This week Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need (RWV) celebrates the Latina Week of Action by raising our voices to say ¡Somos Poderosas! (We are powerful!).
RWV works to ensure that women’s voices are heard and concerns are addressed as health care reform is put into action. As women, our voices are important and powerful because we are the experts on what health services we need to ensure the health of ourselves and our families. The health care law is already helping women by eliminating long standing discriminatory practices by the insurance industry and making care more affordable so women and our families can stay healthy and be powerful.
Women of color, in particular, stand to gain a lot from the law. Communities of color have long suffered from lack of access to basic health services and this has resulted in dangerous and deadly health disparities. African American women are nearly four times more likely to die during childbirth than White women, reflecting differences in access to prenatal and maternity care. Vietnamese American women are five times more likely and Latinas twice as likely to develop cervical cancer as their white counterparts due to barriers to cancer screenings. Latinos are also the most likely to be uninsured of any other racial or ethnic group and experience disproportionately high rates of unintended pregnancy, diabetes, asthma and sexually transmitted infections including HIV. It’s time to bring an end to these shameful disparities and the health care law is helping us to do this.
The health care law includes some important provisions that help women of color get the health care services they need and RWV is sharing that important and empowering news, using our Countdown to Coverage campaign! This campaign tells the real incredible story of how the new health care law is already helping millions of women, including women of color, by helping us to access important preventive care we need like mammograms and contraception without costly co-pays; by protecting us from discriminatory health insurer practices that have allowed them to deny care to those with pre-existing conditions; and by providing security in knowing that insurers can’t cancel our coverage when we get sick.
Please take a moment today to learn about how the health care law is helping women of color get the health care they need and help us spread the word about these advances for women of color by sharing the links to our website and coverage checklists with a woman in your life. Remember, we are powerful and when women and our families get the health services we need, we are healthy AND powerful.