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Democrats All Smiles As Women's Health Care Provisions Kick In

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Starting Wednesday, those on new health insurance plans can get preventative care like birth control for no cost.
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Starting Wednesday, those on new health insurance plans can get preventative care like birth control for no cost.

Democrats in the D.C. region are preparing for new pieces of the Affordable Care Act to kick in tomorrow, which are expected to expand health care coverage to millions of women.

Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski doesn't usually show much emotion around the Capitol press corps, so ears were perked when she smiled and offered this comment a press conference today: "What a happy day."

Mikulski says she's happy because the new provisions will protect women from discrimination by health care providers.

"Women in need of preventive health care services will be able to take a giant step forward to have access to the care they need without the barriers of cost or discrimination," says Sen. Mikulski.

The new measures force insurance companies to provide preventative measures like cancer screenings as well as birth control at no extra cost to women. Most women covered under current plans pay co-pays and deductibles for coverage, and for them the measure will kick in on the next renewal date for their plans. For those starting new plans, the provision takes effect immediately.

While Republicans on Capitol Hill continue their efforts to repeal the legislation, Democrats say these new health measures are evidence the legislation is good for U.S. consumers.

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