(PRESS RELEASE)—Today the Senate Finance Committee held the first and only public hearing on the Graham-Cassidy proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would deal a particularly devastating blow to women’s health care. Overnight, Senate Republicans introduced an updated version of the bill that includes a new provision to allow plans not to cover contraception, doubling down on changes that would rob millions of Americans of their health care and imperil women’s access to affordable care.
The Center for Reproductive Rights submitted expert testimony on Friday for the hearing, which is available here.
Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“The Graham-Cassidy bill would be a disaster for women and families. The Affordable Care Act marked a critical advancement in women’s health and this bill would roll back the clock – slashing Medicaid, defunding Planned Parenthood, and leaving women without the guarantee of maternity care and birth control coverage.
“The Senate should abandon this cruel proposal once and for all.”
In its current form, Graham-Cassidy would undo major coverage expansions under the ACA by ending Medicaid expansion and drastically reducing premium support to people who purchase their insurance on the ACA marketplace. The bill also allows states to deny guaranteed coverage of essential health benefits and preventive services, including maternity care and contraception. The bill would also defund Planned Parenthood and restrict private insurance coverage for abortion, as well as prevent state block grants from being spent on abortion care.
Additionally, Graham-Cassidy threatens to gut coverage for millions of women by slashing Medicaid as we know it, disproportionately impacting low-income women and women of color who rely on Medicaid broadly for their health care.