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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:03 PM

Sandra Fluke: Why I Support Health Care Reform


Thank You, Affordable Care Act!

This law, also known as health reform, will benefit over 45 million women in our country through increased access to preventive care services without copays and deductibles. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act's new requirements that private insurance and Medicare cover these services without cost-sharing, by the time the law is fully implemented in 2014, women will benefit from, among other services: mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, pre and post natal care, flu shots, regular well-baby, well-child and well-woman visits, domestic violence screening, and the full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives.

If this seems too good to be true, think again. This is the product of women in action - this is what happens when women stand up for what they and their families need to be healthy and are finally heard by people at the highest ranks of our government. This is what it looks like when government works for us and prioritizes our health.

And just as we will not be silenced when we are verbally attacked for speaking out, we will not go back to a society without this care. My colleagues and friends at my university who struggle with polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, unintended pregnancy, and even the terrible consequences of sexual assault understand what it's like for someone else to make their health care decisions for them. New moms who need to space their children, young women who are starting their careers, and low income women who struggle to afford basic necessities understand the need to control their reproduction. I have tried to represent them by talking about their experiences - but any influence I might have is only due to their courage in coming forward.

Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet and speak with several media outlets in an effort to tell the stories of women who would be helped by comprehensive reproductive healthcare, particularly affordable access to contraception through insurance. While this experience has been emotionally and physically exhausting, I have been repeatedly moved by the hundreds of women and men who have contacted me to show support. Lest we forget where this conversation started, I would like to take this opportunity to take a step back to exactly two years ago and acknowledge the tremendous difference that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is making and will continue to make in women's lives everywhere.

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Full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sandra-fluke/affordable-care-act_b_1373071.html


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