Washington, DC — Protect Our Care is releasing a new report that highlights the urgent need for Congress to protect and expand women’s access to health care in the wake of the Supreme Court’s elimination of the constitutional right to an abortion. The report lays out the dire consequences for women of childbearing age and their families if Congress fails to make the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced premium tax credits permanent and close the Medicaid coverage gap.
While abortion rights have long been at the center of the Republican war on health care, the GOP has also opposed meaningful measures to expand health care access by refusing to close the Medicaid coverage gap and opposing measures to drive down health care costs. With the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced premium tax credits set to expire later this year, it has never been more urgent for Congress to prevent premium hikes and extend affordable coverage to mitigate some of the worst impacts of the Supreme Court decision.
“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has made it even more urgent for Congress to expand Medicaid and extend the American Rescue Plan’s premium tax credits, ensuring women and their children have access to essential health care,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “The officials attacking women’s rights are the same people who oppose Medicaid expansion, refuse to support measures to improve health outcomes for mothers and their children, and fight common sense reforms to lower health care costs.”
- Closing the Coverage Gap Essential to Protect Mothers and Families. Many of the states moving to take away the right to an abortion are the same states whose Republican governors or state legislatures have refused to expand Medicaid. Failure to expand Medicaid has left women and children without the health care they need. There are 2.2 million uninsured people below the poverty line who live in Medicaid coverage gap states, and more than 800,000 are women of reproductive age.
- If Congress Fails To Act, Millions Of Women & Children Will Lose Coverage. More than 3 million people will become uninsured if the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced premium tax credits expire — increasing the number of uninsured Americans by 11 percent. When women become uninsured, they lose the guaranteed protections of the ACA, including access to free contraceptives, cancer screenings (including breast and cervical cancer), and well woman visits. When women lose their health insurance, their children also become uninsured, including young adults who are able to remain on a parent’s insurance until 26.