Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) myths: “It’s bad for women”

In the delirium that has preceded the launch of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans and other Obama-haters have tried to undermine the new law by distorting its provisions and just plain making stuff up. Ironically, the same folks who have been waging a national war on women and women’s rights would have us believe that they’re outraged at provisions in “Obamacare” that “diminish women’s freedom and privacy.” Not so. In fact, the Affordable Care Act significantly benefits women. Here’s how Media Matters sets the record straight:

According to a September 24 Kaiser Health News story produced in partnership with Cosmopolitan magazine, women can receive birth control and other preventative care under the ACA:

You’re entitled to free preventive care, including birth control. Since 2012, nearly 30 million women have benefitted from free preventive services including checkups, screenings for diabetes and HIV, contraceptives and family planning counseling. The law requires plans to cover all FDA-approved birth control methods without co-pays. This includes pills, injectables, implants, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and sterilization procedures. Plans must cover all brand name contraceptives without generic equivalents, or where the generic equivalent is medically inappropriate. [Kaiser Health News, 9/24/13]

All Plans Will Be Required To Provide Maternity Coverage. According to Kaiser Health News, the Affordable Care Act ensures that all plans cover maternity coverage, which only 12 percent of plans on the individual market currently do:

You’ll have maternity coverage, no matter what. You may not know this but only about 12 percent of health plans sold on the individual market currently include coverage for maternity, according to Judy Waxman of the National Women’s Law Center. But starting next year, all individual health plans will have to include 10 essential health benefits including maternity care, as well as hospitalization, prescription drugs, mental health services and preventive services. [Kaiser Health News, 9/24/13]

Under ACA, Women Cannot Be Charged More Than Men For Coverage. Kaiser Health News explains that, according to the National Women’s Law Center, in 30 percent of cases, nonsmoking women have been charged more than men who smoked. Starting in 2014, “gender rating will be outlawed.” [Kaiser Health News, 9/24/13]

HHS: Women Will Receive Eight Preventative Services With No Co-Pays. According to a Health Resources and Services Administration fact sheet, women will receive eight preventative services with no co-pays including: well-women visits, screening for gestational diabetes, human papillomavirus (HPV) testing, counseling for sexually transmitted infections, counseling and screening for human immune-deficiency virus (HIV), contraceptive methods and counseling, breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling, and screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence. [, accessed 9/27/13]