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Northern NY hospital employee: GOP bill is bad for women’s health (Commentary)

Paul Ryan,Greg Walden,Kevin McCarthy

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, middle, standing with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., proper, and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., left, speaks throughout a information convention on the American Health Care Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

(Susan Walsh / AP)

Michele O’Donnell is a affected person registration clerk at Gouverneur Hospital, and a member of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

By Michele O’Donnell

Rep. Elise Stefanik, elected in 2014 because the youngest women to ever serve in Congress, made her identify in politics as a pro-life advocate. But over two weeks in the past, after voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act and radically restructure Medicaid, she’s confirmed she’s something however. Instead, her vote for the Republican American Health Care Act (AHCA) threatens to take health care away from 24 million Americans, increase premiums by 20 %, and unravel crucial shopper protections that put women and their households in danger.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) ended a broad vary of discrimination within the insurance coverage market for women, a lot of it based mostly on the potential for women to grow to be moms. Insurers have been lastly barred from charging women greater than males for the identical coverage, from promoting women insurance policies that did not even embrace prenatal, maternal and preventive care like contraception, and from treating being pregnant, C-sections, and post-partum melancholy as pre-existing circumstances. In reality, the Essential Health Benefits provision of the ACA truly required insurers to offer these providers, lastly guaranteeing that women might entry the providers which are essential to their health.

The Republican repeal bill rolls again this progress, opening the door for insurance coverage corporations to cost extra for pre-existing circumstances like C-sections, psychological sickness, home abuse and even rape. All of a sudden, women might be topic to the damaging and discriminatory insurance policies of the previous.

The Republican repeal bill does not cease there. To finance the $600 billion of tax cuts to the rich included within the bill, the AHCA additionally cuts Medicaid enlargement, which introduced health care to 259,500 individuals in New York who had no protection earlier than. It restructures this system, risking the health of the 6 million individuals who get care by means of Medicaid in New York state, together with 28 % of seniors and 46 % of youngsters within the state. Overall, AHCA takes $800 billion out of Medicaid, which might dramatically change how this very important program helps households, probably capping their present protection of household planning providers and maternity care.

That does not simply flip again the clock on the ACA, it basically endangers the seniors, women, youngsters, and other people with disabilities who’ve trusted the Medicaid program for over 50 years.

Permanent cuts to Medicaid via arbitrary cost caps within the Republican bill do not simply imply higher struggles for moms in caring for their youngsters, but in addition extra challenges for all of us who’re caring for our growing older mother and father, particularly aged women. Women usually tend to be poor, to develop a incapacity as they age and to stay longer than males. Medicaid will turn out to be much more critically necessary for getting old women as seniors turn into a bigger proportion of the general inhabitants. Over the subsequent three many years the variety of individuals over 65 will virtually double to 81.7 million, from 15 % of the present inhabitants to 21 % sooner or later.

People over 65 are the quickest rising phase of the American inhabitants. More than two-thirds of seniors who obtain Medicaid are women. Many depend upon Medicaid for long-term care in nursing houses and thru in-home care providers: Three out of 4 nursing residence residents and two out of three residence health care recipients are women. Medicaid is indispensable for women in any respect ages and for moms in any stage of motherhood.

That’s why the American Academy of Pediatricians, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the AARP, the March of Dimes, the American Medical Association, Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need, the National Partnership for Women and Families and dozens of different affected person and health care advocacy organizations oppose the Republican bill.

Rep. Stefanik, alongside together with her New York Republican Congressional colleagues Chris Collins, Peter King, Lee Zeldin, Claudia Tenney, John Faso and Tom Reed, ought to be ashamed for voting for the House Republican health care bill that will increase worries for women whereas giving the wealthy and firms extra massive breaks. We deserve higher. Our representatives must be constructing on the success of present packages to enhance health care for everybody, not scrapping the present system and ranging from scratch.

Rep. Tenney: Time for facts on American Health Care Act

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