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Female Senator Calls Republican Health Care Reform's All-Male Committee ‘Offensive’

“It’s offensive” that no women are among the Republicans senators Majority Leader Mitch McConnell selected for a health-care working group, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand declared Monday.

On ABC’s “The View,” the New York lawmaker argued that “women do have a lot to lose” as the Senate considers the American Health Care Act. “We were really discriminated against by health-care companies without Obamacare,” she said. “We were charged more. Being a mom was considered a pre-existing condition for some people. The fact we would be charged more because we’re women, and we might get pregnant, and when we are pregnant, that was considered a pre-existing condition. We have a lot to lose. It’s offensive and it’s troubling that there are no women.”

WNYC reported that Gillibrand joined health-care activists at a news conference, during which she claimed the Republicans’ attempt to replace Obamacare is a threat to many of her constituents. “Now it’s up to all of us to speak out as forcefully as we can so that this bill does not pass the Senate and never becomes law,” she said. The senator called on New Yorkers to contact their representatives on Capitol Hill to express their distaste for the AHCA, which the House of Representatives narrowly passed last week. She said the legislation would harm older Americans and those with pre-existing medical conditions, as well as women.

NBC News noted that McConnell could have chosen any of the five female Republican senators to be part of the 13-member health-care working group. After GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska had echoed Gillibrand’s concerns, McConnell told reporters: “Nobody’s being excluded based on gender. … We’re having a discussion about the real issues. Everybody;s at the table. Everybody.”

The majority leader invited West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito to attend a working group Tuesday, to discuss health insurance for low-income people. Regarding the controversy about the group’s male-only membership, she remarked: “Those are choices that were made. … As a woman I’m going to be participating very loudly.”

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a former insurance commissioner, also weighed in on the issue. “Leaders have the right to choose whomever they wish,” she said. “It doesn’t mean I’m not going to work on health care. I think I can bring some experience to the debate that will be helpful.”

Source: The Political View
Photo: ABC

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