Yesterday marked the day in which part of “Obamacare”‘s new health regulations kicked in, and I don’t know about you, but I felt a tangible difference in the air. I think it was a combination of two things: the collective sigh of relief from over 47 million American women who benefit from this legislation …
The Affordable Care Act requires many insurance plans to provide coverage for and eliminate cost-sharing on certain recommended preventive health services. In August 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services published guidelines on women’s preventive services that require non-grandfathered health insurance plans to cover certain recommended preventive services specifically for women without charging a co-pay, co-insurance or a deductible beginning in plan years starting on or after August 1, 2012. These services include well-woman visits, screening for gestational diabetes, HPV DNA testing, domestic violence screening and counseling, HIV screening and counseling for sexually transmitted infections, breastfeeding supplies, contraceptive methods and family planning counseling.. Based on the most recent data from the Census Bureau, we estimate that under the Affordable Care Act, approximately 47 million women will have guaranteed access to these preventive services without cost-sharing.
… combined with the smell of conservative Republicans losing bowel control over the fact that demonizing female sexuality on the federal level just got a little more difficult. That didn’t stop some people though. Take freshman Representative and drooling moron Mike Kelly from Pennsylvania:
“I know in your mind you can think of the times America was attacked,” said Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), a freshman.
“One is December 7 — that is Pearl Harbor Day. Another was September 11 — that was the day of the terrorist attack.
“I want you to remember August 1, 2012 — the attack on our religious freedom. That is a date that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.”
Never mind the fact that – as ThinkProgress pointed out – many religious institutions already cover birth control, and the church itself doesn’t have to pay for it. That doesn’t matter. People like Mike are still offended that it’s getting harder for them to hide behind their religion to treat women like property or second-class citizens. That’s a damned shame, but it’s what happens when society collectively realizes that an increasing number of laws laid down by a culture that existed over 2,000 years ago no longer apply to the modern world and should either be rewritten or discarded entirely.
Here is a gigantic info-graphic from the Center for American Progress on how women will benefit from the new laws. I don’t know … after looking at it, I can only conclude that if one of the central tenets of your religion is to prevent things like this from becoming reality, then there’s something seriously wrong with both you and the alleged “god” you worship: