Health Care Highlights

Decline in Women Smokers

Thanks to legislation passed within the last ten years, including funding for cessation programs and regulations on advertising for tobacco products, there has been a steady decline of the number women smoking. In 2000, more than one in five women were smokers. In 2010, less than one in six women smokes.

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Improvements and Declines in Prevention

Some of prevention services saw improvements since the 2007 Report Card, including annual mammograms. Unfortunately, there has been a decline in the number of women who are getting their annual Pap smears. 6 out of 10 women are not being tested for this is a vital exam.

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Linguistic Barriers to Health Care

Language can be a barrier to women and men who are trying to receive health services.  It inhibits a health care provider’s ability to diagnose a patient, and it inhibits a patient’s ability to understand the advice of medical professionals. Many states either do not have policy, or have limited policy to help with this issue.

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Health Care Law

Help is on the Way

In March 2010, President Obama signed historic health care legislation—the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This comprehensive legislation has significant implications for women’s health, and although the most sweeping expansions in health care coverage and improvements in preventive care and other services begin in 2014, women and their families have already started to benefit from several provisions taking effect this year.

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