Grand Canyon University
Women's Health Considered in The Affordable Care Act
For years women have been subjected gender discrimination in relation to higher health care costs and premiums, causing them to delay seeking preventative services and medical screenings. Women’s reproductive health requires frequent contact with a health care provider to provide yearly Pap Smears and pelvic exams, mammograms and obstetric care. Reproductive health care and related supplies cause women to spend 68 percent more than men out-of-pocket. Avoiding any one of these crucial visits can cause undiagnosed life threatening conditions. Many women, about 16.7 million, are uninsured and obtaining these preventative screening are not an option…until now. (Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, 2013)
Many women rely on their reproductive health care provider as their primary source of all things health related. Planned Parenthood health centers are six out of 10 women’s only interaction with the United States health care system. (Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, 2013) These providers are able to provide a range of services, most commonly including contraceptive methods, cancer screenings, STI screenings and treatment. These services are all very basic health care but critical to women’s overall health and well being; critical services that are now mandated to be covered in full by insurance companies.
President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, also known as The Healthcare Reform or referred to as Obamacare, on March 23, 2010 extending health care coverage to tens of millions of women and their families. (Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, 2013) This act has not only increase the amount of coverage women are able to posses but also does not allow discontinuation of insurance due to pre-existing conditions. It also qualifies eight preventative care services including; well-women visits, gestational diabetes screenings, HPV testing, STI counseling, HIV screen and counseling, contraceptive and contraceptive counseling, breast feeding support, supplies and counseling, and domestic violence screening and counseling. These eight services are in addition to the existing preventative services deemed by the ACA. (Sifferlin, 2012)
Although the Affordable Healthcare Act has caused a lot of controversy, Mr. Obama stands by this law and states that “This law has secured access to preventative care like mammograms and cancer screenings with no co-pay, no deductible, no out of pocket cost for more than 20 million women.” He also adds that “now most health plans are beginning to cover the cost of contraceptive care, which is vital for women’s health.” Obama states that he “is proud of it” [the new law] Obama’s acknowledges one of the real life scenarios women today have to make by stating that “I don’t think a college student in Fairfax of Charlottesville should have to choose between text books or the preventative care she needs” and claims this as one of the reasons he passed the law. (Lucas, 2012)
One of the services that seemed to stir up the most controversy was that of contraceptive coverage. Some people have the idea that sexual activity is that of a life style choice and taxpayers should not be forced to spend their dollars to cover these services. I would argue this thinking with the fact that taxpayers are currently spending money to contribute to the outcome (a child) of these “lifestyle” choices in the form of Medicaid and WIC. The National Business group on Health estimates that is costs 15%-17% more for employers to exclude birth control coverage. Without clear understanding or direct experience with todays society that are not receiving proper obstetric care and having unhealthy pregnancies, resulting in unhealthy children, I could understand how some people would think that this new law is not a wise economic decision and will cost us (taxpayers) more money. Obama…