A report issued Monday by the Older Women's League (OWL) reveals that women, who make up the majority of Medicare recipients, suffer more chronic illness, use more long-term care, and spend more of their own money on health care.
Titled, "The Face of Medicare Is a Woman You Know" and funded by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the report argues that Medicare guidelines and policies must be re-written with women's needs in mind, given that women need Medicare the most and are more likely than older men to live in poverty. The report was issued as part of a national public education campaign called "Women and the Future of Medicare."
OWL national president Betty Lee Ongley explained, "If Medicare works for women, it will work for everyone. The typical Medicare beneficiary is your mom, your grandmother, the woman next door. Understanding who Medicare serves and what they need is essential as Congress begins to look at changing the program."
Among the reports specific findings:
Women make up 58% of Medicare recipients at age 65, and 71% at age 85.
Women age 65 and older are twice as likely as their male counterparts to be poor.
Women live six years longer than men on average.
Women suffer more chronic illnesses and conditions than do men, are more likely to live alone, and more likely to require long-term care.
In light of these findings, the report criticized the Medicare program's lack of long-term care benefits, its lack of coverage for prescription drugs, and the lack of cost-controls on health services. Study authors advocated widening Medicare benefits, increasing consumer and financial protections, and resolving fiscal problems to sustain the Medicare system.
As part of their "Women and the Future of Medicare" campaign, OWL has organized dozens of local events and will send cards to Congress on Mother's Day, educating them about how Medicare policies affect women.
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The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .