Topic: EconomicsBudget

Last updated: March 26, 2019

A good health care reform should cost effective in its implementations and affordability because it not only effects on patients, but also for healthcare providers, government spending as well as on biomedical researchers.

For the reason of expense, this is especially important to women as they are more likely to go without compulsory health care together with preventive care than men. In the United States, health care reform also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, affectedly changed health care coverage for women and everyone. For example, it stopped insurance companies from charging women extra, required insurers to cover maternity care and contraceptives.

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Moreover, it also allowed women to acquire those contraceptives as well as a variety of precautionary services, like Pap smears (method of cervical screening) and mammograms at almost no cost. However, only a few years after President Obama’s Affordable Care Act helped reduce medical costs for women through Medicaid coverage, the program is now under threat as the Trump administration seeks to undo those benefits. Health insurance coverage is key to women’s access to care, overall health, and economic security or stability. However, in the United State women’s figures are a constant political battleground. This is the only developed country with no universal health coverage and one of only a few with no guaranteed paid maternity leave. Compared to women in Canada or Europe, it is harder for Americans to take time off work to see a doctor, or get affordable child care.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed the landscape of the individual health insurance market for women by allowing about 7.5 million women ages 18–64 gained Medicaid coverage, a growth of 47 percent nationally between the years of 2013-2015. Before its full implementation, women were routinely charged higher premiums than men, prevented from purchasing coverage for services they needed, or denied coverage altogether.

Insurers regularly denied coverage for a range of preexisting conditions which are being pregnant, having undergone a Cesarean section, and even receiving health services after sexual assault. Women commonly paid more than men for their insurance, at an additional cost of approximately $1 billion per year, and many plans excluded maternity coverage. Such discriminatory practices led women bear significant costs for health insurance or to forgo care altogether. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act aka known as Obamacare, millions of women who did not have health insurance before are now able to get coverage through Medicaid and also it allowed young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26 years as well. Insurers can no longer deny coverage or charge higher premiums because of gender or because of current or prior health conditions. All individual market plans must cover essential health benefits that include maternity services, birth control, mammograms and other preventive care, and mental health services. On the other hand, since President Trump took over of the office there has been a constant attack on women’s access to health care coverage.

Last year in May, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), to repeal and replace fundamentals of the ACA. However, due to not being able to gather enough votes to make it through the United States Congress, it was pulled from making a law. If this bill was ruled then it would greatly affect the access to health care for many women. Along with potential funding cuts and restrictions for family planning providers, including Planned Parenthood, repeal of the Affordable Care Act, will make new state and federal abortion restrictions and changes to its birth control coverage facility, and would significantly affect the accessibility and rate of women’s health care, mainly reproductive care. Furthermore, individuals who do not maintain continuous coverage with the goal of reducing insurance costs, it would let states to renounce the ACA’s Essential Health Benefit requirements and permit health status as an issue in insurance rating.

Nevertheless, Trump’s administration did not just give up and now they have come up with another plan to attack on women’ access to health care. Health care programs that are vital for women, Trump’s 2019 Budget proposal seek out to bounds women’s access to those needed reproductive health care. The proposal cuts pretty much every government program, from food stamps to public transportation, in order to pay for the border wall and an infrastructure plan, and boost military spending. But many of the policies and practices outlined within its target the same group that has been bearing the brunt of the administration’s bigotry and intolerance: women.

The proposed budget cuts aimed at women’s health in a number of ways: attacking Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid, defunding Planned Parenthood, funneling money to abstinence-only programs and slashing funding from providing shelter to Americans.


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