Representative Louise Slaughter put on quite a show right before the summit broke for lunch.  Doing what Democrats do best–resorting to depressing healthcare horror stories to make simple points–Slaughter used one such story (involving a woman forced to wear her dead sister’s dentures) to illustrate why the democrats’ healthcare proposal is particularly important for women.

But this emotional story does little to convince.  As IWF Vice President Carrie Lukas pointed out in an oped last year, government-run health care is the antithesis of real feminism and will likely hurt women in the long-run. 

The vast majority of women who are satisfied with their current health care plan would likely be worse off in a government-run system that provides less choice, discourages new medical innovation, and requires longer wait times for treatments and possibly outright rationing.

Certainly some women may be better off with socialized medicine.  Today millions of American women lack health insurance, face high medical costs, and many forgo needed treatment.  The current employer-based health insurance system creates particular challenges for women: Women disproportionately work in part-time positions that don’t include health benefits, move in and out of the workforce, and receive insurance through their spouse’s employment.  Facing potential disruptions due to their work and family lives, many women may prefer the stability that would come from a government-run health system, even if that means reduced quality of care.

Of course, the current system can be improved to address these problems without a government take-over.  Policymakers could change tax laws to make individual health insurance policies more affordable and to help decouple health insurance from employment status.  Reducing regulations so that women could buy insurance policies from any state would also drive down prices and make insurance more affordable.  Government could even create tax credits to offset the cost of buying health insurance for those who truly can’t afford to buy it on their own.