Urgent Action Alert: The AHCA is Catastrophic for Women’s Health #ProtectOurCare

The U.S. House will vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) this afternoon. The AHCA is the makeshift pseudo-replacement for the Affordable Care Act. In fact, it is not really a healthcare plan at all as much as it is a tax cut for the wealthy and a gift to corporations.

It’s hard to know where to begin to explain how dangerous and life-threatening this bill is to women, seniors, disabled people, and generally speaking, everyone except the very wealthy. And in the last few days, as the GOP scurries to pass this bill for a political win at the expense of working Americans, a bad bill has become even worse.

Here are a few quick facts about the AHCA and why passing it would be catastrophic for women’s health:

  • Passing the AHCA will result in 24 million Americans losing health insurance coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
  • The AHCA would “defund” Planned Parenthood. What that really means is it would refuse to reimburse Planned Parenthood for providing preventative care like family planning and STD screenings via Medicaid.
  • AHCA proponents claim women can just go somewhere else for this healthcare. The reality is that in many counties across the United States, there is no somewhere else.
  • If Planned Parenthood is defunded, many American women would lose access to contraception.
  • The AHCA may eliminate ten essential health benefits (EHBs), a set of ten benefits that insurance policies must cover under the Affordable Care Act.
  • The EHBs are: outpatient services, emergency room care, hospitalization, maternity, mental health/substance abuse services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services, lab tests, preventive care such as vaccines, and pediatric vision and dental care.
  • Repeat: Maternity care.
  • Eliminating the EHB requirement will cause premiums to skyrocket for working people, especially women. However, it will not actually save money. It will simply push the costs into public programs. “In fact, eliminating the mandates might even cost the federal government more money.”
  • If the EHB requirement is eliminated, the 24 million people projected to lose health insurance coverage will likely climb even higher, because the insurance plans available will offer such scant coverage that they will fail to provide basic financial protection against a high-cost or catastrophic medical event, a standard used to determine if an insurance plan even counts as having healthcare coverage.

WHYY Newsworks is tracking AHCA votes of representatives in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Currently, the votes of two Pennsylvania Congressmen are reportedly unknown.

TAKE ACTION

Contact Congressmen Ryan Costello and Pat Meehan and urge them to vote NO on the AHCA today.

 

Congressman Costello

Call: (202) 225-4315

Email: https://costello.house.gov/contact

Tweet: @RepRyanCostello #ProtectOurCare

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CongressmanRyanCostello

Free online fax: https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php#Pennsylvania

 

Congressman Meehan

Call: (202) 225-2011

Email: https://meehan.house.gov/contact/email-me

Tweet: @RepMeehan #ProtectOurCare

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CongressmanPatrickMeehan/

Free online fax: https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php#Pennsylvania

The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.

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About womenslawproject

The Women's Law Project creates a more just and equitable society by advancing the rights and status of all women throughout their lives. To this end, we engage in high-impact litigation, advocacy, and education.
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