RELEASE: What’s at Stake for Women if the Supreme Court Strikes Down the Affordable Care Act
Washington, D.C. — Today the Center for American Progress released a new report examining the ways in which a Supreme Court ruling that strikes down the Affordable Care Act would not only undo decades of precedent but would also have a devastating effect on the health and well-being of our nation’s women.
Obamacare, as the health reform law is more commonly known, holds the promise of ensuring coverage of preventive and essential services for women, eliminating gender discrimination by health insurance companies, and making health insurance more available and affordable for women and their families.
“For women and their families, Obamacare is not a theoretical concept; it is a lifeline,” said Jessica Arons, author of the report and Director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program at CAP. “Attacks on Obamacare are attacks on women’s health and well-being. A ruling that strikes down the Affordable Care Act would not only undo decades of precedent; it would have a devastating effect on the millions of women who have already benefited from the health reform law and the millions more who stand to benefit from it in the years to come. Women have gained so much from Obamacare; they cannot afford to lose it now.”
Thanks to Obamacare, more than 45 million women have already taken advantage of recommended preventative services, including mammograms, Pap smears, prenatal care, well-baby care, and well-child care with no cost sharing such as co-pays and deductibles. Starting this August, millions more will be able to obtain contraception, annual visits with a gynecologist, screening for gestational diabetes, breastfeeding consulting and supplies, and screening for sexually transmitted infections, again at no extra cost.
In addition, women will no longer encounter discrimination in the health insurance market in the form of lost maternity coverage, higher premiums because of their gender, and denials of coverage for gender-related pre-existing conditions. Indeed, close to 9 million women will gain coverage for maternity care in the individual market starting in 2014. And provisions in the new health law that protect everyone will especially benefit women, who utilize the health care system the most.