Health care lags for women in Pennsylvania

Health care lags for women in Pennsylvania
Health care lags for women in Pennsylvania

Is Pennsylvania delivering on the promise of quality, affordable health care for women?

Women across Pennsylvania are doing everything we can to support our families, but the deck is stacked against us — especially when it comes to getting the health care we need to lead healthy, prosperous lives.

Health care lags for women in Pennsylvania

The newly released 2014 Women’s Health Report Card for Pennsylvania underscores our reality: Pennsylvania is falling behind when it comes to meeting women’s health needs.

The report card ranks all 50 states on 30 measures of women’s health, including measures indicating coverage, access to care and health outcomes. Pennsylvania was ranked No. 22 and got an overall grade of C+. For health-care outcomes for women, the grade was a D.

Looking at measures of women’s health by race, Pennsylvania is doing even worse when it comes to women of color. For example: Latina women in Pennsylvania are more than twice as likely to be uninsured than women overall, and black women are almost twice as likely to have diabetes. These disparities are shocking — and unconscionable.

The report card was produced by the Alliance for a Just Society, a national policy, research and organizing network that has published pivotal reports on state and national health issues for 20 years. It was released this month in conjunction with Keystone Progress Education Fund.

The results of the Women’s Health Report Card should serve as a call to action for Pennsylvania policy makers. Women in our state are at risk, and many of them needlessly suffer. To improve women’s health, our elected leaders should start by:

• Expanding health coverage through full Medicaid expansion under the federal Affordable Care Act, not the Corbett administration’s Healthy PA plan. Accepting full federal funding to expand Medicaid would cover the highest possible number of low-income women and families.

• Resolving to make Pennsylvania a leader in eliminating racial disparities in women’s health and focusing on policies to improve health for women of color.

• Establishing strong standards for health-care networks to assure that people with health insurance can get the care they need without long delays or unreasonable travel. More community health clinics in underserved areas would help.

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from Usa Insurance News

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