6 Things We Should Demand From Healthcare Coverage
Healthcare isn't a political football—it's essential to our physical, emotional, and economic well-being. Now is the time for us to take a stand and defend that basic right.
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4. Must have: Free preventive care
Annual checkups—complete with physical exams, vaccinations, counseling for sexually transmitted diseases, and screening and counseling for intimate partner abuse—currently cost nothing for the vast majority of us. Same goes for cancer-screening mammograms, Pap smears, and colonoscopies. Even BRCA genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer risk, which often cost thousands without insurance before the ACA, is now fully covered. And that makes it easier and cheaper to stay healthy. "Research has shown that co-pays as modest as $10 to $15 can reduce a woman's use of preventive services like mammography," says Lydia Pace, MD, faculty director for women's health policy and advocacy at the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "The concern is that if women do not regularly get screenings for breast cancer, for instance, they are at higher risk of being diagnosed with late-stage and potentially fatal tumors. This impacts low-income women most of all."