Mothers and daughters urge Supreme Court to uphold guarantee of no-cost cancer screenings, check-ups and birth control
Virginia Beach, VA—Mother’s Day marks the start of National Women’s Health Week (May 13-19), a time to celebrate the Affordable Care Act’s no-cost preventive screenings, new consumer protections and elimination of gender discrimination. On Monday, May 14, National Women’s Check-up Day, women gathered in Virginia Beach to highlight the availability of no-cost prevention services that enhance our quality of life. To date, more than 45 million women have received these services under Obamacare.
Today’s forum featured women who received free preventive services under the Affordable Care Act, discussing how they have benefited from no-cost check-ups, cancer screenings and access to free birth control.
"Health Care coverage is critical for sustaining a healthy economy and the Affordable Care Act addresses issues that are especially important for women like preventive care, wellness and gender cost inequality. It is good to see Virginia Organizing and other groups providing community education opportunities for the public so that people know what is really going on,” said Alex Schneider, a woman who owns a small business in Virginia Beach. “I hope that Virginia will continue to move forward in setting up consumer friendly exchanges to help small businesses save money on health care costs."
The U.S. Supreme Court heard challenges to the Affordable Care Act in mid-March and is expected to issue a decision by the end of June. If the court overturns the law, it would result in the loss of services to more than 100 million Americans already benefiting from the ACA, including:
- 2 million senior women on Medicare who have received a 50% discount on brand name prescription drugs because they were in the donut hole coverage gap.
- 24.7 million women with Medicare who received preventive services with no co-pay.
- 20.4 million women with private insurance who received preventive care with no co-pay.
Striking down the law also would roll back important consumer protections against insurance companies that particularly benefit women.
Women in the individual health insurance market currently pay $1 billion a year more than men for the same plans because of gender rating. Often, these plans don’t even cover important benefits like maternity care.
The Affordable Care Act outlaws gender rating by 2014 in all new individual and small group plans. By 2014, insurers can no longer discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, and for women this includes everything from cesarean sections to sexual assault. Under the ACA, insurance companies can no longer place arbitrary limits on the amount of medical care a woman can receive during her life. Nearly 40 million women have already benefited from this provision and many more will benefit in the future if the Supreme Court upholds the law.
“Women have a lot to celebrate thanks to this new law,” said Mary Kablach, an advocate that has been working for reform “The Affordable Care Act provides real benefits and represents real progress after years of discrimination, higher costs, and lack of access to basic benefits that are critical for women. We have a lot at stake in this upcoming Supreme Court decision because we have a lot to lose.”
Virginia Organizing and the Virginia Main Street Alliance will also be hosting a Small Business Health Care Workshop from 3-4pm on Tuesday May 15 at Church of the Holy Apsotles, 1593 Lynnhaven Parkway in Virgina Beach.
*Stats listed above come from the following sources:
What Women Could Lose: http://www.nwlc.org/resource/health-care-litigation-what-women-could-lose-0#fact sheet
Women and Obamacare: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/05/women_obamacare.html
Women and Preventive Care: http://www.raisingwomensvoices.net/rwv-publications/
Virginia Organizing is a statewide grassroots organization that brings people together to create a more just Virginia.