Washington, DC – On October 27th, Women of Color United for Health Reform, a national coalition led by the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and the Black Women’s Health Imperative, held a National Call-In Day for women of color to urge passage of real health reform. Over one thousand callers from 47 states and the District of Columbia dialed-in to send a message to their Senators and Representatives. As women who work hard in their jobs, communities, and homes, they demanded a health care system that would work just as hard for them. Women of color are greatly underserved by today’s health care delivery system: they are more likely to be uninsured or under-insured and spend a greater percentage of their income on health care than their white counterparts.
“As health care consumers, workers, and decision-makers, women of color need to reach the policy-makers who are currently working on legislation that has great potential to improve the lives of women and communities of color,” said Eleanor Hinton Hoytt, President and CEO of the Black Women’s Health Imperative. “The callers proved that lawmakers should not sacrifice affordability and comprehensive, preventative care for politics.”
Silvia Henriquez, the Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, said, “I took action last week and called my federal representatives. All women of color – from heads of national organizations to government and private-sector workers to care-givers – have a stake in real health reform. The time is now to let Congress know that we are organized. Women of color are united, and we want reform that will result in comprehensive, affordable coverage for all.”
On October 20th, Women of Color United for Health Reform held a conference call with two White House officials, Tina Tchen, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Executive Director for the White House Council on Women and Girls, and Caya Lewis, Outreach Director for the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Health Reform and former health staffer for Senator Edward Kennedy. More than 400 people from 31 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands who are ready to engage their elected leaders on the issue of reform were on the call to discuss the impact of health reform for women and communities of color.
Women of Color United for Health Reform is working with activists across the country to bring media attention to this issue. In the next few days, they will also be launching an online and print ad campaign in key states and Washington, DC. For more information about the coalition and its activities, visit www.womenofcolorunited.net.