Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today highlighted the preventive health benefits for women that will be covered, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, by all new insurance policies. He also hailed the recent ruling by Neil Wake, a judge for the U.S. District Court of Arizona, temporarily blocking a state law (HB 2800) that prevents Medicaid recipients from choosing Planned Parenthood as their health care provider. Both steps, he said, "are victories that we have to build on if we're serious about treating women fairly and equally."
New health insurance plans must now cover well-woman visits -- including needed services such as prenatal care, mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer and certain other assistance -- without a copay, co-insurance charge or deductible. A comprehensive list of newly covered services is available at http://www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines/.
"Conservative Washington activists have fought the Affordable Care Act for years, and they should have to explain why these new benefits are a bad idea," Grijalva said. "House Republicans voted literally dozens of times to wipe out this law or major portions of it, and now that women can visit their doctors for checkups without paying through the nose, those same Republicans owe it to the American people to justify those votes. This is a victory for women that would never have happened if conservatives had gotten their way."
Women pay $1 billion more than men for health insurance each year, according to a study by the National Women's Law Center.
The new insurance standards and Judge Wake's ruling are "part of the same undeniable trendtowards equity," Grijalva said. "Restricting women's choice of provider in Arizona would be a movement in the wrong direction. The days of women being limited in their choices and charged more for the same care are coming to an end, and I'm proud to be a Democrat leading the way."