Ok, ladies. Listen up. Maybe you voted in the 2016 election. Maybe you didn’t bother. Maybe you voted Hillary. Or maybe you wrote in for Bernie or gave your support to Trump. I’m not here to criticize or chastise. I just want to remind you – especially if you’re a woman still of child-bearing age – about exactly what was at stake concerning your health and the American health-care system in this election. I hate to say it but it’s looking increasingly like a miracle just isn’t going to materialize out of the ether and save us from the electoral college doing the dirty work of anointing the most unqualified, uninformed, impulsive, and temperamentally and intellectually unsuited individual to the presidency in our lifetimes..
I don’t like to be negative. But. What looks like an almost certain effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act by Republicans is looming just over the horizon. And contrary to the spin from Fox News and conservative talking heads, repeal is really, truly not going to yield anything good. Quite the contrary. As women, repeal is going to affect us disproportionately in profound and destructive ways. (What’s new about that? This is the oldest story there is.)
If you didn’t realize before November 8 just what’s on the line, at least pay attention now. This is about how the election of Trump and a Republican-dominated Congress and the expectation of an increasingly right-leaning Supreme Court might affect you and your body and the most important of your life and work choices for perhaps the next few decades.
But don’t listen to me. Ignore, if you like, my particular brand of seething anger and unhinged anxiety. Do yourselves a favor now and take a few moments to watch and learn from this video put together by the National Women’s Law Center.
Narrator Gretchen Borchelt is going to gently remind you that before the Affordable Care Act
Being a woman was a pre-existing condition and insurance companies could either deny you coverage or require you to pay more for your coverage
92% of insurance plans used a process called gender rating that meant that collectively women paid $1 billion more than men for coverage
19 million women were uninsured
Just 12% of insurance policies covered maternity care (family values, anyone?)
Full coverage of women’s preventive services, such as cancer screenings, was not required
Full coverage of birth control – considered health preventive services under the ACA – was non-existent
Just think of this one statistic if you want to understand what’s on the line for your lifestyle and financial security:
In one year alone, since enactment of the Affordable Care Act, women (hey, millennials, are you listening?) have saved $1.4 billion on the cost of birth-control pills alone.
Like I said. Listen and watch. Then decide. Are you going to sit this fight out? Or are you going to get involved and do something to protect yourself?