The National Organization of Women issued a press release this morning in response to President Obama’s SOTU last night, where they urge the president to press forward with health care reform. And specifically, “NOW suggests a single-payer plan.”
I am continually perplexed by the way national feminist organizations insist that government-run health care would benefit women. Not only do we know that a government-run, single-payer system would drive up costs and worsen care through rationing, but also women have told us they don’t support such sweeping legislative change.
According to a new IWV poll, the president and Congress would be foolish to continue moving ahead with the type of ObamaCare legislation that is currently on (well, teetering on the edge of) the table.
Our recent survey in Massachusetts found opposition to the health care legislation among self-identified independent women voters at 55-33 percent. (And, I should add, while nearly 50 percent of Massachusetts voters are registered Independents, the majority of these voters lean Democratic.) These numbers show pretty clearly that women are not in favor of a single-payer system.
The fact is, NOW is right that women are in a particular disadvantage when it comes to health care. But this is the result of a system that ties health care so closely to employment. Too often women, who frequently take time off of work to raise children or care for aging parents, find their insurance disrupted. But wouldn’t doing away with the decades-old practice of tying health insurance to our place of employment be a better effort at reform? Why not give individuals the same tax benefits as businesses, so that more people can afford to purchase their own health insurance? Why not expand health savings accounts and high-deductible insurance plans? Why not allow for greater competition in health insurance by allowing people to shop over state lines?
These are all real reforms that would give women more freedom over their health care choices without putting the government in the business of health care.