At the end of June, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (see ), yet the House of Representatives continues to waste time voting to repeal it. While there are some coverage gaps, the law benefits the health of all Americans, and women’s health in particular, by significantly expanding access to affordable healthcare and reducing long-term inflation in health insurance premiums. Voting to repeal it is misguided and puts our country on the wrong track.
For Marylanders who have never been able to afford health insurance, or who lost their coverage due to a job loss, the Affordable Care Act is a helping hand during hard times and may literally be a lifesaver. The positive impact of the law to Maryland’s women and children, especially, cannot be overstated. Coverage of maternity care will reduce the barriers to early prenatal care, which is essential for healthy pregnancies, infants, and children. Coverage of breastfeeding supplies will support moms who want to give their child the very best (and cheapest) food nature provides. The ACA will also ensure that expense alone does not prevent women from using the birth control prescribed by their doctors. Having the ability to choose the most effective method of birth control, rather than the cheapest one, allows women to plan their futures and make economic progress, as well as prioritize school, work, or the family they already have. Coverage of cancer screenings, STD tests, and immunizations will also improve public health and save lives.
The Affordable Care Act will improve the health and economic security of millions of Americans – particularly women. I applaud the efforts of all of those who worked to make this law a reality.