Hello everyone. I know, I've been a very irregular blogger of late. In the 5 years since I started this blog, a lifetime in internet time, blogging has become old school. It's too long-form. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest - they're what's happening. The fewer words, the better. The blog still has its readers, of course. But the FB page is where the action is. Do I think this march toward brevity heralds the decline of literacy and civilization itself? Why yes, I do. Am I guilty of it as well? Absolutely. I post on FB far more often than I post here. Usually just a link with a sentence or two. Blogs are meals. And most people are snackers.
Meanwhile, for you gourmands, here's something more substantial:
The Affordable Health Care Act (aka "Obamacare") is slowly coming to fruition, with many benefits already in effect and others not yet realized. It's a very detailed Act and few people go beyond the sound bites to actually learn what's in it. Today, August 1, 2012, a raft of benefits for women and children came into effect. Two organizations have been doing a good job of getting the word out about specific benefits for women.
-We Are Ultraviolet has created a lovely graphic (below) which hits the highlights. It's too large to read properly in this space, so click on this link to see the whole thing. Or, you can view it (and share it) on Facebook. Sigh.
-And the wonderful folks over at the National Women's Health Network have created a
site (actually, a blog!) which has been providing detailed coverage with analysis called Countdown to Coverage, with one post per day in the week leading up to today's rollout. Their name for the Affordable Care Act is Mamacare :)
Do the new regulations provide for free Fertility Awareness instruction? No. The Act only provides free contraception in the case of FDA approved devices. Now, if you're among the fraction of people who receive FA or NFP education in a medical setting, your healthcare provider can code your visit in such a way that it's covered. That's been the case for years. And as more women gain health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, more women will be able to take advantage of that coverage. But the majority of women who practice Fertility Awareness to avoid pregnancy will continue to gain their instruction privately. (Or, frighteningly, practice without benefit of instruction.)
The Affordable Care Act will thus probably not result in much greater numbers of women practicing Fertility Awareness. But with mandatory coverage and the elimination of co-pays for things like Pap smears, gestational diabetes screening, breastfeeding equipment and lactation support, and screening for domestic violence as well as counseling, the Affordable Care Act reaches far beyond "free birth control," and will result in vast health benefits for women and their children, especially those who currently face financial barriers to service. And that's something we should all be able to get behind.