Hands down, the best news of last year was on November 6 when they announced President Obama had won the state of Ohio, guaranteeing another four years of his presidency. Now, on January 21, millions will watch as he’s inaugurated for his second term.
While we look forward to another four years with President Obama, we thought we’d take a moment to reflect back on his greatest achievements, and where we think the next four years will take us.
He championed the passage of the Affordable Care Act--The health care law has already provided affordable preventive care to more than 45 million women, with no additional co-pay. The law ends discrimination based on “pre-existing conditions” like pregnancy or breast cancer, and guarantees that insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against women and charge higher premiums simply because of their gender. Already though, anti-women’s health politicians in Congress like Michele Bachmann and Steve King have introduced bills to repeal the ACA, so there will certainly be more fights to come.
He protected birth control access for women — no matter who their boss is. --Following the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that birth control be covered as basic, preventive care—the Obama administration proposed a mandate that required employers and health insurers to cover birth control with no co-pay. This benefit was a huge advancement for many women who struggle with the cost of birth control. This benefit ensures that millions of women will have access to affordable birth control, which can sometimes cost up to $600 per year — no matter where they work. But with lawsuits being filled from employers who want to deny women access to birth control, and anti-women’s health politicians like Ken Cuccinelli who are telling people to “go to jail” in order to oppose the birth control benefit, we need politicians like President Obama to stand with us and protect access to affordable birth control.
Obama supports a women’s right to make her own health care choices. --When it came to supporting safe and legal abortion, President Obama repeatedly reiterated support for a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions. In his own words, “We don’t need another political fight about ending a woman’s right to choose, or getting rid of Planned Parenthood — or taking away access to affordable birth control. I want women to control their own health choices, just like I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as your sons. We are not turning back the clock. We are moving forward.”There will be many more opportunities to protect a woman’s right to make her own health care choices, as politicians are relentlessly trying to take it away. Rep. Paul Ryan is cosponsoring a “personhood” bill to define life as beginning at fertilization; this measure could ban abortion with no exceptions, and outlaw medical treatments such as in vitro fertilization or the treatment of pregnant women with cancer.
When Planned Parenthood came under attack, President Obama stood strong.--Not only has he committed to protecting women’s health in the states — the administration has denied attempts in Indiana, New Hampshire, and Texas to bar Planned Parenthood from state Medicaid funding — but he has stood up for Planned Parenthood on the national level. In spring 2011, when anti-women’s health legislators in Congress threatened to shut down the government over funding for Planned Parenthood, President Obama had two words to say: “Nope. Zero.” He’ll need to keep saying that as state legislatures continue to bring up bills to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood and limit health care access for the women and families who need it most.
These are just a few of the numerous ways President Obama has protected access to women’s health care, and in the upcoming years there are going to be many more opportunities. With the budget negotiations and the continued implementation of Obamacare, you can bet it will be important to have President Obama on our side.