Women’s Health Care and Economic Security

Naomi knows that the protection and improvement of women’s rights require women to be politically engaged.  Women need to seek political office, work on women’s political campaigns, or work in public service to advance women’s equality. As the saying goes, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” Naomi is proud of her long record of advocacy for women as Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter’s Chief of Staff.

Naomi is a strong advocate of women’s health care and reproductive rights (“pro-choice”). These rights fall under the umbrella of the general right to privacy, along with other medical and end-of-life decisions. All people have the right to make their own decisions about their health care, without government intrusion or interference.

In the 111th Congress (2009-2010), Naomi and the office team worked on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with Congresswoman Shea-Porter.  The ACA’s provisions to protect women’s rights include:

  • The ten Essential Health Benefits that all health plans must cover:  ambulatory services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance abuse services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services, and pediatric care
  • Women’s preventive health services with no deductible or cost-sharing—including well-woman visits, mammograms, provision of contraceptives, HIV testing, and cancer screenings  
  • Expanded access to Medicaid, for which 2/3 of beneficiaries are women, and eligibility of Medicaid recipients for 60 days of care after the birth of a baby
  • Elimination of insurance companies’ ability to define pregnancy as a preexisting condition, or to charge women more than men (gender rating of premiums)
  • Blocking efforts to restrict access to family planning services (Title X) and defund Planned Parenthood or to implement broad “conscience” exceptions that would allow health care providers to refuse otherwise legal services.

Naomi is committed to prioritizing women’s economic security as much as we prioritize our rights to health care. A woman earns only 78 cents for every $1 of a man’s wages. This is unacceptable. Passing legislation that mandates equal pay for equal work is a crucial step to treat women and the families they support fairly.

Naomi Andrews