On May 12, 2014 Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland asked for and was granted permission to address the United States Senate regarding the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
Here is some of what he had to say in that regard:
“Mr. President under the Affordable Care Act, every woman in America is guaranteed an annual well-woman visit to be able to assess their health, including mammography screening, pap smears, diabetes screening, and other preventive screenings services at no cost. That is all provided in the Affordable Care Act, so a woman can take care of her own health care needs and, in many cases, avoiding much more costly and debilitating care. Again, this is at no cost. So there is no reason why a woman cannot take advantage of these services. HPV DNA testing is now available every 3 years under the Affordable Care Act to deal with the sexual health of women. STI counseling and HIV screening for sexually active women are now available under the Affordable Care Act. This is now guaranteed. Women don’t have to go look at the fine print of an insurance policy to see whether they have coverage. Before, in most cases, they didn’t have coverage. Women don’t have to wait for authorization, having to show a need. These are given rights that are now available to every woman under the Affordable Care Act.
No longer can pregnancy be considered a preexisting condition. Before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, if a woman wanted to get an insurance policy, insurers excluded childbirth during the first perhaps 9 months or later. It was considered a preexisting condition. Now we have a seamless system, so women can get the type of care they need.
Why does that become so important? So they can get the necessary prenatal care in order to keep their baby healthy, to get the type of tests that are necessary.
Pregnant women can now get a gestational diabetes screening to see whether they are at high risk and, if so, they can get the type of treatment they need in order to make sure their baby is born as healthy as possible.
Prenatal care is available and it is covered, and we now have, through the Affordable Care Act, a provision we added that provides support for qualified health centers. I have visited qualified health centers in Maryland that are now providing prenatal care that wasn’t there before. It is not only that we are providing coverage; we are providing access to care, so we can reduce low birth weight babies in our community. Look at the numbers of infant survival. Look at the numbers of low birth weight babies. We are improving those numbers daily because of the Affordable Care Act. To be able to prevent and discover complications during pregnancy, including preterm outcomes–all of that is now available.
Women now have access to folic acid to make sure a woman has a healthier fetus and birth. All of that is now available under the Affordable Care Act”, said Senator Cardin (source: congressional Record http://thomas.loc.gov/).
Senator Cardin is arguably one of the most powerful member of Congress. He currently serve on the following committees and subcommittees:
Senate Committee on Finance
Member, Health Care Subcommittee
Member, Taxation and IRS Oversight Subcommittee
Member, Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy Subcommittee
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Chair, East Asian & Pacific Affairs Subcommittee
Member, African Affairs Subcommittee
Member, Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Subcommittee
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
Chair, Water and Wildlife Subcommittee
Member, Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee
Member, Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee
Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
The Senate Small Business Committee does not have subcommittees
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Senator Cardin is Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which also is referred to as the U.S. Helsinki Commission. It is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords and works to address and assess democratic, economic, and human rights developments firsthand. The Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.
See related video: Ask An Agent: Is pregnancy considered a pre-existing condition? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PciIvOYVlwc