NATIONAL WOMEN'S HEALTH WEEK
On Sunday, we welcomed National Women’s Health Week. The program, which is an official government policy, encourages that “it's never too early or late to work toward being your healthiest you!” And it seems we have our work cut out for us. Trump, of course, took this primo-women-empowering moment to remind us he has no idea what the definition of contradictory means — let alone women's health. In an official email statement earlier this week, someone else wrote:
Ensuring affordable, accessible, and quality healthcare is critical to improving women’s health and ensuring that it fits their priorities at any stage of life. In particular, women should have access to quality prenatal, maternal, and newborn care. Under the current healthcare system, however, the lack of choice in health insurance and in healthcare providers, along with skyrocketing premium and out-of-pocket costs, are failing our citizens, our families, and, in particular, our women… And to invest in the comprehensive care that women receive at community health centers. Through these reforms, and my 2018 Presidential Budget, we will enable access to the critical health care services women need... (read the full statement)
"Thanks, But No Thanks." — Women
This blatant lack of reality directly opposes the policies he's actually promoting. If the Trump administration’s version of the American Health Care Act, which passed the House earlier this month, makes it through the Senate — then, the words women, health care and access will be dangerously associated with the words lack and of.
So do you want the babies, or do you not want the babies? By crossing out the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to cover certain essential services, the proposed American Health Care Act lets states choose to limit coverage of such services — like birth control, mammograms, prenatal care and maternity care, as well as mental health maintenance and prescription drugs. By not enforcing the requirements, maternity care could become absurdly expensive. Women in low-income families, not covered by an employer or the private market, risk losing Medicaid, which means losing birth control coverage and general reproductive health coverage.
So that’s a no to healthy birthing, but yes to birthing? The American Health Care Act would prevent people from using tax credits to purchase health insurance plans that cover abortion. This middle finger appears seemingly pointed at liberal-haven lands New York and California — Cali state law requires insurers to cover abortion and New York encourages coverage by including it in its model plan of what insurers have to cover. Women’s rights activists worry such stipulations could induce insurers to cancel abortions altogether.
So the plan for women, is no planning? The proposal would cut the amount of federal spending that supports Planned Parenthood. Over half of Planned Parenthood's 650 health centers are in rural or medically underserved areas with health professional shortages.
So fairness for the near future is out, but medical history is in? Obamacare ensured the right to same-rate coverage regardless of personal medical histories. The AHCA still “stops” policies from denying coverage upfront, however, it allows states to give waivers on prices regarding certain conditions — providing the opportunity to deem pre-existing conditions, and therefore blow the lid off premiums. The vast range of conditions might span anxiety, depression, obesity, pregnancy, sleep apnea and necessary surgeries, as well as mental disorders such as PTSD and even specific cases of PTSD resulting from sexual abuse.
"Disastrous." — Sane Humans
Since we can no longer be in denial about social inequality or political unrest, the proper outrage continues. If these disproportionately unjust initiatives become law, it will be disastrous to women and harmful to millions of Americans including the young, the sick, the elderly and basically every human in need. Just how damaging these provisions will finalize to be remains uncertain.