TrumpCare will fail all women
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One of the most dangerous “alternative facts” coming from the White House these days is that the Affordable Care Act — ObamaCare — is an abject failure on the brink of collapse.

Let me say upfront that I believe healthcare is a basic human right, and that everyone should be covered by a single-payer system. But to say ObamaCare is failing is simply false.

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To help prove this point, let me ask you a question. How many people does ObamaCare cover?

 

It’s not what you think. If your answer is the number of formerly uninsured people who were newly insured under the law — that’s the wrong way of looking at it. The fact is that ObamaCare has helped all of us — everyone who has healthcare.

As Larry Levitt, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation told CNN, "The ACA made changes in every part of the healthcare system. Virtually everyone has been touched by the ACA."

The ACA significantly expanded affordable healthcare for women, and today, women have a great deal at stake in the debate raging through Congress.

Health services that were not covered in the past, or only offered with high co-pays or deductibles, are now built into our healthcare system, thanks to the essential health benefits, including maternity care, that every plan must cover.

Fifty-five million women now have access to preventive services at no extra cost that improve women’s lives and reduce healthcare costs nationwide. That list includes annual well-woman exams; breast-feeding support and supplies for new mothers; birth control; screening and counseling for domestic and intimate partner violence; and screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

Before ObamaCare, insurance companies were free to charge women more than men for the exact same coverage, a rip-off that the National Women’s Law Center estimated cost women about $1 billion a year. And only 12 percent of individual-market health plans offered maternity coverage.

ObamaCare reduced what seniors pay for Medicare coverage — 55 percent of whom are women — and lowered the cost of prescription drugs.

And approximately 9.5 million women who were previously uninsured have gained access to health coverage through the ACA.

Obamacare has affected everyone’s healthcare, and everyone has a stake in making it work better. Unfortunately, the American Health Care Act (TrumpCare) makes things immeasurably worse.

The bill is first and foremost a $600 billion tax giveaway to the wealthiest, paid for primarily by gutting Medicaid and slashing premium subsidies for lower-income earners. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that over 10 years, the scheme would throw some 24 million people off their insurance plans.

It gets worse. The bill would defund Planned Parenthood (actually, block Medicaid reimbursements to Planned Parenthood clinics), causing millions of women to lose access to reproductive care.

It gets worse still. The bill makes it all but impossible to find any insurance coverage, federally funded or private, for abortion care. And state-by-state, maternity care could become unavailable or prohibitively expensive.

We know what happens when women are unable to access affordable, safe, high-quality reproductive healthcare: The rates of maternal mortality, maternal morbidity, and infant mortality increase. Texas recently saw a doubling of pregnancy-related deaths after the state slashed funding for women’s health, including defunding Planned Parenthood.

Any politician who thinks that promoting this bill is in any way consistent with being pro-life has a capacity for self-deception that is truly phenomenal.

But women are not fooled. We are mobilized against this monstrosity, and we intend to replace any legislator, Republican or Democrat, who supports it.

Terry O’Neill is the president of the National Organization for Women.


The views of contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.