By Jill Zorn
The health care progress women have made since the 1960s is under threat from Congress and the incoming Trump administration.
Here are a few examples of what is at stake, if the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) succeeds:
- Taking away coverage of birth control as a preventive health service that is available without a copay
- Dropping maternity care as an essential benefit covered by all health insurance policies
- Using the ACA repeal bill to defund Planned Parenthood, including barring them from accepting Medicaid and taking away other federal family planning grants
Care for older women is in peril, too. Women, on average, live longer than men. That means they rely more on Medicare and Medicaid, originally enacted in the 1960s. Both programs are at risk:
- Speaker of the House Paul Ryan proposes to turn Medicare into a voucher program, limiting the amount of care that Medicare will pay for.
- Medicaid cuts will mean fewer dollars available to cover nursing home care and home care.
The nomination and confirmation of anti-choice Supreme Court justices could tip the balance of the court in favor of overruling the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made access to abortion safe and legal.
Congressman Tom Price, President-elect Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services, is a staunch opponent of women’s reproductive rights. He opposed the ACA regulation that allows free access to birth control, claiming there’s “not one” woman who needs that support. His voting record on women’s health issues is appalling:
If this pending assault on women’s health and reproductive rights makes you mad and ready to fight back, here are some things you can do:
- Sign Universal Health Care Foundation’s petition. Show your support to Senators Blumenthal and Murphy in the fight to protect health care. We are aiming to collect 500 signatures by the end of the day on Friday January 6.
- Attend the Rally and Speak Out for Reproductive Freedom on Wednesday January 18 organized by Planned Parenthood of Southern New England and the CT Coalition for Choice. Participants are gathering at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford at 4:30 pm and will then march to the capitol. Follow this link to the Facebook event page for more information and to indicate that you are interested or plan to go. Organizers are also looking for volunteers to share their story or come earlier and help with a show of visibility at the Legislative Office Building. Go here if you would like to volunteer.
- Attend the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, January 21 in Washington, D.C. Marchers are meeting at 10 am near the Capitol. For more information, check out: