As the fourth of July fireworks started exploding in the Wednesday night sky, I had a true reason to celebrate; the upholding of The Affordable Health Care Act. This monumental victory for the health of women and families happened earlier last Thursday, June 28th, and set the stage in my heart and mind to have enjoyed a true independence day. Calling the Affordable Care Act "the greatest advance in women's health in a generation," Planned Parenthood said the law will provide access to birth control and cancer screenings without co-pays, guaranteed direct access to OB/GYN providers without referrals, and an end to discriminatory practices against women, such as charging women higher premiums and denying coverage for "pre-existing conditions." Now that’s what being an American means to me.
Women, just like you and me, who come into our Planned Parenthood health centers often struggle to decide whether to pay for birth control or pay for textbooks, groceries, or gas for the car. The money women will save on birth control each year is equal to five weeks of groceries for a family of four, nine tanks of gas in a minivan, or one semester of college textbooks.
College graduation is slowly sneaking up on me, and while I hope it doesn’t take me more than six months to find a job, the reality of the situation is not necessarily on my side. Finding a job takes real work itself these days, and finding one that includes benefits, well, calling that a rare situation is an extreme understatement. I am no longer scared to graduate thanks to The Affordable Health Care Act.
But the upholding of The Affordable Health Care Act isn’t just about me. It is about all women across the nation, and how it will help them in their daily lives. This is so much bigger than ever imagined, and will literally change the face of Health Care as we know it. I encourage all of you to learn more about how The Affordable Health Care Act will positively affect you at: (http://www.whitehouse.gov/healthreform/healthcare-overview), and to share your unique story on how on August 1st, you will have the tools to start leading a healthier life.