Last month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Trump administration and Republicans in Texas vs. United States, striking down as unconstitutional the ACA’s individual mandate and remanding to the lower court judge a final decision on what parts of the ACA should be eliminated – the very judge who has already ruled the entire law unconstitutional. If President Trump and Republicans have their way, 20 million Americans will lose their insurance coverage, 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will be stripped of their protections, and costs will go up for millions.
“The Fifth Circuit’s disastrous decision on President Trump’s Texas lawsuit puts the health care of millions of Americans at risk. The court’s decision will impact every corner of the American health care system, endangering health care for women and access to care for seniors, children, individuals with disabilities and LGBTQ Americans in communities across the country,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of these days of action, we will be reminding Americans what’s really at stake if the courts ultimately overturn the health care law.”
Days of Action: Day 7 of 11 focuses on Protections for Women. To learn more about our Days of Action, visit our website.
What’s At Stake: Protections for Women
If the ACA is overturned, key protections for women would be ripped away overnight:
- GONE: Insurance companies will be able to charge women 50 percent more than men.
- GONE: Contraception coverage for 60 million people who now have access to birth control with no out-of-pocket costs.
- GONE: A ban on discrimination for women, LGBTQ Americans, and individuals with disabilities in health care settings.
- GONE: Essential protections for breastfeeding parents, including workplace standards and access to breast pumps with no out-of-pocket costs.
Women Can Be Charged More Than Men For The Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than men for the same coverage. Without the ACA, women would also lose guaranteed coverage of birth control and other preventive care services. Before the ACA, 1 in 5 women reported postponing or going without preventive care due to cost.
More than 60 million people could lose access to birth control with no out-of-pocket fees. The ACA guarantees that private health plans cover 18 methods of contraception and make them available to 62.4 million patients with no out-of-pocket costs. More than 99 percent of sexually-active women have used contraceptives at some point in their lifetimes, and approximately 60 percent of women of reproductive age currently use at least one birth control method. In addition to increasing access to this essential treatment, this ACA provision has saved money for women and their families: women saved $1.4 billion on birth control pills alone in 2013.
Women, LGBTQ Americans, and individuals with disabilities can face discrimination in health care settings. Section 1557 of the ACA prohibits discrimination the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability by any health program or activity receiving federal assistance. It also prohibits these types of discrimination in health programs and activities administered by HHS as well as the ACA marketplaces.
Nursing parents would lose breastfeeding support and critical workplace protections. The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to cover breastfeeding support and counseling, as well as breast pumps without cost-sharing for pregnant and nursing women.