By Cynthia Dizikes



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Female Democratic senators, including Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar, tried to raise support for health care reform today by appealing to the nation’s women.

“As a former prosecutor I am particularly appalled that in eight states and the District of Columbia domestic violence is classified as a pre-existing condition,” Klobuchar said in a statement.  “Health care reform must ensure that all women have access to preventative services and maternity care, and that health care that doesn't use ‘pre-existing conditions’ as a way to deny women care.”

The senators, including Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Kay Hagan of North Carolina, said health insurance reform would improve women’s access to health care. They said that women are often denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions like C-sections, past pregnancies and domestic violence. According to the senators, women also pay more for health insurance than men and sometimes are not covered for preventative care like mammograms and pap tests.

Under the health-care reform bills in Congress, insurance companies would no longer be able to withhold coverage based on pre-existing conditions or use sex as a factor when determining rates.

“When it comes to health insurance, women pay more but get less for our money,” Mikulski said in a statement. “We women must end punitive insurance company practices that discriminate against women simply because we are women - practices that say domestic violence or c-sections are pre-existing conditions or that deny coverage for maternity care or basic preventive services and screenings.”