This post is part of a weekly series on Women and Health Reform.
You may not have a Valentine, but chances are that you’ve got someone sending loving thoughts your way today (and most days) – your mother. This may seem depressing to those who would rather be exchanging Whitman’s Samplers with someone who hasn’t also changed their diapers, but Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to think about all of those people that we love—mothers included—and how we can make their lives better.
So, what would make moms happy? The folks over at Moms Rising have created a short list of their Valentine’s Day wishes for our health care system, and we couldn’t agree more with what they want:
This great card also got us thinking about the connection between women, mothers, and health reform. Today in the U.S., about a quarter of all adult women have dependent children at home. As mothers, these women are primarily responsible for all of their children’s needs, including health care.
A 2004 survey of American women found that a vast majority of mothers had the sole responsibility for: selecting their child’s doctor (79 percent); bringing their child to doctor’s appointments (84 percent); and making sure their child got his or her recommended follow-up care (78 percent). Managing their family’s health care is just one of the many obligations that women balance every day as they try to meet the needs of their families.
We should be doing as much as we can to make the health system work better for moms and their kids – a good place to start is by expanding access to affordable children’s health coverage. More than one in 10 children didn’t have health insurance in 2006, and uninsured children are less likely to get health care when they need it. That’s one reason why groups like the Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform have chosen to focus on ensuring health coverage for all kids as an important step to the goal of affordable, quality health care for all of us. Insured children = healthier children = happier moms. Being a mom, or just having a mom that you want to make happy, is one more reason to support progressive health reform.