The U.S. Senate backed a plan on Thursday to make it easier for women to get preventive health services such as mammograms as it cast its first votes on a sweeping healthcare overhaul.
On the fourth day of a sometimes bitter debate, the Senate voted 61-39 for an amendment to improve access to women's screenings for diseases like cancer and diabetes by eliminating insurance co-pays and deductibles for them.
The Democrats’ legislation had already contained requirements that insurers cover a wide range of preventive care. The amendment, put forward by Senator Barbara Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland, goes further, mandating coverage for a broader package of services for women.
“The insurance companies take being a woman as a pre-existing condition,” Ms. Mikulski said. “We face so many issues and hurdles. We can’t get health care. We can’t get health insurance because of pre-existing conditions called a C-section.”