MomsRising Leader: Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Would Be a ‘Disaster for Women, Moms and Families’
September 20, 2017
Statement from Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director and CEO of MomsRising, a national online and on-the-ground organization of more than 1 million mothers and their families
“The most recent effort to roll back health care harms women, moms, children and our economy. It is unconscionable and destructive. It’s time for President Trump and the Republican leaders in Congress to listen to what their constituents and the data are saying: Improve health care, don’t destroy it. The moms of America have stood up again and again to protect our nation’s care. We stand today as well – and we won’t back down. We know that everyone gets sick and everyone also should have a chance to get better. It’s time for each and every member of Congress to stand with the moms of America.
“Yet for months, Republicans in Congress have introduced bill after bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), each more harmful than the last. The legislation recently introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller and Ron Johnson may be the worst yet. It is a heartless bill that would damage our country’s well-being and prosperity – and would particularly be a disaster for women, moms and families.
“The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill, like many repeal bills that came before it, would make health coverage less accessible, less affordable, and less comprehensive. The cuts to federal funding for Medicaid would be especially damaging to women (who make up two-thirds of Medicaid’s adult enrollees); the program also covers more than half of all childbirths. The bill would also end the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, which has allowed 3.9 million women to gain access to health coverage. In a particularly cruel move, it would impose punitive work requirements on Medicaid enrollees, penalizing women who do not return to work shortly after childbirth.
“More than 9 million women have benefited from the ACA’s cost-sharing reductions, which made health coverage more affordable for low- and moderate-income individuals. This boosted our families and economy in important ways. But that is at risk because Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson would allow states to acquire waivers to exempt insurers from covering essential health benefits like maternity care, which could leave new mothers shouldering tens of thousands of dollars in hospital bills. It would also defund Planned Parenthood, leaving millions of women without access to the routine (and potentially life-saving) preventive care they need.
“As with earlier repeal bills, low-income women, families, people with disabilities, the elderly, and those who live in rural and medically underserved communities would suffer the most, with a compounding impact in Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American, and LGBTQ+ communities. About 15 million Black men and women get coverage through Medicaid, including nearly a third of Black women of reproductive age. Black, Hispanic, and Native communities saw some of the biggest gains in health coverage under the ACA—and have the most to lose if it’s repealed.
“It’s time to put partisan politics aside. MomsRising and our more than one million members across the country stand firmly against any attempt to repeal the ACA. We stand against any legislation that would endanger the health of women and families and harm our nation’s economy. We urge the Senate to reject Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson and instead work across the aisle to improve and strengthen our health care system.”