First Lady urges women to talk to friends about health care

The White House went on the offensive on the health care debate,  reaching out to women and mothers with a new video from First Lady Michelle Obama.

Targeting the insurance companies as the main culprit against reform, The White House Office of Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann De Parle wrote in an e-mail that the current health care system is “broken” and it does not work for “many women and their families.”

“In many states, insurance companies can still discriminate on the basis of gender — and not just on costs. In some states, maternity care is not covered because pregnancy can be seen as a ‘pre-existing condition.’ It’s even legal in some states to deny a woman coverage because she’s been a victim of domestic violence!” De Parle wrote.

Congress is considering health care legislation now and lawmakers are being lobbied heavily by insurance giants to gut any attempts to reform the system. In the video, Michelle Obama urges women to talk to their friends about the president’s plan, and she connects it to the real concerns women, care-givers and mothers have.

Taking a page from the Obama campaign message that change comes from the bottom up, The White House is urging grassroots action. “We can’t make health insurance reform a reality without your help. As the First Lady says, talk to your family, your friends, your neighbors. …help get the word out about what’s at stake. It’ll take all of us working together to deliver the change we need on health care,” De Parle wrote.




Teresa Albano
Teresa Albano

Teresa Albano is associate editor of People's World and an award-winning journalist. Born and raised in Chicago, Albano is a member of the Chicago News Guild-Communications Workers of America and has been covering political, labor and social justice issues for more than 25 years. Albano was the first woman editor-in-chief of People's World, 2003-2010, leading the transition from weekly print to daily online publishing and establishing PW's social media presence.

Albano lived in New York City for 13 years and has traveled throughout the United States and abroad, including to India, Cuba, Angola, Italy and to Paris for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. She received awards from International Labor Communications Association, National Federation of Press Women and Illinois Woman Press Association, including its prestigious Silver Feather Award. Albano attends Northeastern Illinois University and recently received NEIU's Future Alumni Leader award. She will graduate in December 2016. 

Combining her passion for swimming and for social justice, she founded the blog, Swimming Social, during the 2016 Rio Games.