Monday, December 9, 2013
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.
Patricia McGargill, a nurse practitioner at Portland Community Health Center, tends to a patient in June.
2012 Press Herald file/Derek Davis
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.
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!
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.
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