The House leadership has introduced a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is already delivering benefits to American women and promises to benefit millions more American women in the future. Planned Parenthood, whose doctors and nurses deliver preventive health care to millions of women each year, opposes repealing this beneficial law. Please find a statement from Planned Parenthood Federation of America below.
Statement by Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“The new health care law represents the greatest single advance for women’s access to health care in 45 years. Repealing health care reform – which promises expanded access to care for millions of women – would hurt the women of America. Simply put, repealing the law would be a huge step backwards for American women, many of whom have already begun to benefit from health care reform.
“The new law will expand access to health insurance for millions of women, and it also includes measures to make primary health care, including annual exams, preventive care, and reproductive care, more affordable. These measures promote the health of women by guaranteeing coverage of preventive care, such as lifesaving breast cancer screenings and immunizations with no co-pays. The law will also increase access to contraception for women, and potentially allow for all FDA-approved prescription contraception to be available without co-pays and other out of pocket costs. Offering prescription birth control with no co-pays would enable women to choose the method that works best for them, and help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies.
“In addition, the ACA will put an end to discriminatory practices such as routinely charging women higher premiums than men, and denying coverage for so-called “pre-existing” conditions such as breast cancer or even pregnancy.
“Given the enormous benefit of the new law for women, the House leadership’s proposal to repeal it would have a devastating impact on American women and their access to affordable, quality health care. Our health care system has too often required women to pay more than men for coverage while receiving less care. Repealing the new law would disproportionately punish women by undermining their access to health care, while hitting them hard in their pocketbooks.
“Moreover, the House leadership’s plan would also impose unprecedented restrictions on women’s health because it includes passing a Stupak-like abortion coverage ban, which would effectively end private health insurance coverage for abortion — guaranteeing that the majority of women with private health insurance would lose benefits they have today.
“If House leaders win this vote, American women will lose. More women will be uninsured, discrimination will be legal again, and women will once again be forced to pay more for health care and get less for their health care dollars than do men. We cannot go back to the old status quo.”
Among the key provisions of the health care law that benefit American women:
-Guaranteeing that preventive care, including lifesaving screenings for breast and cervical cancer, and immunizations, are covered without co-pays.
-Ending insurance abuses such as denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions and dropping individuals after they become sick.
-Stopping the discriminatory practice of charging women more than men for health insurance.
-Expanding coverage for young adults by allowing them to stay on their parents’ health plan until age 26.
-Significantly increasing access to women’s health care, including lifesaving cancer screenings and contraceptive care.
-Ensuring women have direct access to OB/GYNs and community providers they rely on for health care.
-Providing $75 million annually for fact-based sex education and teen pregnancy prevention.
-The potential for all FDA-approved prescription contraception to be available with no co-pays, enabling women to choose the method that works best for them, and reducing the number of unintended pregnancies.
-Ultimately extend health care coverage to tens of millions of women and families who currently don't have insurance.
Planned Parenthood continues to oppose the unacceptable abortion provisions in the new health care law, which sets up a complicated system requiring two separate insurance payments from individuals, one for abortion coverage and one for all other health care coverage. Fortunately, the new health care law does not include the complete and total ban on private health insurance coverage for abortion that Planned Parenthood helped successfully defeat. Under the new law, health plans will still be able to offer comprehensive insurance coverage for reproductive health care, including abortion, as long as private funds are used to pay for such coverage.