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How the GOP Health Care Bill Could Hurt Women

The Republicans’ proposed health care bill, which the House approved on Thursday, might make it harder for women to get low-cost health insurance coverage by permitting states to once more outline sexual assault, home violence and C-sections as “pre-existing conditions.”

In 2008, the National Women’s Law Center issued a report, “Nowhere to Turn: How the Individual Health Insurance Market Fails Women,” which discovered that women typically have larger premiums than males and that only a few insurers cowl maternity care. The report additionally discovered that insurers might refuse to cowl survivors of sexual assault or home violence by characterizing their previous trauma as a “pre-existing condition.”

“They could tell sexual assault survivors, ‘Because you require preventative HIV medication and antidepressants, you’re too expensive. We can’t make a profit off of you, we’re not going to cover you,’” Janel George, the director of Federal Reproductive Rights and Health at the National Women’s Law Center, informed Motto.

The Affordable Care Act modified that by banning insurers from discriminating towards anybody with a pre-existing situation and mandating that each one insurers cowl ten Essential Health Benefits, together with maternity and new child care, psychological health providers, and preventive care, like mammograms.

But an modification buried in the Republicans’ American Health Care Act threatens to strip away these federal protections for women. Though President Donald Trump promised that the GOP’s proposed health care invoice will “guarantee” protection for pre-existing circumstances, that’s not precisely the case.

The modification, inserted into the invoice this week, would permit states to opt-out of an ACA provision barring insurers from setting prices based mostly on people’ health or pre-existing conditions. It would additionally permit states to opt-out of the ACA’s requirement that each one insurers cowl the Essential Health Benefits.

Depending on a state’s option to choose out of these necessities, it might quickly very properly be authorized for an insurer to cost women and survivors of home abuse larger premiums, or deny them protection altogether.

“We’ll go back to the days when your access of quality coverage depended on where you live,” George stated.

In the previous, some states have handed focused protections for women and survivors of home abuse. In 2010, for instance, earlier than the passage of the ACA, all however six states and the District of Columbia had laws barring insurers from treating home violence as a pre-existing situation, barring insurers from denying protection to somebody who had sought remedy for such abuse. In 2012, at the least 14 states had laws on the books stopping insurers from charging women extra for the similar health care protection.

“Women will disproportionately be affected by this legislation if it moves forward,” George stated. “This repeal vote is a vote to step back to a time when discrimination against women in the health center was permitted, widespread and it went largely unnoticed. It left women not only paying more but also jeopardized women’s health and economic security.”

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