Taylor Harvey (202) 224-4515
Wyden Decries Trumpcare’s Attacks on Women’s Health
As Prepared for Delivery
A Senate vote on Trumpcare is just days away, we’re told, even though the bill remains hidden in the shadows. So I’m here with my colleagues this afternoon to shine a light on the extraordinary harm Trumpcare would do to women’s health across America, and to call on the public to stand up and say this is wrong – to make your voices heard and bring this partisan process to an end. I want to tick through a few key issues.
First, Trumpcare says that health insurance in America should be based on what men need, and what women need should cost extra. Look back a few years to when the Affordable Care Act set in stone guaranteed insurance benefits to protect everybody shopping on the open market regardless of their gender – no price gouging women just because they’re women. But now, the Republican plan lets states hack away at those “essential health benefits,” and it always seems that maternity care is the first benefit to get cut. So if Trumpcare goes through you’ll see insurance companies carving maternity care out of the plans they offer on the open market. It’ll be an add-on for a higher price, as if a pregnant woman’s health care is a luxury item like a sunroof on a new car.
Let’s set aside the fact that every man in this country was born to a woman. My colleagues on the other side have spent seven years telling Americans that they were laser-focused on bringing costs down for everybody. Apparently “everybody” in that context didn’t include mothers, because their costs could be going up.
Second, the public has heard time and time again that nobody would be hurt under Trumpcare, and that repeal and replace was all about putting the patient at the center of care. But tell that to the hundreds of thousands of women who will lose their right to see the doctor of their choosing as a result of Trumpcare defunding Planned Parenthood.
This ideological campaign against Planned Parenthood ignores the fact that there are already laws on the books that prevent tax dollars from funding abortions. It ignores the fact that Planned Parenthood doesn’t get one single dime of taxpayer funding above what’s available to other comparable health providers. It ignores the fact that millions of women rely on Planned Parenthood to get routine medical care from doctors they know and trust – basic checkups, cancer screenings, preventive care, HIV tests. It is long past time for the crusade against Planned Parenthood to end.
Finally, the Trumpcare plan to slash Medicaid to the bone poses a particular threat to women. Medicaid is at the heart of women’s health care in this country. Women live longer than men on average, and Medicaid helps pay for two out of three seniors living in nursing homes. Women are more likely than men to have a disability, and Medicaid is key to helping millions of Americans with disabilities live successful, independent lives in their communities. The Republican health care plan would slash Medicaid so deeply year after year after year, states will be forced to cut benefits and access to care. Women will be hit the hardest by those cuts.
The public needs to know that it is go time on health care. This vote is right around the corner, and because my colleagues on the other side have locked into this “my way or the highway” approach called reconciliation, it’s going to fly by with hardly any public debate. So get loud. Tell your friends and families to stand up and speak out.
This is not some mundane debate here in Congress where the two sides couldn’t square their differences – the kind most people choose to ignore.
This is an outright attack on the health care of millions and millions of Americans, and this is personal to women. And the only way to stop it is with an outcry from the bottom up. This isn’t going to change from the top down. So get engaged, get loud, and do it now.
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