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Why ACA repeal bill is the worst yet — especially for women
September 28, 2017

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To the editor:

The Graham-Cassidy bill, crafted by a group of all-male politicians behind closed doors, has been denounced by Planned Parenthood and many health care groups, including the American Medical Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association and the March of Dimes.

It's no surprise. In addition to the dangerous policies we've seen in previous versions of Obamacare repeal, the Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill goes much further than any other piece of legislation. The bill restructures the Medicaid program in a way that would eliminate health care coverage for millions of people - affecting women and children the most. Thirteen million women stand to lose their maternity care. Those who don't lose their insurance will end up paying more in monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs for less coverage.

This bill doesn't fix what's broken. Instead, it entirely does away with the health care system millions of people rely on. The legislation is built like a time bomb - every year, it will bring more bad news for women. Simply put, this bill would mean Americans pay more and get less, and women would pay the biggest price of all. Here's how:

Many Medicaid patients already have limited options for care such as birth control, cancer screenings and regular checkups. Preventing them from coming to Planned Parenthood would leave many with nowhere to go for basic reproductive health care. Mothers of newborns who are actually able to keep their Medicaid coverage, starting just next month, may be forced to find a job within 60 days of giving birth or lose their health insurance.

Under this bill, women will lose critical nationwide coverage protections for maternity coverage, prescription drug coverage, and mental health services. Whether a woman has coverage for this services will depend on what state she lives in. And no matter where she lives, the cost of insurance will increase. Beginning in 2020, the bill completely eliminates Affordable Care Act tax credits to help people afford private insurance.

Women with pre-existing conditions, which includes pregnancy, will be charged more. Insurers get to unilaterally decide what is considered a pre-existing condition and whom they can charge more for coverage. Before the ACA, people who had a baby, a C-section, breast cancer or even an eating disorder, anxiety, depression or substance abuse were deemed to have a pre-existing condition. Sixty-five million women were considered to have a pre-existing condition.

Women deserve better. Please urge our elected representatives to stand up for women in New York and across the country and to defend their access to critically important health care services.

Sincerely,

Tess Barker

President/CEO

Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York Inc.

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