BlogHer Cares About Health Care
Since its creation, BlogHer has cared about issues important to women. Health care -- especially women's health care -- is at the heart of our thinking in 2009.
You, the community, have contributed such thoughtful and intelligent commentary to this conversation. Your commitment to improving health care and sharing in the conversation has impressed us and our country's leadership.
Here, we'll keep you up-to-date on our community journalism initiative -- in partnership with OpenCongress.org and the Sunlight Foundation -- connecting bloggers directly with legislators to talk health care reform.
Here's what's happened so far.
- September 17, 2009: BlogHer CEO Lisa Stone announced the effort. Our goal is to foster a frank, open, and civil discussion surrounding the current health care policy debate.
- July 24, 2009: Previous to the conference calls, the initiative was kicked off by Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett. Jarrett sat down with a group of bloggers to talk health care reform at the BlogHer '09 Conference in Chicago, Illinois.
Here are the words of your elected leaders taken from the audio transcripts.
- September 21st, 2009: Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn)
So that is why I have found some consensus on really three things: First, the idea of stability, that I want to make sure that if your child gets sick, that your family doesn't lose their health care. That we do something about pre-existing conditions and the ability to keep your insurance. Second, affordability. Making the health care system more efficient. Minnesota is something of a Mecca for that. We have high quality, lower cost care and we want to put incentives in the law to help other people in other states to get that same kind of care. And the third piece of this is the ability to keep choosing your doctors and choosing the kind of plan that you want.
- September 30th, 2009: Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash)
I’m not sure how many realize that women really are the chief healthcare officer in many families, responsible for taking children to appointments, addressing the needs of their spouses, aging parents. In fact, it’s estimated that women make 85% of the healthcare decisions in this country.
- October 7th, 2009: Representative George Miller (D-CA)
And again the choice and the competition we think is important. The other one is that never again will people lose their insurance because they’ve lost their job, because they switched jobs or because they’ve decided they wanted to go out on their own and start a small business.
- October 15th, 2009: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
In our bill it would make it illegal for insurance companies to use gender ratings, charging women more then men for the same coverage. In addition, women are denied coverage or charged more for preexisting conditions like pregnancy, C-Sections or domestic violence.
- October 22nd, 2009: Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Or)
Because you would be able to go as an individual to the health care exchange or gateway and you would not have - there would be no ability of an insurance company to deny you, the ability to join and get a policy or to not cover a preexisting condition.
- October 29th, 2009: Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-Wy)
Among the things that we would like to do is take some of our 53-plus bills and borrow the best of the best ideas from them and individually debate them over time so we can come up with responses to some of the really targeted problems we have with health care including addressing pre-existing conditions, addressing how to protect the doctor-patient relationship, and how to deal with people who that truly are in need - people who are not well-served by our current health care system - while preserving the rights of people who like their insurance, like their hospitals, like their doctors and want to keep the programs they have.
- November 19th, 2009: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
It's only a first step. I think that, you know, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security; none of them happened in a day. This is not going to happen in a day either; it's going to require reform, and revision over the next ten years. And I hope I'm in the Senate that long so I can really be part of that, to make sure we protect women and that we protect Americans in the healthcare that they need.
- December 16, 2009: BlogHer's Erin Kotecki Vest and Elisa Camahort Page traveled to the Washington, D.C. to present to Republican representatives and White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett.
Please continue to join us as we bring your voices to your government. We will be heard.
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By Laurel Regan