Americans finally got their first look at Senate Republicans’ proposed health care overhaul the coming week, a dense 142-pagedocument that provides a massive rollback on the ACA’s commitment to promote health care access nationwide.
Reproductive rights advocacy groups and non-partisan health organizations that serve girls wasted no time in condemning the bill, issuing statements on Thursday calling it an” assault on women’s health”( The Center For Reproductive Rights) “reckless”( The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) and warning that it is” worse than the bill passed by the House”( the American Psychological Association ).
With just days before it could head to the Senate floor for a vote, experts and analysts are are furiously diving into the details, attempting to determine what this bill means for the future of health care in this country. But what’s already very clear that women will pay a steep cost if it passes.
1. It slashes Medicaid.
More than 25 million girlsare covered by Medicaid, and the steep cuts to that essential program will make them hard. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office( CBO) calculate found that 14 million fewer people would get Medicaid over the next decade based on the House bill and the outcome under the Senate bill could be similar — or worse.
It’s also worth noting that 44 percentage of the Medicaid population are children under the age of 18, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics slammed the GOP health care bill Thursday, saying it” fails to meet children’s requires” and puts everyone, from a newborn requiring emergency heart surgery to a toddler who requires a wheelchair, at risk. All things that probably matter very much to any woman who happens to be a mom, grandmother or auntie — or who simply wants kids to have access to health care.
2. It threatens to cost millions of women out of maternity care.
Obamacare transformed maternity coverage in the United States by making it an essential health benefit, meaning that all plans had to cover prenatal care and childbirth. Before that, merely 12 percentage of individual marketplace schemes actually covered maternity care, and it was totally legal for insurance companies to deny coverage to women who were pregnant or who could plausibly become pregnant down the road.
The Senate bill, much like the bill that narrowly passed the House in May, gives nations leeway to waive those essential health benefits requirements. Which means that millions of women stand to lose maternity coverage. Plus, calculates suggest that nearly half of all births in the United States are covered by Medicaid. It’s not good news for those women that the Senate bill includes even deeper cuts to Medicaid than the House version of the Obamacare overhaul called for.
OB-GYNs understand this.” Hardworking women and families would return to the days when having a child or facing a devastating diagnosis could mean bankruptcy ,” ACOG cautioned in a statement.
3. It “defunds” Planned Parenthood.
After years of threatening Schemed Parenthood, the new bill could finally succeed in “defunding” the health care provider for a full year. While the words” Planned Parenthood” aren’t actually written anywhere in the bill, it blocks Medicaid reimbursement to any health care provider that offers abortions( except in specific cases, like rape and incest ). Which means that Medicaid patients would be effectively blocked from going to Schemed Parenthood for preventive services, like Pap smears or contraceptive counseling. After the House version of the bill was released, the CBO predicted that “defunding” Planned Parenthood for one year would particularly affect low-income women and women in rural areas, leaving 15 percent of those women without services that avoid pregnancy, The Washington Post reports.
” Slashing Medicaid and blocking millions of women from getting preventive care at Planned Parenthood is beyond heartless ,” Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America said in a statement.
4. It could penalize mamas who don’t meet certain work requirements soon after they give birth.
Reproductive rights advocacy groups like the Center for Reproductive Rights and Schemed Parenthood have pounced on a section of the bill that they say makes it possible for the countries to basically force some girls to go back to work two months after they give birth, at which point many mommies are still mending and all parents are very much in the thick of caring for a needy, helpless newborn. That’s because the bill includes a Medicaid work requirement that lets states yank coverage from women who haven’t found a job by that phase.
The bill” imposes optional work requirements on Medicaid recipients, allowing the countries to force-out new mothers on Medicaid to find work as soon as 60 days after giving birth ,” the Center for Reproductive Rights said in a statement.
5. It penalizes women for buying plans that encompass abortion.
The Senate bill, much like the House version, prevents people from using taxation credits to buy insurance on the individual marketplace if they want to buy a plan that encompasses abortion( again, except in the case of rape or incest or to save a woman’s life ). Reproductive rights advocacy groups argue that this move will discourage private insurance companies from offering plans that encompas abortion, even employer-sponsored plans.
” Coupled with current restrictions … this measure would create a system where virtually all women- whether they are uninsured, insured through Medicaid or another federal program, insured through the individual market, or even insured by an employer- in the United States don’t have coverage for abortion services ,” The Center For Reproductive Rights said in a statement.