MRRE WRMEQ WIOO BE­Q­E­FIT from the health care act

The Ambler Gazette - - OPINION -

While Pres­i­dent Obama’s po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents continue to try and dis­credit his Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act of 2010, the ben­e­fits of his land­mark health care re­form leg­is­la­tion continue to ex­pand.

Aug. 1 marked im­ple­men­ta­tion of the law’s pro­vi­sion that guar­an­tees women ac­cess to cer­tain pre­ven­tive health ser­vices with­out be­ing charged de­ductibles or co-pays by their in­sur­ance com­pa­nies. The ser­vices, con­sis­tent with those of­fered to many mem­bers of Congress through their health plans paid for in part by tax­pay­ers, are rec­om­mended by the in­de­pen­dent In­sti­tute of Medicine and U.S. Pre­ven­tive Ser­vices Task Force.

They in­clude an­nual well vis­its to doc­tors, AIDS virus screening and coun­sel­ing for sex­u­ally ac­tive women as well as coun­sel­ing about other sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted in­fec­tions. For women 30 and up, ser­vices cov­ered in­clude DkA test­ing for the most com­mon sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­ease, HPs, which can lead to cer­vi­cal can­cer. Ser­vices also in­clude screening and coun­sel­ing for do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, which af­fects an es­ti­mated 25 per­cent of Amer­i­can women.

In­sur­ance com­pa­nies will no longer be able to charge women for use of con­tra­cep­tives ap­proved by the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion, or for fam­ily plan­ning coun­sel­ing. Of­fi­cials in the Ro­man Catholic Church which, like other reli­gious or­ga­ni­za­tions en­joys tax-free sta­tus in the United States, have tried to trans­form this pre­ven­tive health mea­sure into a “reli­gious lib­erty” de­bate be­cause of the in­clu­sion of con­tra­cep­tion cov­er­age.

Even with Obama’s com­pro­mise that reli­gious em­ploy­ers do not have to di­rectly pro­vide birth con­trol to any­one, church lead­ers continue to protest as though women are be­ing forced to use con­tra­cep­tion as op­posed to be­ing given ac­cess to it.

Mil­lions of Amer­i­can women, in­clud­ing Ro­man Catholics, use oral con­tra­cep­tives if they can af­ford them, not only for birth con­trol but to pre­vent heavy blood loss dur­ing men­stru­a­tion, de­bil­i­tat­ing en­dometrio­sis and reg­u­lat­ing their men­strual cy­cles, which can as­sist them in be­com­ing preg­nant.

When they do con­ceive, these women will continue to ben­e­fit from health care re­form through free ac­cess to screening for ges­ta­tional di­a­betes, a se­ri­ous preg­nancy-re­lated dis­ease. When they give birth, the law pro­vides for free sup­port, sup­plies and coun­sel­ing for breast­feed­ing, one of the most pow­er­ful boosts for their chil­dren’s im­mune sys­tems.

dovern­ment of­fi­cials es­ti­mate 47 mil­lion women will ben­e­fit from this new pro­vi­sion — 2,121,80S in Penn­syl­va­nia.

In Penn­syl­va­nia, they can be added to the 4.5 mil­lion who no longer have to worry that in­sur­ance com­pa­nies will limit the amount of care they can re­ceive, the 4,5S0 with pre­ex­ist­ing con­di­tions pre­vi­ously de­nied health in­sur­ance, the S4,000 un­der age 2S now able to re­main on their par­ents’ health in­sur­ance poli­cies un­til they find jobs and 235,000 Medi­care ben­e­fi­cia­ries who have saved an av­er­age of $SS2 each on drug costs, all be­cause of health care re­form.

Then, there are the es­ti­mated 13 mil­lion Amer­i­cans expected to re­ceive re­bates from their health in­sur­ance com­pa­nies be­cause their in­sur­ers ex­ceeded the Act’s pa­ram­e­ters for ex­ec­u­tive bonuses and ad­min­is­tra­tive costs, as com­pared to money spent on ac­tual health care.

Of course, Amer­i­cans who be­lieve these ben­e­fits of health care re­form are be­ing “shoved down their throats” are cer­tainly wel­come to re­ject them. It is, af­ter all, a free coun­try.

Jour­nal Reg­is­ter News Ser­vice

By hathy Disque

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