Q&A with Kathleen Sebelius
What's Really Happening In Women's Health
LHJ: How do you manage to eat right and not gain weight when you have to attend so many events where you don't have control over the menu?
KS: My exercise helps, of course, but really, I just don't get to eat very much. Often, if I go to a lunch, I go in, make a speech and leave.
LHJ: What's your typical day like?
KS: If I'm in the office, I have a lot of meetings and often testimony on the Hill. I've done five budget hearings in the last two and a half weeks. I meet with people outside the office, make presentations, so I'm often doing two or three speeches a day. The days are packed and very scheduled -- often back to back. Typically I eat lunch in my office, get home by 9:30 or 10, and then have homework. I always come home with a briefing book for the next day. And then it starts all over again!
LHJ: So what brings you to the offices of Ladies' Home Journal?
KS: I want women to understand what's really happening in health care and how it will affect them. There is good news for women about the new health-care law. First of all, women have traditionally been the most likely to be uninsured and underinsured. Women have paid more for individual coverage than men. And often the coverage didn't even include the services that women need, such as maternity coverage, prenatal care, prescription drugs, or mental health services. That is changing. Being born a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition. That's a huge step forward.
Many women may not know that cancer screenings are already covered. So getting a mammogram, for example, no longer has a co-pay or co-insurance. And starting in August 2012, just a few months from now, all new insurance plans will have to offer women at least an annual well-woman visit without a co-pay. They will also have to offer contraception with no co-pay and no co-insurance. Even better news is that by 2014 if women need follow-up care, they'll have affordable insurance coverage to pay for it, whether they work or not.
Above: Yes, we did the cheesy "pose with the magazine cover" shot. (We really are proud of our new design.)
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