Health

Trump's Health Secretary: Fire Women For Birth Control

| by Michael Allen

President-elect Donald Trump's choice for his Health and Human Services secretary supports the right of companies to fire women for using birth control or having an abortion.

Republican Rep. Tom Price of Georgia opposed a 2015 bill that would have protected women in Washington, D.C., from losing their jobs for using contraception or having a legal abortion, notes New York magazine.

Price also supported a 2011 resolution that would have gutted President Richard Nixon's Title X Family Planning Program that provides federal funds to family planning services, such as Planned Parenthood. The same resolution would cut off Medicaid money for Planned Parenthood.

Price also voted for the Blackburn Amendment in 2013 that would have permitted health insurance companies to cut birth control and preventive health care services for women under the Affordable Care Act.

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Price has opposed giving women free birth control, even though studies have shown that easier access to family planning brings down the abortion rate.

Price told ThinkProgress in 2012 that there was "not one" woman in the U.S. who could not get birth control, despite a survey in 2012 that said about 33 percent of women have financially struggled to buy prescription birth control.

Price co-sponsored Right to Life Acts in 2005 and 2007 that would have granted full personhood to zygotes at the moment of fertilization, which would have effetively outlawed abortion, New York reports.

Price has strongly supported repealing the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare, which has expanded health care coverage to about 20 million Americans and dropped the uninsured rate to 8.6 percent, according to the Obama administration.

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Price wrote a replacement for ACA, called the Empowering Patients First Act, which would gut the billions of federal funds that 31 states depend on to cover about 16 million people under Obamacare's expanded  Medicaid, notes The New York Times.

Under Price's plan, Americans would get tax credits if they buy health insurance plans, which means no money upfront to buy the policies like millions have now with ACA subsidies.

Price's legislation would allow doctors to charge more than they can under Medicare’s rules, and give physicians a leg up on patients who sue for malpractice. If doctors proved they used "clinical guidelines," then patients would have more difficulty in proving their case.

Price's bill would also cancel the online federal health insurance exchanges. Any state replacement sites would not allow people to buy health insurance or enroll in Medicaid -- those sites would only be allowed to provide information under Price's vision of the free market.

Sources: New York, The New York Times, ThinkProgress / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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