A new piece of the controversial Affordable Care Act goes into effect today and it focuses on women's health. The newest provision offers certain services free of charge for the patient, including free forms of birth control.
Much of the focus of this debate has centered around the birth control mandate. In all, eight new services will be available to women through this newest provision of the Affordable Care Act which goes into effect today. Some call this a huge step forward for women's health.
President Obama's controversial and massive healthcare reform bill, rolls out today. The newest provisions are aimed at making preventive health care for women more accessible.
"We're here to mark a new day for women's health in America," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
An estimated 47 million women are expected to be positively affected by the newest reform. The law eliminates copays or deductibles for eight preventive services for women, mandating that insurance companies offer these services free of charge.
"Thanks to the new health care law, all insurance policies will be required to cover new vital care that women need to stay healthy and they'll have to cover the care without charging women anything out of pocket," Sebellius said.
The newest services now covered under the law include well-care visits, diabetes screening for pregnant women, domestic violence counseling, FDA approved contraception, breastfeeding supplies, HPV DNA testing, STD counseling and HIV screening. Supporters say this will give millions of women access to life-saving preventive care that may not have been available without the bill.
"Too often, we put our own health last. And that's especially true when it comes to preventive care," said Sebelius.
"I think it would be appropriate to have a vote on the repeal of Obamacare," said Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) during a debate on the Senate floor yesterday.
Republicans are still pushing for the repeal of the law despite the Supreme Court's decision to uphold it back in June. But despite those calls, the bill is moving forward.
This latest list adds to the list of fourteen free preventative services for women that have already taken effect under the Affordable Care Act, including mammograms to screen for breast cancer in women over 40.
Although many women are calling this no copay day, that is not entirely accurate. For most women covered by their insurance carriers, they must wait until the plan is renewed before the new coverage goes into effect.