The Senate’s version of a health care repeal bill has been leaked, and it is just as mean as the House’s. It rolls back critical healthcare gains for women, children, and families that currently exist under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and puts them all at risk.
In case you forgot, this bill was created by a group of 13 men in the Senate, who worked behind closed doors with zero public scrutiny and no transparency, and who were rushing to get it done by the July 4th legislative recess:
Senate leaders are aiming to pass this bill without a single hearing. Zich. Nada. Zero. And without a formal, open drafting session. They didn’t want us to see the bill. They don’t want our input. They don’t want to and don’t care to hear what we think.
This 100%-written-by-men-in-secret bill will impact millions of women. This Senate repeal bill is similar to the House’s version, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which will take away health insurance from 23 million people, and raise costs for low-income families, seniors, women, and people with pre-existing conditions. In addition, the Senate plan cuts Medicaid more deeply than the House version.
In what cruel universe did legislators think this would be ok? It’s not. It’s unacceptable. Taking away access to healthcare from the most vulnerable people in our country displays incredible lack of empathy and concern. It is not ok.
Whatever concerns exist about the ACA, the fact of the matter remains that the ACA made strides in the lives of so many families. It also made a huge difference for women’s access to healthcare, providing a healthcare lifeline for 9.5 million women who could not otherwise afford health insurance. The ACA been particularly beneficial for women of color, whose uninsured rates have dropped dramatically.
The ACA also said that women can’t be treated charged more just for being a woman. It said that you can’t be discriminated against in your coverage just because you have been or become pregnant. It said that, as a woman, you should have access to basic, fundamental care and essential health benefits like mammograms, cancer screenings, contraception, maternity care, and more. Key provisions of the ACA also included protections for survivors of domestic violence and the full range of reproductive health services for women and girls, as well as a structurally sound, well-funded Medicaid program. It is indisputable that the ACA includes coverage, affordability, and accessibilty provisions that are crucial for women’s health. To repeal the ACA without a viable replacement plan would be devastating for millions of women across the country. We refuse to go back. Raise your hand if you’re a woman and don’t want to go back to the days of being treated as a pre-existing condition just for being a woman!
Reminder: women make up more than half the population in this country. Women also disproportionately do the caretaking, the caregiving in our country – for kids, for partners, for parents and the elderly. Women are directly affected by and interact with our healthcare system through many different touchpoints, not just those related to their own health.
Reminder: it’s absurd and unacceptable that a group of 13 guys who worked in total secrecy are determining the healthcare protections and access for millions of women. For Senate legislators to try and completely redo this country’s healthcare without women’s input is unequivocally shameful. Senators should be held accountable.
NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD. The Senate could take a vote on this before they recess for July 4th – that’s only a week and a half away! Call or write your Senator today and urge them to vote to #ProtectOurCare and vote against this new bill that will place millions of people across the country at risk. Urge your friends, family, and allies to do the same!