This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The health benefits of breastfeeding a newborn, both for the baby and the mother, have been extolled in research paper after scientific report. So it seems illogical that insurance companies often don't pay for the professional expertise and equipment that many new mothers need. But, then, nobody ever said health insurance policies were logical.
Still, under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are required to pay for those services and devices.
Like some other aspects of the wide-ranging new law, it probably will take time for health-care providers and insurers to catch up. The health-care reform act addresses many topics as it must. It's to the credit of all those members of Congress and President Barack Obama that such things as breastfeeding which is so important to give infants the best possible start in life are included.
Mothers who need help from a certified nursing consultant or who need breast pumps and other items to make the practice easier and more convenient should keep demanding attention from their insurance companies, all of which are required to provide the benefits to their insured clients.
The Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, is the most far-reaching government health-care program since Medicare, which is now one of the most popular government programs in the country. Just see what happens if you say, in the presence of Americans over the age of 65, that Medicare should be abolished.
But at its inception 44 years ago, and for many years afterward, many conservative Republicans decried Medicare as a slippery slope, apt to take the country into socialism. They fought it in every way they could and have tried for decades to amend it out of existence. Obamacare is likely to also take awhile to become as popular, but getting access to needed health care, including such services as help with breastfeeding, will eventually cement it into American society along with Medicare, Medicaid and that other popular government program, Social Security.
Getting the entire program up and running will not be without glitches, and every one will be pointed to by conservatives as evidence of its failure. But don't be fooled. Obamacare is here to stay, and Americans will eventually embrace it for its benefits to ordinary working individuals and families and breastfeeding help will be one of them.