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ST. PAUL, MN – The latest Republican proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act is the worst legislation for women’s health in a lifetime.

Among its provisions:

  • It eliminates the community rating provision allowing insurers to charge people with pre-existing conditions an exorbitant amount for coverage.
  • Despite the fact that the proposal claims to maintain the current prohibition on gender rating, it still allows insurers to once again discriminate against women and charge more for being a woman. Eliminating the community rating provision disproportionately affects women, since insurers can claim having given birth, having had a C-section, or having been a survivor of domestic violence is a so-called pre-existing condition. For example, a woman who had breast cancer could be charged more than $28,000 per year for coverage and a woman who was previously pregnant could be charged more than $17,000 per year for coverage.
  • It removes the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits (EHB) coverage standards, which 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. (Full list below)
  • It exempts the plans Members of Congress and their staff would purchase from these provisions.
  • In addition, the ACA repeal bill would prohibit women from getting care like birth control and lifesaving cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood; kick millions of women off their insurance; reduce access to birth control, and impose a nationwide ban on private insurance coverage of abortion.

“They took a bad bill that would result in 24 million people losing their insurance and higher premiums and actually made it worse,” said Sarah Stoesz, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. “How do you know it's a bad bill? The members exempted themselves from all the rollbacks. Members of Congress would continue to get high-quality coverage and protections, while other Americans could be discriminated against, charged higher prices, and lose maternity coverage.”

It’s clear the American people want Congress to keep the protections in the Affordable Care Act. A new ABC-Washington Post poll this week shows that 62 percent of Americans, including 67% of Independents, want to keep national protections that cover essential health benefits, and not allow it to be varied by state.

Fact Sheet: Rolling Back the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits Will Hurt Women

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: Approximately 13 million women could stand to lose maternity coverage. Prior to the ACA only 12% of individual market health plans covered maternity care. And, prior to the ACA, some insurance plans did not cover C-sections at all; when they did, they charged women 25 percent more in premiums.

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.

 

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For more than 85 years, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota has worked in our region to make sure all people have the information and the means to make free and responsible decisions about whether and when to have children.  Planned Parenthood operates 19 clinics in Minnesota and South Dakota and an Online Health Center, providing quality and affordable family planning, reproductive health care services and education to nearly 64,000  women and men each year.

Visit us on the web at www.ppmns.org