Today, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed what we already knew: repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will devastate health care and insurance coverage as we know it. CBO estimates that at least 23 million people will lose their health insurance coverage in the next 10 years under the ACA Repeal Bill passed by the House this month. Those who are able to keep their insurance will pay more for less. Premiums will rise by an estimated 20% in 2018. And 1/6 of the population lives in states where sicker people would face “extremely high premiums” which would “increase rapidly” over time. Out-of-pocket costs for maternity care and mental health for some individuals could increase by “thousands of dollars in a given year.” Those who will be priced out of the market will be individuals who are less healthy, including those with preexisting conditions – individuals who most need insurance coverage to stay healthy and economically secure.
And don’t forget, the ACA Repeal Bill strips many vital protections and services that ensure individuals, particularly women, can access the health care they need. The bill undermines protections for people with pre-existing conditions like sexual assault survivors and eliminates the nationwide guarantee of vital services like maternity coverage, prescription drug coverage, and mental health coverage. It would permit insurers to reinstate annual and lifetime limits on insurance coverage and block people from getting preventive health care such as birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment at trusted Planned Parenthood health centers. The bill also would radically change the Medicaid program in ways that will take essential health coverage away from women, who are disproportionately enrolled in the program. The bill would penalize women seeking insurance coverage that includes abortion, and force married women to file joint tax returns if they want a tax credit to pay for health insurance, even in cases of domestic violence or other dangerous circumstances.
In sum, ACA repeal means that consumers – especially women – will pay more to get less comprehensive health insurance. And at least 23 million people will lose their health insurance all together.
Are you fed up with the members in Congress and the Trump Administration playing politics with our health care? There is still time to stop them. Click here to tell your Senator, don’t repeal the Affordable Care Act. Because women shouldn’t have the pay the price.