by Gloria Lau
Chief Executive Officer, YWCA USA
The second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is this Friday, March 23. Thanks to the ACA, more than 20 million American women will have access to better healthcare coverage. Because of the ACA, women will be able to count on:
- Crucial preventive services like mammograms, colonoscopies, immunizations, prenatal and new baby care without co-pays.
- Their own choice of provider within their plan’s network of doctors, including OB-GYNs and pediatricians.
- Starting in August, women can obtain birth control with no co-pay.
- Starting in 2014, pre-existing conditions — including domestic violence survivor care — can no longer be used as a basis for denying insurance coverage.
The ACA helps women and their children and parents.
For example, young adults are now allowed to remain on their parents’ healthcare plan until their 26th birthday, impacting up to 1.2 million young people. This means young people in school or just getting started in a career do not have to worry about how they are going to pay for healthcare.
For seniors, the law makes prescription drug coverage through Medicare more affordable by closing the so-called “donut hole” on drug costs. Today, during one of the nation’s toughest economic climates since the Great Depression, more women and their families can get the medicine they need – without having to choose between paying for medication or for food.
The ACA is a bold step forward toward ensuring women of all ages have healthcare. Over the past two years, the law has already succeeded in making healthcare more affordable and accessible for many women. The YWCA applauds the ACA because the law makes real advances towards improving the health and safety of women. This is vital to YWCAs across the country which host health and wellness programs such as breast cancer detection; HIV prevention; new baby care; domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and recovery.
Women must stand together to support and protect the ACA because it improves our lives and the lives of those we love. And, with all the rhetoric flying around about a woman’s right to contraceptive healthcare during this campaign year, and with the U.S. Supreme Court due to review certain provisions of the ACA next week, let’s not forget the facts about this law – this landmark healthcare legislation has already created real, quality benefits for women and for American families. We’ve all worked too hard to turn back the clock.
We invite you to visit the White House health care reform site to learn fact from fiction when it comes to the health care law, to find out how the law helps you and your family and to learn about the importance of preserving the ACA in the weeks and months to come.
YWCA USA is a partner in HERvotes, a coalition of leading women’s organizations focused on mobilizing women voters in 2012 around preserving women’s Health and Economic Rights (HERrights.) This post is part of the #HERvotes blog carnival on the Affordable Care Act.