Boehner/Goodling Package of Bills is Bad
Medicine for Women
For women and families, few issues resonate as profoundly and pervasively
as the need for comprehensive patient protections. Both women and men care
deeply about this issue, but women have a particular stake in how people
are treated by our health care system. Here is why:
- Women are the nation's primary health care decision-makers and
- Women spend most of our health care dollars.
- Women are the majority of enrollees in managed care plans.
- Women have unique health care needs that include, but go beyond,
The Boehner/Goodling package of bills before the House Committee on
Education and the Workforce will not give women and families the
comprehensive and common-sense protections they need. Each bill in
this package is seriously deficient, and addressing this issue in such a
piecemeal fashion means that it will be impossible to offer amendments
that will add the important protections women and families need.
This package of bills:
- Does NOT ensure that women can have direct access to ob-gyn services
from the participating health care professional of their choice.
- Does NOT provide a genuine external appeal when care is denied (this
is important to women because they handle the bulk of insurance issues
for their families).
- Does NOT ensure access to clinical trials that may save women's
- Does NOT ensure that pregnant women can continue to see the same
health care professional throughout pregnancy if their provider leaves
the plan or their employer changes plans.
- Does NOT allow health care professionals to prescribe drugs that are
not on the plan's predetermined list when such drugs are medically
indicated (this is especially important for older women who use more
- Does NOT let treating physicians make decisions about things like
how long patients stay in the hospital (for example, how long a woman
undergoing a mastectomy should stay in the hospital).
- Does NOT ensure that health care professionals can speak openly to
patients about all possible treatment options, especially about women's
reproductive health care options (instead, it allows some employers and
plans to "gag" health care professionals).
- Does NOT require plans to have an internal quality improvement
system that measures performance on health care issues that affect
- Does NOT require plans to incorporate gender-specific medicine when
developing written clinical review criteria.
- Does NOT ensure that providers and patients are not discriminated
against on the basis of sex or other characteristics.
National Partnership for Women & Families.