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Move over, Jack. Women in America are the Jill of all trades; caregivers in households and leaders in the workforce. Yet, women were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the road to recovery has been all but easy.
When schools transitioned to virtual learning last year, many women had to put their careers on hold to educate their children at home and put even more focus on caring for their family’s wellbeing during a once-in-a-century pandemic. That has had significant impacts on the economy considering female entrepreneurs are the backbone of countless industries.
In fact, women have been vocal in emphasizing how the pandemic has stalled the economy and that Congress must address issues like inflation head-on. A new poll from Women Impacting Public Policy and Morning Consult found the majority of women voters agree that female entrepreneurs are critical to pandemic recovery and that Congress must make COVID-19 economic recovery its top priority to get our nation back on its feet.
It’s easy to see how women’s concerns about the country’s economic future have spilled over to healthcare costs. The ongoing public health crisis has spotlighted healthcare for families across the country like never before. The majority of women on both sides of the aisle are now more concerned about their family’s access to quality healthcare than they were before the pandemic.
Above all, women want a healthcare system that supports them and addresses cost and access barriers. Indeed, this new poll found Congress pursuing one-size-fits-all policies to reduce the cost of healthcare remains a concern of women. While lower prescription drug costs are key to making healthcare more affordable and accessible for Americans, it is clear it is just one piece of the solution.
Ultimately, women want the best care for their families, especially having access to quality care and life-saving prescription drugs. Rather than taking an all-encompassing path to reduce costs through policies focused on one industry, Congress should take a more holistic approach by eliminating obstacles like surprise medical bills after emergency hospital visits, corporate middlemen draining consumer savings at the pharmacy counter, and stopping insurers from pricing underserved populations out of healthcare.
While it is essential that we tackle the cost of healthcare, we must also continue to invest in research for women’s health, including finding cures for life-threatening diseases like breast and ovarian cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 13,700 women will die from ovarian cancer, and 43,600 women will die from breast cancer this year. Congress should listen to the vast majority of women who believe investing in women’s health research and supporting families with young children are policies of the utmost importance.
Without action from leadership in Washington, America’s healthcare system would ultimately fail women who have held this country on their backs during a global pandemic.
Women deserve their voices to be heard, especially when it comes to healthcare and economic recovery. Only then can we safeguard the future health of ourselves and our families.