By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
I've just emerged from a Democratic Women's Working Committee briefing for reporters on Capitol Hill and the four female House members there believe the ultimate bill to emerge from Congress will contain a public option. More about other interesting facts in a report they released at that meeting down below. But the headline is that the media have portrayed an unfairly negative view of healthcare negotiations on Capitol Hill, and these women believe healthcare reform will prevail and the bill sent to President Obama will contain a public option, so opposed by conservatives.
The members, Illinois Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky, New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, California Democratic Rep. Lois Capps and Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore believe even if the public option does not make it out of the U.S. Senate, it will be included in the House version of healthcare reform and it will make it through a House-Senate Conference Committee.
The report released at the meeting by the Congressional Joint Economic Committee includes some generally-known data and some new information. It's rather well-known that women pay more for health insurance than men (as they do for dry cleaning, hair cuts, etc.) But it's less well-known that some women are now being denied healthcare coverage because insurance companies are wary of new insured clients who may become pregnant and thus charge them for maternity care.