Stop Sexism in The Affordable Care Act
Now that men and women pay equally for healthcare, shouldn't men receive equal coverage when it comes to fully covered services? Shouldn't there finally be a government health office dealing with men's health? Men and women should sign this petition no matter if they agree with the Affordable Care Act or not. The Act is sexist and needs to be made unbiased should it remain in existence in its present state. (Since Change.org seems to have cropped my original top photo to remove all resemblence of what it was supposed to portray, the chart shows govt. funding for cancer by gender (millions of $) 2009. The first bar graph is for the National Institute of Health and the second bar graph is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).) Another example is the American Cancer Society's grant totals- About 19% of all specific cancer grants are given for breast cancer while about 6% are given for prostate cancer, one third of breast cancer grants.
On August 1, 2012 many more health care services became available to women without co-pays, deductibles, or out-of-pocket expenses. While this can be seen as a victory for women's health, there are many services that affect men in equal or similar ways that still require men to be able to afford those cost-sharing requirements. Why should all women receive these services (such as well-care visits) "free" while men still will be denied those services if they can not afford to pay for them? The Affordable Care Act will undoubtedly expand the gender life-expectancy gap even further due to men being denied these well-care visits. Black and Hispanic males will be hit hardest as studies have shown them to be less likely to afford those out-of-pocket expenses.
These are our fathers, our brothers and our sons that perhaps will be forced to go without those well-care visits to determine important screenings and services. It's great to have our mothers, sisters and daughters to not have to be concerned with financial obligations to receive those services. This act should not force some men to be denied those preventive care services just because of financial inability. It's time to rectify the imbalance and make this bill adhere to gender equality.
A look at what preventive services are deemed sexist can be found in the US Dept. of Health and Human Services list of such services and to whom they apply: (You must copy and paste this link or it won't load to the correct page. Go to all 3 parts)
We ask President Obama to correct the following biased aspects of the Affordable Care Act:
WOMEN ARE PROVIDED WELL-CARE VISITS WITHOUT DEDUCTIBLES, CO-PAYS OR OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS IN ORDER TO OBTAIN RECOMMENDED PREVENTIVE SERVICES. MEN MAY BE DENIED THESE WELL-CARE VISITS UNLESS THEY CAN COME UP WITH THE REQUIRED EXTRA FUNDS. This will mean that many men will not go for well-care visits due to lack of affordability. This will lead to many men not being diagnosed until a disease has become more expensive to treat or until it is too late for treatment altogether. This will cost lives and add to the already burdensome cost of The Affordable Care Act.
BREAST CANCER SCREENINGS ARE FULLY COVERED WITHOUT DEDUCTIBLES, CO-PAYS OR OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS. PROSTATE CANCER SCREENINGS MAY REQUIRE MEN TO FIND A WAY TO PAY THOSE EXTRA COSTS OR BE DENIED PREVENTIVE CARE. Prostate cancer affects 1 in 6 men and kills roughly 32,000 annually. Breast cancer affects 1 in 9 women and kills roughly 39,000 annually. Should this Act continue, no one should be turned away from these preventive cancer screenings.
ALL FDA APPROVED CONTRACEPTIVES AND STERILIZATION PROCEDURES ARE TO BE MADE AVAILABLE TO WOMEN WITH NO OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS, DEDUCTIBLES OR CO-PAYS. MEN WOULD BE REQUIRED TO PAY OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS, DEDUCTIBLES OR CO-PAYS. This means a tubal ligation would be at no cost to women, but vasectomies would require co-pays or deductibles, perhaps rather hefty ones at that. Why should men have to pay if they choose not to bring a child into this world, but a woman does not? Why should we add to the already high cost of this law by having insurance companies absorb the higher costs of tubal ligation if a man is willing to undergo a vasectomy? Why force financially strapped couples to have the woman undergo the more dangerous, invasive procedure if unnecessary?
FACT#4 -NOTE, THIS HAS BEEN CHANGED AND COVERS EVERYONE 15-65 except the Gonorrhea screening.
ALL SEXUALLY ACTIVE WOMEN CAN BE SCREENED FOR HIV WITHOUT OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS, DEDUCTIBLES, OR CO-PAYS BUT ONLY HIGH RISK MEN CAN BE SCREENED WITHOUT THOSE COSTS. Why should sexually active men that wish to be tested for HIV be turned away if they can't afford it? This will cause more men to go without life-extending or life-saving treatments. This will also cause more women to be infected by partners who may not know they have HIV and weren't able to be tested due to financial constraints. This will affect black men and women most as they have the highest rates of HIV.
High risk women over 30 also can receive DNA screenings for HPV at no extra cost, but high risk men would have to pay. Shouldn't high risk men also be tested so that they know they are carriers and can further prevent spread to others?
The same can be said for Gonorrhea as high risk women screenings are covered in full while high risk men are not.
ALL WOMEN WILL BE SCREENED FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WITHOUT DEDUCTIBLES, CO-PAYS OR OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS. DESPITE MEN BEING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (DV) AT EQUAL RATES AS WOMEN, MEN ARE DENIED NO-COST SCREENINGS. Men make up 53% of the victims of physical violence in interpersonal relationships and 42% of the victims of the most severe domestic violence. This is blatant discrimination and needs to be rectified. The same CDC study the White House cites in their memos about DV proves the above figures: (Tables 4.1 and 4.2 (12 month figures) and tables 4.7 and 4.8). Men also make up the majority of psychological victims of DV (Tables 4.9 and 4.10). To ignore male victims of DV is sheer discrimination by our government. Due to embarrassment and risk of arrest, men are more inclined to not report DV and, thus, having medical personnel screen them may be the best way to help those victims.
COUNSELING- SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS PREVENTION COUNSELING IS FULLY COVERED FOR ALL SEXUALLY ACTIVE WOMEN BUT ONLY FOR HIGH RISK MEN. Wouldn't both men and women be safer from spreading stds if ALL sexually active people are counseled without having it be restricted to those men that can financially afford it?
Fully covered HIV counseling is also only offered to women. Shouldn't men also be able to access counseling about this dreaded illness without financial constraints if women are?
THERE ARE NO FEDERAL HEALTH OFFICES DEALING WITH MALE-SPECIFIC HEALTH ISSUES. NONE FORTHCOMING EITHER. NONE. THERE ARE MANY WOMEN'S HEALTH OFFICES AND AGENCIES AND MANY MORE TO BE FORMED IN THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. Please have one of the agencies that are to be formed in the Affordable Care Act devoted to Men's Health. It is long, long overdue. This is one reason for miniscule funding for men's health compared to women's health in the federal government. (See petition photo showing recent funding for women's cancer and men's cancer.) No one is asking for 50/50, but how about at least one for now?
The Act has 134 references to women's health but just 2 for men's health and those are just in passing. The Act has a separate chapter for women's health, but none for men's health. The Act has an entire section devoted to breast cancer. No other cancer, including prostate cancer, has this. Prostate cancer is never even mentioned. It's time for the government to stop ignoring men's health issues.
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