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STATEMENT OF                            CONTACT:  Gretchen Wrightor Molly Tomlinson
Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner                                                        202/371-1999
Executive Director, CEO and Co-Founder,
MomsRising, on the Preventive Health Care Provisions
of the Affordable Care Act
 
July 31, 2012
 
“There's no question that millions of American women, moms and their families have already benefitted from the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Moms like Christine Farley, whose son has Cystic Fibrosis, and who no longer has to worry that he’ll be denied coverage because of his pre-existing condition or run into a lifetime cap on his health care coverage. Moms like Tracy Munoz, whose adult sons will be covered under her and her husband’s insurance plans until they reach 26. And moms like Julie Walters, whose daughter Violet suffers from a rare, expensive and life-threatening form of epilepsy. 
 
“Now, the new contraceptive and preventive health services provisions are moving us even further toward keeping our families healthy and strong. In fact, it was recently announced today approximately 47 million more women helped under these new Well Women provisions.
 
“Let’s start with an important benefit for new moms: breastfeeding support and supplies. Over80 percent of American women have children by the time they're 44 years old.  Since our inception, MomsRising has supported the right of moms to breastfeed, as the healthiest way to feed their babies. There’s a mountain of evidence supporting the health benefits of breastfeeding to both babies and to their moms, including babies’ improved immune systems. Breastfeeding is natural, but most moms can tell you that it’s not always easy.  Lactation consultants and supplies like breast pumps, which allow moms to give their kids the benefits of breast milk even when they’re away, or when the child can’t breastfeed directly, will go a long way in helping extend the benefits of breastfeeding to more families.
 
“Of course, before you breastfeed, you want to have a healthy pregnancy to begin with. Preventive care, like screening for gestational diabetes, because gestational diabetes is a danger to pregnant moms and to the babies they’re carrying, is now covered. Full coverage for that screening will help ensure that expectant moms know what steps they need to take to have a healthy pregnancy and the healthiest possible baby or babies. 
 
“As you’ve heard, women are more likely than men to forgo health care, including preventive care, because of the cost. Women earn less, on average, than men, just 77 cents for every dollar men earn. And moms, in particular, experience wage discrimination: Moms earn 73 cents to a man’s dollar, single moms earn about 60 cents, and Black and Hispanic women who work full-time, year ‘round earn only 64 cents and 56 cents, respectively, to a man’s dollar.  
 
“Coverage for preventive services without co-payments or deductibles will make it possible for many moms to get the important preventive care and screenings that will help keep them healthy and reduce the cost of health care over the long haul. Moms need their well woman visits and the full range of health screenings, including for domestic violence.
 
“And while we may not always talk about it a lot, mothers’ sexual health is extremely important to a family’s well-being.  The provisions going into effect will also provide coverage for routine gynecological visits, and for contraception. Affordable birth control allows women to plan the timing and size of their families in order to protect their and their children’s health.  In fact, studies show a direct link between increased access to birth control and declines in infant and maternal mortality.
 
“MomsRising and our more than a million members fought hard for health reform. We made more than 600,000 contacts with Members of Congress, including email messages, phone calls, and in-person deliveries of messages and personal stories. The Affordable Care Act is already making life better for moms and their families. These new provisions will help even more. They will improve not just the health and lives of women, moms and families, but also help to make our entire nation healthier and stronger. These are critically important health and economic security advances for women, and the more than a million members of MomsRising will continue to fight for the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  After all, everyone gets sick, and everyone should have a chance to get better.”

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MomsRising.org is an online and on-the-ground grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to achieve economic security for all families in the United States. MomsRising is working for paid family leave, flexible work options, affordable child care, and for an end to the wage and hiring discrimination which penalizes so many mothers.  MomsRisingalso advocates for health care for all, toxic-free environments, and breastfeeding rights so that all children can have a healthy start. Established in 2006, MomsRising and its members are organizing and speaking out to improve public policy and to change the national dialogue on issues that are critically important to America’s families. In 2012, Forbes.com named MomsRising's web site as one of the Top 100 Websites For Women for the third year in a row.