Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor today to highlight the preventive care services and benefits millions of women are receiving under the Affordable Care Act. Below are the Leader’s remarks:
“Mr. Speaker, today the President has put forth some conversation about the Affordable Care Act that focuses especially on women's health. I'm absolutely delighted to come to the floor to address that issue. Because of the Affordable Care Act – and I hope that every woman in America understands this – being a woman is no longer a preexisting medical condition. As a mother of five children, four daughters and one son, I'm very excited about this.
“Over the break, I had the privilege of being at a meeting with some researchers on the subject of breast cancer in particular, and they spent a good deal of the time telling us what the possibilities were. With research that should be funded – and that's a budget issue on another subject, but related here – we could remove this threat to women's health with proper research.
“But they took time to say that one thing that was helping women with breast cancer more than anything was the Affordable Care Act – that they would have access to care without having been discriminated against because of a preexisting medical condition. No longer would they have annual or lifetime limits on the health insurance that they would receive. Having the least stress from all of that is a very healthy thing for people who have a diagnosis.
“So whatever it is – whether it's mammograms, as my colleague, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz so generously shared her story about her experience earlier; Congresswoman Delauro shared hers and other Members shared the stories of their constituents – this is really very important.
“Moms are the hubs of families. Many of them fear this diagnosis. Many families in America have been affected by it. By the investment in research and the Affordable Care Act, women have every reason to be hopeful that this can be prevented with early detection, and not only early detection but regular detection. And then on top of that, that if they have that feared diagnosis, they will receive the care that they deserve.
“One other point I want to make – because we all worship at the altar of biomedical research and what it means to our country and the thought we could be rid of breast cancer in a handful of years, we want to make sure that every woman in America, and every person in America, benefits from that research. The vehicle for that is the Affordable Care Act. It stands right there with Social Security, with Medicare, with affordable – and that's the word, ‘affordable’ health care for all Americans as a pillar of health and economic security for the American people.
“Today we focus on moms. We focus on women and say, ‘Thank God being a woman is no longer a preexisting medical condition.’ With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.”