A fight that started over Obamacare, expanded to directly target women’s access to birth control, and kept the government shut down for 16 days, is over….for now.
With the debt ceiling looming and the country on the brink of default, Congress reached an agreement late last night to temporarily end the shutdown, fund the government until January 15, 2014, and raise the debt ceiling until February 7, 2014. The current deal doesn’t really solve the government’s budget problems, it just delays them. Congress is still required to reach a funding deal by December 13, 2013 and there may be more fights ahead — especially considering what the House Republicans tried to accomplish during the first attempt to defund Obamacare.
Whether it was trying to defund a law that already is working for millions of Americans, including 27 million women with access to no-copay birth control, or sneaking in a provision that would let an employer or insurance company deny preventive health services to women (and only to women!) based on a “moral” objection, they were willing to do whatever it takes — including shutting down the government and costing taxpayers $24 BILLION dollars — in their efforts to deny people health care.
So as budget negotiations resume, you can bet that we’re going to have to fight to keep women’s health off the table. Maybe we should remind them that every dollar invested in women’s health saves taxpayers nearly 6 dollars?