health care reform

Ensuring Health Care Access

The health care reform law signed by President Obama represents the greatest single legislative advancement for women’s health since Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law nearly 45 years ago.  Many Planned Parenthood supporters worked hard to make health care reform a reality.

The new health care reform law, despite including unacceptable restrictions on private insurance coverage for abortion, will extend either private health insurance or Medicaid coverage to millions of women. It will also dramatically increase access to reproductive health services, including family planning.

Planned Parenthood worked both behind the scenes with members of Congress and their staffs, as well as with White House staff, to include as many pro-women’s health provisions as possible in the health care reform bill. History will record the passage of this law as a victory for women’s health because it will: 

- extend health care coverage to tens of millions of women and families who currently don't have insurance

- provide newly insured women access to preventive and primary health care from Planned Parenthood health centers across the country

- significantly increase access to reproductive health care, including family planning

- provide $75 million for comprehensive sex education and teen pregnancy prevention

- guarantee affordable access to lifesaving screenings for breast and cervical cancer

- stop the discriminatory practice of charging women more than men for health insurance

- end the practice of denying insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions, including breast cancer and pregnancy

Unfortunately, the bill retains the problematic Nelson abortion provision, which would require the following:

If a health plan chooses to provide coverage for abortion, it must collect two payments from all enrollees — one payment for abortion coverage and one payment for all other coverage. Health plans are required to deposit those payments into separate accounts made up of private funds and must ensure that abortion care is only paid for using private accounts designated for abortion payments.

These restrictions won't go into effect until 2014, and Planned Parenthood is working to try to fix them before they do. 

To learn more about what Health Care Reform means for you, click here.


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