Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), joined by Congressman Chris Murphy (CT-5), led a panel discussion this morning on women's health care. Other participants were Teresa Younger, Executive Director of the Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women; Dr. Kristen Zarfos, Medical Director of the Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Saint Francis Medical Group; and Margaret Flinter, Senior Vice President and Clinical Director at Community Health Center, Inc.
"Before the Affordable Care Act passed, being a woman was practically a preexisting condition," DeLauro said. "We knew for a fact that insurers were not just going to go ahead and change discriminatory policies on their own. Denying women coverage because they had been a victim of domestic violence or had a C-section was all too common. And the outrageous practice of "gender rating'--charging a woman more for health care simply because she is a woman--drove up premiums that families could barely afford to pay in the first place.
"But because we fought long and hard, that will soon be in the past and at long last a woman's health has been put on an equal footing with that of her spouse, son and brother. This will help improve the health of well-being of women and families across the country and move us from a "sick care' system to one that prioritizes wellness of preventative health and places an equal value on the health of men and women alike."
"We had a great discussion today, hearing firsthand how the Affordable Care Act has positively impacted the lives of Connecticut women," Murphy said. "No longer are insurance companies allowed to discriminate against women simply because of their gender or deny coverage to women because they've given birth. Mammograms are now covered under preventative care. And while there is still more to do, we've taken a giant step toward ensuring that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care."
Connecticut women have already begun to see benefits from the Affordable Care Act, including the 32,000 seniors who received a $250 rebate to relieve prescription drug costs. Another 86,000 seniors in the Third District were able to take advantage of preventive services with no out-of-pocket cost last year. Despite these and other real benefits for millions of Americans, Republicans have remained committed to repealing the Affordable Care Act.