After lord-knows-how-many failed attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare, Senate Republicans are back at it again. This time they're trying to crash in the Graham-Cassidy bill before next week's budget reconciliation deadline—a health care bill numerous experts are calling the worst one yet. MarieClaire.com spoke with Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, about the latest legislation. Her take: "It's terrifying for women."
The reason? Well, there are multiple—"there are so many problematic and dangerous aspects of this bill," laments Richards—but at the heart of nearly all of them is this: The plan isn't much of a plan at all. It simply passes the power to regulate health care from the federal government to the states. In doing so, it gives those governments the ability to waive the insurance mandates that came with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). So, for example, your state could decide to let insurance companies charge more for pre-existing conditions.
"If you're a woman who has given birth, it's estimated that insurers could charge you up to $17,000 more a year for coverage," explains Richards. "This bill will allow insurers to charge breast cancer survivors more for their coverage—some estimate $30,000 more. These numbers are prohibitive."
The bill also abolishes the ACA's requirement that all plans cover maternity care and preventative care and institutes a nationwide ban on abortion coverage—even for private plans. And what are republicans offering as a solve? Women could pay extra for a rider, as women in Texas already have to. It amounts to "rape insurance," says Richards. "Women would have to somehow anticipate that they would need an abortion and buy a rider to cover that."
So the bill is obviously terrible for all women, but if you're a woman who gets her health care at Planned Parenthood, it's even worse. Graham-Cassidy would prevent any person on Medicaid from getting care at Planned Parenthood.
"I can't say it enough: Planned Parenthood is not in the federal budget. We do not get a check from the federal government. We get reimbursed—not for abortion services—we get reimbursed for cancer screenings, for STI screenings and treatment, for birth control. All that will not longer be available for patients to get at Planned Parenthood if they're on Medicaid," explains Richards.
"The people who are going to be punished by this bill the most are the women who have relied on Planned Parenthood for affordable health care," she says.
Regardless of whether they patronize Planned Parenthood, this bill is likely to negatively affect all Medicaid patients, because "the bill completely goes after Medicaid," Richards says, noting that there's no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score yet, but that experts are "concerned millions of people will lose insurance because of the radical restructuring of Medicaid." Women and children disproportionally access their care through the program.
"The irony of it all is that Paul Ryan started this crusade because he said that the wanted people to have choice in their healthcare provider," Richards points out. "Women should be able to do the same. For about 2.5 million women, they choose Planned Parenthood."
We know that you have health care fatigue. You are exhausted by all the frenzied talk of the last 8 months. But that's exactly what these republican lawmakers want: to pass a bill that's been denounced by all major health organizations while American women are distracted by something else.
"The reason the previous bills have been blocked is because people have spoken up," says Richards. "Go to istandwithpp.org to find a resistance event near you. Call your senator, call your representative. Now is the time to tell them how you feel."
Nebulyft’s Newest Launch Is Going to Change the Way You Think About Aging, Guaranteed.
Sponsored Meet the N1 Multipolar Micro-RF Anti-Aging Device.
By Sponsored •
Nordstrom's Black Friday 2021 Sale: Our Picks
One of the biggest sales of the year has begun!
By The Editors •
Kate Middleton's Ray-Ban Sunglasses Are 30% Off for Black Friday
Both her favorite sunglasses styles are on sale!
By Sally Holmes •
Cory Booker and Rosario Dawson's Relationship Is No More
After three years of dating, the power couple have decided they're better off as friends.
By Marie Claire Editors •
Education for Women and Girls Is Crucial for Climate Justice
In an excerpt from her new book, 'A Bigger Picture,' Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate discusses the impact educated African women and girls can have on solving the climate crisis.
By Vanessa Nakate •
It’s Time to End Equal Pay Days and Pass the Equal Rights Amendment
The passage of the ERA is a chance for our country to prove it truly values women.
By Hala Ayala •
In Conversation: Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Emily Tisch Sussman
“It’s ridiculous that we’re the only advanced nation on the planet that doesn’t help families with childcare.”
By Emily Tisch Sussman •
EMILY's List President Laphonza Butler Has Big Plans for the Organization
Under Butler's leadership, the largest resource for women in politics aims to expand Black political power and become more accessible for candidates across the nation.
By Rachel Epstein •
Anita Hill Believes We Can End Gender Violence
Three decades after her landmark testimony in the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, the esteemed professor and lawyer has a message for leaders: The time is now to prioritize anti-gender violence policies.
By Rachel Epstein •
For Teachers, Going to Work Can Mean Life or Death
Stefanie Minguell, a COVID survivor and second grade teacher in Florida's Broward County, almost died of COVID-19 and is immunocomprised. When she teaches in the classroom, she’s forced to choose between her health and her students.
By Megan DiTrolio •
Periods Don’t Stop for Pandemics—And Neither Have Our Nation’s Moms
Policies touted in the $3.5 trillion budget plan and other Congressional bills are missing a core component of maternal well-being: menstrual access and health.
By Christy Turlington Burns •