The War on Women Has Begun

WarOnWomenby Kate Harveston

One of the promises Donald Trump made when running for president was the repeal of Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act. He pledged to repeal the act on his first day in office, which he did not do. However, he did manage to eventually create a new health care bill that passed in the House and is now awaiting a vote in the Senate.

This bill, called the American Health Care Act, makes major changes to Obamacare and is going to affect a whole lot of Americans, especially women. The bill takes away guaranteed coverage for certain pre-existing conditions, most of which affect women more than men. Some Americans may be fearful of what this health care plan means for them, but many women are terrified. Here’s why.

What Changed in This Health Care Bill?

Trump’s new health care bill eliminates taxes on the wealthy, does not require large companies to provide health care for their employees, allows insurance companies to charge elderly people more than young customers and cuts funding for Planned Parenthood.

These are just a few among the many changes and additions Trump has made in what he calls Trumpcare. The bill passed 217-213 in the House. All Democrats voted no, along with 20 Republicans.

One of the changes is the relaxation of requirements to cover people with “pre-existing conditions,” allowing insurance companies to refuse to pay for problems that arise from these conditions. Companies are also not required to say why they deny certain customers.

Some of these pre-existing conditions include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Rape
  • Domestic violence
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Cancer

This means if you have any condition on the long list of pre-existing conditions, you can be required to pay more for insurance or simply be denied insurance.

What Does This Mean For Women?

The change Trumpcare makes regarding pre-existing conditions can and will affect many people, but it will certainly impact women, because many of the pre-existing conditions affect only women or mostly women.

Pregnancy and cesarean sections are two of the pre-existing conditions that only affect women. Domestic violence and rape are “conditions” that affect both men and women, but statistically mostly affect women. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder also affects a disproportionate amount of women to men — 10% of women develop PTSD, compared to 4% of men.

Under the American Health Care Act, women who have these pre-existing conditions can be otherwise perfectly healthy but still be denied coverage. They can be left without any insurance whatsoever, left to fend for themselves.

This is an attack on women and is obviously unjust. A woman who has gotten treatment for an injury from domestic violence can be denied insurance, even if the incident happened years ago. A woman who has severe PTSD can lose coverage to help with the problem. A pregnant woman can fear for the health of her child.

Furthermore, women have long been fearful of speaking out about rape or domestic violence. This will only get worse if they are afraid of losing their health insurance coverage. Women will be less likely to seek medical attention if they need it after being assaulted. Overall, this is simply a dangerous bill for women.

What Can We Do to Resist This Disastrous Bill?

Unfortunately, this bill is now in the hands of the Senate. Many White House officials are positive the Senate will pass the bill and it will become America’s new reality.

Anybody worried about this bill is encouraged to call their state senators and urge them to vote no. That is the best we can do right now.

Otherwise, we need to stay informed and stay loud. Simply giving in and letting this happen will not help the situation. Americans need to let Trump and his fellow Republicans know they are not okay with the bill they have passed.

Americans, females especially, need to stay informed now more than ever and be activists for their own health.

 

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