By Margery Engel Loeb and Camille D. Miller

Texas is home to world-class medical schools and institutions that are known far and wide for their state-of-the-art treatment and expertise. However, many Texans, and especially Texas women, do not have easy access to this remarkable resource.

Some of the health care reforms, now being considered in Congress, hold the key that will open the door. We can look forward to a world in which more women and their families have coverage than at any time in our nation’s history. In Texas, there has long been bipartisan, grassroots support for health care for women and children.

For Texas women, and the 21 million women across our nation without health insurance, that will be a truly life changing -- and in many cases, lifesaving -- moment.

Imagine a system in which, for the first time ever, women won’t be charged up to 45 percent more than men for identical coverage, and maternity and reproductive health will be part of a basic care package.

The reforms will also include coverage of important preventative tests like mammograms. And they will put a stop to the shameful practice of denying health coverage because of “pre-existing medical conditions” such as breast cancer and pregnancy, or evidence of “uninsurability” such as being a victim of domestic violence.

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