eighty-eight percent of private insurance plans do not cover comprehensive maternity care. In many policies, a previous C-section and being pregnant are considered preexisting conditions.

Less than half of all women in America have employer-sponsored insurance. This is partly due to the fact that more women tend to work for small businesses or have part-time jobs where health insurance is not offered, certainly the case in Hawaii.

It's time for reform.

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