Eight years in the past I had the unimaginable alternative to be invited to function one of many first Regional Coordinators for the Raising Women’s Voices collaborative. With the election of Barack Obama, true health care reform could possibly be seen on the horizon and women’s health advocates have been preventing to have a seat on the desk or at the least be within the room when essential conversations befell.
Groups like ours had acknowledged that women’s health care needs have all the time been higher, particularly throughout their reproductive years. We have been keenly conscious of how the U.S. health care system had failed to satisfy these wants, even though women traditionally have performed a central position in coordinating health look after relations, are nearly all of health care staff on this nation, and sometimes lived with persistent health circumstances and disabilities.
Because insurance coverage carriers deemed our gender “high risk,” women had a horrific time acquiring protection from the person market and have been charged a lot higher premiums for a similar advantages than males of the identical age. These larger health care prices meant that women skilled larger issues paying medical payments and prevented women from in search of care.
And worst of all, earlier than main reforms, insurance coverage corporations have been allowed to discriminate towards women on account of our distinctive health wants. Insurers might deny protection to us if we’d been pregnant, had fought and survived most cancers, or even when we’d suffered domestic violence. In many instances, health plans didn’t even cowl maternity care.
It was our job as women’s health advocates to show the issues in our health care system that had persistently failed to offer entry to wanted care for a lot of women and women. Our health care system as we knew it was merely unacceptable and we would have liked significant reforms that may permit women to affordably entry the care and providers they wanted and deserved.
After preventing to get our seat on the desk, we have been capable of inform the talk and celebrated the signing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into regulation in March of 2010. Finally, there was a brand new, extra equitable panorama that eradicated most of the discriminatory insurance coverage business practices and allowed women the chance to seek out and hold reasonably priced insurance coverage.
During the previous six years, 8.2 million women gained protection and fewer women and households have needed to stay in worry that an sudden sickness or accident will undermine their financial safety or result in chapter. Seven in ten individuals who purchased protection by means of HealthCare.gov have been capable of get a plan with premiums of $75 per thirty days or much less. Roughly 55 million women have benefited from probably life-saving preventive providers like pap checks and mammograms with out co-pays. And women have gained entry to maternity coverage together with breastfeeding provides and help.
It’s exhausting to argue that the ACA has been something aside from transformational for women in our nation and it has been value celebrating the brand new extra equitable bar that was set. So you possibly can perceive how infuriating and heartbreaking it’s to know that the brand new powers-that-be in Washington are lifeless set on rolling again the progress we’ve made.
Incoming Congressional management, together with Wisconsin’s personal Paul Ryan, have promised to repeal the ACA as quickly as they probably can. Some analysts predict that a repeal invoice might be launched on January third and could possibly be the very first invoice President Trump indicators into regulation on January 21st. And right here’s the kicker: They’re anticipated to repeal the ACA with out an instantaneous alternative. They’ll get rid of the ACA with one fell swoop to throw red-meat their base and provides themselves a two-year window to provide you with a alternative in order to conveniently not intrude with the 2018 midterm elections.
This “repeal and delay” is assured to create devastating chaos together with the collapse of the person health insurance coverage market, which might have very dangerous penalties for women. If the Republicans take down the ACA by means of the price range reconciliation course of, you’ll be able to say goodbye to tax credit to assist women afford personal insurance coverage and to Medicaid eligibility enlargement which has helped hundreds of thousands of Americans entry protection and discover monetary safety.
To be truthful, many of those substantive enhancements to the ACA, such because the prohibition on discriminating towards these with a preexisting situation, can’t be undone by way of this price range reconciliation course of. But this gained’t matter to women who can not entry insurance coverage if the subsidies go away or if the person market collapses.
Any truthful individual should admit that the ACA isn’t good and wishes a number of improvements, however you might be assured that any eventual replacement plans put forth by the GOP gained’t be anyplace close to as favorable to shoppers and women because the ACA.
And as if the specter of an ACA repeal isn’t sufficient to fret about, Republican leaders are wanting to compromise the health and wellbeing of over 73 million low-income adults and youngsters, individuals with disabilities, and older Americans with their promise to enact devastating cuts to Medicaid – a program extremely necessary to American women, as they symbolize almost 70 percent of grownup enrollees.
My key take-away message is that women have everything to lose underneath the GOP’s model of “health care reform.” The future health and financial safety of hundreds of thousands of American women is at stake and we higher be able to battle! Remember, after profitable reelection in 2004, President Bush claimed he had a political “mandate” to denationalise Social Security, and that plan went down in flames in a Republican-controlled Congress. We can equally thwart this effort to dismantle the ACA or reduce Medicaid and assist it meet the identical destiny however we should take motion NOW! Start awakening others to what’s at stake by submitting a letter to the editor at the moment! Share what’s on the road in the course of the holidays so women are knowledgeable and impressed to talk out. The health care “bar” for women was raised for a cause. We can’t let Republicans deny us the fairness and entry we fought so extremely onerous for!