Women Have High Stake in Health Care Reform

As mothers, caregivers, women are huge consumers of healthcare

Women, especially mothers, are huge consumers of health care, so they have a lot on the line when it comes to reform.

Whether it's an irregular pap smear or an unplanned pregnancy, women can be denied insurance coverage for many common pre-existing conditions.

But even pregnancy can cost women big bucks, as Valerie Layton discovered when she had her son.

"I thought that my health insurance was pretty good, because there was the deductible and the co-insurance, but I was amazed at the price that I still had to end up paying," she said.

Dr. Sheila Chhutani, of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, said married women also make most of the health care decisions for the rest of their family.

"It's the woman who is making the decision for her and her husband," she said. "Who's finding the pediatrician? Who's going on all of these visits?"

When forming opinions about health care reform, women should look at the historic and current costs of health care and determine if they can sustain that kind of growth into the future, Chhutani said.

"I think that's the main issue with this health care today is to make sure tomorrow, five years from now, 10 years from now, when your children are looking for health care, are they going to be able to get it?" she said.

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