National Women's Health Week: Re-Committing Ourselves to Healthy Women and Girls

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the Affordable Care Act

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the Affordable Care Act in the East Room of the White House, May 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

They are our daughters. Our sisters. Our mothers.

These are some of the most important people in our lives. And as National Women’s Health Week comes to a close, we recommit ourselves to improving opportunities for women and girls by expanding access to affordable and accessible health care.

Just before Mother’s Day (the official start of National Women’s Health Week), President Obama invited a number of women and men to the White House to talk about women, families, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

We know that the ACA has already ushered in a new era of access and savings for people all over the country. 47 million women have gained access to preventive services at no out-of-pocket expense, including well-woman visits, domestic violence screenings and counseling, and contraceptive care.

But women aren’t just numbers, we’re people. We are neighbors, aunts, co-workers, and daughters. We are people like Carol, who introduced the President at the event in the East Room last week.

Carol's son, a 22-year-old college grad and traumatic brain injury survivor with a rare genetic lung disease, was able to stay on his family’s health insurance policy instead of being kicked off the plan this year. Finding coverage on his own would have been nearly impossible, as Carol wrote in a letter to the President: “Given his history, he would be virtually uninsurable under the old set of ‘rules.’  Instead of contemplating law school, all of his resources would have been channeled into somehow, somewhere, finding health insurance.”

Helping Carol and her son are why the Affordable Care Act lets young people stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, President Obama said.

Carol made her voice heard, and so can you. Let us know if you’re one of the nearly 85% of Americans who have already benefitted from “Obamacare.”

Lend your voice to protect the 6.6 million young adults who currently have the option of staying on their parent’s health insurance, the over 34 million seniors who pay less for preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies, and the 18 million middle-class families who have the opportunity to save money on their monthly premiums starting in 2014.

In a proclamation this week, President Obama stated that this is a time to “reflect on how far we have come in the fight to provide Americans with the care they deserve,” and “renew our commitment to empowering all women with the chance to live strong, healthy lives.”

Our daughters, sisters, and mothers deserve nothing less.

To learn more, or to share your story, please click here.

Valerie B. Jarrett is a Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. She oversees the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chairs the White House Council on Women and Girls. Tina Tchen is Chief of Staff for First Lady Michelle Obama and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls.
Related Topics: Health Care, Women