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Harkin Applauds Support for Women’s Health from Obama Administration

WASHINGTON—Today, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, issued the following statement on Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s acceptance of the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines for women’s preventive health services:

“I commend Secretary Sebelius for issuing strong guidelines on coverage of preventive services for women. Prevention must play a crucial role in reforming our sick care system into a true health care system, and these guidelines are instrumental to delivering on this promise of health reform.  Eliminating cost sharing for these crucial preventive services will make needed care more accessible and will improve the health of millions of women.”

Harkin, along with Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and 27 other Senators, sent a letter last month to Secretary Sebelius urging HHS to accept the IOM guidelines, which call for insurance plans to fully cover the costs of well-woman visits, breastfeeding support, contraception, and domestic violence screening.