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Planned Parenthood Federation of America Applauds Passage of Women's Health Amendment

Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) today hailed the passage of the important Women’s Health Amendment, offered by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), to the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”  The amendment will guarantee health insurance coverage for women’s basic preventive care and screenings at no cost to the patient.

“More than 90 percent of the care Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers provide is preventive and primary, and the doctors and nurses who deliver that care witness on a daily basis the real need to ensure that women have access to critical tests, screenings, and regular checkups. That’s because preventive health care is lifesaving health care,” said PPFA President Cecile Richards.  “Women of childbearing age spend 68 percent more in out-of-pocket health care costs than men, in part because of reproductive health-related needs.  It is time that women’s health is made a priority, and providing affordable access to essential care is key.  We applaud Senator Mikulski and her colleagues for working to make sure that women are better off under health care reform.”

The Women’s Health Amendment would require health plans to cover comprehensive preventive care and screenings that address women’s unique health care needs without cost sharing. Currently, coverage of comprehensive preventive health care is not guaranteed at zero cost sharing under the bill — for example, regular well-women visits, breast exams, and contraceptive services are not required to be covered at zero cost sharing.

This amendment would require that, in addition to the care and screenings specified in the recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the women’s preventive care outlined by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-supported guidance would also be covered at no cost to patients. The Women’s Health Amendment is critical to guaranteeing that access to women’s comprehensive preventive health care is increased under the health care reform bill.

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Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider. We believe that everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. Planned Parenthood affiliates operate more than 850 health centers nationwide, providing medical services and sexuality education for millions of women, men, and teenagers each year. We also work with allies worldwide to ensure that all women and men have the right and the means to meet their sexual and reproductive health care needs.



Contacts

Tait Sye, 202-973-4882

Published: 12.03.09

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