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Reid: First day of Health Care Act is a ‘good day’ for women in Nevada
by Jill Lufrano
Aug 01, 2012 | 1633 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO — The national Affordable Care Act, which officially began Wednesday, was lauded by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as being “a good day” for women in Nevada.

During a phone press conference, Reid espoused the benefits of the new act as one of the most profound changes for women that has ever taken effect, allowing them to become equal to men in many ways, including providing women with free contraception and breastfeeding support, and ending the concept of pre-existing conditions and a host of other prohibiting factors.

“Today, new things are going to kick in,” the senator announced. “This is long overdue … and this is just the beginning.”

The new health plans must cover a range of preventative services, without cost sharing, including contraception, well-women visits and domestic violence screening and counseling.

Reid was joined by Nevada Drs. Trudy Larson, director of the school of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno, and Emilina Quisumbing, an oncologist in southern Nevada and president of FIRSTMed Health & Wellness Center.

According to the numbers, Reid said 6.12 percent of Latinos will qualify without co-pays under the new act and 54 million Americans should be pleased today that health care has become a “little more affordable.”

“No longer will women be considered a pre-existing condition,” Reid said.

According to Healthcare.gov, the government’s website that explains the basics of the new law, the Affordable Care Act gives “hardworking families in Nevada the security they deserve. The new health care law forces insurance companies to play by the rules, prohibiting them from dropping your coverage if you get sick, billing you into bankruptcy because of an annual or lifetime limit, or, soon, discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition.”

Health reform is already making a difference for the people of Nevada by requiring parents to keep their children under the age of 26 without job-based coverage on their family plan. As of December 2011, 33,000 young adults in the state had access to insurance coverage as a result of the health care law.

In 2011, 230,891 people with Medicare in Nevada had access to free preventative care, including mammograms and colonoscopies and free annual wellness visits with their doctors. The site did not mention if copays were required.

“For women especially, it’s a new day. Beginning Aug. 1, women in Nevada can now get coverage — without cost-sharing — of even more preventive services they need,” according to the site. “Approximately 47 million women will now have guaranteed access to additional preventive services without cost-sharing for policies renewing on or after Aug. 1, including 391,181 in Nevada.

“Women are poorer than men,” Larson said Wednesday. “It’s a significant barrier.

Larson said because of the cost, many women shirk being tested for HIV or human papillomavirus (HPV) because of the cost.

“In Nevada, there are high incidents of HIV,” she said. “The faster growing groups are in women.”

Quisumbing agreed.

“Women now will have access to all preventative services to maintain their health and quality of life,” she said. “The cost of pain and suffering and the ability to earn wages go hand in hand. The ability to implement quality health is a measure of health care delivery and becomes the responsibility to encourage the use of preventative services. We need to take charge of our health and educate ourselves under this new health care law.”

In other health-related news in Nevada, the state attorney general and top state health officer launched a campaign to raise awareness about unlicensed medical providers and urged the Legislature to strengthen laws against back-room procedures, during a phone press conference arranged last-minute Wednesday morning.

The plan will be spearheaded by the Nevada Health Division, which will collect tips about unlicensed medical providers through the state’s 211 telephone information hotline.
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