Diane Capps: Women’s healthcare — what’s at stake | SteamboatToday.com

Diane Capps: Women’s healthcare — what’s at stake

What's at stake for women in the upcoming election? This is what is at stake: access to contraceptives and sex education; insurance coverage with free preventive services including mammograms, Pap smears and STD tests; affordable pregnancy and delivery care; and coverage of pre-existing conditions.

The Affordable Care Act, with all its faults, banned "gender rating," or charging women higher premiums than men, and required insurance companies to cover people regardless of their pre-existing conditions.

It also implemented 10 essential preventive health benefits that insurance providers are required to cover — including birth control, cancer screenings (Pap smears and mammograms), vaccines, well-woman checkups and STD testing — without copays or deductibles. The ACA requires that all health insurance coverage must include maternity and prenatal care, mental health and substance abuse treatment and prescription drugs.

Massive public opposition and women-led grassroots organizing has blocked Congress — thus far — in its multiple attempts to dismantle the ACA.

Currently, Trump's proposed Title X changes will enact a domestic gag rule banning health care providers from talking with women about abortion or referring them to abortion providers, and withholding funds from clinics that offer abortion services with their own funds. This proposal is part of a larger policy play to steer funding away from Planned Parenthood, which currently serves about 41 percent of Title X patients because there are so few clinics offering low-income women comprehensive health services.

Just the thought of comprehensive reproductive health care facilities being replaced with anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers or of health insurance without coverage for contraception, mammograms and childbirth, plainly, it makes women sick.

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In the November election, I encourage you to vote for candidates who support women and their healthcare.

Diane Capps

Steamboat Springs

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