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Six Ways That MAGA Republicans Are Attacking Women’s Health

By May 13, 2024No Comments

Attacks on women’s health care from MAGA Republicans have skyrocketed in the year since Roe v. Wade was overturned. As a result, access to reproductive care is in turmoil for millions of women across the country. Between abortion bans, seeking to undermine the ACA, refusing Medicaid expansion, and fighting measures to combat maternal mortality, Republicans have done nothing but limit access to essential care for women. As we recognize Women’s Health Week, we must hold Republicans accountable. Here are six ways that Republicans are waging war on women’s health care: 

  1. Attacking Reproductive Health.  One year ago Donald Trump’s appointees to the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the consequences for women’s health have been catastrophic, from cruel and archaic abortion bans to devastating uncertainty about access to IVF and other reproductive care.  If MAGA Republicans get their way there will be even more extreme judicial appointments and an all-out push to use the Comstock Act to create a de facto national ban on abortions and sharply limit access to medications. Republicans, including at least 67 members of Congress and 22 Republican attorneys general, are battling in court right now to rescind the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, a safe and effective medication essential for abortion access.Beyond abortion bans, Republicans have a long history of attempts to limit access to contraceptives and family planning.  The Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage requirement has drastically improved health care access and affordability for millions of women. The benefits have reached far and wide — improving health outcomes and sharply cutting out-of-pocket costs. Despite the overwhelming success of the ACA’s contraception coverage, Republicans have attempted to eliminate this essential care year after year through legislation and litigation.
  2. Destroying And Sabotaging The ACA. Republicans want to return us to a time when being a woman was a pre-existing condition.  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act millions of women have gained coverage and critical protections. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) prevents insurers from denying, dropping, or charging more because of a pre-existing condition like cancer, or even having a C-section. It also bans insurers from charging women higher rates than men.  Republicans have spent years taking dozens of failed votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They have also taken their fight to overturn the ACA to the Supreme Court and failed all three times. This year extremists are still challenging a provision of the ACA that requires insurers to cover lifesaving preventive services for free. The case, known as Braidwood v. Becerra, is set to be decided by a panel of judges at the MAGA-packed Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.During his first term, Donald Trump notoriously tried and failed multiple times to repeal the ACA and throughout his 2024 campaign Trump has repeatedly reignited his calls to “terminate” the Affordable Care Act, which he claims is a “disaster.”  The ACA made enormous strides for women’s health. By taking these actions, Republicans are fighting to strip protections from women that provide access to lifesaving care.
  3. Repealing The Inflation Reduction Act. Women are 1.3 times more likely to say they have skipped or postponed getting the health care they needed because of the cost. The Inflation Reduction Act is saving millions of women thousands of dollars on health care by holding big pharmaceutical companies accountable and bringing down the cost of prescription drugs, making health care plans more affordable with premium tax credit subsidies, and capping the price of insulin at $35 per month for Medicare Part D beneficiaries. Despite all this progress, Donald Trump claims that the Inflation Reduction Act is “not helping you at all” and MAGA Republicans in Congress are seeking to dismantle the law and its provisions making prescription drugs and health care premiums more affordable for tens of millions of Americans.
  4. Waging a War on Medicaid.  Medicaid is an essential source of coverage for women and children. More than 18 million, or nearly 1 in 5, adult women are enrolled in Medicaid. Approximately 40 million, or half of all children in the U.S., are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Medicaid coverage brings affordable care and financial security to women and families.Republicans in Congress and Donald Trump are itching for a renewed war on Medicaid The latest proposals from the Republican Study Committee and the Trump team in waiting at the Heritage Foundation would throw millions of people off their coverage through block granting and burdensome work reporting requirements. Almost two-thirds, or 62 percent, of those who would lose their Medicaid coverage as a result of work requirements, are women and disproportionately women of color.
  5. Blocking Improvements In Maternal Health. American women suffer appalling rates of maternal mortality. The solutions to this devastating problem are well within reach, however, Republicans simply refuse to take action, and at times, actively fight against lifesaving measures, such as extending postpartum Medicaid coverage. In 2021, not a single Republican member of the House voted for legislation that included the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, which is essential to addressing this ongoing crisis.  The Biden-Harris Administration has established a pathway to coverage, providing states the opportunity to extend postpartum coverage under Medicaid from 60 days to 12 months following birth. Currently, 47 states have elected to extend Medicaid coverage for a full year postpartum with only Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, and Wisconsin as the remaining holdouts.
  6. Promoting Health Care Discrimination Against Women And LGBTQ People. The Trump administration took multiple steps to make it harder for women, people of color, and LGBTQ Americans to access health care. For example, in August 2019, the Trump administration began enforcing a rule that bars certain federally-funded clinics from referring women for abortions. As a result, the nation’s largest recipient of Title X funds, Planned Parenthood, was forced to exit the program, losing $60 million in funding previously used to provide birth control and reproductive health care services for low-income women. Trump also tried to make it easier for LGBTQ Americans to be discriminated against in health care settings and allowed providers to refuse patient care on the basis of the provider’s personal beliefs, a move that undermined access to care for patients who already face health care disparities. The Biden administration is now fighting in court against Republicans in the state of Florida and Texas to reverse these discriminatory policies.