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Late last week, an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed in the U.S. Senate. The process was fraught, intense and emotional. In step with an unfortunate trend in American politics, the majority of the debate was conducted by our overwhelmingly male representatives.
The discussion of which healthcare services should be provided to all citizens in this country is far from over, and it has substantial implications for women and families. In this uncertain time, we feel it is important to put our thoughts out there.
Another fact: It’s 2017. Moms work. We get it: most of our staff are moms. For mothers to nurse and work, they need a pump. Period. It doesn’t work otherwise. We are committed to providing this service for as long as we can.
When the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010, one of its primary provisions was a requirement that insurance plans cover ten Essential Health Benefits. Included in the ten Essential Health Benefits are several services that affect women and moms directly, including maternity and newborn care, preventative care like mammograms and cervical cancer screenings, and access to free or low-cost breast pumps.
That’s why Ashland Health is able to ensure all moms have access to breast pumps and other lactation resources they need to take the best possible care of themselves and their babies.
The Better Health Care Reconciliation Act that failed on Friday sought to give insurance providers’ more freedom to waive some of the Affordable Care Act’s requirements, including the ten Essential Health Benefits. This would have made it more difficult for women to obtain a breast pump, a tool that is 100% needed in 2017. We are thankful that this effort failed: but we’re concerned that the validity of women’s essential healthcare needs was ever called into question.
The need for breast pumps is not going anywhere. Nor is the need for comprehensive prenatal and postnatal care for the well being of new moms and their babies. We, like you, are concerned about any legislation that could push essential medical care for our fellow mothers, and their sons and daughters, out of reach.
The future of healthcare in America is uncertain right now, but our commitment to supporting and advocating for all women at Ashland Health is unwavering. No matter what happens, we will be here. Whether you have questions, concerns or just need to talk — we are here for you.