What happened on Aug. 1 that was as horrific as Pearl Harbor and 9/11?
On that day 47 million American women began to have access to free preventative health services as part of a new provision in the Affordable Care Act, that’s what.
Kelly is among the tea party demagogues in hysterics over a plan that will ultimately lower heath care costs for individuals and the country.
He’s worried millions of voters are feeling the positive effects of ACA. The last thing he and the rest of the Republicans in congress want is Americans benefiting from a program they vehemently opposed.
But then, conservatives seem always to be on the wrong side of history. They fought Medicare. They fought the Civil Rights Act. Now they’re fighting to undo ACA.
Here is what Kelly thinks is the same as crashing jetliners into buildings and slaughtering thousands of innocent people: comprehensive preventative care coverage for insured women who enroll in new health care plans or renew their existing policies on or after Aug. 1.
That means women will be eligible to receive eight important services aimed at preventing illnesses and promoting healthy lifestyles.
And here are the services that Kelly believes are equal to a murderous sneak attack on American naval ships:
*Well-woman visits: Annual preventive care visits for adult women to obtain the recommended preventive services, plus additional visits if women and their doctors determine they’re necessary.
*Gestational diabetes screening: Screening is for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant, and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes.
*HPV DNA testing: Women who are 30 or older will now have access to high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing every three years, regardless of Pap smear results to help reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer.
*STI counseling: Sexually active women may receive annual counseling on sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
*HIV screening and counseling: Sexually active women can receive annual counseling on HIV.
*Contraception and contraceptive counseling: Women will have free access to all methods, sterilization procedures and patient education and counseling. Plans sponsored by religious organizations are expressly exempted.
*Breast-feeding support, supplies and counseling: Pregnant and postpartum women now have access to comprehensive lactation support and counseling from trained providers, as well as breastfeeding equipment.
*Interpersonal and domestic violence screening and counseling: Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence is provided free for all adolescent and adult women.
By now, we’re accustomed to tea party reactionaries like Kelly dreaming up lies to terrorize Americans into voting against their own best interests. Remember their non-existent “death panels” and bogus “health care rationing”?
There is no “attack on religious freedom.” But a war is being waged against women by the likes of Kelly, Rep. Phil Gingrey, Tom Price and the rest of the far right-wingers in congress.
Women are taking notice of their hostility. In key swing states, including Kelly’s home state of Pennsylvania, women favor President Obama over Mitt Romney by wide margins, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.
Add women to the other voters conservatives have angered and alienated — African-Americans, Latinos and Hispanics, gays and lesbians — and things look pretty good for Democrats come November.
Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.