Welcome to This Week in Women’s Health Care—the round-up for women who care about what’s going on in Washington and around the country and how it affects their rights. Once a week, we’ll bring you the latest news from the world of politics and explain how it impacts you. Let’s get to it!
That’s a damn good thing, considering a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report showed the Senate GOP’s plan would cause 22 million people to lose health insurance over the next decade.
Context: Republicans aren’t happy with Obamacare (Affordable Care Act), and they’ve come up with several bills to replace it. House Republicans drafted the American Health Care Act (AHCA) earlier this year, which the CBO projected would cause 23 people to lose health insurance by 2026. Then, Senate Republicans drafted a replacement plan of their own—the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). But the BCRA would severely cut federal funding to programs that provide health insurance to vulnerable populations, like Americans with low incomes and disabilities. And let’s not forget, the BCRA would cost 22 million Americans their health insurance by 2026. That’s awful.
On Tuesday, Senate Republican leaders announced they would postpone the BCRA vote until after the Fourth of July recess. The number of Republican senators who said they wouldn’t support a vote on the BCRA this week (as initially planned) grew after the CBO report came out. The Washington Post reported that “it was clear that the legislation would still need changes to secure enough votes.” Here’s hoping they come up with a replacement that doesn’t leave so many people without health insurance.
Remember that health care bill we were just talking about? Well, a few Republican senators aren’t the only ones concerned about the BCRA in its current state. A group of women dressed as handmaids from the show (and book) Handmaid’s Tale, headed to the Capitol building in D.C., and began protesting the BCRA. Their goal? Draw attention to the many ways the GOP is threatening women’s access to reproductive health care—both through the BCRA and other legislation around the country.
When the BCRA was first widely released, many people were (understandably) concerned about the BCRA’s severe cuts to Medicaid—and all the people who could lose health insurance because of them. But Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, has a solution: Able-bodied people who lose health insurance through the Medicaid cuts can just get jobs, duh.
Here’s the thing: Most of the people who would be affected by these Medicaid cuts already have jobs. But in many cases, those jobs are low-paying and don’t offer employer benefits like health insurance. Don’t believe me? Well, the Kaiser Family Foundation has found that 8 in every 10 American adults who receive insurance through Medicaid live in working families—and many of them work themselves. And according to different Kaiser Family Foundation research, only 30 percent of Medicaid adults have access to employer-sponsored health insurance.
So no, they can’t just get jobs. They don’t need jobs—they already have them. What they need is health insurance, and the BCRA would take that away from them. And that’s to say nothing about the 50 percent of children in this country born into Medicaid—and the seniors and people with disabilities who rely on it for their care.
On Tuesday, Massachusetts Representative Katherine Clark unveiled a bill seeking to make the online world safer for everyone—women, in particular. The Online Safety Modernization Act criminalizes things like doxxing (publishing someone’s private information online), sextortion (blackmailing someone by threatening to release revenge porn), and swatting (reporting a fake hostage situation to send a SWAT team to someone’s house).
“We are seeing an increase—especially against women and girls—of very targeted crimes that happen online,” Clark told Cosmopolitan. “As we have millions of women and girls online every day, we need to make sure that our federal laws are keeping pace, and that we can keep people safe, and keep the internet open to all voices.” Well said.
The Supreme Court announced this week that it would uphold a limited version of President Trump’s executive order banning immigrants and refugees. The order, which was introduced in March, sought to bar immigrants from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from U.S. entry for 90 days and refugees for 120 days. Various lower courts placed holds on the ban—preventing it from going into effect. But SCOTUS has waived those holds, upholding the ban with the limitation that it “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” The definition of “bona fide relationship” is very narrow: Business Insider reported that only parents, spouses, children, sons- and daughters-in-law, and siblings qualify.
This restricted version of the order went into effect Thursday, 72 hours after this SCOTUS ruling. It will remain in place until the Supreme Court hears the case in full after its summer recess in October. (Quick reminder: Trump first introduced a different version of the ban, which included Iraq, in January. After that order was blocked by lower courts, Trump released a revised version in March. That’s the one SCOTUS is dealing with.)
Or how I’m feeling, at least. In the piece, I Don’t Know How to Explain to You That You Should Care About Other People, HuffPost Video Editor Kayla Chadwick explains why it makes sense for people to pay higher taxes or pay a little more for health insurance. In short: It’s worth it to cover these extra costs if that money is helping people get a higher-quality education, feed their families, or access health care coverage they wouldn’t have otherwise.
“If I have to pay a little more with each paycheck to ensure my fellow Americans can access health care? SIGN ME UP,” Chadwick wrote. “Poverty should not be a death sentence in the richest country in the world. If you’re OK with thousands of people dying of treatable diseases just so the wealthiest among us can hoard still more wealth, there is a divide between our worldviews that can never be bridged.”
This is something others have emphasized in their conversations about the GOP’s health care agenda, too. In February, a Tennessee teacher named Jessi Bohon stood up at a town hall to share why, as a Christian, she supports Obamacare. “It’s from my understanding the ACA mandate requires everybody to have insurance, because the healthy people pull up the sick people,” Jessi Bohon said. “And as a Christian, my whole philosophy in life is to pull up the unfortunate. The individual mandate—that’s what it does. The healthy people pull up the sick.”
As Chadwick wrote in the HuffPost piece, “If making sure your fellow citizens can afford to eat, get an education, and go to the doctor isn’t enough of a reason to [pay more to] fund those things, I have nothing left to say to you.”
You might also like: I Have a Pre-Existing Condition: Real People Share Their Health Conditions
Source Article from http://www.self.com/story/handmaids-capitol