CLEVELAND--The women of the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus today praised the latest benefits of the Affordable Care Act, designed to improve the health and well being of millions of women. Beginning today women will have guaranteed access to preventive services without paying more at the doctor's office.
About 47 million American women will benefit from the expanded coverage--a requirement for health insurance policies renewed on or after August 1, 2012. The eight new additional women's preventive services that will be covered without co-payments include:
- Well-woman visits.
- Gestational diabetes screenings that help protect pregnant women from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases.
- Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling.
- FDA-approved contraceptive methods, and contraceptive education and counseling.
- Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling.
- HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older.
- Sexually transmitted infections counseling for women.
- HIV screening and counseling for women
Members of the Senate Democratic Caucus issued the following statements in support of the additional preventative coverage:
Sen. Nina Turner (D-Cleveland):
"Today is a great day for women all across America, who will now have greater access to critical preventative care without co-pays. Because of these and other provisions in the Affordable Care Act, women will no longer be treated in a substandard manner because of their gender. The increased availability and decreased cost of wellness visits, contraception, and domestic violence screening and support is good not just for women, but for their children, families, and country too."
Sen. Capri S. Cafaro (D-Hubbard):
"Women's health is family health and it is absolutely imperative that we protect women and their families by providing them with affordable preventative care. This is why I am the Senate sponsor of Prevention First legislation, which emphasizes the importance of education and prevention in promoting women's health and safety. The coverage that begins today will ensure that there are more healthy moms and babies and that more cases of chronic diseases such as HIV and breast cancer are caught at an earlier stage. Preventative health is an economic issue that is particularly important in my district of Ashtabula and Trumbull Counties, which have been severely hit by the economic recession. I applaud this commitment to preventing unnecessary health risks and expenses for women."
Sen. Shirley Smith (D-Cleveland):
"As the senator whose district includes the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and MetroHealth, I am proud to announce that, beginning today, millions of Ohio women will have guaranteed access to preventive services to improve their health outcomes. These services include gestational diabetes screening, breastfeeding support, and domestic violence counseling, all of which will not cost any additional fees and will reduce health disparities for women. We should take pride in these and other provisions in the Affordable Care Act that promote women's health."
Sen. Edna Brown (D-Toledo):
"Making preventative health services available with no cost sharing to women throughout their lifespan is one of the most welcome aspects of the Affordable Care Act. This recognizes the integral role of women in the lives of their families, communities and the nation at large."
Sen. Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus):
"President Obama cares for the 47 million women in the U. S. and knows that healthy and well-women translates into healthy babies and healthy communities. Prevention and early intervention equals reduced illness and disease, provides cost savings and most importantly, saves lives."