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Johnny Roberts and the Supremes

on Jul 2, 2012 | Reproductive health Women's Health General | 0 comments

ACA ruling sparks debate. Forgive me for not caring.


I’m a bottom-line kind of guy. Spare me the details of the sausage-making process, just slide my breakfast on a plate. Still, sometimes I can’t help myself.

The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling this week upheld most provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and I can’t tear myself away from the flood of press releases, op/eds, and blog posts generated in its considerable black-robed wake. Naturally, the pundits opine across the continuum and hyperbole is front and center: depending on whom you’re reading, the sky is either falling or safely propped up. (Poor Chicken Little….do you come out or stay inside?)

My brain is too punch-drunk now to think about what all this means, how the November elections will be impacted, and what kind of political battles this will engender in the coming years. So without commenting on the process (“It’s a mandate! No, it’s a tax!!, I’ll just say this: I’ve worked at ASHA for 17 years now. A large part of my professional life has been spent in the programs of our HPV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Resource Centers where I gab on the phone, respond to emails, moderate chat rooms, and manage online message boards where real, flesh and blood folks ask about all aspects of their sexual health. Most of them are female. All of them need help or at least an answer to a question (or two or three).

ACA allows almost all of them to access cervical cancer screening (Pap tests and, when appropriate, HPV tests) with no co-pay. Also covered are STI tests and counseling, contraception, and vaccines.

Women get Pap tests. Women get STI tests. Concrete, tangible action on women’s health.

Yell all you want about how we got there. I’m just glad we arrived.

--Fred Wyand



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