Women are victimized

According to the New York Times, there is a real difference in the premiums paid by men and women of the same age for the same health insurance terms. The differences can be many hundreds of dollars. Even in an economy that was booming, it would be difficult to justify this price discrimination. But as the US appears to be entering a more difficult time and some people are even using the "r" word, the victimization of women in this way should be an urgent priority for the new administration to address when it takes over the White House in 2009. It's not enough to talk in general terms about the rising costs of health insurance at a time of rising employment. Various proposals talk of offering tax credits or other assistance to help in buying or maintaining private cover. But this does nothing to address the historical injustice. Giving a woman the same tax credit as a man simply means she continues to pay more than a man. When challenged, medical insurance companies tend to assert that women make more use of medical services and make higher claims. But the evidence shows that most medical insurance policies exclude maternity care - in fact, maternity care is usually offered for a substantial increased premium. So what does it come down to? It seems women take more care of their health. They visit their doctors more often to have regular check-ups, are more conscientious when converting their prescriptions into medication and then actually take the drugs. Whereas, men care less about their health and resist having treatment. No matter where you live, women are charged higher rates of premium. The rates vary from one state to the next with some companies demanding up to 50% more for the same cover. Because of the general problems affecting the economy, it becomes all the more important to shop around before picking a new medical insurance company or deciding to renew an existing policy. Just as important is the need to join a political campaign to prevent health insurers from using sex as a factor when fixing the premiums. There are anti-discrimination laws to protect people in the workplace and other areas of their lives. The same should apply when everyone seeks medical insurance.