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BARCC Updates

Statement on U.S. Senate’s Proposed Bill to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act

Yesterday the United States Senate released the Better Care Reconciliation Act, a proposed bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Gina Scaramella, executive director of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, released the following statement in response:

“This bill, if passed, would result in serious harm to survivors of sexual violence. Under current law, health insurance plans must cover essential health benefits such as preventive health-care services that most of us assume exist in our health plans. The proposed Senate bill would let states offer plans that do not include these essential health benefits, which  includes tests for blood pressure and cholesterol, mammograms, and vaccinations. They also include coverage for mental health care and substance abuse treatment, which are truly essential for survivors of sexual violence.

“The medical and mental health impacts of sexual violence go well beyond the need for a ‘rape kit’ exam. Survivors need long-term access to nonjudgmental health and mental health services to reduce their suffering and prevent additional harms. Sexual violence puts a load on intimate family relationships.  This happens not only at the time of assault, but also in an ongoing way as ‘life happens.’

“Sexual assault is an unacceptable part of life for too many. It is hard to overstate the potential harm this bill could inflict on survivors of sexual violence. If passed, it will bring additional grief and hardship to survivors of sexual violence.”

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Posted by Gina Scaramella

Gina Scaramella
Gina Scaramella, LICSW, provides the vision and strategic leadership to advance BARCC's mission. As executive director since 2003, she works closely with people within and outside of the organization to continually grow and improve it. Gina began at BARCC as a volunteer hotline counselor in 1989 before heading to graduate school. She joined staff in 1995 to coordinate the medical and legal advocacy programs. Gina has grown BARCC’s budget nearly three­fold and developed the infrastructure to ensure BARCC's positive impact for survivors, in our communities, and beyond. Gina has worked nationally as an expert with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was part of the EMPOWER leadership team, which was tasked with formulating Massachusetts’s approach to preventing sexual violence. She also served as an expert for the federal Defending Childhood Project of the Boston Public Health Commission. Currently she is on the board of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, the project management team of the National Telenursing Center, the advisory board for the Indicators Project of the Vera Center for Justice, and the leadership team of the National Vicarious Trauma Tool Kit project with Northeastern University. Gina holds an LICSW license and earned her master of social work degree from Boston University.

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