Letter from Congressman Wilson

Dear Friends,

Our current health care system isn’t working for women. Last week, the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) of the House and Senate released a new report about the drastic number of women who have lost their health care coverage in the current economic crisis.

This report underscores the urgent need to reform our health care system. Every day that we focus on disruptive town hall meetings or the gross misinformation being generated in this debate is a day crucial facts are not heard.

The facts are staggering: over a million American women have lost insurance during this recession because their husband lost his job; three out of four women between age 55 and 64 report delaying health care because their own coverage was jeopardized by a spouse’s transition onto Medicare; and a full 28% of women under age 25 have no insurance at all – in the richest country in the world.

The JEC report, titled “Comprehensive Health Reform: An Essential Prescription for Women,” includes original analysis showing that over 1.4 million women have lost their health insurance benefits during the current economic crisis because of their own, or their spouse’s job loss. The report shows a spike in the number of children losing health care coverage when their single mothers face unemployment, estimating that hundreds of thousands of children lost their health care in this recession. It also details that younger and older women face unique risks when it comes to coverage and access to affordable, quality care.

No woman in our country should fear losing her coverage because she lost her job, changed jobs or decided to start her own business. We must reform health care to give every single American the peace of mind that their family’s health care coverage will be there when they need it, and at an affordable price.

We are working on a way to do just that and not add to our deficit. This is a crucial part of our long-term economic recovery. Currently, health care is the largest drag on our federal deficit and Americans spend twice as much on health care as any other nation. By reforming our system now, we will rein in the soaring costs of premiums for families and American businesses, put our country back on the road to fiscal responsibility, and rebuild our economy on a stronger foundation.

Recently, Sarah Wildman told us about her terrible experience with discriminatory health insurance practices. A self-employed woman with health insurance, Wildman was shocked to receive a bill for $22,000 in hospital expenses for having a baby. She explained how she learned that the insurance policy she’d bought through the individual market—her only option for coverage—capped her birth-related expenses at $3,000, covering a mere fraction of her maternity costs.

In Columbiana, Dawn, a small business owner, has struggled to find health care for her family for years. Due to a doctor’s mistake when he was 23 days old, Dawn’s son was left with brain damage and permanent cognitive disabilities. For years no insurance company would cover her son. He is now covered under Ohio Medicaid’s Healthy Start program, but her family must maintain a low income to qualify for the program.

Women all over America need to understand their stake in this health insurance reform debate. We must not let the insurance industry or any other voice drown out the voices of American women in this debate about health insurance reform.


Charlie Wilson
Member of Congress
Ohio’s Sixth District

Also, here are some factoids contained in the same e-mail:

Health Care Reform By the Numbers in Ohio’s Sixth District

– 81,000 people who currently do not have health insurance in our district will receive coverage. (This does not include illegal immigrants.)

– 11,300 small businesses in our district will qualify for tax credits of up to 50% of the costs of providing health insurance.

– 9,200 seniors in our district, currently caught in the Medicare Part D donut hole, will receive immediate relief.

– In 2008, 1,270 families in our district had to declare health care-related bankruptcy, primarily due to health care costs not covered by insurance.

– In 2008, health care providers in our district provided $89 million worth of uncompensated care to individuals who lacked insurance coverage and were unable to pay their bills.

– 99.6% of taxpayers in our district would not see their tax rate change. Only 1,100 households in the entire Sixth District would be affected by the slight surcharge.


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