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FEDERAL WATCH: Four Ways Repealing the Affordable Care Act Will Have Devastating Consequences for Women

Note: This is a breaking story and events may develop or change in the coming days. 

Yesterday, after failing to garner enough support to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would instead try to push the Senate to repeal the bill and replace it within two years. Earlier this year, the Congressional Budget Office estimated such a plan would leave 18 million people without insurance within the first year and 32 million without insurance by 2026.

Repealing the ACA would have devastating consequences for women’s and maternal health. Here is what’s at stake if the law is repealed:

  1. Since the ACA went into effect, nearly 9.5 million women who were previously uninsured now have health coverage.
  • ✖ Repealing the ACA would lead to the rollback of Medicaid expansion, and the loss of contraceptive coverage, maternity services, and preventive care. Such a rollback would affect women of color and low-income women the most.
  1. The ACA requires that all small group and individual health plans provide coverage for maternity care and newborn care, including prenatal care visits, gestational diabetes screening, infection screening, and breastfeeding supplies, support, and counseling.
  • ✖ With a repeal, insurance companies would no longer be required to cover maternity and childbirth services in full.
  1. Under the health care law, insurance companies cannot deny coverage or charge more because someone has a pre-existing condition. This includes pregnancy.
  • ✖ An ACA repeal would mean that insurance companies could revert back to charging women more for having been pregnant.
  1. Under the ACA, nearly 55 million women gained access to preventive care, at no cost. These services include annual well-woman exams, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, contraception and contraceptive counseling, breast cancer screening, and counseling for domestic partner and intimate partner violence.
  • ✖ Were the ACA to be repealed, 100% coverage for preventive services would be at risk.

Repealing the ACA is simply not an option. At A Better Balance, we are continuing to fight for laws that help, not harm, the health of women and families, including pregnant workers fairness laws, breastfeeding rights, fair workplace scheduling, paid family and medical leave, and paid sick time. Call your Senators today and urge them to stand up to such a reckless and devastating plan.