All breast cancer advocates need to understand exactly what the future for women’s healthcare will be in the United States now that the Senate and the White House have Republican control. The publication Vox reported that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act could very well be repealed, which would essentially take away healthcare coverage from at least 20 million people.
The way Congress could repeal this landmark healthcare law is through a reconciliation bill. With a small majority of votes, the Republican Party could take away the financial and budgetary implications of the Affordable Care Act. This would remove the federal tax subsidies provided to patients who have purchased health plans through the public health insurance marketplace as well as put an end to Medicaid expansion across the 31 states that have taken on this coverage program.
However, one of the things that could prevent the GOP from killing off the Affordable Care Act completely is their lack of a strong replacement plan.
“Practically, you can’t turn everything off immediately,” Chris Condeluci, who worked as tax and benefits counsel for the Senate Finance Committee’s Republicans during the Affordable Care Act debate, told the news source. “The GOP doesn’t want to get beat up over kicking 20 million people off of insurance.”
Another area where women’s healthcare matters to this election is in the GOP stance against Planned Parenthood, according to NY Mag. With Vice President Elect Mike Pence having a strong pro-life stance and his past work to defund Planned Parenthood, it is no surprise that this organization could once again face few or no funds from the federal government. It’s important to remember that low-income women and families often have little choice in meeting their healthcare needs.
Planned Parenthood offers women breast cancer screenings, cervical cancer screenings, pap smears, and neonatal ultrasounds during pregnancy among many other healthcare services. Low-income families rely on organizations like Planned Parenthood for their medical needs.
Another important area where pregnant women could be hit the hardest is that of late-term abortions. The so-called late-term abortion is a medical necessity for a pregnant woman since it has to do with a pregnancy that is harmful to her or the fetus. Late-term abortions are meant for women who have found that their baby is not developing correctly – their heart, lungs, or brain may not have developed properly whatsoever. This means the fetus is dying and the woman will need a late-term abortion.
However, a letter that Donald Trump sent to anti-abortion advocates states that he is looking to put into place the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would completely ban abortions after 20 weeks. This means that he is in favor of putting women’s lives in danger since refusing to allow an abortion at this stage could lead to infection risks and serious problems.
The future for women’s healthcare hangs in the balance in this new administration. It will depend upon activists and vital healthcare organizations like Planned Parenthood as well as women’s health proponents like NARAL Pro-Choice America to protect the rights of women and the future for women’s healthcare.