Republican Leaders Begin Crusade to Create Chaos in the Health Care System for Millions of Americans
WASHINGTON, DC - Planned Parenthood Federation of America released the following statement after Congressional Republican leaders introduced a resolution aimed at taking away health care from millions of people, including the 55 million women receiving access to no-copay preventive care such as birth control. The resolution offers no plan for replacing the coverage that will be lost, and comes as President-elect Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway claims “We don’t want anyone who currently has insurance to not have insurance.”
Statement of Dana Singiser, Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“Republican leaders are launching their crusade to take health care away from millions of people across America and increase health premiums for millions more. The resolution introduced last night is the first step in the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act, which has helped make historic gains for access to health care. Repealing the ACA means that more than 55 million women would lose their access to no-copay preventive services such as birth control and life-saving cancer screenings. It would mean that being a woman would once again be a pre-existing condition, and health insurers could deny health coverage to tens of millions of women. And nearly 30 million women, men and young people, 82 percent of whom are in working families, would lose the health insurance they gained through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and private insurance.
On literally the first day of the new Congress, Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell were already rushing ahead to rip apart our health care system with no plan to make sure people have continued access to affordable care.
This makes Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway’s claim that no one will lose insurance coverage under the GOP ‘plan’ even more puzzling. Her flippant and dismissive statement ignores the important ACA benefits that people rely on. Will women continue to get the birth control that works best for them without a copay? Will young people still retain the security of staying on a parent's plan until age 26? Everyday people care about these issues and how they affect their lives and pocketbooks. That’s why Americans across the political spectrum don’t want these dangerous and backward policies. The public believes it is wrong to tear apart their health care without knowing what the replacement plan is to keep their families healthy and financially secure.”
What repealing the ACA would mean for women:
- Before the ACA, being a woman could be considered a pre-existing condition. Without the law, health plans could, once again, be able to deny health coverage to tens of millions of women.
- Before the ACA, health plans would routinely classify common medical events, like pregnancy and yeast infections, as pre-existing conditions -- and deny women coverage. Some health plans went as far as denying women coverage because they had experienced domestic violence (another “pre-existing condition”).
- If the ACA were repealed, 55 million women would lose access to no-copay preventive services, including birth control, STI screenings, and life-saving preventive services such as breast cancer screenings and pap tests.
- The ACA requires almost all health insurance plans to cover all 18 FDA-approved methods of birth control, without cost-sharing.
- The law also requires coverage of other important women’s preventive health care, like breast cancer screenings, HIV and STI screenings, and well-woman visits, without cost-sharing.
- Since the ACA’s implementation, the prohibition on cost-sharing has saved women more than $1.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs on birth control pills.
- Currently, approximately 55 million women benefit from preventive care with no out-of pocket costs.
- Repealing the ACA would reinstate gender inequality by allowing plans to charge women more than men for the same health care coverage.
- The ACA includes a provision that prevents insurance companies from using what’s called “gender rating”: charging women higher costs than men for the same coverage.
- If gender rating was allowed again, women would pay an estimated $1 billion more than men for the same health care plans.
- Without the ACA, millions of low-income women would lose their health insurance.
- Under the ACA, states may expand their Medicaid programs to cover additional low-income, hard-working individuals and families.
- Currently 32 states including the District of Columbia have their Medicaid programs, providing approximately 15 million additional people free or low-cost health insurance coverage since the first open enrollment period (October 2013). Currently more than 72 million individuals are enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP.
- Millions of women, who would not have otherwise been eligible, have gained Medicaid coverage as a result of Medicaid expansion. In 2014, Medicaid covered 16% of women ages 19-64 (15.6 million), up from 10% in 2008 (pre-ACA).
- By gaining Medicaid coverage, individuals are entitled to Essential Health Benefits, which includes certain preventive health benefits. For women, this means access to the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives, maternity care, and breastfeeding support and supplies. Federal law also requires Medicaid programs to provide family planning services and pregnancy-related services without cost-sharing.
- If the remaining states expand their Medicaid programs, over 3 million women will be able to get preventive health screenings, birth control, check-ups, and the care they need to manage chronic conditions.
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.