10 Things Women Lose if the Affordable Care Act is Repealed

feature image Copyright Jenny Warburg.

At 1:30 in the morning today, the Senate voted in a 51-48 decision to instruct House and Senate committees to repeal the Affordable Care Act as part of a budget blueprint resolution. Amendments protecting some of the key aspects of President Obama’s historic healthcare program—were all struck down by Republicans during the all-night “vote-a-rama.” The bill will go to the House for a vote as early as Friday.

Over 20 million people in the U.S. are covered under the ACA, and coverage for those who were previously insured has expanded under the law. 6.8 million women and girls found health care plans through the ACA’s marketplace in 2016 alone, and the rate of uninsured women ages 18 to 64 has decreased 44 percent since 2010. Before the ACA, sexism was embedded in the health insurance industry—and women’s health suffered as a result.

Women stand to lose access to critical services if the ACA is repealed in full. Here’s just ten benefits from the law that the GOP has put on the chopping block.

The GOP plans to proceed with a full-scale ACA repeal primarily through a reconciliation bill, which prevents Democrats from fillibustering the decision and would mean they need only 51 votes of approval to dismantle the program. In the same legislation, they plan to defund Planned Parenthood.

All of these measures are expected to move through the Republican-controlled Congress and be signed into law by President-Elect Donald Trump, who promised at a press conference this week to uphold his campaign promise to repeal and replace the ACA. At his side in this endeavor is his proposed Secretary of Health and Human Services—the notoriously anti-Obamacare and anti-woman Rep. Tom Price.

Breaking with decorum and tradition, Senate Democrats used their votes to stage small acts of protest against this morning’s decision. “For all those with pre-existing conditions,” Tammy Duckworth (Ill.) declared during her vote, “I stand on prosthetic legs to vote no!” Al Franken (Minn.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.) joined in voicing their objections during the vote, despite procedural rules which dictate that legislators cannot debate during a final vote.

Republicans claim that Trump’s electoral college win gives them a “public mandate” to move forward with their plan to dismantle the reforms that were rolled into the ACA, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Hillary Clinton made upholding and improving the ACA a central theme in her campaign—and won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.

The ACA is also one of the many reasons the Feminist Majority Foundation and other women’s organizations will be turning out on January 21 for marches in D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco and a host of other cities around the nation—and the world. March in a feminist delegation next weekend and make yourself heard.

Carmen Rios is the Digital Editor at Ms., Managing Editor of Argot Magazine, Feminism Editor at Autostraddle and a Contributing Writer at Everyday Feminism. Her work has also appeared at BuzzFeed, MEL, Mic, BITCH, and Feministing. She stays very zen in L.A. traffic. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

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  1. Monica Lange says:

    How is it legal for members of Congress, all of whom automatically get health insurance by virtue of their jobs in Washington, DC, to be allowed to vote on whether or not citizens should have access to low-cost health care through ACA? Shouldn’t members of Congress recuse themselves from voting on this extremely important issue especially since they have never had to participate in the ACA program? Perhaps it should be a matter of conscience…members should be encouraged to recuse themselves from voting on any bill that involves canceling citizens’ health insurance or modifies it in ways that reduce services while Congress benefits from their elected positions insofar as they have medical insurance that covers everything.

  2. Wendy Castano says:

    Under the Affordable Health Care act that was establish under president Barack Obama a lot of people got the help and coverage that they needed and for once woman were not discriminated from health care providers. But now woman’s health is being threatened to be dismantled by the government that from the beginning vowed to protect and watch out for our wellbeing because that is why they are put in the position they are right now. For example, in the years that the ACA act has been on over 20 million people in the U.S have coverage to affordable health care that covers hospital care, primary care, maternity care, mental care and more service that makes the life of the people of this country have one less thing to worry about. In addition, if the ACA act is repeal woman would be back in the time when our health was not taken into consideration by the health insurance because before the ACA act was put in, sexism was planted in the health insurance industry endangering woman’s health. Furthermore, statistics shows that 6.8 million women and girls found health care plans through the ACA’s marketplace in 2016 alone, and the rate of uninsured women ages 18 to 64 has decreased 44 percent since 2010 this to me is enough prove that the health care act works which makes it hard to hear these people from the government say that the plan does not work or does not meet their ideals of what it should have been and because it has wrong ideas when they really want to change it just because they want to show that they can rule and decide our fate. When injustice like this happens it makes me want to put the people from government ‘’republicans and president-elect Trump’’ that are deciding on the other side of the card and see how they manage their family’s healthcare and life just to give them a taste of their own medicine.

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