Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are determined to gut Medicaid and
undo the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s major advances for women’s health in order to pass tax cuts for the very rich. The Senate’s version of Trumpcare is more bad news for women and our families.
A projected 22 million people—more than half of them women—would lose health insurance. 15 million people would lose their health insurance next year. The total would rise to 22 million by 2026. Millions more would lose it after 2026—all to give the wealthiest Americans a trillion dollar tax cut! That’s not a health care bill. It’s a tax cut bill.
Trumpcare would eliminate the Medicaid expansion and make drastic cuts to traditional Medicaid. The Senate bill would cut $772 billion from Medicaid, slashing its funding by more than a fourth and ending Medicaid’s long-standing guarantee of coverage for pregnant women, children, disabled people, seniors and more.
Drastic cuts to Medicaid would leave many older women and women with disabilities unable to afford long-term care. Because women live longer, we are more likely to need long-term care than men. But regular health insurance and Medicare do not cover long-term nursing home care, which can cost $82,000 per year, or in-home care. Today, Medicaid pays for half of all long-term care in the U.S. for both low-income and middle-income seniors. If Trumpcare’s Medicaid cuts become law, states will be forced to limit the care they pay for, drop people from coverage, or both.
Pap tests, contraception, STI screenings, and more would no longer be covered by Medicaid at Planned Parenthood. The Trumpcare bill would block Planned Parenthood from accepting Medicaid for one year, forcing clinics to close and reducing access to care for 1 million women and men.
Private coverage of abortion care could disappear. Trumpcare would ban the use of federal financial aid (premium tax credits) to buy private health plans that cover abortion. As a result, most plans would drop coverage. In states like NY and CA, which require abortion coverage, no one could use federal premium tax credits to buy private coverage.
Maternity coverage and other essential health benefits would cost much more for millions of women. The Senate’s Trumpcare bill would allow states to let insurance companies drop coverage of essential health benefits such as maternity care, hospitalization, prescription drugs and mental health services.
Women in a state that opts out could end up paying as much as $1,000 a month more in premiums to add maternity coverage. Although Senate GOP leaders claim protections for people with pre-existing conditions would be preserved in this bill, people with serious illness could have difficulty finding or affording health insurance that covers the care they need, in states that allow insurers to drop coverage for essential health benefits.
Older women would see skyrocketing prices for individual health insurance. The Senate’s Trumpcare bill would make people over 50 pay a LOT more. Many low and moderate income women would be unable to afford insurance. Under Trumpcare, the price of a basic health plan for a 64-year-old making $26,500 a year would quadruple from $1,700 to $6,500. A 64-year-old making $56,800 a year would face a premium of $20,500 a year. Who could afford to spend one-third of their income on health insurance?
People who lose insurance for more than two months following a job loss or change in relationship would face a six-month waiting period to get covered. This rule would do little to encourage healthy people to get covered but it would harshly punish anyone who loses coverage through no fault of her own. Six months could be the difference between life and death for a person with cancer waiting for treatment. It will be particularly cruel for women, who are less likely than men to have insurance in their own names.
Speak out against this proposal! Call Senators Baldwin and Johnson today!
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Sara Finger, Executive Director