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Senate Majority Leader

Bob Duff

Representing Norwalk & Darien

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Senate Democrats Lead Passage of Bill Protecting 10 Essential Health Benefits for Women

Senate Democrats last night stood up against attacks on healthcare from Republicans in Washington, DC and led final passage of legislation that protects and expands mandated health benefits for women, children and adolescents in Connecticut.

House Bill 5210 passed the Senate 34-2 and ensures that insurance policies offered in Connecticut must cover the “10 Essential Health Benefits” protected in the federal Affordable Care Act.

These benefits include:

  • outpatient care
  • trips to the emergency room
  • prenatal care and ongoing care for the baby throughout its childhood
  • prescription medicine
  • lab tests
  • mental health services
  • substance use disorder services.

House bill 5210 also preserves women’s access to contraception with no out of pocket cost—even if the Trump administration ever succeeds in killing “Obamacare.”

“Women in Connecticut should have access to these essential health services regardless of policies enacted at the federal level,” Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) said. “Healthcare is not only critical in improving a women’s quality of life, but it is also at times serves as the only means to keep a woman alive.”

“Connecticut has a long history of supporting women’s health care issues and this year is no exception,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk). “This is a great day for three-quarters of a million Connecticut women who count on these benefits so they can continue to lead healthy lives.”

“Connecticut must stand up against attacks from Washington, DC on the healthcare women in our state rely on,” said Senator Mae Flexer (D-Danielson). “This legislation protects and expands upon women’s access to basic healthcare for themselves and their children. It also aims to end the healthcare disparity that results in less access to care and higher rates of maternal mortality in underserved communities, and it protects the ten essential health benefits that provide everyone in our state with access to basic, preventive healthcare access. With the passage of this legislation, Connecticut has stood up to those who would strip away health care from our residents. ”

“Women from across Connecticut who testified in support of this legislation said that for many of them, prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, this kind of life-saving care would not have been accessible and that rolling back the guarantee of access to this kind of care would be devastating to them,” Insurance Committee Co-chair Senator Tim Larson (D-East Hartford) said. “I am proud to lead passage of this bill and will continue to fight for all the women in my district and across Connecticut.”

The bill, which previously passed the House 114-32, now heads to Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s desk for his signature.

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