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I forwarded this Planned Parenthood press release to everyone who would not kill me for sending out a mass political mailing.

A lot of these anti-woman and anti-health care privacy  bills are SNUCK through because they're hoping no one is watching.  (e.g., did you know that Bush made it so that you have less privacy under HIPAA than you did before HIPAA?)

This is more of this Administration's pandering to the insurance companies. Pap smears and OB care are extremely expensive for insurance companies. The "Affordability" referred to in the title is affordability for insurance companies, not patients. I love how this bill is called HIMmaa...gets the point across nicely.

Anyway, write/call your senators and tell them that we are all holding them accountable for sound health care decisions that benefit patients in the fall and forevermore, NOT insurance companies.

WASHINGTON, DC -- Today the United States Senate is considering a bill that would have a serious and damaging impact on health coverage for women across the United States. The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (HIMMAA), introduced by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) would allow insurance companies to ignore nearly all state laws that require insurance coverage for certain treatments or conditions, such as laws that require them to include contraceptives in their prescription plans.

"We need to move forward, not backward in expanding access to quality health care, including birth control," said Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards. "Congress should work to protect patients, not undermine them."

This federal legislation would raze hundreds of state laws that ensure patients can get the medical care they need and would

not allow women to designate their ob/gyns as primary care providers

not allow women to seek care directly from their ob/gyns, but would force them to be screened by their primary care doctors first

dismantle coverage for contraception

dismantle coverage for annual cervical cancer exams

not allow women to stay with the same doctor throughout a pregnancy, if that doctor was dropped from the insurance provider

For years, many insurance plans covered prescription drugs, but refused to cover birth control pills and other prescription contraceptives for women. In the past decade lawmakers in 23 states have remedied this inequity and enacted contraceptive coverage laws. Under HIMMAA women will lose contraceptive-equity protections currently guaranteed by state law

"States enacted protective laws to ensure that women receive the quality health care and fair treatment that they deserve," said Richards. "We can't allow the health care industry to steamroll over these protections. Congress needs to stand up for women's health and safety."

###

Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider. We believe that everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. Planned Parenthood affiliates operate more than 850 health centers nationwide, providing medical services and sexuality education for millions of women, men, and teenagers each year. We also work with allies worldwide to ensure that all women and men have the right and the means to meet their sexual and reproductive health care needs.
www.plannedparenthood.org

Originally posted to Janusdog on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 05:59 AM PST.

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