20 Million Women and Counting ...Two Years of the Affordable Care Act
Two years ago this Friday, we celebrated as President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
It’s been two years — and twenty million women have received preventive care without a co-pay. That’s more than 27,000 women every single day who have received care for lifesaving cancer screenings, immunizations, mammograms, and countless other services because of the Affordable Care Act.
The truth is that the health care law represents the single greatest achievement for women’s health in decades. Not only does the law promote the health of women by covering preventive care without co-pays, it ends discriminatory practices such as charging higher premiums to women (sometimes up to 150 percent) and prevents the denial of coverage based on “pre-existing conditions” such as breast cancer or even pregnancy.
In a time when many are trying to restrict access to comprehensive reproductive health services, the Affordable Care Act increases access to contraception for women. In a time when many young people are worried about leaving school and finding jobs, they won’t have to worry about being dropped from their health care plan after graduation — these women and men will be covered up until the age of 26. In a time when there is so much uncertainty in the world, when you’re worried you might get sick and be dropped from your plan, the health care law protects you.
Because of the health care law, millions of Americans will have affordable access to health care — and thanks to ACA many already do. It is truly something to celebrate and something to be proud of.
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But as we all know, not everyone is celebrating this historic victory — anti-women’s health politicians want to take away these health care benefits and repeal the law.
If they have their way, more women will be uninsured, more women will be denied coverage because of so-called “pre-existing conditions” like pregnancy, and women will once again be forced to pay more and get less for their health care dollars than men.
In the coming days, there will be a lot of talk from both sides about what the health care law actually does. Know this: 20 million women is just the beginning. As the Affordable Care Act continues to take effect, more women, more Americans, will have access to affordable health care. More access means healthier women and healthier families.
It’s incredibly important that Americans understand what the law has already done, and what taking it away could mean. Spread the word and share this message.
Photo Credit: Doug Mills/New York Times