Saturday, November 17, 2007

What Women Want

What do women want? It's not diamonds or pearls, but instead, shorter work days, more free time, a vacation. A chance to see their doctor when they're ill would be good, too.

We may have a female Speaker of the House and a viable female candidate for President, but the typical women in the workforce badly needs some time off. Even when women work, they still tend to shoulder a greater share of the household, childcare and eldercare responsibilities than men do. Even when we're not working, we're working, and even when we have "leisure time," we worry about what we ought to be doing. No wonder more women than men suffer from chronic illnesses like diabetes and depression. And how sad that, despite all this working, a substantial percentage of women cannot afford to go to the doctor or get prescriptions filled.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, only one in five women take a vacation once every six years. Plus, researchers from Ohio State University have found that even when women do get a break from work, they have trouble relaxing and tend to combine leisure activities with other tasks and responsibilities. The co-author of the study, Liana Sayer, said, "The meanings of free time for men's and women's lives are quite different. Especially for wives and mothers, it appears free time is still combined with other activities or responsibilities."Interestingly, married women with children were twice as likely to feel rushed than single women without children. But men who are married with children do not feel any more rushed than single men without children." That will come as a surprise to no women I know.

And, women are worse for the wear. The Kaiser Family Foundation's report, Women and Health Care: A National Profile nearly four in ten women (38%) have a chronic condition such as diabetes, asthma or hypertension that requires ongoing medical attention, compared to 30% of men. One in four women (23%) reported they have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, over twice the rate for men (11%). When it comes to quality of care, over one-third (37%) of women in fair or poor health say that they delayed or went without medical care in the past year due to costs, and one-third (34%) did not fill a prescription because they couldn't afford it. Nearly 12% of women not only care for children, but also for their sick and aging relatives. Among those, a whopping 46% have a chronic illness of their own and 29% provide more than 40 hours per week of care. And 20% of these caregivers have no health insurance.


Tina said...

I have State Health Benefit plan and Medicare Part D and right now neither one wants to cover Benicar, one of my blood pressure meds. SHBP doesn't include Benicar as a covered drug. Medicare Part D does cover it, but I am in the "donut hole" aka sink-hole in coverage until the end of 2007. There is no generic for Benicar (which is what my doctor wants me to take). Even those of us who have insurance run into problems with prescription coverage. The insurance companies want to over-rule the physician's ability to prescribe what he/she feels the patient needs. Something needs to be done about that, especially where no generic substitute exists.

Amy Morton said...

There is no question that the key domestic issue in the upcoming election will be health care. In large part, who I vote for will be determined by who I think can most effectively address this complex issue.

Vic said...

Please get six middle Georgia Women to apply for "Individual" Health Care Insurance:

2 in the 20-30 age bracket

2 in the 30-40

2 inthe 40-50

Then compare them to six males in the same age brackets.

That is if the Wall Street Health Care Insurance Companies will even allow the middle or post middle aged women to submit applications.

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