Obama touts healthcare law as part of outreach to women

Republicans dismissed the forum as nothing more than a campaign event.

Republican National Committee Co-Chairwoman Sharon Day attacked the administration over its economic policies, which include the health reform law.

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"Across America, women are feeling the pain of the weak economy — in the job market and at the kitchen table," Day said in a statement. "Wives are worried about shrinking wages and rising prices as they try to make ends meet. Mothers fear for their children's futures as the national debt skyrockets and college becomes unaffordable. Businesswomen are frustrated by the regulations and economic policies that make hiring impossible."

Obama's speech coincided with the release of a report from the White House Council on Women and Girls that highlighted several steps the administration has taken to help women, including provisions of the healthcare law: 

• 1.1 million women between the ages of 19 and 25 who would otherwise have been uninsured currently receive health coverage under a parent’s health insurance plan or through an individually purchased health insurance plan;

• 20.4 million women are benefiting from expanded access to preventive services such as mammograms, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and prenatal care at no additional cost;

• 24.7 million women enrolled in Medicare received preventive services at no additional cost in 2011 — including an annual wellness visit, a personalized prevention plan, mammograms and bone mass measurement for women at risk of osteoporosis; 

• More than 2 million women enrolled in Medicare who hit the "doughnut hole" saved $1.2 billion in 2011 due to improvements in prescription drug coverage.

"When people talk about repealing healthcare reform," Obama said, "they're not just saying we should stop protecting women with preexisting conditions; they're also saying we should kick about a million young women off their parent’s healthcare plans.

"When people say we should get rid of Planned Parenthood, they’re not just talking about restricting a woman’s ability to make her own health decision; they’re talking about denying, as a practical matter, the preventive care, like mammograms, that millions of women rely on."