Congratulations to all the ladies on the wonderful litany of health care benefits that became available to you yesterday ( August 1, 2012). Because of the Democratic Party, you, as a matter of law, are now guaranteed a slew of health care services under your health insurance that previously were not guaranteed. Unless Republicans muster enough political power to get these benefits repealed, which they are rigorously attempting to do, the coverages are assured to you as long as you have health insurance.
The new services are:
• annual wellness examination.
• gestational diabetes screening for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant and at the first prenatal visit for women who are at a higher risk for diabetes.
• high-risk human papillomavirus, or HPV, testing every three years regardless of Pap smear results for women who are 30 or older.
• annual counseling on sexually transmitted infections.
• screening and counseling on HIV/AIDS.
• access to contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration, sterilization procedures and education.
• breast-feeding support, supplies and counseling for pregnant and postpartum women.
• screening and counseling for domestic and interpersonal violence.
According to a U.S. Health and Human Services report, about 47 million women are in health plans that must cover these new preventive services.
And many men, including myself, do not liken this landmark day in America to 9-11 or Pearl Harbor or any such thing, as did Republican Congressman Mike Kelly. And we don't support Mitt Romney, who has pledged to overturn the law that affords you these new protections. We are so happy for you that this preventive health care mandate will make you women healthier and happier, and many of you will actually avoid debilitating and life threatening illnesses because of this law.
And we don't view your good health as the price of religious freedom in America, so we won't be sacrificing your well-being at any altars any more, whether it be the altar of obscene insurance company profits or the literal altars of the Christian right. We respect your religious freedom AND your right to good health, and that's a healthy combination in my book.
Thank you Democratic Party for fighting for the good health of American women and for continuing to fight the Republican Party's efforts to turn back these long overdue reforms. And to all those who vote in the Presidential election to prevent Mitt Romney from realizing his goal to deprive our female loved ones of these legal protections, I thank you as well. So ladies, here's to your health. Clink.