(PRESS RELEASE) — This afternoon, Congress passed a tax bill that threatens the health and economic wellbeing of women and families across the nation. The tax overhaul bill repeals the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates would rip coverage away from 13 million Americans and raise premiums by double digits. The bill, which does not pay for itself, will imperil vital programs like Medicare, Medicaid and other programs Americans rely on.
Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“The Trump tax bill is yet another in a long list of recent attacks by Washington on health care. Instead of advancing policies to promote the health and wellbeing of more Americans, the House and Senate have forced a tax bill that punishes our country’s most vulnerable and threatens our nation’s healthcare system.
“The repeal of the individual mandate, a central tenet of the ACA, threatens to unravel the program and cause nearly 13 million Americans to lose their coverage. This bill will have dangerous implications for years to come, and the Center for Reproductive Rights will fight tooth and nail to preserve programs critical for women’s health.”
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) stands as one of the most important legislative advancements for women’s health in decades. Under the ACA, maternity care became an essential health benefit and over 62.4 million women have gained guaranteed coverage of preventive services without co-pays, including birth control. In 2016, 6.8 million women and girls enrolled in marketplace health plans, many of them using tax credits and subsidies to make the comprehensive coverage affordable.
The original version of the bill contained a provision that would have allowed an "unborn child" to be designated as a beneficiary of a 529 college savings plan, which was stricken from the final version passed.