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Women Striding Forward. The incredible, true story of what the Affordable Care Act is doing for women and families. Opinions about health reform. But what is it?. Public opinion research shows that nobody knows what health reform actually does.

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women striding forward

Women Striding Forward

The incredible, true story of

what the Affordable Care Act

is doing for women and families

but what is it
But what is it?
  • Public opinion research shows that nobody knows what health reform actually does.
  • When they learn about the health care services and consumer protections it gives, everyone likes health reform better.
  • Support jumps dramatically among certain people. Who? Women!
increased support after learning about the services protections the aca provides
Increased support after learning about the services/protections the ACA provides
it s about health care
It’s about health care!
  • Cancer screenings
  • Maternity care
  • Contraceptive coverage
  • No denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions
  • No gender discrimination in the price of policies
too many women cannot afford the health care we need
Too many women cannot afford the health care we need!

In 2010, 45 million women across the United States reported that because of the cost, they:

  • Did not fill a prescription;
  • Skipped a recommended test, treatment or follow-up;
  • Did not go to the doctor when they had a medical problem or
  • Did not see a specialist when it was needed.

Commonwealth Fund, May 2011

women losing coverage in a tough economy
Women losing coverage in a tough economy

“I am a 40-year-old survivor of breast cancer. I lost my coverage. I’ve lived in this country and worked all my life. Why don’t I have health insurance when I need it?”

the aca will help you whether you have health insurance or don t
The ACA will help you whether you have health insurance or don’t
  • Help for women and families who are uninsured and can’t afford health care.
  • Help for women and families who have insurance that doesn’t cover what they need, or is too expensive to use.
  • Coverage for women’s health needs across our lifespans.
prevention first
Prevention first!

All new insurance plans are required to cover key preventive services, without charging us co-pays or deductibles. Some have started already:

  • mammograms  Pap smears
  • anemia & hepatitis B screening for pregnant women
  • blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol testing
  • counseling about quitting smoking, losing weight, choosing healthy foods, treating depression, reducing alcohol use
new women s preventive services covered as soon as august 1
New women’s preventive services covered as soon as August 1
  • comprehensive contraceptive care!
  • an annual well-woman care exam
  • screening for sexually-transmitted diseases
  • breastfeeding counseling and equipment
  • screening for gestational diabetes
  • screening and counseling for intimate partner violence
keeping our kids healthy
Keeping our kids healthy
  • Well-baby visits
  • Immunizations
  • Screenings for autism, lead exposure
  • Vision and hearing tests
  • Obesity screening
  • Drug, alcohol use assessments for adolescents
protection from unfair insurance company practices
Protection from unfair insurance company practices
  • Insurers cannot cancel your policy if you get sick or make a mistake in your insurance application.
  • Insurers cannot set lifetime dollar limits on the amount of medical care they will cover. (No annual limits in 2014)
no coverage denials for kids with pre existing conditions
No coverage denials for kids with pre-existing conditions

Nurse Abby Drucker’s grand-niece was born with hearing loss. The family’s health insurer denied coverage for treatment, calling it a “pre-existing condition.” That is now against the law.

ensuring more of your health premium dollars go to medical care
Ensuring more of your health premium dollars go to medical care
  • Insurance companies now have to give rebates to consumers if they don’t spend at least 80 percent of the premium dollars they collect on actually providing medical care.
  • They will be forced to spend less on CEO salaries, marketing and overhead.
  • They have to make this information public, so you can make better insurance choices.
peace of mind for moms
Peace of mind for moms!
  • Our young adult children can stay on family health policies until their 26th birthdays.
  • Young adult does not have to live at home, be unmarried or be a dependent for tax purposes.
  • Important for young women in prime reproductive years.
looking ahead to 2014
Looking ahead to 2014
  • No charging women more than men for the same policy (“gender rating”)
  • No denials of coverage for adults with pre-existing conditions.
  • Maternity care must be covered.


covering millions more americans
Covering millions more Americans
  • New state insurance “exchanges” are due to open in January 2014.
  • Uninsured moderate-income individuals and families can shop for private insurance made more affordable by federal subsidies.
  • More low-income people will be eligible for Medicaid coverage.
  • It’s a place to go if you lose your coverage!
the aca historic legislation for women and our families
The ACA: historic legislation for women and our families
  • Women voters helped make health care a national priority.
  • Millions of women and our families across the country will gain access to good quality and affordable basic health care services.
  • The ACA addresses women’s health needs across our lifespans, and includes a new standard for covering well-woman services.
  • The law’s impact on women’s health will be comparable to Title IX’s impact on women’s education and sports.
building public understanding of and support for the affordable care act
Building public understanding of and support for the Affordable Care Act:
  • Women are key to increasing support and intensity of support for the law, but like men, are not paying attention to the Affordable Care Act.
  • A consumer frame shifts the emphasis from a political debate to a consumer conversation on protection (no pre-existing conditions), prevention services (mammograms, birth control, cancer screenings) and non-discrimination.
  • Shifting the emphasis from a political frame to a consumer frame helps move women as supporters, bridges generations of women and does not alienate men.



Voters strongly support health care services that fall under a broad wellness and prevention frame. The most powerful message is simply the services included in the ACA.

  • Independent women, older women and women of color are key populations to inform, persuade and mobilize.
  • Specific populations of women respond to different messages about services: young women to birth control; older women to cancer screenings, etc. with no co-pays, no-deductible.
  • Effective messages tap into core values of prevention and wellness, security and peace of mind and protection.


how will the countdown to coverage campaign unfold
How will the Countdown to Coverage campaign unfold?
  • Momentum, building toward 2014
  • Showing steps taken and what’s still to come
  • Traditional and social media
  • Telling women’s stories
  • Giving women information from trusted sources
when and for how long
When and for how long?
  • Preview here in Michigan this week.
  • Launching at the 2nd anniversary of the Affordable Care Act becoming law
  • Kick-off week: March 19-23
  • Continue through Fall 2012 and into 2013
women s health throughout the year
Women’s health throughout the year
  • April: Supreme Court hearing arguments
  • May: Mother’s Day
  • June: Supreme Court decision
  • July: drum beat for August 1
  • August: women’s preventive

health rules in effect!

  • September: back to school
campaign materials
Campaign materials
  • Factsheets: Top Ten list and more
  • Templates and samples to localize the information
  • How to embed messages about women in broader health reform information
  • Support for using a news hook like Cervical Cancer Awareness month to talk about how women benefits from health reform
spread the word the aca is good for women and our families
Spread the word: The ACA is Good for women and our families!
  • Tell someone you know about what women and our families are getting from the ACA.
  • Host an educational session in your neighborhood, your church or community center.
  • Distribute Countdown to Coverage fact sheets in your community.

www.CountdowntoCoverage.org Raising Women’s Voicesfor the Health Care We Need and Michigan Consumers for Healthcarewww.consumersforhealthcare.orgEmail: info@raisingwomensvoices.netTel: 212-870-2010Twitter: @ourcountdown