Health Care Reform
College students were among the first to benefit from the new health care law’s no co-pay coverage of contraception and other women’s preventive health services. As of August 1, 2012, all new health insurance plans must cover key women’s preventive health care services — including contraception and HIV counseling and testing — without imposing additional costs like co-pays.
Shortly before the end of 2012, in one whirlwind 24-hour period, I got a chance to talk to both President Obama and to Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Both of these opportunities came during holiday parties: one at the White House and one in HHS’s D.C. headquarters.
They call us the “Sandwich Generation,” which sounds kind of nice. Who doesn’t like a good sandwich? But that phrase obscures a reality that virtually every woman either faces today or will face tomorrow: caring for herself while simultaneously looking after her children, parents, in-laws and, sometimes, grandparents. All this while coping with a challenging economy and a health care system that fails to consistently deliver high-quality, well-coordinated care.
Can you imagine swimming the English Channel? I certainly can’t. I used to enjoy running long-ish road races when I lived in Southern California, but there’s no comparison between jogging for 2-3 hours and swimming through open water for over 14 hours. But, in 1926, a young woman named Trudy Erdele had the courage to try what no woman had ever accomplished.
Despite the huge and positive changes the health care law has made in the way health insurance works for people, the majority of Americans still don’t support the law or have mixed views about it. Why is that?