Earlier this week, the House released a proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2016 (FY2016) which would leave millions of women and their families without the financial security of high quality health insurance, unable to access the health care services they need, and facing dramatic increases in their healthcare costs. To learn more about the details of House budget proposal, our analysis is available here.
Late yesterday, the Senate released their counterpart [PDF] to the House budget. The strategy is the same: repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicare and Medicaid. The results would be the same, too: millions of women left without access to affordable health coverage and the care they need.
Specifically, the Senate budget proposes:
- Repealing the ACA without any specifics on a replacement plan. Repealing the ACA would be a major step backward for women, particularly the millions of women and families already enrolled in plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Women would lose the financial help they need to purchase quality, affordable coverage for the services they need like preventive services and maternity care.
- Dismantling Medicaid to create a new program based on a block grant. This would limit Medicaid funding for states without regard to enrollment or changing health care needs in the state. Medicaid covers services critical to women’s health—including birth control services, comprehensive maternity care, treatment for chronic conditions, and long-term services and supports. Program cuts proposed by this budget could gut this coverage for low-income women.
- Cutting Medicare without any specific recommendations for savings. The proposal provides little detail about Medicare, but savings could be found by cutting Medicare benefits, increasing enrollee premiums and cost-sharing, or pursuing program reforms that leave beneficiaries at risk of paying more for coverage. This would particularly harmful for women who make up more than half of Medicare enrollees.
The Senate budget echoes many of the same bad policies the House proposes by placing women’s health and economic security at risk.