Sign the petition asking Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to accept these medically-based recommendations and to support no-cost contraception.
And this excellent petition: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6309/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5434
IOM Report: Clinical Preventive Services for Women: Closing the Gaps
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) addresses preventive services for both men and women of all ages, and women in particular stand to benefit from additional preventive health services. The Department of Health and Human Services charged the IOM with reviewing what preventive services are important to women’s health and well-being and then recommending which of these should be considered in the development of comprehensive guidelines. The IOM recommends that women’s preventive services include, among other services, improved screening for cervical cancer, sexually transmitted infections, and HIV; a fuller range of contraceptive education, counseling, methods, and services; services for pregnant women; at least one well-woman preventive care visit annually; and screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence.
From Trust Women/SilverRibbon:
An expert Institute of Medicine panel commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services has recommended 8 preventive health services that should be provided without copayments or deductibles, under the terms of the Affordable Care Act.
The IOM panel report embraces a number of public health priorities identified in testimony to the panel by the EQUAL Health Network .
“Women’s health will benefit substantially from better access to these key services once they are cost-free: contraception, breastfeeding and support services, screening and counseling for domestic violence, and an annual well-woman visit, ” said Ellen R. Shaffer, PhD, Co-Director of the Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign and the EQUAL Health Network. “This constellation of services offers women and their families enormous opportunities to better control and to improve their life circumstances.”
“The IOM’s nonpartisan evidence-based decision to cover contraception without charge is long overdue,” according to Dr. Sophia Yen, MD, an adolescent medicine physician practicing at Packard Children’s Hospital. “This will be a huge stride in preventing unintended pregnancies and thus unnecessary abortions. I’ve seen too many women change to less effective methods of birth control because of costs in these dire financial times. Cost-free coverage for birth control is a critical life-line to millions of women and their families.”
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, New York Times: “We are one step closer to saying goodbye to an era when simply being a woman is treated as a pre-existing condition,” Ms. Mikulski said. “We are saying hello to an era where decisions about preventive care and screenings are made by a woman and her doctor, not by an insurance company.”
Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific:
As part of the Affordable Care Act (aka Health Care Reform), an independent panel (the IOM) was charged with recommending which women’s health services were to be considered preventive care – thus free or at low cost. The final decision now lies with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which is expected in August of this year.
The new health care reform law represents the single biggest opportunity to advance women’s health in 45 years, and this recommendation could have one of the most far-reaching impacts we have seen in generations. Medical data, public opinion, now the IOM are now all on the same page– for the first time in our national history, Birth Control without access-blocking cost barriers is within reach.
Sign the Birth Control Matters Petition now!
Heather Saunders Estes, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific
Want to know more about the recommendations? Join Raising Women’s Voices coordinators and Susan Wood, Director of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health, on Thursday, July 21 at noon EDT, to review the IOM report and discuss what it means for women. Register here for the call and to get the call-in information.
Spread the word! Share the news about the IOM report with your network on Twitter. Include #ThankYouIOM to show your support and encourage your followers to do the same. Also check out RWV’s twitter profile for the #ThankYouIOM Twibbon.
The National Women’s Law Center
We women already know it, but it’s nice to have a panel of experts confirm it: contraception is preventive health care!
But we’re not done yet – Obama Administration officials will decide soon whether to accept the expert recommendations released earlier today.
Sign our petition asking Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to accept these medically-based recommendations and to support no-cost contraception.
The Hill: Women’s health advocates praise IOM recommendations
Statement from Dr. Susan Wood Regarding IOM Report that Recommends Eight Additional Women’s Health Preventative Services for Coverage
Statement from Susan F. Wood, PhD
Associate Professor of Health Policy
Director, Jacob Institute of Women’s Health
The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services
Former Assistant Commissioner for Women’s Health, FDA
Women know that preventive services for women includes family planning. Today the IOM confirmed that contraception is prevention and is part of the prevention package that should be covered by all health care plans. By reducing co-pays and deductibles for women getting contraception, this will help women and couples plan their families, space their children, reduce unintended pregnancies, and promote better health for women and children. Preventing unintended pregnancies is the best way to prevent abortion.
Women spend decades of their lives trying to prevent pregnancy, and only a few years actually trying to get pregnant and having children. Making contraception affordable by eliminating co-pays and deductibles is common sense for millions of women and couples across the country – and a real benefit that women will see immediately in their pocketbooks. This coverage of contraception will truly help “Close the Gaps” for women.
Contraception is not controversial – except sometimes for politicians. But this should not be political; coverage of contraception should be based on the evidence as outlined by IOM, which shows that contraception for women is indeed safe and effective prevention. Along with well-woman visits and critical screening for gestational diabetes, STDs, domestic violence, and other important women’s health preventive services, the IOM report “Closing the Gaps” has helped ensure that women’s health counts when we talk about prevention. Women should not be blocked from these critical preventive services due to cost or political debate.