Today, History was Made!
But, It’s Only the Beginning
The Black Women’s Health Imperative applauds President Barack Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the members of the House of Representatives for standing courageously in the face of adversity to do what was right for American families – passing health care reform!
Today, history was made.
Many presidents have tried and failed to take on the nation’s most shocking and inhumane form of inequality—the injustices in access to health care. But today, Tuesday, March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama took a major step forward in making the promise of access to health care a reality for millions of families across the nation.
What does health reform mean for Black women and their families this year?
- Women’s preventive health services will be fully covered by their health plans, meaning that women can get Pap tests and mammograms without having to pay co-payments.
- Women with pre-existing conditions – breast cancer patients and domestic violence survivors – will not be denied coverage.
- Young adults can stay on their parent’s health insurance plans until age 26.
We are proud of these gains and there are more benefits to come over the next four years. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday, March 21, 2010 when the House passed the bill, “It’s personal for women.” Yet, women did not get all the health care services we need and deserve.
We believe that this is the time to give all women – not just those who can afford it – the right to make their own reproductive health decisions. Not everyone in Congress agrees.
The Senate is now preparing to consider passing the reconciliation package of “fixes.” And, President Obama has announced that he will issue an Executive Order assuring enforcement of the current Hyde Amendment abortion restrictions to the newly created health insurance exchanges. Unfortunately with this Executive Order, health reform is being made possible at the expense of low-income women’s access to comprehensive reproductive health care.
We still have work to do. We have already begun strategizing with our partners on how to fight these dangerous restrictions. As we continue to work with the White House and Congress to ensure that all restrictions to women’s health care are lifted, we will keep you informed and call on you to help.
Thank you for standing with us in our steadfast commitment to fight for the change that matter for Black women and their families.
In health and wellness,
Eleanor Hinton Hoytt
President and CEO