OPINION: Affordable Care Act Important for Women's Health
"Women make up the backbone of this great country, so there is nothing more patriotic–or right–than supporting the Affordable Care Act."
Now that the dust has settled and the Twittersphere has moved on to Romney's hidden tax returns, we should take an objective look at what the Affordable Care Act really does for Americans.
As for me, a healthy 23-year-old woman with no pre-existing conditions who is luckily insured through my parents' generous plan, the act doesn't seem to change much. Sure, I now know that if I develop a health condition it won't stop me from obtaining insurance later on, and I can now stay on my parents' plan until the age of 26-that everyone knows.
But what is so often forgotten in these debates is that the day that I (heaven forbid) find a lump in my breast, I can be screened for breast cancer at no cost. In four years when my IUD becomes ineffective, I can obtain birth control for free if I so choose to. And, best of all, I won't be charged more for my insurance because of what is (or isn't) between my legs.
Too many of the pundits on TV will never have to delay a cancer screening because they can’t afford it. Most of them will never be ordered to deny themselves a sexual life because contraception is simply incongruous with a balanced checkbook. Their privilege has muddied their humanity.
While the Affordable Care Act won't solve all the problems with our health care system, it is a step closer to the just system that we need, particularly for women.
Women make up the backbone of this great country, so there is nothing more patriotic–or right–than supporting the Affordable Care Act. Let's defend the act from those who wish to destroy our progress.
MSPH Candidate, Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health