Today’s Topics In Health Disparities: What Might Health Reform Mean for Women of Color?


This December 16, 2009, Today’s Topics In Health Disparities webcast examined aspects of the current Senate and House health reform bills that particularly impact women of color. Women tend to be greater users of the health care system than men, have higher rates of some chronic illnesses, and have unique reproductive health care needs.

Women also tend to take the lead when it comes to obtaining health care for their family members. Provisions such as those that would preclude insurance companies from gender rating, remove barriers to care for pre-existing conditions, and improve access to preventive services was discussed.

The conversation addressed how provisions in the bills impact women of color, who face additional health and access challenges with even higher rates of many diseases, decreased access to the health care system, and given income differences, fewer resources available to pay for health care.

Transcript (.pdf)

Cara James, Ph.D., senior policy analyst on race, ethnicity and health care for the Kaiser Family Foundation moderated the discussion with:

  • Alina Salganicoff, Ph.D., vice president, director, Women’s Health Policy, Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Judy Waxman, J.D., vice president of Health and Reproductive Rights at the National Women’s Law Center
  • Paula Johnson, M.D., M.P.H., executive director of the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and associate professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Today’s Topics In Health Disparities is a series of live, interactive webcasts devoted to addressing a range of issues relating to health and health care disparities in the United States. Each discussion features a panel of experts tackling current issues in health disparities and answering questions from webcast viewers.

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