The Affordable Care Act has been a monumental step in equality between the privileged and unfortunate; the insured and uninsured. In the past, our health care system failed over 40 million Americans, simply due to financial polarity. Among these, were millions of women in need of preventative care, such as mammograms, which have proved to be lifesaving. I should know; a mammogram saved mine.
2011 was the most challenging year of my life. Last summer, my world turned upside down after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Nonetheless, within days, I met with a UCLA breast surgeon, a plastic surgeon, and undergone numerous tests. Though I was distraught with my diagnosis, I never worried about the costs. My husband’s health insurance, provided through his employer, paid for everything.
But what if my husband lost his job? Where would I be today? Without insurance, the cost of a mammograms range anywhere from $100 to over $200. I was fortunate, indeed. But how many women have to ignore warning signs, such as lumps or breast pain, simply due to financial disadvantage. Don’t they deserve the same preventative care and treatment as insured women?
Tragically, women in the poorest regions of America are more likely to die of breast cancer due to lack of preventative care. This is not only due to financial inequality, but also because of a lack of resources, such as free clinics.
The Affordable Care Act provides women’s preventive health care services– such as mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, well-woman visits – with no cost sharing for new health plans.
This cancer survivor can only hope that the President’s health care reform can help at risk women and uninsured Americans have a fighting chance against breast cancer.