Women have everything to gain if meaningful health care reform succeeds and everything to lose if it fails. Why? Because the current system discriminates against women in numerous ways.
Although men are slightly more likely to be uninsured, that is because women are more likely to qualify for a government program like Medicaid, which provides health insurance for the poor. While 39 percent of women receive insurance through their jobs, 25 percent obtain insurance as a dependent of a spouse, partner, or other relative. Receiving insurance through a spouse leaves women more vulnerable to losing their insurance if they divorce, or if their husband loses his job, becomes disabled, or passes away. And women who aren’t married usually cannot obtain insurance through another person, which helps explain why they account for 60 percent of uninsured women.
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Director, Women's Health & Rights Program