Healthcare as a Women’s Issue

September 18, 2009 | NeW Staff

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama had the spotlight on her as she spoke about healthcare. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you heard about President Obama’s speech earlier this week to a joint session of Congress, but today was Michelle’s chance to express her opinions on the issue. The First Lady framed the healthcare as a women’s issue in her speech today at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. She spoke to a group of women today about healthcare and how this issue affects them more than anyone else.


“Eight in 10 women, mothers, report that they’re the ones responsible for choosing their children’s doctor, for getting them to their checkups, for managing that follow-up care.  Women are the ones to do it.”

Michelle even used her own personal experiences as a mother to Sasha and Malia to promote the idea of healthcare as a medical issue. I cannot help but agree with the First Lady that women will be more directly affected by the changes in healthcare than men, due to the fact that they are typically the ones to take care of healthcare decisions. A Politico article covering the topic even pointed the latest figures that women under 50 are more likely to be supportive of the healthcare proposal than other demographic groups.

Michelle Obama later stated in the speech that she sees the plan as being “pretty reasonable,” only after mentioning preventive care plans and a requirement that insurance companies cannot drop a patient after getting sick. There was little mention of the high costs of the plan or the fact that some current proposals would still offer coverage to illegal aliens in the country, but that’s to be expected. Overall, I think Michelle did a great job tying the current healthcare reform to women, but the plan itself still needs a lot of work.


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