(PRESS RELEASE)—The Senate this week plans to once again take up legislation that would kick millions of Americans off their health care over the next decade and would decimate access to essential services for American women and send the insurance market into a death spiral. The Senate is anticipated to vote within the next day on the so-called “skinny-repeal” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While a final version of the bill has yet to be released, reports indicate that it will target women’s health by defunding Planned Parenthood for one year. If this bill moves forward, it opens the door for additional dangerous proposals designed to undermine Medicaid and gut guaranteed access to reproductive health and maternity care services.
Said Maya Rupert, Senior Policy Director at the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“Any vote to repeal the Affordable Care Ac or defund Planned Parenthood is tantamount to robbing millions of women access to the care and providers they rely on. The so-called ‘skinny repeal’ is a deeply harmful bill that will hurt Americans – and women, women of color, and low income Americans in particular – now and for decades to come. A vote on this bill opens the door to further imperil care for women and gut essential health services like reproductive health and maternity care.
“Senators should abandon this cruel effort and instead focus on improving care and increasing women’s access to essential services for their constituents.”
After various repeal proposals were introduced in recent weeks seemingly without necessary support to pass, Senate leadership has been scrambling to draft legislation politically palatable to a majority of senators. 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.