Washington, D.C. — Today, the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress released a new column that reveals how repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would prolong and worsen the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for women and their families, threaten women’s financial security, and augment gender inequities in accessing essential health care services. The piece comes in the midst of hearings to consider Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court and less than four weeks before the court will hear oral arguments in a Trump administration-backed lawsuit to terminate the ACA during a pandemic.
The column warns that repealing the health care law amid compounding public health emergencies—COVID-19 and a maternal mortality crisis that is killing Black and Native American women at alarming rates—could yield disastrous consequences. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicate that pregnant people with COVID-19 have higher rates of hospitalization, admission to the intensive care unit, and mechanical ventilation. And Black pregnant women are disproportionately contracting COVID-19. Even more, repealing the ACA would worsen existing barriers to accessing maternal and reproductive health services, including birth control, as well as other necessary and preventive care.
“Women are disproportionately suffering from the economic fallout of the virus, but taking away their health care in the middle of the pandemic threatens to put their financial security in even greater peril at a time when they can least afford it,” said Jamille Fields Allsbrook, director of women’s health and rights at CAP. “Without the ACA, women could be charged more simply for being a woman and discriminated against for having a preexisting condition such as pregnancy; essential health benefits that women need yet were denied by insurers prior to the law could be discontinued; and the number of uninsured women would soar after a decade of progress. Put simply, by rushing to confirm another justice who will rubber-stamp the Trump administration’s political agenda on the Supreme Court, the U.S. Senate is putting the lives and livelihoods of American women on the line. Repealing the law would always be harmful to women, but repealing its benefits and consumer protections during a global pandemic would be devastating.”
Please click here to read “Repealing the ACA During the Coronavirus Pandemic Would Be Devastating for Women’s Health and Economic Security” by Jamille Fields Allsbrook.
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