Today is the start of free preventive care for women courtesy of President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. It includes among other things free preventive care for moms and babies. Naturally, Republicans tried to block this portion of the Affordable Care Act from kicking in today because healthy women, moms and babies are not a conservative priority.
This portion of the Affordable Care Act, which grants preventive health care services without co-pays or additional out-of-pocket costs, impacts 47 million women. National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill said, “No longer will women be compelled to forego or delay needed preventive care due to economic hard times.”
Republicans stuck their toe out to try to repeal it yesterday (hiding their repeal in a cybersecurity bill like the stealthy dark lords of death they are):
After Harry Reid praised the new preventive benefits for women in the Affordable Care Act which take effect August 1, Mitch McConnell took the floor of the Senate and called for another repeal vote by attaching it as an amendment to the cybersecurity bill.
We should be grateful that the Republicans have made it absolutely clear what will happen if we elect them in November. People who are sick will be in danger of losing their coverage to predatory insurance companies. Women will be denied preventive healthcare by insurance providers with profit as their only motive.
These guidelines also require insurers to cover mammograms, pap tests and other critical preventive services. Breast and cervical cancer are leading causes of death among women, and early detection is key. According to the National Cancer Institute, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and when it is detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent. That’s why it’s so important that the Affordable Care Act gives women access to an annual health exam without any co-pays.
Other preventive services include screening for gestational diabetes; domestic violence screening and counseling; breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; HPV testing; screening for sexually transmitted infections and counseling for sexually-active women; and HIV screening and counseling. And beginning in 2014, women can no longer be charged more than men for the same health plans and can no longer be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
The ACA also covers such pro-life preventive care as maternity and well-baby care. What do Republicans have against babies and pregnant women?
O’Neill cautioned that even as we celebrate the freedom of accessible preventive health care, Republicans (also known as extremists now) are gunning to take these benefits away, “As we celebrate today, we know there is much work to do. Extremists in Congress are bent on repealing the Affordable Care Act, and Mitt Romney has pledged to do just that if he is elected president. NOW will work to defeat these politicians and to ensure that all the women of this country have access to affordable health care.”
The Republicans in Congress have been actively working to take rights away from women, from birth control to domestic violence protection. It’s hard to champion the party of “liberty” when they work so hard to steal liberty from the majority of American citizens. Furthermore, preventive medicine saves lives and money. It’s good fiscal sense and it’s civilized. Some of us actually care about babies’ health, no matter their station in life.
Perhaps that’s why Republicans are so opposed to it. It seems Republicans like nothing so much as expensive, unpaid for and unfunded policies that threaten the lives of American citizens (wars, no healthcare, their on-going in spite of its futility repeal-healthcare-circus show etc.).
The CBO concluded that repealing ObamaCare would increase the deficit over the next decade by $109 billion. Increase the deficit. Hmmm. Sounds perfect for the Republican Party. No wonder they’re working so hard to repeal it that they have wasted $50 million doing so while accomplishing little else for the last two years.
As we reported on July 11, “CBS notes that Republicans have taken up at least 80 hours, that’s two weeks, of time trying to repeal the ACA, knowing it won’t go anywhere. They also point out that while critical deadlines loom over important issues like the Bush tax cut expiration, House Republicans instead waste time on a repeal vote to nowhere.”
Many women who would not have had access to life-saving preventative care prior to today will now have access. Pregnant women now have access to preventive care. Republicans tried to block this yesterday.
It’s almost as if Republicans are telling women and babies they don’t value the lives of the poor and even middle class who can’t afford the copay, let alone the costs of these tests without insurance. Pro-life Republicans? Not so much.
Women's Health Infographic is available at http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/07/pdf/infographic_women_aca.pdf