“Paul Ryan and Republican Congressmen are willing to sell out the moms of America to pass the worst women’s health bill in a generation.”
Washington, DC ––Today and tomorrow, as the House of Representative continues to negotiate the ACA repeal bill, Planned Parenthood supporters in cities around the country will show up in force outside their representatives’ offices to protest the worst women’s health legislation in a generation. This army of pink clad supporters will send a very clear message: “We will not go quietly into the night while you take away our health care.
Quote from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“Paul Ryan and Republican Congressmen are willing to sell out the moms of America to pass the worst women’s health bill in a generation. Their latest bill would gut maternity care, force new moms on Medicaid back to work shortly after giving birth, and block women from getting preventive care at Planned Parenthood. Their clear disregard for women’s health is astounding.]
“Simply put, this bill makes it harder for women to prevent unintended pregnancy, harder to have a healthy pregnancy, and harder to raise a healthy child.
“Planned Parenthood patients and supporters will not go quietly into the night. We are fighting back and rallying at our Representative’s offices to make sure they hear us loud and clear: women’s health and rights are not negotiable.”
The ACA repeal bill is the worst legislation for women’s health in a generation. It would prohibit women from getting care like birth control and lifesaving cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood; kick millions of women off their insurance; gut maternity care, reduce access to no co-pay birth control, and essentially impose a nationwide ban on private insurance coverage of abortion.
Women’s health advocates will rally and voice their opposition in person where it matters most - right in the districts of the very members of Congress whose votes will make the difference and ultimately be held accountable for their actions. From coast to coast, Alaska to Arkansas and Texas to Tucson, the local districts of the following members of Congress will hear loud and clear “We Stand With Planned Parenthood - Protect Our Care” :
Little Rock, AR
Huntington Beach, CA
Palm Springs, CA
El Centro, CA
San Diego, CA
San Luis Obispo, CA
Overland Park, KS
State College, PA
West Chester PA
San Antonio, TX
Virginia Beach, VA
Glen Allen, VA
Las Vegas, NV
6 Ways the ACA Repeal Bill is the Worst Bill for Women’s Health in a Generation
1. Blocks low-income patients from receiving health care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
The bill would block millions of women from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Every year, 2.5 million women, men, and young people rely on Planned Parenthood for essential health care services, like birth control and life-saving cancer screenings. Many of these people, particularly those in rural areas and medically underserved areas, will have nowhere else to turn to for care if Planned Parenthood health centers are forced to close their doors. Despite false claims, community health centers cannot absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients and in any case, women should be able to choose their health care provider the same as politicians in Washington, DC do.
2. Forces new mothers on Medicaid to find work shortly after giving birth.
The bill gives states the option to impose work requirements as a condition of obtaining Medicaid coverage. It also gives states the ability to revoke Medicaid from new mothers if they don’t find work within 60 days of giving birth. Work requirements are generally unnecessary and harmful, as nearly 60 percent of Medicaid enrollees who can work do, and if they don’t work it’s as a result of a major impediment. Work requirements disproportionately impact women as they account for 62 percent of Medicaid enrollees who are not working. Work requirements for new mothers are especially harmful.
3. Guts maternity care.
The bill would get rid of the “essential health benefits” provision, which requires the majority of health plans to cover services like maternity and newborn care, mental health services, and prescription drugs/ By eliminating essential health benefits, many plans would not offer maternity care, given only 12 percent of individuals plans covered maternity care prior to the ACA.
4. Kicks millions of women and men off their insurance.
The bill slashes Medicaid and ends Medicaid expansion which will result in women, disproportionately women of color, losing critical access to care. The CBOreports that 24 million people will lose coverage over the next 10 years, 14 million of which will lose Medicaid coverage due to the bill's hard-hearted measures to kick people off of Medicaid. Approximately 20% of women of reproductive age rely on Medicaid to access no-cost, critical reproductive health care such as birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, and maternity care. The bill also makes coverage less affordable (by reducing financial assistance to purchase coverage), resulting in even more women losing coverage.
5. Reduces women’s access to no co-pay birth control.
While the bill does not specifically repeal the no-copay birth control benefit, the fact that millions of women will lose coverage means they will no longer have access to no-copay birth control. Under the ACA, more than 55 million women gained access to no-copay birth control in the private insurance market, and approximately 16.7 million women benefit from Medicaid coverage, which also covers birth control at no cost. Paying out-of-pocket for birth control pills can cost a woman up to $600 per year, which is simply unaffordable for young women and people with low incomes who are struggling to make ends meet. Arecent poll found that 33% of women could not afford to pay more than $10 for birth control.
6. Imposes a nationwide ban on private insurance coverage of abortion.
The bill prohibits federal financial assistance from being used to purchase a private plan on or off the Marketplace if it covers abortion. Employers will also be impacted by this provision, as small employers will not be able to use a tax credit to help purchase coverage for their employees that cover abortion. As a result, plans will be coerced into dropping abortion coverage, outside of rape, incest or life endangerment to the woman, despite the fact that abortion is one component of providing women comprehensive reproductive health care coverage. More than one million women currently have access to Marketplace plans that cover their full reproductive health care needs, including abortion. Given this provision extends outside of the Marketplace, the number of women impacted could be far greater given insurance plans, when not barred by state law, typically cover abortion. Women, no matter how much money they make or how they get health insurance -- should be able to able to access the full-range of reproductive health care, including abortion and make their own decisions about pregnancy based on their own unique circumstances.
