Monday, April 14, 2008

Women In Massachusetts: Left Behind?

The Boston Herald's Eva Wolchover brings to light and interesting angle on Massachusetts' attempts at universal health care, namely that it fails to provide affordable or adequate heath care for women. A Suffolk University report titled “Women and Health Care Reform in Massachusetts” by Professor Susan Sered is the source of the data:

“Women use the health care system far more than men do,” said Sered. “They use it on behalf of their families, their children, their elderly family members, etc. As we began to interview women we found that some of them couldn't use their insurance because they couldn't afford their co-pays.”

Women largely neglected by the reform bill, she said, include those in the moderate-income bracket; immigrant women, who if undocumented are left out all together; late-middle aged-women once covered under a spouse’s plan; and young adults.

Moderate-income women earn too much to qualify for Commonwealth Care but cannot afford private coverage, Sered said. Young women are lured by low premiums under the Young Adult Plan but are then strapped with vastly expensive co-pays and deductibleswhen the need for care does arise.

The article juxtaposes Sered's study results with a single woman's case. The single woman in question is one who does benefit from the system currently in place. While her story is compelling, it is the story of only one woman. While she is almost certainly not the only one of her gender benefiting from the Massachusetts approach, Sered's study does raise some disturbing questions about how many woman actually do.

Give it a look and tell us what you think.

SOURCE: "AWomen's Care Lags" 04/13/08
photo courtesy of The Alieness Gisella Giardino23, used according to its Creative Commons license

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