Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski wants to end gender discrimination in health care, especially for the most vulnerable women.
Domestic violence survivors in the District can legally be denied health care, since their abuse is considered a pre-existing condition. Senator Mikulski says the Senate health care bills would ban that practice. "Well, we don't believe in battered women whether it's in their home or in the insurance marketplace," says Mikulski.
Cesarean births are also considered a pre-existing condition and a basis for denying coverage. Mikulski frames the problem as a feminist issue. "We did make advances for equal pay for equal work," she says. "Now we're calling on the women of America to suit up to get equal insurance for equal premiums."
Mikulski says women are often charged up to one and a half times the premiums men pay without getting adequate coverage for their needs. The Senate Finance Committee is still working out the details of its plan and how to pay for it.
Tanya Snyder reports...