Wise Women: Women at the health care summit
They might be few, but they sure are mighty.
The handful of women who attended yesterday's health care summit may have made for a small contingency of the attendees, but they didn't hold back when it came to voicing women's issues during the meeting.
Joining Cong. Louise Slaughter in highlighting crucial issues -- particularly those of women and families -- were Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and EMILY's List alums Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Sen. Patty Murray (WA).
As always, we were incredibly impressed with how articulate and insightful they were -- especially when so few of them were there to represent more than half the American population. And if they're this good when their numbers are so low in Congress (only 17%!) just imagine how much more they could achieve with a great number of women among their ranks...
Here's what they had to say:
Sen. Patty Murray, Washington, on making health care reform personal
"Every time we talk about this, every time I think about this, I remember a little boy who I met last spring, who was 11 years old, who's name was Marcellus. And he told me that his mom, single mom, taking care of him and his two younger sisters, was going to work every day, had a job managing a fast-food restaurant, was doing OK, but she got sick. And when she got sick, she had to take time off from work. And because she was missing so much work, she lost her job. When she lost her job, she lost her health care. And because she lost her health care, she couldn't get in to see a doctor and sadly, Marcellus' mom died."
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, on current insurance practices
"I think the most dangerous part of the system right now is having people -- having insurance companies pick and choose who gets coverage and who doesn't, based on your health condition. It's a lot cheaper to insure people who promise never to get sick."
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, on what health care reform means to America
"This is not just about health care for America; it's about a healthier America. This legislation is about innovation; it's about prevention; it's about wellness. But most people haven't heard about that. And those people sitting at that kitchen table, they don't want to hear about process; they want to hear about results. They want to know what this means to them. And what it means is a health initiative that is about affordability for the middle class, lowering costs, improving access for them."
Cong. Louise Slaughter, New York, on what's at stake for women
"Eight states in this country right now have declared that domestic violence is a preexisting conditions on the ground, I assume, that if you're been unlucky enough to get yourself beaten up once you might go around and do it again. Forty-eight percent is the higher cost for women in many cases to buy their own insurance. Believe you me, that is really discriminatory."