Today, August 1, is either:
A. Cause for celebration for 47 million American women who, as of today, gain “access to eight new prevention-related health care services without paying more out of their own pocket,” according to Health and Human Services; or
B. Cause for calamity, woe, despair for all patriots and Christians who, as of today, witness the death of religious liberty, the death of the Constitution and the End of America, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
So it seems that HHS and the USCCB have rather different views as to what today signifies. Who should we heed? I’m thinking that maybe the all-male, authoritarian patriarchy commissioned to enforce religious obedience might not be the best source of information on women’s well-being and/or religious liberty. So let’s go with HHS.
“Health care law gives women control over their care, offers free preventive services to 47 million women,” says the press release from the agency (via):
Previously some insurance companies did not cover these preventive services for women at all under their health plans, while some women had to pay deductibles or copays for the care they needed to stay healthy. The new rules in the health care law requiring coverage of these services take effect at the next renewal date – on or after Aug. 1, 2012—for most health insurance plans. For the first time ever, women will have access to even more life-saving preventive care free of charge.
According to a new HHS report also released today, approximately 47 million women are in health plans that must cover these new preventive services at no charge. Women, not insurance companies, can now make health decisions that will keep them healthy, catch potentially serious conditions at an earlier state, and protect them and their families from crushing medical bills.
Specifically, the eight preventive-care provisions that, as of today, will no longer entail any out-of-pocket costs for 47 million American women are:
- Well-woman visits.
- Gestational diabetes screening that helps protect pregnant women from one of the most serious pregnancy-related diseases.
- Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling.
- FDA-approved contraceptive methods, and contraceptive education and counseling.
- Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling.
- HPV DNA testing, for women 30 or older.
- Sexually transmitted infections counseling for sexually-active women.
- HIV screening and counseling for sexually-active women.
In other words, health insurance must cover preventive health care for women.
In other words, the U.S. Catholic bishops and their evangelical “co-belligerents” are anti-preventive health care for women.
Anti-prevention. Anti-health. Anti-care. Anti-women.
Just ponder how many wrong turns a religious leader has to take to wind up so far from love. It’s astonishing.