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Improving Women's Health: State Policy Options

Policy moves the needle

In this National Conference of State Legislatures article, you'll learn about:

  • The relationship between women and chronic disease

" Chronic diseases—such as heart disease, cancer and stroke—are the leading causes of death in the United States. Thirty-eight percent of women suffer from one or more chronic diseases, compared to 30 percent of men. To address chronic disease in women and to improve their overall health,  policymakers may consider specific actions related to cancer, diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis, or consider the following general measures. "

  • Steps to bolster coverage and access to healthcare

" Historically, women have faced challenges accessing and affording health care and, as caregivers, women often are gatekeepers for family health. Initiatives within the Affordable Care Act aim to improve the quality of and access to health insurance coverage for women. In addition, strengthening the health workforce is an important component in improving access to care for women. To address coverage and access to care policymakers may consider actions related to ensuring quality care, insurance coverage and expanding the health workforce. "

  • How public heath and wellness systems can be used to improve women's health outcomes

" Public health and wellness involve systems designed to protect and improve health at the community and population levels. Public health efforts aim to improve health by preventing disease and promoting  healthy behaviors. To address public health issues, policymakers may consider initiatives related to communities, employers, immunizations, nutrition and oral health "

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