The House of Representatives is voting on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Let's see how that "health care" bill stacks up against current health care law, shall we?
The bill repealing the ACA is simply the worst bill for women in a generation. Whereas the ACA brought the uninsurance rate to historic lows, the repeal bill (pushed by Paul Ryan and his out-of-touch allies in Congress) would cause millions of people to lose their health care coverage. Planned Parenthood patients who rely on Medicaid would lose access to their doctors. But that's not all...
Here's the before-and-after for health care coverage, should the repeal bill come to pass.
Allowing Access to Care at Planned Parenthood vs. Blocking Low-Income Patients
The repeal bill would prohibit millions of Americans – mostly women – from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
Every year, 2.5 million women, men, and young people rely on Planned Parenthood for essential health care services, like birth control and lifesaving cancer screenings. Many of these patients, particularly those in rural areas and medically underserved areas, will have nowhere else to turn to for care if Planned Parenthood health centers are forced to close their doors.
Supporting Medicaid vs. Slashing Medicaid
The ACA repeal bill slashes Medicaid and ends Medicaid expansion — which will result in women (disproportionately women of color) losing critical access to care. The CBO reports that 24 million people will lose coverage over the next 10 years, 14 million of which will lose Medicaid coverage due to the bill's hard-hearted measures to kick people off of Medicaid.
Approximately 20% of women of reproductive age rely on Medicaid to access no-cost, critical reproductive health care such as birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, and maternity care.
Guaranteed No-Copay Birth Control vs. Reduced Access
While the bill does not specifically repeal the no-copay birth control benefit, millions of women will lose coverage — so they'll no longer have access to no-copay birth control. Paying out-of-pocket for birth control pills can cost a woman up to $600 per year, which is simply unaffordable for young women and people with low incomes who are struggling to make ends meet.
Under the ACA, more than 55 million women gained access to no-copay birth control in the private insurance market.
Allowing Abortion Coverage vs. Effective Nationwide Ban on Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion
The bill prohibits federal financial assistance from being used to purchase a private plan on or off the Marketplace if it covers abortion. In addition, small employers will not be able to use a tax credit to help purchase coverage for their employees that cover abortion. As a result, plans will be coerced into dropping abortion coverage.
More than 1 million women currently have access to Marketplace plans that cover their full reproductive health care needs, including abortion. But because the bill's abortion coverage provision extends outside of the Marketplace — and insurance plans (when not barred by state law) typically cover abortion — the number of women impacted by the provision could be far greater than 1 million.
...And It's Getting Worse
Since the ACA repeal bill's introduction, House Republicans have been scrambling for votes to pass by making it even worse for women’s health. With recent changes, the repeal bill now makes it harder for women to prevent unintended pregnancy, harder to have a healthy pregnancy, and harder to raise a healthy child.
For instance, the bill is now set to gut maternity care: It could be amended to get rid of the “essential health benefits” provision, which requires the majority of health plans to cover services like maternity and newborn care, mental health services, and prescription drugs.