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Fluke writes: "This is the product of women in action - this is what happens when women stand up for what they and their families need to be healthy and are finally heard by people at the highest ranks of our government. This is what it looks like when government works for us and prioritizes our health."

Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown University, testifies during a hearing before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee in Washington, DC, 02/23/12. (photo: Getty Images)
Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown University, testifies during a hearing before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee in Washington, DC, 02/23/12. (photo: Getty Images)



Thank You, Affordable Care Act!

By Sandra Fluke, Reader Supported News

23 March 12

 

ver the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet and speak with several media outlets in an effort to tell the stories of women who would be helped by comprehensive reproductive healthcare, particularly affordable access to contraception through insurance. While this experience has been emotionally and physically exhausting, I have been repeatedly moved by the hundreds of women and men who have contacted me to show support. Lest we forget where this conversation started, I would like to take this opportunity to take a step back to exactly two years ago and acknowledge the tremendous difference that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is making and will continue to make in women's lives everywhere.

This law, also known as health reform, will benefit over 45 million women in our country through increased access to preventive care services without copays and deductibles. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act's new requirements that private insurance and Medicare cover these services without cost-sharing, by the time the law is fully implemented in 2014, women will benefit from, among other services: mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, pre and post natal care, flu shots, regular well-baby, well-child and well-woman visits, domestic violence screening, and the full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives.

If this seems too good to be true, think again. This is the product of women in action - this is what happens when women stand up for what they and their families need to be healthy and are finally heard by people at the highest ranks of our government. This is what it looks like when government works for us and prioritizes our health.

And just as we will not be silenced when we are verbally attacked for speaking out, we will not go back to a society without this care. My colleagues and friends at my university who struggle with polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, unintended pregnancy, and even the terrible consequences of sexual assault understand what it's like for someone else to make their health care decisions for them. New moms who need to space their children, young women who are starting their careers, and low income women who struggle to afford basic necessities understand the need to control their reproduction. I have tried to represent them by talking about their experiences - but any influence I might have is only due to their courage in coming forward.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, that courage is reaping as yet untold benefits. I look forward to the day when students at my university finally have the comprehensive reproductive health coverage they need to stay healthy. I look forward to never again hearing about a friend who lost her ovary to a tennis ball-sized cyst because she couldn't afford to keep paying for contraception out of pocket. I look forward to the unintended pregnancy rate in our country, which is stuck at half of all pregnancies, finally declining. I look forward to more women surviving breast and cervical cancer because they were diagnosed early. I look forward to the end of gender rating in insurance, which can inflate premiums for young women by 150% compared to their male counterparts, and which costs women of all ages an extra $1 billion per year. And I look forward to knowing that when my friends choose to start their families, they will not be faced with the 87% of individual insurance plans that do not currently cover maternity care, and they will not be labeled as having a "preexisting condition" if it turns out they need a C-section.

I know that when women have the opportunity, they will take care of their health, which in the end benefits both our families and our country. On this second anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, I express my gratitude and celebrate the new opportunity for healthy lives, before, during and after our reproductive years.

Sandra Fluke is a third-year law student at Georgetown University Law Center and has served as President of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice.

 

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+72 # capnDave 2012-03-23 12:58
Go Sandra ! You are the Cindy Sheehan of health care.
 
 
+94 # PABLO DIABLO 2012-03-23 12:58
How refreshing to hear an intelligent voice finally. THANK YOU Sandra Fluke.
 
 
+72 # poorlocavore 2012-03-23 13:21
Please, Ms. Fluke, please run for Congress. Please.
 
 
+50 # chrisconnolly 2012-03-23 14:55
Every woman should read this letter. I don't think enough women realize that we have to pay more for our premiums or that a C-section could be considered a pre-existing condition. We are certainly a cruel and calculating society if we can stack the deck against an entire group known as the 'weaker sex'. I thought christian teachings were about helping those who are less fortunate not hindering their every step.
 
 
+36 # tclose 2012-03-23 15:02
Thank you, Ms. Fluke, for coming forward once again into the fray, especially given the opposition out there. You are a inspiration not only to many women, but also to the many men who love these women.

And thanks be to President Obama, who put is administration on the line for this legislation, and who has like you suffered the slings and arrows from the other side for his trouble. Lets work to keep him in the White House, and to win back the Congress.
 
 
+35 # jeannere 2012-03-23 15:02
Thank you, Sandra, for your courage in testifying and dealing with all that has happened since. I agree with and admire you.
 
 
-18 # diacad 2012-03-23 15:24
I disagree with Fluke's support of PPACA "affordable health care". Obama miscarried on the birth control issue because his PPACA largely depends on government-subs idized employer-provid ed private insurance. Many individual Catholics, and certainly many employees of Catholic enterprises, choose to avail themselves of birth control if they feel the need. It is the Church bigwigs that set the "anti" policy; not by some sort of plebiscite of believers.

