Posted on February 14, 2017 Issues: Health Care & Reproductive Rights

(Washington, D.C.) More than 5 million of the nearly 8 million women who could lose health coverage if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed are women of color, according to new state-by-state analyses and interactive maps released today by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). The interactive maps uncover new data on the 7.8 million women who will be harmed by an ACA repeal or changes to the Medicaid program. The women at risk include women of color, women currently enrolled in Medicaid, and working women who rely on the Medicaid program for health coverage.

The following is a quote by Gretchen Borchelt, NWLC Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health:

“The ACA has literally been a life saver for women, giving them the health insurance they need. But if some members of Congress and the Trump Administration have their way, almost 8 million women could lose insurance coverage. Women of color, who already face too many barriers to health care, have the most to lose. We can’t go back to the days before the ACA, when insurance plans could charge women more just for being women, many low-income women couldn’t get Medicaid coverage no matter how poor they were, and when working women went without coverage because their employer didn’t offer it, and the individual market failed them. These new data demonstrate that it’s a critical time to safeguard the health and economic security of the millions of women who could lose coverage if the ACA is repealed.”

 

Key findings from the state-by-state analysis include:

  • Women of color make up about 1/3 of women with health insurance but 2/3 of women who could lose insurance coverage if the ACA is repealed—because they disproportionately gained coverage through the ACA or expansion of Medicaid.
  • Before the ACA, only one state (Massachusetts) had nearly universal coverage (95% or greater) of women ages 18–64. Now, five states – Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont, and Rhode Island – and D.C. have achieved nearly universal health coverage of women 18–64 and in the majority of states, more than 90 percent now have health coverage.
  • The top 5 states where women gained the most under the ACA – and would have the most to lose if the ACA were repealed – are California, Kentucky, Nevada, Oregon, and West Virginia.
  • Between 2013 and 2015, 3.9 million women ages 18–64 gained Medicaid coverage, a growth of 29% nationally and now stand to lose that coverage.
  • Between 2013 and 2015, 2.3 million working women ages 18–64 gained Medicaid coverage, a growth of 54% nationally and now stand to lose that coverage.

###

For Immediate Release: February 14, 2017
Contact: Maria Patrick (mpatrick@nwlc.org) or Olympia Feil (ofeil@nwlc.org)

The National Women’s Law Center is a non-profit organization that has been working since 1972 to advance and protect women’s equality and opportunity. The Center focuses on major policy areas of importance to women and their families including economic security, education, employment and health, with special attention given to the concerns of low-income women. For more information on the Center, visit: www.nwlc.org.