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TrumpCare: Another Front in the War on Women



Sad, but true:

And, of course, it’s not just poor people Paul Ryan wants to brutalize:

The GOP answer to the Affordable Care Act was unveiled only yesterday, and it’s already about as big a hit as New Coke. Nobody seems to like it or even see it as an improvement over what we already have, save Paul Ryan and the underlings whose job it is to convince the public that they agree with Paul Ryan. Liberals hate it. Conservatives hate it. And low-income Americans will definitely hate it, once they realize what’s in it.

As policy analysts wade their way through the 123-page bill in an attempt to glean its exact ins and outs, one thing is clear: this bill is not kind to women. In fact, portions of it read as though Republican lawmakers deliberately set out to make having female reproductive parts even more of an expensive headache than it already is. The AHCA contains several ways in which low-income women could be further encumbered with higher healthcare costs and fewer choices.

The GOP’s plan guts the Medicaid expansion, defunds Planned Parenthood, and sunsets a federal rule that requires that qualified insurance plans cover things like mental health care, maternity care, and pediatric dental and vision care, among other things. That means that states could individually choose not to require insurance plans to cover maternity care, and that women who are planning on having a child would need to purchase special insurance riders, which would likely be prohibitively expensive. Further, the fate of the ACA’s birth control mandate—which allowed women to obtain contraception at no out-of-pocket cost, ostensibly because making it extremely easy for a woman to not get pregnant is more cost effective than dealing with a woman who is pregnant and does not want to be—is also up in the air.

In short, if the House GOP plan were signed into law as-is, women could face financial repercussions for being poor, or for using birth control, or for not using birth control, or for giving birth, or for having children who need medical care. How many iPhones does an out-of-pocket Cesarean Section cost?

Stephanie Glover, senior policy analyst at the National Partnership for Women and Families, lays out the AHCA’s one-two-three-four punch to women’s health thusly: “One by one this would be really bad for women’s health. Packaged in a single bill is pretty alarming.”

I assume during the negotiations one central question of the Freedom Caucus will be whether vote suppression measures can be added to a reconciliation bill.


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