This week marks the one-year anniversary of health reform becoming law in the United States. The good news is that several important provisions which improve women’s access to quality, affordable health care have already taken effect – no-cost coverage of preventive care like cervical cancer screenings and vaccinations, lower prescription drug costs for seniors, rules to protect women and families from insurance company abuses, and more.
The bad news is that women are also facing aggressive attempts by Congress and state legislators to impose bans on abortion coverage which would take away access to health care that many women have now.
And the worrisome news is that more than half the people in the country say they still don’t understand how health reform will affect them personally. But you can help the National Women’s Health Network do something about this! You can spread the word about the advances that health reform is making for women’s health.
Through our health reform collaboration Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need, we’ve published What Women Are Getting From Health Reform: The Top Ten List. It has the most current information about the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that are already making a difference in women’s lives.
- Do you know a senior who is getting new help paying for prescription drugs or adult children who have been able to stay insured by remaining on their families’ health insurance policy?
- Did you get a screening test for cancer or for a sexually transmitted infection without having to make a co-payment or pay toward your deductible?
- Do you work for a small employer who’s been able to add or maintain your health insurance benefit because of the new tax credits?
All of these improvements happened because of the ACA. And there’s more. Insurance companies can no longer cancel your policy when you get sick or set lifetime limits on the amount of care they will pay for. They can’t deny or exclude coverage for children with pre-existing conditions or disabilities. And starting in 2014 they won’t be able to do that to adults either.
To get more details on these changes and to learn about others, read What Women Are Getting From Health Reform. And send it to the people you know who are still trying to figure out if they’ll be better off because of health reform.
Our Raising Women’s Voices colleagues around the country are organizing events this week to mark the anniversary and show public support for the advances of health reform. Women’s health advocates are holding forums about health reform with members of Congress in Maryland and Minnesota and with students and nurses in New York; in New Mexico and Philadelphia, they’re throwing birthday parties for the ACA; and there are many other events to mark the momentous occasion. Check here to see if there’s an event near you, and plan to attend! We fought hard for the advances that the ACA is bringing to our families – now we have to stand strong together to fend off the anti-woman, anti-health reform attacks that threaten to roll back this progress.
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