The White House released a report on women and the economy Thursday, finding women still earn only 77 cents per dollar while still extolling the steps the administration has taken to strengthen the position of women in the U.S.
President Barack Obama spoke at a forum discussing the findings of the 70-page report Friday morning. The importance of restoring the economic security for the middle class and creating an economy that's built to last for America's women was at the crux of his remarks.
"Women are over half this country and its workforce...Every decision made by those of us in public life impacts women just as much as men. And this report you all have explains some of what we've done to try to lift up the lives of women and girls in this country," he said at the forum.
"Right now, women are a growing number of breadwinners in the household. But they're still earning just 77 cents for every dollar a man does - even less if you're an African American or Latina woman...So closing this pay gap - ending pay discrimination - is about far more than simple fairness."
Discussing the Affordable Care Act, Obama said, "Soon, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions like breast cancer, or charge women more just because they're women."
The President exited the speech to applause and calls for "Four more years!"
The report, "Keeping America's Women Moving Forward, The Key to an Economy Built to Last," examines the ways the Obama administration has worked to ensure women's economic security through all stages of life - from young women furthering their education and beginning their careers, to working women who create jobs and provide for their families, to seniors in retirement or getting ready for retirement, according to a statement from the White House.
Among the highlights of the report are:
• 1.1 million women between the ages of 19 and 25 who would have been uninsured currently receive health coverage under a parent's health insurance plan or through an individually purchased health insurance plan.
• More than 16,000 Small Business Administration Loans totaling more than $4.5 billion were granted to women-owned small businesses.
• An estimated 20.4 million women are benefiting from expanded access to preventive services such as mammograms, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and prenatal care at no additional cost.
• 24.7 million women enrolled in Medicare received preventive services at no additional cost in 2011, including an annual wellness visit, a personalized prevention plan, mammograms, and bone mass measurement for women at risk of osteoporosis.
by RTT Staff Writer
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