Welcome to This Week in Women’s Health Care—the round-up for women who care about what is going on on in Washington and round the nation, and the way it impacts their rights. Once every week, we’ll convey you the newest information from the world of politics and clarify the way it impacts you. Let’s get to it!
Congressional Republicans sneak an assault on Obamacare into their tax reform invoice.
After several failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), many thought congressional Republicans may need lastly accepted the ACA as the regulation of the land—that’s, till this week when Senate Republicans revealed their plans to kill the particular person mandate, a key facet of the regulation, of their tax reform invoice.
The particular person mandate, which requires each American to get health insurance coverage or pay a nice in the type of a tax penalty, ensures that more healthy clients are enrolling on plans to subsidize protection for the sick. (More info on that here.) Health economists predict that with out the mandate, the variety of insured Americans might drop shortly—with youthful, more healthy Americans notably apt to unenroll.
Despite its prominence, the particular person mandate has been one among the least widespread elements of the regulation. Even some ACA proponents have admitted the measure has flaws; many Americans opted to pay the penalty on their taxes relatively than cope with the headache and price of enrolling.
Still, slipping the repeal of the particular person mandate right into a tax reform invoice after a yr of coverage losses is an underhanded transfer by the GOP—and one congressional Democrats are probably to problem. Even if the mandate is unpopular, many health specialists agree that it’s essential for insurance coverage markets to proceed to perform underneath Obamacare. Some have even compared the ACA to a three-legged stool: Remove one facet of the regulation, and the relaxation falls. Allow youthful, more healthy Americans to choose out of health insurance coverage, and insurance coverage corporations will not have the ability to cowl sicker clients, defeating the objective of Obamacare.
The Supreme Court is taking over a free speech case relating to a California pro-choice invoice.
The Supreme Court introduced this week that it’ll tackle a case regarding abortion and free speech, specializing in a California regulation referred to as the Reproductive FACT Act.
Slightly background: California handed the Reproductive FACT Act in 2015 in an effort to regulate disaster being pregnant facilities. Crisis pregnancy centers appear to be reproductive health clinics (like Planned Parenthood), however they’re truly anti-abortion organizations that function with the categorical intent of speaking women out of terminating pregnancies. They typically fail (refuse) to disclose all of the choices obtainable to pregnant women, and lots of of them supply medically inaccurate details about the dangers of abortion, as nicely.
So in 2015, California handed the Reproductive FACT Act, which requires disaster being pregnant facilities to inform sufferers about the complete household planning packages the state makes obtainable. These packages embrace issues like prenatal care and abortion. Crisis being pregnant facilities have been instructed to notify their sufferers about these packages by legibly printing notices about them and posting them in “conspicuous” locations of their ready rooms.
Anti-abortion teams challenged the Reproductive FACT Act shortly after it handed, arguing that the regulation violates their freedom of speech by compelling them to present info they disagree with and successfully forcing them to refer women to abortion clinics. It’s unclear the place the Supreme Court will fall on this one, given how they’ve ruled on similar issues in the previous.
President Donald Trump faucets a pharmaceutical government as his Health and Human Services decide.
This week, Trump introduced his new decide for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): Alex Azar, a pharmaceutical government with Eli Lilly. This announcement comes almost two months after former HHS Secretary Tom Price resigned in shame when Politico reported that Price was utilizing a personal jet for many of his journey. (Politico estimated that these flights value taxpayers greater than $400,000.)
Though a lot of Trump’s cupboard is comprised of outsiders who’ve little to no expertise in the fields they’re now in command of (Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos—simply to identify a couple of), Azar is seen as very much an insider. He served as HHS Deputy Secretary in George W. Bush’s administration earlier than turning into the president of Eli Lilly in 2007.
Allegations towards Senate candidate Roy Moore proceed to mount.
At press time, eight women have come ahead with with allegations that Alabama politician Roy Moore made undesirable sexual advances towards them once they have been youngsters. Moore, who’s operating for a U.S. Senate seat, has denied these claims—decrying them as “the very definition of fake news” and a “vicious and nasty round of attacks” on him by the liberal media.
Despite the allegations, Moore has refused to drop out of the Senate race. Fox News polling data exhibits that Moore’s general favorability score dropped seven factors between the starting of October (earlier than the allegations of sexual misconduct) and now, however that very same knowledge exhibits that Moore still has a chance of profitable the Senate seat towards Democratic candidate Doug Jones.
Puerto Rico is dealing with an rising psychological health disaster.
A psychological health disaster is rising in Puerto Rico, the place residents and authorities officers alike are nonetheless coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The pure catastrophe, which is considered one among the worst Atlantic storms on document, hit Puerto Rico and quite a lot of different islands in the Caribbean in late September and early October.
As Puerto Rico’s public health disaster continues—half the island nonetheless doesn’t have electricity, and lots of residents are drinking contaminated water—it’s turning into more and more clear that the island is grappling with a psychological health disaster as nicely. According to the New York Times, docs are involved about clinics being overrun with individuals in search of psychological health care. One medical skilled advised the New York Times that greater than 90 % of the 2,500 sufferers handled at the facility the place he works have been in want of psychological health screenings. That’s staggering.
It’s not unusual for communities to face mental health crises after extreme pure disasters. Census-based surveys carried out in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina discovered that the prevalence of great psychological health circumstances doubled amongst New Orleans residents after the storm hit in 2005. These psychological health circumstances can embrace issues like nervousness, melancholy, PTSD, and basic emotional misery. (Here’s a quick reminder of some issues you are able to do to assist these affected by Hurricane Maria particularly.)