This Mother’s Day, we can do one thing for mothers, mothers-to-be and women all across the country. We can support access to quality health care.
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Over time, the AHCA will strip health coverage from Americans of all ages. Women from all walks of life have spoken out to oppose the Act.
The AHCA repeals Obamacare, which allowed states to expand Medicaid to cover more people. Here in Washington, we took this opportunity to cover more uninsured adults. Now, Medicaid / Apple Health insures nearly 400,000 women. Low-income households can get more affordable, comprehensive care.
Among Obamacare’s list of essential health benefits is maternity care. The AHCA would let insurers curtail these benefits, which would put vital care—like prenatal and neonatal exams, genetic testing, breastfeeding help and other forms of support—further out of reach. The proposed cap on federal payments would push state Medicaid administrators into similar restrictions. Medicaid covers services that improve birth outcomes and that are far worse for women of color. It is unacceptable that so many American mothers are still dying for lack of health care. And making more people pay out-of-pocket hurts those with the least in their pockets, especially women of color who face significant wage inequality.
This is no time to take away the health care of women, expectant families and their newborns. So this Mother’s Day, give a gift to all Washington families. Pick up the phone and dial Congress: (202) 224-3121. Thank Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell for opposing the Senate version of the AHCA.