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Order puts the maternity coverage of approximately 13 million women at risk, and threatens the health care and financial security of millions more.

WASHINGTON D.C. - Today, President Trump signed an executive order that will ultimately undermine the health care that millions of Americans rely on. Experts agree that the plan will result in lower quality health care plans, higher costs for countless Americans, particularly those who are sick, additional costs to taxpayers, and flouts important consumer protections. The short-term health plans that could become more common because of this Order may not have to cover basic health care services, such as maternity care, and preventive health services like birth control.

This action follows the administration’s decision last week to undermine the guarantee that health insurance will cover birth control - a guarantee that 62 million women rely on.

Quote from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:  

President Trump’s act is sabotage, plain and simple, and women will pay the price. This action may result in lower quality plans for some and more expensive plans for many others. It could limit access to vital health services like maternity care and birth control. Millions of people across the country have spoken out against the attacks on health care and rejected every congressional effort to repeal Obamacare and undermine reproductive health care access.  President Trump is ignoring them.

“At every opportunity, the his administration has taken aim at health care - particularly undermining women’s health. Just last week, the administration targeted birth control coverage for 62 million women and before that, it was focused on gutting programs intended to help people enroll in health insurance. Women and people around the country will continue to stand up against these attacks.

Past attempts to repeal the ACA and target women’s health care have been overwhelmingly unpopular. The recently failed Graham Cassidy bill was opposed by over three-fourths of the American public. Past attempts were opposed by major medical associations and major health insurance groups.  

The executive order would expand the use of association health plans (AHPs). AHPs allow small businesses and trade associations to band together, and potentially avoid important consumer protections.

  • Allowing association health plans would permit these plans to carve out coverage of critical care, including maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs, emergency care, hospital stays, ambulatory care, physical therapy, lab work, chronic disease management - and even pediatric care for kids.

  • Women benefit from all of these standard benefit requirements. For instance, this order puts the maternity coverage of approximately 13 million women at risk. Without insurance, a vaginal birth can cost $30,000 and a C-section can cost $50,000 in out-of-pocket costs.  

This order would also allow insurers to sell bare bones health plans for longer periods.

  • Short-term health plans may not have to cover basic health care services, such as maternity care, but also preventive health services like birth control. Each year, a growing number of women are able to access the birth control that meets their needs without cost barriers. Women using birth control pills saved an average of $255 per year and women using IUDs have saved an average of $248 as a result of the birth control benefit.

  • These plans also do not have to cover pre-existing conditions. Failing to protect people with pre-existing conditions will harm millions of individuals and women in particular. In fact, pregnancy could be considered a pre-existing condition — with a steep price for new and expecting moms.

  • Health insurers prior to the ACA had the ability to deny women coverage, charge them more, or refuse to cover certain services because they had a pre-existing condition, including having been pregnant or being a breast cancer survivor.

  • Under the failed ACA repeal bills, studies found that the ability to charge people more for pre-existing conditions led insurers to charge women who have breast cancer $28,230 more annually for coverage and a woman who has been pregnant an additional $17,320 per year.

This proposal would destabilize the health insurance market by driving younger healthy people out of the insurance market and driving up costs. This will allow the Trump administration to kill the ACA through sabotage.

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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 more than 600 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.