Passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was an arduous process. A lot of us wished for different outcomes in some regard. It cannot be denied, however, that this reform to our nation’s health care system has delivered great benefits to millions of women and their families. Repeal of this act would endanger the progress we’ve made. Make no mistake, while many are coming around and realizing how beneficial this legislation is, stiff opposition remains.
Here are just a few of the benefits that women can access because of the ACA:
- Young adults are allowed to stay on their parent’s plan until they turn 26.
- Insurance companies are prohibited from imposing lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, like hospital stays.
- Insurance companies can not deny coverage to children under the age of 19 due to a pre-existing condition.
- More small businesses are offering health insurance to their employees, thanks to a new tax credit.
- No more gender discrimination. Insurance plans receiving federal funds will not be able to charge women more for services disproportionately used by women.
- The ACA guarantees access to preventive services like mammograms and cervical cancer screening.
- The ACA assures that pregnant and parenting women on Medicaid get access to needed services including education about post-partum depression, anti-smoking programs and violence prevention.
- Older women will save thousands of dollars as the reform closes the prescription drug gap (aka the “donut hole”)
- Family caregivers now have more support. The ACA establishes Geriatric Education Centers to support training in geriatrics, chronic care management, as well as mental health and dementia best care practices – all at little to no cost.
For more information on the benefits of the ACA, including the timeline of when everything goes into effect (some aspects will not go into effect until 2014), be sure to check out www.healthcare.gov. At a time when so many women and families are suffering from unemployment, underemployment or the exorbitant medical costs incurred before this act, now is simply not the time to repeal this protection. Too much is at stake. Quite frankly, lives are on the line.
Thanks to the National Partnership for Women and Families for much of the information cited here.