As policy analysts review the 123-page bill in an attempt to understand its exact ins and outs, one thing is clear: the bill is not kind to women. Under the Republican’s new American Health Care Act (AHCA) women would face health and fitness obstacles, financial repercussions or even danger- for being poor, for using contraceptives, for being pregnant or even for surviving domestic violence.
Here are the problems:
It Puts Domestic Abuse Victims at Risk
Under Obamacare, couples have to file taxes jointly to receive a tax credit—unless they are victims of domestic abuse, domestic violence, or spousal abandonment. The AHCA doesn’t account for this and requires all couples to file jointly to receive a tax credit, without exception.
Men can also be victims of domestic violence, however women are disproportionately affected by this. “We’re really worried about women who would be hurt by this and wouldn’t get a tax credit,” says Gretchen Borchelt, vice president for Reproductive Rights and Health at the National Women’s Law Center. “Women in these situations need to not be forced to disclose their new address or phone number.”
Defunds, Cuts & Phases Out key programs
The GOP’s plan cuts the Medicaid expansion, defunds Planned Parenthood, and phases out the federal rule that requires qualified insurance plans to cover things like mental health care, maternity care, and pediatric dental and vision care, among other things. This means that states could individually choose not to require insurance plans to cover maternity care, and that women who are planning on having a child would need to purchase special insurance, which would be an on-top-of expense.
Birth Control Support
The ACA’s birth control mandate is “under review”—The ACA birth control mandate allows women to obtain contraception at no out-of-pocket cost. The mandate is widely popular, according to a 2015 survey from the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, which found 77 percent of women and 64 percent of men supported the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. However, despite it’s popularity, the fate of no-cost contraception coverage is looking pretty grim.