July 3, 2012

Reactions to the Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act Decision

Last Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled to largely uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or health care reform. The Act should help women access a number of preventive services and help them access healthcare more easily.

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health issued a press release, Supreme Court decision means health care access for Latinas, calling the decision “a significant victory for Latinas, who are more likely than other groups to face structural barriers that prevent them from accessing health care and preventive services.” They also note, however, that works remains to be done and many immigrants still lack access to essential care.

Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health’s board chair Douglas Laube released a statement for the organization, writing:

Thanks to today’s ruling, we can move closer to the day when our patients won’t go without basic medical care because they can’t pay for it. The Affordable Care Act has already begun to change health insurance in the United States for the better, doing away with pre-existing conditions, gender-rating (making insurance more expensive for women than men), and other practices that have hurt women’s health.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America calls the decision a victory, and lists several benefits for women:

• More than 45 million women have already received coverage for preventive health screenings at no cost since August 2010 thanks to the Affordable Care Act – including mammograms and Pap tests – and millions more will be able to get free screenings in the coming years.
• 3.1 million young adults have already been able to stay on their parents’ insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. In the next year, millions more who would have otherwise lost coverage will continue to be insured under their parents’ plan.
• Women are guaranteed direct access to ob/gyn providers without a referral, as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
• Starting in August, birth control will be treated like any other preventive prescription under the Affordable Care Act, and will be available without co-pays or deductibles.

The National Women’s Health Network called the decision “historic and thrilling,” and is currently running a “Countdown to Coverage” campaign to highlight ways the Act will benefit women’s health.

At RH Reality Check, Jodi Jacobson writes of some women’s group’s reactions to the Supreme Court Decision. Amanda Marcotte, also at RH Reality Check, has some questions for opponents of the Affordable Care Act. Also there, an author from MADRE writes about the international and human rights context for the decision.

Raising Women’s Voices has a ton of coverage and links, including information on what women can expect out of health care reform.


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