The ship-of-state compromise seeks to dodge this iceberg.

However, there are other icebergs in the rough ocean ahead for Obama and his PPACA subsidized private insurance sweetheart deal. Abortion! Artificial insemination! In-vitro fertilization! Certain employers, other than the Catholic Church, may object to these being covered by their plans. Will we add more epicycles to the administration' s Ptolemaic health care system? Better to get insurance profiteers out of the system entirely!

With single payer, as in HR-676, Obama would not have a problem, because application for birth control measures (or abortion) would be up to the individual. Employer-provid ed private health insurance would be a thing of the past., and so would employer discretion on who and what kind of care -this would be up to the patient, the doctor, plus whom the patient may choose to help decide. Including religious leaders.
 
 
+4 # Carbonman1950 2012-03-24 20:20
Too fast. Give this a chance to work for a while. People will enjoy its benefits and discover its deficiencies and in a few years we'll work on fixing those deficiencies. I too support universal medical aka Medicare For All aka The National Health, but with the Congress in place PPACA was about the best that could be done at the time. I'm hoping we'll get there eventually. In the mean time, let's celebrate the good that has been done.
 
 
+27 # Archie1954 2012-03-23 15:27
Ms. Fluke is the perfect spokesperson for the 99%.
 
 
+26 # cordleycoit 2012-03-23 15:53
Glad to hear women start speaking out. There is something ludicrous about old men talking about women's health issues. The the far right have to face the fact they are a minority no matter how much of the media they own.
 
 
+30 # Jane Gilgun 2012-03-23 15:58
How important to get the facts out to the public. Republicans lie.
 
 
-37 # disgusted American 2012-03-23 16:08
Sandra Fluke is correct about women's care costing more and discriminations that she points out, but Obamacare won't do anything to change that nor will it provide affordable access to care with decent benefits for all.

It appears that Fluke has allowed herself to be co-opted by Obama by coming out for his plan that is very unpopular. Perhaps she doesn't know how Obamacare works and, of course, politicians aren't going to tell her or you the details. I hope she (and you) take a moment to learn about what's coming into your life disguised as health care reform.

Residents of MA know full well how this POS works. How many is it OK to exploit in order to benefit very few?

For how Obamacare works, see my three-part post on RSN at this link:

http://www.readersupportednews.org/off-site-opinion-section/72-72/10530-hurray-for-health-reform
 
 
-19 # diacad 2012-03-23 16:49
I disagree with Fluke's support of PPACA "Affordable Care Act". Obama miscarried on the birth control issue because his PPACA largely depends on government-subs idized employer-provid ed private insurance. Many individual Catholics, and certainly many employees of Catholic enterprises, choose to avail themselves of birth control if they feel the need. It is the Church bigwigs that set the "anti" policy; not some sort of plebiscite of believers.

The ship-of-state compromise seeks to dodge this iceberg.

However, there are other icebergs in the rough ocean ahead for Obama and his PPACA subsidized private insurance sweetheart deal. Abortion! Artificial insemination! In-vitro fertilization! Certain employers, other than the Catholic Church, may object to these being covered by their plans. Will we add more epicycles to the administration' s Ptolemaic health care system? Better to get insurance profiteers out of the system entirely!

With single payer, as in HR-676, Obama would not have a problem, because application for birth control measures (or abortion) would be up to the individual. Employer-provid ed private health insurance would be a thing of the past., and so would employer discretion on who and what kind of care -this would be up to the patient, the doctor, plus whom the patient may choose to help decide. Including religious leaders.
 
 
+20 # lcarrier 2012-03-23 17:08
Right on, Sandra. You will win this fight, and I'll be in your corner all the way.
 
 
+31 # Blair 2012-03-23 17:14
Sandra Fluke is a courageous woman. We must thank her and stand behind her. I'd also like to add, because the Affordable Care Act is so unfairly portrayed in the media, that it has provided health care for thousands of temp/contract workers. I know because I am one. I’ve worked as a contract project manager since last July. I was surprised, when last December, the agency I am contracted under sent me a letter announcing the availability of several health care options. I had cancelled my Cobra because it was too expensive. I was 59 years old and without health insurance for the first time in my life. I signed up immediately. I didn’t realize that this was one of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act – all companies with 50 or more employees must provide health care – until I was reading Thomas Frank’s book, Pity the Billionaires. I was surprised, stunned and grateful. It’s not the best coverage, but it’s inexpensive and covers the basics. I can relax now and not worry as much should I have a health issue. I truly cannot understand how anyone can be against the Affordable Care Act.
 
