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Jun-25-2009 04:00printcomments

Oregon Women Wear Red for 'Heartfelt' Healthcare Reform (AUDIO)

One purpose of today's rally is to advocate for a public insurance option for those who cannot afford or cannot qualify for private insurance.

Courtesy: middleworldtreasures.com

(MEDFORD, Ore. ONS) - Health care reform is a women's issue. That's the premise of the "Mothers' Voices for Health Care Reform Rally" today in Medford, where all the speakers are women.

Attendees are being asked to wear red and bring personal letters to their Congressional representatives, sharing their "heartfelt" health care concerns. Among them: In Oregon, workers' portions of their health insurance premiums went up more than 100 percent from 2000 to 2007.

Health care costs overall hit women the hardest, according to Laure Collins with Service Employees' International Union (SEIU) Local 503.

"Women usually use more health insurance benefits than men do, on average. We have children; we see the ins and outs when we take a child to the doctor or when we have to go to the doctor for some of these tests that are required - and are preventative, in a lot of cases."

Congress has spent the week debating health care reform, Collins adds, and one purpose of today's rally is to advocate for a public insurance option for those who cannot afford or cannot qualify for private insurance. The event begins at 5 p.m. at Vogel Plaza, Main and Central in downtown Medford.

Collins says the caregivers' union, SEIU, is concerned that the health care debate has become too much about party-line politics and not enough about people's ability to qualify for, and pay for, decent medical coverage for themselves and their families.

"This is about every American's right to have health insurance - have access to it and have health insurance that actually does what it's intended to. It was intended to help us when we have a serious condition come up, or maybe even to prevent those things."

More statistics about health insurance costs by state are available at healthcareforamericanow.org/site/content/affordability-reports.

Special thanks to Oregon News Service
Produced and reported by Chris Thomas


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