Health care law gives women free contraception & preventive care starting August 1

Health And Human Services Dept. Approves Free Birth Control For Women

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Prescription contraceptives for women sit on the counter of a drug store on August 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Starting Wednesday, American women can get free preventive care, the cost picked up by their private insurance company. Aug. 1 is when another provision of the Affordable Care Act kicks in.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says that more than 5 million California women will be eligible for an entire menu of services with no out-of-pocket cost, including domestic violence screenings, FDA-approved contraception, breast feeding counseling and supplies "and a well woman visit where she can sit down and talk to her health care provider."

Secretary Sebelius says surveys show that more than half of the women in this country delayed or avoided preventive care because of its cost.

Starting in 2014, health insurance companies can no longer charge more for policies for women than for men.

The HHS Secretary was joined by Senate Democrats who touted the benefits of the health care law. They continued their litany of praise on the Senate floor. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’ll continue to push for repeal of health care. The Republican from Kentucky wants to attach a repeal amendment to a cybersecurity bill coming up for a vote.

California Democrat Barbara Boxer blasted McConnell, saying "the Republicans today have relaunched their war against women."

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