A day after Republicans decided to declare their own week of half-days at work and to stall as much as possible all Senate business, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) took to the floor of the Senate to reiterate some of the most important elements of health reform for women.
In response to delaying tactics by the Republican leadership, Mikulski said:
“You know, you heard the old saying, “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus?” I think [the Republican] party is from Mars and we’re from planet Earth.”
Mikulski noted she was proud to have played a role in crafting health reform that would benefit women on many levels.
“For too long, in too many ways, [insurance companies] treated simply being a woman as a preexisting condition,” said Mikulski.
“They charged us 30 percent to 40 percent more just simply to be able to get insurance,” she continued. “In eight states, domestic violence was viewed as a preexisting condition. C-sections were treated as a pre-existing conditions.”
A women told a compelling story–Peggy from Colorado–that after she had had a c-section and a premature baby, the costs were high and she lost her health insurance, and when she went to apply, they told her in order to get health insurance, because she had a premature baby, because she had a c-section, they would not give her health insurance unless she was stertilitized.
“I couldn’t believe it. That’s what’s fascist countries do. But it wasn’t the Taliban in Afghanistan; it was an insurance company in Colorado!”
“This bill is more than a beginning,” Mikulski concluded. “This is a leap into the future. And it is a leap we can take with confidence that when this bill passes with reconciliation, we will have done a major historic advance for the American people.”