“In light of the votes we have seen today, and what the House is poised to do tomorrow, the nation cannot help but ask that question.
A key challenge for the 21st Century is to transform our workplaces so people can meet the dual demands of work and family, and transform our health care system so it provides affordable, quality care for all. Those were the messages at the National Partnership for Women & Families’ Annual Luncheon, held at the Washington Hilton hotel here today. The event honored Valerie B. Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President; Jarrett also chairs the new White House Council on Women and Girls.
More than 1,000 guests came to hear Jarrett discuss the Administration’s plans to address issues of concern to the nation’s women and girls. Other speakers included EMILY’s List President Ellen Malcolm, who chairs the National Partnership’s Board of Directors; and Susan Crowson of Frederick, Maryland, who shared her personal experience caring for a parent who has Alzheimer’s disease. WRC-TV’s Eun Yang emceed the event.
“This is a moment when we can make real, lasting change,” National Partnership President Debra L. Ness said at the event. “Let’s make this the year that we pass the Healthy Families Act and make a basic guarantee of paid sick days the law of the land.”
“Right now, we have the best chance in decades to reform our health care system,” Ness continued. “Getting it right and getting it right, right now is essential to our nation’s health and well-being, its ability to function and prosper.” Ness noted that in the next five years, 50 percent of our workforce will have caregiving responsibilities, as aging relatives have “more complex health problems that create crushing caregiving responsibilities.” She urged a focus on care that is better coordinated, focused on prevention, and includes the comprehensive reproductive health care women need.
The National Partnership is a leader on health care reform, family-friendly legislation and efforts to end discrimination of all kinds.