May 09, 2017

Sens. Warner & Kaine Introduce Bill to Safeguard Key Women’s Preventive Health Care Services

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) joined 46 other Senate Democrats in introducing the Save Women’s Preventive Care Act, new legislation to protect coverage for preventive health care services, like breast cancer screenings, birth control, and domestic violence screenings. Today, 55 million women nationwide have access to birth control, screening and counseling for domestic violence, breast cancer screening, and other essential health care without any out-of-pocket costs due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would threaten the preventive care services that women receive under the ACA.

“The passage of Trumpcare would threaten the health and financial security of the tens of thousands of Virginia women who receive health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act,” said Sen. Warner. “Prior to the passage of the ACA, more than half of women in the United States reported delaying or avoiding preventive care due to cost. The ACA answered the unique health concerns women face by requiring health plans to cover preventive services like annual well-woman visits, cancer screenings, and access to contraceptives. This bill will help us guarantee that future efforts to undermine these protections cannot jeopardize women’s healthcare again.”

“Trumpcare would eliminate essential protections for women created under the Affordable Care Act and could force them to pay more for insurance because of their gender, all to deliver a massive tax cut to the wealthy,” Sen. Kaine said. “The Save Women’s Preventive Care Act would protect against the Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back guarantees for critical preventive services, including cancer and diabetes screenings.”

The ACA helps make preventive care affordable and accessible to all Americans by requiring health plans to cover certain preventive services without cost-sharing—meaning insurers can no longer charge patients a co-pay, coinsurance, or deductible for those highly effective services.

The Save Women’s Preventive Care Act codifies the December 2016 update to the ACA’s Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines issued by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and related guidance on implementation of the coverage requirements. The legislation guarantees women continued access to these key services without cost-sharing. Once signed into the law, the Save Women’s Preventive Care Act would prevent the Trump Administration from revising or rolling back parts of the Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines.

The bill also codifies the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) birth control accommodation as of January 1, 2017, which allows women in certain jobs to continue to benefit from the ACA’s birth control provision without requiring their religiously-affiliated employer to provide or pay for it.

The following preventive services will be guaranteed by this bill:

  • Lactation support and counseling
  • Screening and counseling for domestic violence
  • Screening for gestational diabetes
  • HPV DNA testing
  • Counseling on STIs
  • Counseling and screening for HIV
  • All contraception methods approved by the FDA
  • Breast cancer screening
  • Well Woman visits

The Save Women’s Preventive Care Act is supported by the following organizations: Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, Academy of Women’s Health, American Association of Birth Center, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Medical Student Association, American Nurses Association, American Psychological Association, American Public Health Association, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, March of Dimes, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, National Coalition of STD Directors, National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Society of Gynecologic Oncology, and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

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