This last item sent Rep. Kelly over the deep rhetorical end. He declared the policy to be "an attack on our [religious] freedom" akin to other days that live in infamy: Pearl Harbor, where more than 2,400 Americans died, and 9/11, on which nearly 3,000 were lost.
At a time when half the women in this country have delayed preventive care because of its cost, in a nation where 99 percent of American women of childbearing age have used birth control, preventive-health services for women are being equated with terrorism.
And opponents of the ACA are being compared to Christian martyrs: The president of Georgetown University last month equated the Obama administration's refusal to allow Catholic bishops to dictate national health policy with Henry VIII's beheading of St. Thomas More.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2.1 million Pennsylvania women eventually will benefit from this provision as their health-insurance plans are renewed. Thanks to the ACA, other preventive services, like mammograms, colonoscopies, blood pressure checks, prenatal exams and childhood immunizations have been provided in new and renewed insurance plans since September 2010.
Some reports cast these services as "free." They are not. The costs are covered in insurance premiums. Whether the premiums are part of a compensation package from an employer — or if a woman buys an individual policy — she is paying for this care. It isn't a gift from her boss or government.
If you don't have insurance, you don't get the services without paying for them out of pocket. In 2014, though, about 19 million uninsured women will be eligible for comprehensive health coverage, and higher costs for women's health insurance will be prohibited.
But that historic day will come only if the ACA is allowed to take full effect. Republicans in Congress remain united in their vow to prevent that from happening. So far, the House of Representatives has voted 33 times to repeal the law, in votes that were symbolic since President Obama surely would veto such legislation if it got to his desk.
So it's up to voters in November to decide how Aug. 1 is remembered. Will it be seen as only a temporary lift to women's health that was undone in the next administration? Or will the date fade from memory because it was just a stepping-stone to providing health care for all Americans?