On Friday, as President Obama’s push on health care reform began, the White House hosted a high-powered roundtable of women’s organizations for a “Stakeholder Summit.” Former WVFC editor Christine Cupaiolo points out the high caliber of the groups in the room:

Cindy Pearson, executive director of the National Women’s Health Network, took part, representing both NWHN and Raising Women’s Voices, as did Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, and Sabrina Corlette, director of health policy programs at the National Partnership of Women and Families.


And as reported on the White House press blog, the discussion didn’t take long to get down to brass tacks:

The impressive group of stakeholders are delving quickly into the issues of health care quality and affordability. How do we address health care disparities? How do we achieve equity in health care? Many of the participants are emphasizing that women are required to pay more for health care coverage than men, excluding the cost of maternity coverage. Marcia Greenberger, co-President of the National Women’s Law Center, says that the issue of affordability cannot be underscored enough. Sabrina Corlette, director of health policy programs at the National Partnership of Women and Families, notes that as a plan is crafted in Congress, it is crucial that its details are transparent and easily understandable so that women and their families can make informed choices about their health care options.

The shortage.of nurses and primary care physicians is another issue about which many of the participants are expressing concern. Some women in America have health insurance but no doctors, or they visit their OB-GYN as their primary care physician because of doctor shortages in many communities.

The White House summary’s even language likely doesn’t convey the passions behind those words, either in the room on Friday or afterward. This summer and fall, as the proposals for reform roll out of Congress, WVFC plans to keep you updated. We’ll check in with all the promises made by Nancy-Anne de Parle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform (see below), and White House liaison Tina Tchen to “work in cooperation with the stakeholder groups in the months ahead.” We plan to ask the power “stakeholders” in that room on Friday if, in their estimation, what’s being created bears any resemblance to what we need.

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  • Cindy December 3, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Adequate healthcare should certainly be more affordable, but this plan is not going to work. Our economy is already in the tank. Future generations should not be saddled with this. There must be a better idea than this.

  • Barbara Thornbrough June 10, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    I seriously doubt if anyone will address the issue of attacking a Dr. in the courts. The insurance a Dr has to pay before he/she opens his/her door in the morning is unconscionable.
    Frivolous lawsuits are an American sickness in themselves. Canada does not permit all of this nonsense to go on. If it is not addressed by the reformers of health care then they might just as well forget about doing anything. Ah- but these are politicians trying to reform a system that is not all that broken.
    OH by the way we have a hospital here in NH that is filled with Canadians needing care. Hum– let us not copy that system.

  • bolady June 10, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Someone has to make this part of the “national dialogue”.

  • Dr Patricia Allen June 10, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Doctors across America must be actively involved in the “health care reform” process. Unless there is tort reform, and this is very unlikely since politicians like Sheldon Silver of New York State and Mr. Edwards former presidential candidate make their fortunes as plaintiffs’ malpractice lawyers, there will never be meaningful health care reform. Someone has to make this part of the “national dialogue”.