Raising Women’s Voices

Invite Tom Daschle to Your House for Cookies – and Health Care Reform

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on December 12, 2008

Lois Uttley blogged today over at RH Reality Check about the opportunity for access that the Obama transition team is giving women like you and me all across the country to the future Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Daschle.  Regardless of whether you voted for the President-elect — and perhaps particularly if you did not — the opportunity to make your voice heard on the kind of health care reform you want to see in the next four to eight years is an obligation that each and every one of us should step up to in the coming weeks leading up to the inauguration of the new administration.

As we’ve blogged about before here at RWV, the Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle announced December 5 that President-elect Obama’s transition team will hold a series of community forums about health care later this month to help finalize its recommendations for the incoming administration.

The “Health Care Community Discussions” are modeled on the platform committee meetings held by Obama during the presidential campaign and are designed to give the transition’s health policy team a chance to further develop ideas about how to achieve quality, affordable health care for all.

During his remarks, Daschle outlined three problems that he sees with the health care system — high cost, limited access, and uneven quality. But he emphasized his desire for citizens to give the new administration input on how to define the most pressing problems in health care.

“We want your views on what we need to do to build a better system,” he said. ” We want your exact ideas. What do you think we need to emphasize? What specifically should we be incorporating in this new reform effort?”

Interested parties should go to change.gov to “sign up for a discussion in your home, sometime between the 15th and the 31st,” Daschle said. The health care policy team will then assemble all of the information and present it to Obama, and will also post it to the Web “for everyone to see as part of this transparent process.”

Feel free to check out the RWV site for general questions to ask public officials, and be sure to head over to Lois’s blog at RH Reality Check for suggestions on issues to raise while you’ve got the Secretary’s attention, such as:

  • Health care coverage must be affordable. Women and our families need to be able to afford not only the premiums, but also those co-pays and deductibles. Don’t forget that women still earn, on average, only 75 cents for every dollar that men earn, and we use the health system a lot more, in part because of our need for reproductive health care. So, for example, we may have prescription drug coverage for birth control, but the co-pay for filling the prescription can make it unaffordable.
  • Health care systems must actively work to achieve equity and eliminate disparities in health care provision. Women who are low-income, immigrants and women of color are at the highest risk for having no health insurance or being under-insured.

And don’t forget to let us know if you host a health care conversation in your home. Send us a summary of what was said (to info@raisingwomensvoices.net).

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