Today marks the second anniversary of the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. According to government data released in September, since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act allowed those under age 26 to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans, almost 1 million people ages 19-25 have gained access to health insurance. Since the provision went into effect in 2010, the number of young adults who are uninsured decreased from 34 percent to 30 percent, according to the Washington Post. The government estimates that between 25 and 50 percent young people under 26 are now covered under their parents’ insurance policies.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated, “With women’s health front and center in the political debate, we celebrate a law that puts women in charge of their own health decisions and, for the first time, gives women access to free, lifesaving preventive care services, like mammograms. Starting this summer, coverage will include other critical services, such as contraception. And when the Affordable Care Act takes full effect, no longer will being a woman be a pre-existing medical condition.”

Currently under the ACA, daughters and sons under 26 years of age can receive insurance through their parents’ coverage. The donut hole for seniors is closing and certain preventive procedures, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and pap smears, no longer require a co-payment or other direct costs. Under the ACA, private insurance plans beginning on or after August 1, 2012 will also cover an annual well-woman visit and a variety of specific health screenings and counseling, such as for domestic and interpersonal violence, gestational diabetes, cervical cancer (an HPV DNA screening), HIV and STIs, as well as all FDA-approved contraceptives, breastfeeding support, lactation services, and supplies.

President Obama signed the final version of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010. The final law will eventually add coverage for 32 million people, increasing access to family planning and preventive care.

Statement of Nancy Pelosi 3/23/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 9/22/11

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