Access to affordable, consistent health care
A commentary by Sara Finger, executive director of the Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health.
As a mother of my beautiful two-year-old daughter, Layla, making sure that my family and I have access to affordable, consistent health care has always been top priority. And with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - sometimes called Obamacare - ensuring that my family gets the health care they deserve has been made a lot easier.
As we celebrate National Women's Health Week this week, it's a great time to focus on the many benefits of the ACA for mothers and women across Wisconsin.
Thanks to the ACA, women of all ages now have more choices, greater coverage, and better control over their own healthcare.
Because of the new law, more than 20 million women have been able to receive preventative services - such a mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, and prenatal tests - all without a co-pay, deductible or any other out-of-pocket expenses.
This allows women to take their health into their own hands.
What's more, as Layla grows up into a young adult, thanks to the ACA, my husband and I have the peace of mind of knowing that she'll have coverage if she gets sick, even if she can't find a job with health insurance right away when she graduates.
That's because, under the law, my daughter and 2.5 million current young adults under the age 26 can get health care coverage under their parents' plans.
Not only does the law extend innumerable benefits to women across America, but it ensures that women are treated equally.
By 2014, the ACA will end the discriminatory practices by insurance companies that have been able to charge women higher premiums than men - even up to 150 percent more - for the same health plan (of which 87 percent in 2009 in the individual market didn't cover maternity care).
No longer will insurance companies be able to label women like me who have a blood clotting disorder, or women who have had a Caesarean section, or who have been victims of domestic violence as "pre-existing conditions," and deny or drop our coverage at any moment.
I'm thrilled we have so much to celebrate during this week focused on women's health. As a nation, we have taken great strides to ensure that women can lead healthier lives and have greater access to health care through the Affordable Care Act.
Yet with so much celebrate, so much also remains at stake. We must band together to protect the care of women from the political games that threaten to take away our benefits.
The Supreme Court will make their decision about America's healthcare in June and should any or all of the law be repealed or rolled back, millions of Americans - both men and women - will lose critical healthcare protections and benefits.
We cannot leave mothers and daughters like mine at the mercy of the insurance companies.
Stand with me and millions of women this week to bring together women, health care providers, and all Americans who save on healthcare costs, as we celebrate the many ways in which the ACA is working for women.
Together, we can help women take steps towards longer, healthier and happier lives.