(Ms. SLAUGHTER asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)
Madam Speaker, 2 years ago, I was really honored to serve as the chair of the House Committee on Rules and bring this historic Affordable Care Act to the House floor. It was one of my proudest moments. I'm standing here today, equally proud to defend that law from the ongoing war on women.
When it comes to health care, women are classified as a preexisting condition. For decades, women have been routinely charged more for health insurance than a man who seeks the very same coverage.
Did you know that if a business employs more women than men, it can choose to raise everybody's premiums, regardless of gender, to cover the higher cost, which is, in their mind, of insuring women?
Women not only pay for standard insurance coverage, but they also pay a separate cost for maternity coverage. In Illinois, a 30-year-old woman must pay $278 a month and an additional $270 a month for maternity coverage in case she needs it.
Insurance companies claim that these added costs are because women are more likely to visit doctors, get checkups, take prescription drugs, and have illnesses. Everyone knows that preventative care--everyone but the insurance companies, apparently--saves us money in the long run. We women in the majority of the United States are tired of being second-class citizens.
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