We recently called together a bipartisan forum of women to discuss how the debate over health care affects them. Speakers included former Assistant Secretary of Defense Victoria C. Clarke, former New York Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey, former Congresswoman Susan Molinari,(R-NY), Mariam Atash Nawabi of AMDi International, and small businesswoman Amy Nichols, president and CEO of Dogtopia.
They agreed that the federal task force recommendation against breast cancer screening was a legitimate reason for millions of American women to be concerned about the government’s attempt to take over one-sixth of the U.S. economy.
Unfortunately, as many of us predicted, the “recommendations” over mammograms are becoming mandatory. In California, the eligibility age for state-subsidized breast cancer screening has been raised from 40 to 50 by the state government, which will also temporarily stop enrollment in the breast cancer screening program.
For thousands of struggling women in California, the task force recommendations have quickly metastasized from a suggestion to an edict. We cannot allow that to happen to women in all 50 states. And that’s why stopping a federal takeover of health care is so essential.
If we can get the president to abandon his goal of seizing control of America’s health care system, we might be able to persuade him to start re-focusing on the economy. Specifically, that would mean abandoning his spend-and-borrow economic policies and putting small businesses, not Wall Street, at the top of his priority list.
For women, there is nothing more empowering than to own a small startup company like Dogtopia, or a new restaurant, or one of the hundreds of businesses being started by women every day. Women-owned small businesses are the fastest growing segment of the economy, an engine of job creation and prosperity. Yet that jobs engine has stalled out. The time has come for Washington to restart that engine, instead of overburdening it with new taxes and regulations.
With a new year upon us, let us recommit to giving American women an economy that creates jobs, strengthens small businesses, and leaves health care decisions in the hands of the women who know how to make them. If we do that, 2010 will be a better year for everyone.