Vote for women’s rights supporters

Friday, February 10, 2012

To the Editor:

Since the 1960s, women have make progress toward recognition of their contribution to American social, cultural and economic well being. On Jan. 29, 2009, when President Obama singed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, women achieved another milestone in our country’s economic need for equality. I say “our country’s need” because approximately 63 percent of American households have mothers serving as either head of household or a co-breadwinner.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first bill signed by President Obama after he took office. It changed the statute of limitations giving women the right to sue 180 days after receiving a discriminatory paycheck. Any paycheck that does not reflect equal pay for equal work is discriminatory. Previously, the time of the statute of limitations was calculated from the first paycheck received.

The amount of a woman’s paycheck not only effects immediate household needs but also her future retirement.

While this act did not solve the whole problem of unequal pay, it was a step in the right direction. An act that would have complemented the Ledbetter Act was passed by the House in 2009, but was held up in the Senate and when put to a vote in 2010 Republicans opposed its passage and won.

The Obama administration has been supportive of women’s concerns. Health care is an example. Before the Affordable Health Care Act, a woman could pay as much as 150 percent more than a man for the same coverage. That sure sounds like sex decimation to me. In 2014, this will no longer be legal.

Under the Affordable Health Care Act a woman’s out-of-pocket health care costs will be lowered an estimated $300 through the coverage, without co-pay or cost sharing, of services such as cancer screenings, domestic violence screenings and annual checkups.

I am very concerned about many divisive, untrue and frightening things circulated even by intelligent people about issues such as health care, Obama’s record on women’s rights and job creation. Please, check the facts before accepting what is said as true (even this letter) and especially before supporting a candidate who would repeal the Affordable Health Care Act thereby continuing insurance discrimination against women. Find out where a candidate stands on equal pay for equal work. The next bill that complements the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act should not be blocked.



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