DeLauro highlights ‘positive impact’ of healthcare reform for women

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, whose district includes part of Shelton, said women in Connecticut are benefiting  in many ways from the landmark federal healthcare reform law.

At a press conference, DeLauro was joined by Connecticut residents who shared their own stories of how the law is helping them and their families. DeLauro is a 12-term Democrat who supported the healthcare legislation supported by President Barack Obama that is commonly known as “Obamacare.” It was approved in 2010.

“Voting for the Affordable Care Act is one of the proudest votes I have taken, in no small part because it finally put women’s health on an equal footing with men’s,” DeLauro said.

“Before we acted, individual women routinely paid more than men, but still did not have important services, like maternity care, covered,” she said. “Starting next year, insurance companies cannot do that anymore. And having a child, or even being a victim of domestic violence, is no longer grounds for denying a woman health insurance coverage.

“These reforms, along with many others, are long overdue,” DeLauro said.

Maternity care and preventative services

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) guarantees coverage for maternity care, and no out-of-pocket costs for essential preventative health services, according to a release distributed by DeLauro’s office.

More than a million Connecticut women have already accessed free coverage for critical services such as free annual checkups, colonoscopies, contraception, mammograms and flu shots, DeLauro said.

‘Eliminates discriminatory practices’

DeLauro said the ACA eliminates discriminatory practices that have previously marginalized women, such as gender rating (the practice of charging women more for insurance simply because they are a woman), and barring denials based on pre-existing conditions, which some insurers even extended to pregnancy or domestic violence.

And, due to a provision DeLauro pushed to add to the law, people shopping for health insurance will get a clearly worded “summary of benefits” that explains basic information about the policies they are considering.

DeLauro was joined at the press event by Demian Fontenella from the state Healthcare Advocate Office; Bev Levy, who is undergoing ovarian cancer treatments; and Mary Ann Wasil, a survivor of breast cancer.

Shelton has two members of Congress

The city of Shelton is divided between the Third District, represented by DeLauro, and the Fourth District, represented by fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Himes.

DeLauro lives in New Haven and was first elected to Congress in 1990.