HONOLULU — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed the worst women’s health legislation in a generation. The American Health Care Act would:
- Take away health coverage for 24 million people.
- “Defunds” Planned Parenthood -- by blocking people with Medicaid from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers -- including birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment.
- Eliminate protections that restrict insurance companies from charging people with pre-existing conditions unaffordable rates. Under this bill, health insurance companies could once again charge people tens of thousands of dollars a month because they had cancer.
- Undermine Essential Health Benefits standards, including maternity coverage and prescription drugs, which disproportionately affect women.
- Gut the Medicaid program, which approximately 1 in 4 women of reproductive age rely on to access no-cost, critical reproductive health care such as birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, and maternity care.
- Reduce access to no-cost preventive services, including birth control.
- Impose a nationwide ban on private insurance coverage of abortion.
The American Health Care Act, including the provision to prohibit people with Medicaid from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood, has drawn widespread opposition from health care experts, including the American Public Health Association, the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, members of Congress from both parties, and a clear majority of American voters.
Statement by Elaine Rose, CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii:
“This is the worst bill for women’s health in a generation. By supporting this bill, our elected officials voted to block thousands of their constituents in the northwest, and millions of people around the country, from essential health care.
“This legislation “defunds” Planned Parenthood, and blocks nearly 3,000 people in Hawaii from accessing birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing at Planned Parenthood, that will make it harder for women in to prevent unintended pregnancy, harder to have a healthy pregnancy, and harder to raise a family.
“The bill also takes away protections that require health plans to give people quality coverage, including maternity coverage and prescription drugs. Under this new bill, 13 million women -- wives, daughters, sisters -- could lose access to maternity care.
“Our supporters and patients will not go quietly as Washington D.C. politicians vote to take away their care. Women and men across the country will continue to speak out to defeat this bill and efforts to block access to Planned Parenthood.
“Today, we are calling on the Senate to listen to the American people and reject the worst bill for women’s health in a generation.”