Supporters of access to health care at Planned Parenthood were thrilled to see the House pass HB 5210 [An Act Mandating Insurance Coverage of Essential Health Benefits and Expanding Mandated Health Benefits for Woman, Children and Adolescents] with huge bipartisan support 114-32 on April 26. Thanks go to Rep. Sean Scanlon, House chair of the Insurance Committee, who led this bill to victory in the House. In partnership with many women legislative allies of both parties, we are now one step closer to ensuring the 10 essential benefits of the Affordable Care Act, and women’s preventive health, are protected in state law regardless of what happens in Washington, D.C.

These benefits include maternity and newborn care, pediatric care, mental health services, hospitalization, emergency services and preventive services including contraception, with no cost sharing or co-pays.

In a poll conducted early this year by GBA Strategies, 82 percent of Connecticut voters said they were in favor of a legislative proposal requiring basic health services be covered by all insurance plans in Connecticut.

In Connecticut, we have a long proud history of protecting women’s health and reproductive rights. We continue to demonstrate that in our state, unlike Washington, D.C., women’s health is not a partisan issue. Connecticut women and families cannot continue to anxiously wait as we watch politicians in D.C. interfering with our health care. The Senate must pass HB 5210 and protect these benefits of the Affordable Care Act and continue to demonstrate leadership in the reproductive freedom movement.

Susan Lloyd Yolen is Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.

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