Starting Aug. 1, new preventive health-care provisions in the Affordable Care Act went into effect. These provisions will have real benefits for people across the country, but especially for women, children and families. Before the ACA was implemented, simply being born a woman was considered a pre-existing condition by health insurers, and women were charged more in health insurance premiums simply because they were women. Thanks to the ACA, health insurance companies can no longer charge women higher premiums and can no longer deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, such as breast cancer, having previously had a C-section or being the victim of domestic violence. Additionally, the ACA guarantees that basic preventive care for women will be covered without any out-of-pocket cost, including birth control, cancer screenings, annual checkups and screenings for diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

As a young woman attending graduate school in Maine, I know I will be able to access the kind of health care I deserve because of the new ACA requirements. Women deserve basic preventive health care at no additional charge.

These benefits will help not only women but also men, children and whole families because the women in their lives — their mothers, daughters, partners and parents — will now have access to the preventive basic health care they need to stay healthy and to keep their families healthy.

Jacqueline Moss

Cumberland

Birth control pills and IUDs prevent more than 90 percent of unwanted pregnancies.

Coverage for these services, as of this August, are now included in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and are bound to mean fewer abortions, and that is something both pro- and anti-choice people can surely support.

There are many screenings, services and procedures now fully covered by Obamacare for women, such as well-woman visits; screening for gestational diabetes; human papillomavirus (HPV) testing; counseling for sexually transmitted infections; counseling and screening for human immune-deficiency virus; contraceptive methods and counseling; breast-feeding support, supplies and counseling; and screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence. See www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines for more information.

Incredibly, before Obamacare, women paid up to 50 percent more for health care than men. Not anymore!

Polly Shaw

Bath

Nonprofit offers way for artists to ensure legacy

We were delighted to read “For Maine artists, a lasting legacy” (July 30). We have another possible solution for Mr. Barnet and the aging artists and their families seeking ways to preserve their legacy and solve the puzzle of disseminating their artwork after their deaths. It is called The Art Connection.

The Art Connection enriches and empowers underserved communities by expanding access to original works of art for those who may not have the opportunity to experience the transformative possibilities of art in their lives. We facilitate the choice of permanent art donations from artists and other donors in local social services agencies. Staff at recipient agencies find that original artwork enlivens their spaces and connects them to their constituents in profound ways. Once the artwork is installed in the agencies, works are permanently on display, as opposed to museums where donated artworks risk ending up in storage.

The Art Connection often has been called upon by the families of aging and deceased artists to assist them with this concern. We recently published a story, “Family Legacies,” to honor the lives and work of a selection of such artists, as told by their children. Please read it at our website: www.theartconnection.org.

Will Barnet’s inspiration for art began in part when he found the comfort he desperately sought at Boston’s MFA. How fitting, then, that The Art Connection began in Boston and is now supporting expansion in sites around the country!

In its effort to support art giving programs, The Art Connection currently seeks collaborating organizations around New England and the East Coast.

Perhaps in Maine there is an arts organization or college that would like to work with us to create a program to further assist Maine’s artists in finding permanent homes for their work while increasing access to art among underserved communities.

Susan Collings

executive director, The Art Connection, Boston

Same-sex marriage would damage American society

So much will be written and so much has been written in the press about same-gender marriage, and yet so few truths have been or will be brought forth. 

It really could be summarized in a few words. With our American way of life and American culture, the culture we inherited from our forebears who believed in Christian civilization, we cannot ordain same-gender or polygamous or any other unusual or unnatural forms of marriage and expect this nation to continue to be a stable and prosperous society. 

And prosperous is more than just economic wealth, but in being the kind of society that one would wish to live in. 

Those who say same-gender marriage will have no detrimental effects refuse to allow or believe the facts of the many true studies of its effects on children and its disastrous effects on marriage in those places where it has been in fashion for a length of time. 

Like so many passing notions that invade society, some have mild effects and are gone; others leave a legacy of permanent damage and some destroy altogether. Those who are rigidly opposed to looking at facts that disagree with their ideology will not listen regardless of how much data is presented. 

But there are many of you who are seeking to do the right thing and have been led to believe that if you stand against the gay wave, you are bigoted. Please think for yourself and save the family, and with it our American society.

William D. Tappan

Eliot