Rolling Back the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits Will Hurt Women
Any effort to roll back the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits coverage standards is a direct attack on women of all ages. Women disproportionately rely on every one of the EHB standards -- not just maternity coverage-- and would be disproportionately affected by the elimination of these services.
1. AMBULATORY CARE: Women make up approximately 60% of outpatient visits.
2. EMERGENCY SERVICES: Women account for 6 in 10 visits to the emergency room.
3. HOSPITALIZATIONS: Women are 70% more likely than men to have had an in-patient hospital stay.
4. MATERNITY & NEWBORN CARE:9 million women gained maternity and newborn coverage thanks to the ACA. Prior to the ACA only 12% of individual market health plans covered maternity care.
5. MENTAL HEALTH & SUBSTANCE USE: Women are 40% more likely than men to have mental health needs. Additionally, women are roughly 75% more likely than men to report having recently suffered from depression.
6. PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: Women are more likely than men to need prescription drugs to meet their daily health care needs.
7. REHABILITATIVE SERVICES: Women are more likely to suffer from a stroke and require rehabilitative services to help them regain motor or speaking skills.
8. LAB TESTS: Some of the most common lab tests are specifically geared to women, including pap smears, pregnancy tests, mammograms, brca gene testing (breast cancer testing), and many other lab services that are necessary to diagnose and treat conditions that disproportionately impact women like autoimmune disorders, thyroid disorders, and urinary tract infections.
9. PREVENTIVE SERVICES & CHRONIC DISEASE MANAGEMENT: 55 million have received access to no cost birth control, well-woman visits, domestic violence screenings, and STI/HIV screenings thanks to the ACA.
10. PEDIATRIC SERVICES. In two-parent households where at least one parent is a woman, women tend to bear a disproportionate share of childcare and caregiving responsibility for children. In addition, 80% of single-parent households are headed by women.
The Facts on "Defunding" Planned Parenthood
FACT: The term “defunding” Planned Parenthood is a misnomer. There is no blank check that Planned Parenthood gets from the federal government, and it’s not a line item in the federal budget. Instead, this type of legislation would prevent millions of women who rely on Medicaid and/or other federal programs from accessing the health care provider that’s been there for them for decades. Federal law already blocks federal funding from going to abortion services. This legislation instead blocks people from accessing cancer screenings, birth control, HIV and STI testing, and other preventive and essential care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
FACT: Blocking access to Planned Parenthood is deeply unpopular. According to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation 75% of Americans, including majorities of both Republican women and Republican men, support federal Medicaid reimbursement for Planned Parenthood. An independent poll released in January, 70% of American voters oppose blocking patients from accessing Planned Parenthood - including 50% of Trump voters. A February 2017 Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll showed 77% of Iowans support funding for Planned Parenthood’s preventive care, including 62% of Republicans and 62% of evangelical Christians. This goes along with 19 national polls that all show overwhelming support for Planned Parenthood.
FACT: Blocking access to Planned Parenthood hurts people in communities who are struggling to get by the most – especially those with low incomes and those living in areas with no other quality health care providers. This disproportionately impacts people who already face structural barriers to accessing care including people of color, immigrants, young people, and members of the LGBTQ community – with those whose identities overlap facing multiple barriers.
FACT: Support for Roe v. Wade is at the highest it’s ever been, according to Pew Research, with 7 out of 10 Americans saying they believe a woman should have the right to safe, legal abortion.
FACT: Other providers cannot absorb Planned Parenthood’s patient base if it is cut off from federal programs. Politicians who want to deny patients using Medicaid from going to Planned Parenthood often insist that other providers will fill the gap, but the experts at the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the National Partnership for Women and Families said it flat out: They can't. Even the executive director of the American Public Health Association has called such claims “ludicrous.”
FACT: Legislation denying access to care at Planned Parenthood was a health disaster in Texas. Two Texas public health investigators wrote in the Washington Post that when Texas passed legislation it was devastating – and shouldn't be repeated in the rest of the country. A significant number of women also lost or had reduced access to primary care providers as a consequence of limiting patient options.
FACT: When lawmakers in Louisiana, Ohio, and Florida tried to block access to Planned Parenthood in the past, they suggested women could go to “alternative” providers for reproductive health care, including dentists, food banks, nursing homes, ENTs, elementary schools, rehabs, and retirement homes.
FACT: Fifty-four percent of Planned Parenthood health centers are in health professional shortage areas, rural or medically underserved areas. Planned Parenthood health centers provide preventive health care to many who otherwise would have nowhere to turn for care.
FACT: Although Planned Parenthood health centers comprised 10% of the country’s safety-net centers that offered family planning care in 2010, they served 36% of patients served by such centers. In 21 percent of counties with a Planned Parenthood health center, Planned Parenthood was the only safety-net family planning provider; and in 68 percent of counties with a Planned Parenthood health center, Planned Parenthood served at least half of all safety-net family planning patients.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
March 24, 2017