President Obama ensures that his administration utilizes the skills of women leaders in government and in our communities, and shows the respect and the policy support that we deserve. From independent women like me, to bustling family households, on topics ranging from healthcare to the economy, our voices are heard in this administration.
On healthcare, the President has taken bold action with the Affordable Care Act. Being able to consult with a women’s care provider by self-referral, having access to health insurance for preventive exams outside of a policy deductible, and charging me the same as my male counterpart for the same insurance policy, just makes good sense. And let's invest in those preventive measures—including contraception. Every dollar spent in supporting advance family planning efforts returns $4 on the investment.
The work that President Obama is doing to right the economy affects all of us, but especially women and families. The economy debates are not just about whether jobs are available, and whether they are well-paying family wage jobs. It's also about whether workers are trained to effectively fill the open spots, whether workers are given the chance to fairly compete for them, and once hired, whether women in those jobs are paid the same as male peers. From the very first piece of legislation signed by President Obama, the Lily Ledbetter Act, to the many well-qualified women he has appointed to key roles in the current administration, the President has demonstrated his stance that women's roles in this country are priceless. He knows we are creative and innovative leaders in the work we do professionally, with our families, and in our communities every day—and that we are a valuable constituency, not a population to be simply exploited.
There are many important issues to be addressed in the next four years. There is always more work to be done, because this country, like any serious endeavor, is a continual work in progress. President Obama sees where we need to go next, especially where women's contributions are concerned. As family leaders, consumers, professional glass ceiling-breakers, veterans, out-of-the-box thinkers, and sheer survivors, women have more work to do, more talent to offer, and we are getting back on the right track.
As a citizen, I don't have direct real-time access to the same security briefings, intelligence reports, and strategy meetings as our elected leaders. But if there are areas where I feel policy or strategy can be improved or focused, it's my job as a citizen to add my voice and share my unique perspective. It's a responsibility held by all of us. And because he already has, I know President Obama will hear me, and you, when we speak.