What Does the Supreme Court Ruling on Obamacare Mean for Your Vagina?

Illustration for article titled What Does the Supreme Court Ruling on Obamacare Mean for Your Vagina?

This morning, the Supreme Court caused Antonin Scalia's hairy head to rotate 360 degrees and gave liberals something to wet their beds over when it ruled that the Affordable Care Act, or the Health Care Law — or Obamacare if ya nasty— is mostly constitutional, right down to the much-maligned individual insurance mandate. But before we get into the nitty gritty details of who said what and which major news organization got what wrong, let's get down to what's really important: what does this mean for our ladyflowers?


In the months since the Court heard oral arguments about the ACA, hope that the entire law would be upheld was deader than a baby with a birth defect born to a woman without insurance. In fact, some news organizations were so absolutely positive that the law would be struck down by the conservative court that they shot their headline wads a little early. CNN originally splashed a headline across its homepage that announced that the Supremes had struck down the individual mandate. The Chicago Sun Times got the headline right, but as of this morning, the URL of its Obamacare ruling story still reads "supreme court strike down individual mandate." They're certainly not the only ones who feel head faked by the Court; no one thought this would happen.

But, here we are. And now we're left wondering, what's next? Specifically, what's next for my vagina? Well, wonder no more.

Your vagina will now be able to afford health insurance.
30 million Americans who don't currently have insurance will now have access to it. If you can't afford it, you'll get help paying for it. If you don't want to buy it, you'll have to pay a tax, you party pooper. Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL, calls the Affordable Care Act "a tremendous victory for American women." Finally, all vaginas will now get medical care.

Your vagina will not be charged more for health insurance simply because it is a vagina.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Affordable Care Act to your vagina is the fact that a vagina's simple existence often results in insurance companies charging women more. No longer. Charging men and women different premiums for the same coverage is now illegal.

Your vagina will not be discriminated against just because it got depressed that one time.
Whereas insurers were once free to reject customers who had "pre-existing conditions," that's not going to fly anymore. Under the Affordable Care Act, people with pre-existing conditions are covered by a special high-risk insurance pool that will take care of any vagina, no matter what sort of trouble it got into in the past. Kids with pre-existing conditions can't be rejected for their parents' plans, either. And by 2014, the special high risk insurance programs will disappear — we'll all be covered by similar policies.

Your vagina will have access to everything that the Department of Health and Human Services classifies as "preventative care" — for free.
This is where it gets really awesome for your vagina. Under the Affordable Care Act, annual well woman visits, screenings for gestational diabetes, STI testing, contraception (even if it's prescribed for sex reasons!), domestic violence counseling, and breastfeeding support will be available for free. Free! Who wants to go on an Ortho Tri Cyclen bender with me? We're going to get soooo hormonal, ladies.


If your vagina is under 26, your vagina can use your parents' insurance.
Three million Americans under 26 have already gotten to take advantage of this provision of Obamacare, and, thanks to today's ruling, the provision will continue to exist. That means that the last semester of college is about to get a lot less terrifying, and it's not potentially financially ruinous for twentysomethings to take up skateboarding anymore.

And now, for the bad news: abortion may get a lot more expensive for your vagina.
Lawmakers in twelve states — Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia — have passed laws that restrict insurance that covers abortion if the insurance is purchased on the state's exchanges. In these states, employers and individuals who purchase insurance on the soon-to-be-implemented state exchanges will need to purchase additional abortion insurance or settle for not having coverage at all. Which doesn't seem like that huge a deal unless you consider the fact that many private companies currently carry policies that cover abortion for employees, and the most expensive abortions are late term, and late-term abortions often occur after a couple discovers a birth defect or health risk to the mother. So if you get pregnant and decide you don't want to be pregnant, and you live in one of these twelve states, get ready to cough up (or, you know, pick a cooler place to live and move there).


The law wasn't left entirely unscathed — the Court narrowed the way that the law could be applied to states who didn't participate in a Medicare-related provision in the law and upheld the individual mandate as a tax. But overall, today was a good day for Democrats, and the President, and any American who has a body that isn't made of titanium.

It was an especially good day for your vagina, so you two should celebrate. Take it out for dinner tonight. Your vagina deserves it.




Erin Gloria Ryan

It occurred to me after I wrote this that health health care and the affordability thereof has become such an oppressive presence in the lives of Americans that it has affected dynamics within relationships — I've known more than one couple that's gotten hastily married or civil union'd for the insurance. Anyone else feel this way?