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Senator Murray on Affordable Care Act's Preventive Care Measures

Jul 31 2012

Murray outlined new preventive health services that will begin August 1st, specifically the women's health amendment



(Washington, D.C.) - Today, Tuesday, July 31st, U.S. Senator Patty Murray gave a speech on the Senate floor outlining the new preventive health services all new insurance plans must cover in accordance with the Affordable Care Act beginning August 1st. Specifically, Senator Murray discussed the impacts of the women’s health amendment, which will require that this inclusion of preventive services also include a newly identified set of women’s preventive services, including well-woman visits, contraceptive methods and counseling, and screening for sexually transmitted infections. 

“And now, because of this law, starting tomorrow, additional types of maternity care are covered, and women will be armed with the proper tools and resources in order to take the right steps to have a healthy pregnancy,” Senator Murray said. “Starting tomorrow, women will also have access to domestic partner violence screening and counseling, as well as screening for sexually transmitted infections. And starting tomorrow, women will finally have access to affordable birth control to lower rates in maternal and infant mortality, reduce risk of ovarian cancer, improve overall health outcomes, and encourages far fewer unintended pregnancies and abortions -- a goal we all should share.” 

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s speech:

“Starting tomorrow—women are now fully in charge of their health care—not the insurance companies.”

While we can never stop working to make improvements—we owe it to the women of America to make progress, and not allow the clock to be rolled back on their health care needs.”

“I know many Republicans believe that repealing this health care law is a political winner for them, but the truth is, this law is a winner for women, for men, for children—and for our health care system overall.”

 The full text of Senator Murray’s speech follows:

“Mr. President, two years ago, health insurance companies could deny women care due to so-called pre-existing conditions—like pregnancy, or being a victim of domestic violence.

“Two years ago women were permitted to be legally discriminated against when it came to insurance premiums—and were often paying more for coverage than men.

“Two years ago women did not have access to the full range of recommended preventive care—like mammograms, prenatal screenings, and more.

“Two years ago, the insurance companies had all the leverage.

“And two years ago, too often, women were paying the price. 

“Mr. President—that’s why I am so proud to highlight just how far we’ve come for women over the past two years –and the new ways women will benefit from health care reform, starting tomorrow – August 1st.

“Since the Affordable Care Act became the law of the land, women have been treated fairly when it comes to health care costs and options: deductibles and other expenses have been capped so a health care crisis doesn’t cause a family to lose their home or their life savings. Women can use the health care exchanges to pick quality plans that work for them and their families, and if they change jobs or have to move, they are able to keep their coverage.

“And now, because of this law, starting tomorrow, additional types of maternity care are covered, and women will be armed with the proper tools and resources in order to take the right steps to have a healthy pregnancy.

“Starting tomorrow, women will also have access to domestic partner violence screening and counseling, as well as screening for sexually transmitted infections.

“And starting tomorrow, women will finally have access to affordable birth control to: lower rates in maternal and infant mortality, reduce risk of ovarian cancer, improve overall health outcomes, and encourages far fewer unintended pregnancies and abortions -- a goal we all should share.

“Mr. President, I also want to note the affordable contraceptive policy we put in place preserves the rights of all Americans –

“While also protecting the rights of the millions of Americans who do use contraceptives -- who believe that family planning is the right choice for them.

“And who don’t deserve to have politics or ideology prevent them from getting the coverage they deserve.

“Mr. President— starting tomorrow—women are now fully in charge of their health care—not the insurance companies.

“That’s why I feel very strongly that we can’t go back to the way things were.

“While we can never stop working to make improvements—we owe it to the women of America to make progress, and not allow the clock to be rolled back on their health care needs.

“Mr. President, despite the recent Supreme Court decision upholding this law, I know some of my Republican colleagues are still furiously working to undo all of the gains we’ve made in the health care reform law for women and families.

“I know many Republicans believe that repealing this health care law is a political winner for them,

“But the truth is, this law is a winner for women, for men, for children—and for our health care system overall.

“So I am proud to stand here with my colleagues who are committed to making sure the benefits of this law don’t get taken away from the women of America --

“Because politics and ideology should not matter when it comes to making sure women across America get the care they need at a cost they can afford.

“Thank you Mr. President. I yield the floor.”