Women’s Health Week, celebrated in May, aims to remind women to make a healthy lifestyle a priority. Yet recent studies confirm that the price women pay to access health care is unattainable for millions of women – making health care wishful thinking rather than reality.
A new report unveiled by the Department of Health and Human Services titled Roadblocks to Health Care: Why the Current Health Care System does not work for Women, offers a glimpse of obstacles women face within the health care system.
According to the report, women are often charged higher premiums than men during their reproductive years – sometimes up to one and a half times the premium of a man the same age. The report also highlights a 2009 survey by The Commonwealth Fund that found more than half of women (52 percent) reported delaying or avoiding needed care because of cost, compared with 39 percent of men. This reinforces a recent survey conducted for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that found women are delaying their annual exams as a result of the economic downturn.
These reports underscore the need for reproductive health to be an integral part of health care reform. The Obama administration is showing early signs in making women’s health care a priority. The President understands what we at Planned Parenthood see every day – that increasing access to quality, affordable health care for women will ultimately result in healthy women and healthy families.
Women are rediscovering the Boulder Planned Parenthood now more than ever. Daily, women tell us that they are coming through our doors for their basic reproductive health care needs because we have always been their trusted provider. Both women and men know that at Planned Parenthood, they will receive quality services and appropriate referrals. Many of our clients have lost their jobs as well as their health insurance, and they tell us that they are grateful that they are able to access much needed services, such as: birth control without an exam, STD and cancer screenings, and emergency contraception.
To us, Women’s Health Week is every week and reproductive health care is basic health care.
Health Center Manager, Boulder Planned Parenthood