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Earlier today I was honored to be a part of a powerful event-- The Future is Today: Implementing Health Care Reform That Works for Women, sponsored by the Los Angeles County Coalition for Women and Health Reform. Over 300 guests, including women's health experts, advocates, and providers, packed The California Endowment auditorium to discuss the most effective means of collaboration to ensure that women's health is recognized, prioritized, and protected as L.A. County faces the enormous task of implementing The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) otherwise known as health care reform.
We know that women face unique barriers when seeking healthcare. Around the country, one in five non-elderly women is uninsured, and there are over 17 million women in need of publicly supported reproductive health care. Uninsured women are more than twice as likely to not have received a pap test in the last year, and it's these types of routine screenings that prevent 80% of invasive cancer cases. At Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, we've been working for nearly 50 years ensure that all people have access to quality, affordable reproductive health care-- regardless of insurance status-- and will continue this mission in the context of health reform.
While the historic health bill marked several victories for women's health, we still have a lot of work ahead of us to make these promises a reality. As advocates, it is our role to educate the nearly 2 million uninsured Angelenos about their new health care options. It is also our responsibility to ensure that these new options meet the comprehensive needs of women. We must protect women's ability to visit their doctor of choice, and to seek confidential medical care. We hope you will join us as a fellow advocate in these groundbreaking efforts as our coalition works to ensure that women and men around Los Angeles County have access to the health care they need and deserve.
President and CEO
September 11, 2011