Illinois action blog

Monday, April 5, 2010

Questions on Health Care Reform: Answered

What will the new health care reform bill provide for women?

- Provide millions of low-income women with preventive reproductive health care, including family planning, through changes in Medicaid (the largest public health insurance program serving women of childbearing age).

- Allow the 32 million uninsured Americans who will become insured in 2014 and after to use their private health insurance to access medical care offered by community providers, including Planned Parenthood health centers.

- Ensure that millions of women with modest incomes benefit from free or very low-cost lifesaving screenings for breast and cervical cancer.

- Extend private health insurance and Medicaid coverage to millions of women, as well as to children and young adults.

- Stop insurers from charging women more than they charge men for comprehensive private health insurance plans.

- Forbid insurers from denying private health insurance to women based on “pre-existing” conditions such as pregnancy.

What role did Planned Parenthood play in these victories for women’s health?

- Planned Parenthood worked both behind the scenes with members of Congress and their staff, as well as with White House staff to keep women's health a priority.

- Planned Parenthood also carried out a very large public campaign to influence the outcome of the bill, including fighting to defeat proposed restrictions on private health insurance coverage for abortion (namely the Stupak Amendment).

What’s next?

The passage of health care reform was the first step, but there is much more to be done to ensure the law is carried out in an effective manner.

To that end, Planned Parenthood will focus in the coming months on working with the following:

- The White House and the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that early health care reform guidance and regulation meets women’s needs.

- The administration and congressional leaders to address the unworkable Nelson provision so that health insurance companies will continue to provide health insurance coverage for abortion.

- State policymakers to encourage expansion of family planning services to low-income women through Medicaid.

This effort will not be finished until every woman in America has access to the reproductive health care they desire.

Technorati tags: Health Care Reform, Planned Parenthood, Medicaid


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