August 1, 2012

August 1 is a great day for women. Today a new provision under the Affordable Care Act goes into effect ensuring women all over the country have access to preventive services and diagnostic care without co-pays or deductibles. A free annual well-women visit including screenings for cervical cancer and STIs is part of the new law. Also included are domestic violence screenings, FDA-approved contraception, and breast feeding counseling and supplies. Public Radio in Southern California reported an important aspect of the well-women visits is the chance a patient now has to “sit down and talk to her health care provider.”

At a press conference held by Senate Democrats yesterday Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa spoke movingly about his two (and only) sisters who died of breast cancer. Both sisters might have been saved if they had better access to screenings and mammograms. See Rachel Maddow’s coverage of the press conference below. Sen Harkin speaks at minute 5:40 and one of my favorite women’s health champions, the great Sen Barbara Mikulski (also the longest serving woman in Congress) is at minute 5:02. Click here to see video!

Barbara Glickstein, RN, MPH, Co-Director, CHMP