 
+11 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-23 19:30
Ignorant would rather stay ignorant and believe liars.

There is way to go to make it better, but it is a start. The pre existing...unle ss you are soooo stupid, you will find out how good this one sentence is.
Insurance companies can go back to childhood and declare a childhood cold is a pre existing disease and say No Then you must fight until your dead, they win. Grow up People, join with us and make changes from within...stop destroying America and Families.
 
 
-31 # maui_paul 2012-03-23 18:50
"will benefit from, among other services: mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, flu shots, regular well-baby, and the full range of Food and Drug Administration- approved contraceptives."

Will Benefit? Comforting erroneous ideas ie, flu shots are unproven and without question acutely unsafe for some and potentially immune weakening for all.
Mammograms, definitely unsafe, cause more cancer than they diagnose exposing the breasts to ionizing radiation, are notoriously unreliable, costly, prone to false positives and false negatives, causing far more disease than they will ever properly diagnose without mentioning the huge amount of emotional distress leading to biopsies when much more sensitive, cost effective screening has been available for over a decade. FDA approval? If you think this corporate promoting agency is protecting your health and well being no amount of accurate information could open your eyes. Premarin causes malignancy but this FDA approved horse enslaving hormone replacer from Wyeth-Ayerst netted the company billions before the obvious became common knowledge. The examples are endless. Well baby checkups? If your baby is well stay away for docs is the best advice from deceased pediatrician Robert Medelsohn founder of Head Start, author of How to Raise a Healthy Child...
This case is anything but compelling as beneficial for women's health. It reads as a well intentioned misinformation campaign but may be more sinister in its origins.
 
 
+19 # tazia@aol.com 2012-03-23 21:16
Judging from your "name" you do not posses a uterus or female breasts, therefore are not expert enough to comment..if I am wrong I apologize. I would like to know where you get your facts from..dead doctors don't count. Both my children have had well baby checks and have lived to be healthy teen agers. My son would have died as a two year old if his pediatrician hadn't seen that he had breathing issues due to enlarged tonsils. You are either uninformed or you just give into the notion that health care for women and children is not worth the cost...in either case you don't have a clue.
 
 
0 # maui_paul 2012-03-26 16:51
Neither case is the case... I am a primary care physician with 23 years of clinical experience but as you say don't have these organs. We could test these "notions" rather easily. I know the difference between health care and profiteering for corporate interests. Any physician knows about respiratory distress including Dr. Mendlesohn who covered well patient visits in detail. Enlarged tonsils have causes typically allergic response to dairy. Kids are much better off keeping their first line of immune response in nearly all cases. This discussion seems to be characterized by simple people with opinions based on little or nothing.
 
 
+11 # Willman 2012-03-23 20:34
This is all well and good.
BUUUUUUT the "Supreme Court" will hear arguments for and against this act next week. Any guesses on the vote?
I am not real confident on the positive outcome from the current crop of 5 justices.And I use that term (justices)loose ly.
 
 
+3 # Carbonman1950 2012-03-24 20:39
I agree. This SCOTUS is a worry.

The Citizens United decision has intrinsic faults and is likely to do lasting damage to the nation before it is overturned. However, for me its most important feature is that it exposed the truly "activist" character of this Court.

In this case and ruling the Court went far beyond the facts and law of the case before it and solicited legal argument on matters not relevant to the case before it. It then overturned precedent by using a definition of person-hood written by a long ago court clerk, but never included in any previous Court ruling. THAT is the very definition of judicial activism. Notice that activism does not hinge on how the court ruled, but rather on the way it played fast and loose with the traditions and longstanding policies of the Supreme Court. We should worry about them, because Citizens United made it absolutely clear that THIS Court has NO respect for precedent or for the history of the Court of which it is just the current incarnation.

The only hope we have of preventing the "conservative" ideologues on the Court from taking absolute control of the Court is to vote in a President unlikely to nominate another "conservative" to the high bench.
 
 
+3 # Lila 2012-03-24 01:58
I think some of you are giving negative ratings to comments that need to be read more carefully. One mentions single payer, which is really the way to go as it cuts the insurance corporations out of the equation. This is why most other countries with health care have single payer or a variation thereof. Another seemingly unpopular comment I agree with is that the FDA is a tragic farce---it has revolving doors with Big Pharma which it is protecting fervently, instead of the health of U.S. citizens. There is much evidence for this and it is very damning and very sad. I could go on but you won't read it if I do.
 
 
+1 # Robt Eagle 2012-03-24 06:14
Nice to see dissenting opinions on this site rather than everyone agreeing on issues. This shouldn't be a one sided conversation!
 
 
+2 # Todd Williams 2012-03-24 08:02
Certainly Robert. There's nothing inherently bad about expressing dissenting opinions, unless you're wrong!
 

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