Kaiser Health News reported this past Friday that part of President Obama’s strategy to maintain his lead in the polls with women voters is to tout the health care reform law, which will eventually close gender disparities in health care coverage.
Part of the federal government’s campaign to celebrate the two year anniversary of Obama’s health care reform law was to highlight what the Affordable Care Act has done to improve women’s health. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, during an appearance last month in Miami, focused specifically on how the law has health disparities in health care for women. Sebelius explained during the event that the law has expanded coverage without co-payments for mammograms — and soon contraception — for women all over the country.
Sebelius explained that women are paying more for the same services men receive, and many of the services on which women rely are simply not being covered by all plans. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, she told an audience last month, “women had the worst deal ever in health insurance plans.”
These new changes, coupled a new mandate requiring health insurers to cover birth control without co-payments, has given Obama some women-centric health policy to tout as the election nears.
Reports have surfaced recently that the Republican Party has been facing problems among women voters, which is poised to be a crucial voting bloc this year for any candidate.
During remarks at a White House forum on women and the economy [last week], Obama described how provisions of the 2010 health law have helped break barriers for women in the workforce.
“Because of the health reform law that we passed, women finally have more power to make their choices about their health care,” Obama said. He pointed to provisions such as requiring insurers to cover some preventive care and banning insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, which will take effect in 2014.
In a follow-up session specifically on health care, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and White House adviser Jeanne Lambrew continued the president’s theme. Lambrew said health care is an economic, income security and jobs issue for women. Sebelius added that, with the health law, women will have more freedom to take on jobs, start a business and raise their families – all without worrying about the security of their health care.
Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments in the Florida-led challenge to the health care law. Even though the justices have already cast their votes for the case, the decision will not be announced for months.