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Senate Passage of Health Reform a Historic Milestone, National Partnership President Says
Date:12/24/2009

Bill Must Be Improved: Anti-Choice Provisions in Senate and House Bills Betray Promise of Reform for Women, Coverage Must Be Affordable

WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families:

"The Senate took a historic step to fix our nation's broken health care system this morning by passing comprehensive reform that will cover 31 million more people, prohibit insurance practices that undermine meaningful, affordable coverage, help contain costs, and put us on track to improve the quality and coordination of care. But this flawed bill must be improved. The anti-choice provisions in the Senate and House bills are bad and worse, and represent a step the nation simply should not take.

"It is a sad day when the price of reform is undermining access to a basic health service that America's women need. Those of us who spend our lives working to improve women's health have been deeply shaken as lawmakers allowed reproductive health services to become a political bargaining chip, and as opponents of choice used reform to advance their extreme agenda. Both the Senate and House bills contain anti-choice provisions that betray the promise of reform for women and would, in practical terms, cost millions of women coverage for basic reproductive health care. This should not stand.

"We will work tirelessly to improve the final bill, including by urging conferees to provide more support to the low- and moderate-income families that will now have to purchase coverage.

"We must strengthen the final bill by maintaining strong delivery and payment reforms, ensuring greater affordability and meaningful benefits, and guaranteeing effective market reforms that prohibit the discriminatory practices that have put affordable, quality health coverage out of reach for millions of women and families.


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SOURCE National Partnership for Women & Families
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