(PRESS RELEASE)—Today, the United States Senate voted in favor of advancing debate on legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Senate is now likely to consider several additional policy options, all of which will likely include measures that will leave millions without coverage, strip protections for guaranteed coverage of critical women’s health services, and undermine Medicaid.
Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“Repealing the ACA would be a disaster for all Americans, and would deal a devastating blow to women’s health and well-being. Republican leaders are using undemocratic and unprecedented means to rob coverage and critical services from millions of women, sending them back to a time when women’s health care services were not considered essential. Senators must abandon this cruel effort and instead focus on improving care and increasing women’s access to essential services.”
After various repeal proposals were introduced in recent weeks seemingly without necessary support to pass, Senate leadership scrambled for a vote today to advance debate without a clear repeal and replace bill on the table. The 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 55 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.