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US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi spoke to about 100 advocates, providers, and policymakers yesterday at the Graduate Club in New Haven about women’s health and the benefits of the health reform bills being considered in Congress. She was hosted by US Rep. Rosa DeLauro and US Rep. John Larson and joined by Dr. Carolyn Mazure, Director of Women’s Health Research at Yale. Melissa Marottoli, a cancer survivor, noted that when she was diagnosed, two and a half years ago, doctors estimated that she had only six months to live. She stated that she cannot change jobs because she now has a pre-existing condition and is concerned that she would not be able to get health coverage in a new job unless the reform bill passes. The Speaker talked passionately about the millions of Americans who have no coverage and the health and financial consequences that all of us. She noted that when it passes, health reform will prohibit insurers from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions such as women who’ve been the victim of domestic violence, stabilize the Medicare program and eliminate the doughnut hole in prescription coverage, and improve the American economy by eliminating job lock – people Like Melissa who can’t leave their jobs for health coverage. She emphasized that the bill makes no changes to women’s access to abortion services and is confident that reform will pass this Congress.
Ellen Andrews