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House budget chairman Paul Ryan has released a proposed federal budget that would derail much of the progress we’re making in improving health access for uninsured and underinsured women and families.  The Ryan budget plan includes $4.6 trillion dollars in cuts; 59% ($2.7 trillion) of which would come from cutting health programs.  It would defund much of the new health law and undo policies that work to increase access to health coverage and ensure hardworking families gain better quality health care.


The Ryan budget would eliminate the ban on discrimination against those with preexisting conditions, including breast cancer, Cesarean sections, rape, and health needs related to domestic violence; provisions that allow young women to stay on their parents health insurance plans until age 26; premium tax credits that help individuals and small businesses purchase health insurance; Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid; and a slew of other benefits that the law provides for women’s health.

Ryan’s hypocrisy about the health care law is on full display in this budget proposal.  While he would eliminate the benefits of the new health law, he is only able to make the numbers add up by retaining some of its tax increases and $716 billion in Medicare savings that the law put in place.  Among the changes Ryan’s budget would make to Medicare in the name of savings is a partial privatization of the program.  This would leave seniors to pay more for less coverage.  Keep in mind that women on Medicare already pay more out-of-pocket, so the Ryan budget’s Medicare cuts would be an added threat to the financial well-being of senior women.

Although the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act and its implementation is well underway, this attempt to defund the law and with it the promise of better health it brings for millions of women across the country, demonstrate that we can’t take this progress for granted.  It’s critical that women continue to voice our support for the law so that political leaders hear clearly that we won’t stand for proposals like Ryan’s budget and other extreme cuts to the new health care law.

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