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Gloria Steinem Responds to President Obama Signing Health Care Reform

March 23, 2010

President Obama just signed landmark health care reform into law, and while there is much to celebrate, there is also a lot to be concerned about. As health care reform becomes law today, Women’s Media Center posts a statement by WMC founder and board member Gloria Steinem, encouraging us to funnel our outrage into action: "It's healthy to celebrate partial victories, but fatal to pretend they're complete. Health Care Reform will save health and lives, but its price was affirming and extending the control of women's bodies by church and state. The result restricts reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right, and the right of every child to be born loved and wanted. One healthy use of anger would be writing a check and otherwise supporting the campaigns of Connie Saltonstall who is running against Stupak in Michigan and Lois Herr who is opposing Pitts in Pennsylvania -- two Congressmen who took dictation from the Catholic Bishops, even though nuns and the majority of Catholics disagreed. Stupak and Pitts are the kind of guys this country's founders came here to escape. We can also get rid of the Hyde Amendment, which is not settled law but just a restriction attached to each budget to punish poor women dependent on government-funded health care. Congress can overturn it.  After all, anger is an energy cell and depression is anger turned inward -- which is why it's a culturally female disease. For us especially, activism is a form of healthcare in itself." Jen Nedeau wrote a piece for the Women’s Media Center yesterday on how women have been shortchanged in many ways, and as we noted in our statement yesterday, “We cannot ignore the fact this bill was passed only after a pro choice President appeased a gang of anti-choice legislators by agreeing to sign an Executive Order restating the Hyde Amendment – a longstanding and shameful provision which bars low-income women from accessing reproductive health care.” That said, we celebrate the many benefits for women and families. Jodi Jacobson at RH Reality Check has a list of wins and losses, and American Association of Birth Centers has a list of benefits which includes:
  • C-sections, giving birth and domestic violence can no longer be considered pre-existing conditions and used to deny insurance coverage
  • Guaranteed coverage for pregnancy
  • Workplace protection for nursing women
  • Guaranteed insurance coverage of mammograms for women
  • Screening for postpartum depression
  • A range of other preventative services such as screening for diabetes and heart disease
We want to hear from you!! What is your response to health care reform? What are pros and cons, and equally important – next steps?