U.S. Representatives Lauren Underwood and Susan Wild, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Protect Our Care Called on Congress to Stop Premium Hikes and Close the Coverage Gap
Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) and Susan Wild (D-PA-07) joined The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights for a virtual press conference hosted by Protect Our Care to discuss 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 federal right to an abortion. During the call, speakers made the case for extending the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced premium tax credits and closing the Medicaid coverage gap to improve maternal health outcomes, protect contraception access, and make health coverage affordable for families.
The event follows a new report from Protect Our Care that lays out the dire consequences for women and children if Congress fails to extend the American Rescue Plan’s premium tax credits and close the Medicaid coverage gap.
“Fundamentally, health care is a human right, and we need to urgently respond to the Supreme Court’s dismantling of nearly 50 years of precedent by extending advanced premium tax credits and making life-saving, high-quality care affordable and accessible for all,” said U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood. “If Congress does not act now, women will lose access to essential, reproductive care, all while facing extreme state abortion bans that aren’t based on science. The Senate must protect access to reproductive health care by passing legislation that makes the American Rescue Plan premium tax credit expansion permanent.”
“Every American should have access to affordable, comprehensive health care, and in the face of the overturning of Roe the fight has never been more urgent,” said U.S. Representative Susan Wild. “If we don’t take action, thousands of women in Pennsylvania and millions of women across the country will lose guaranteed access to contraceptives, wellness visits, and maternal health care, while their monthly premiums increase hundreds of dollars. At a time when reproductive health is under the greatest threat since Roe was decided we cannot allow parents to also face higher costs for healthcare or loss of coverage all together.”
“Many of the states that have banned or restricted abortion access have also denied comprehensive health coverage to low income people of reproductive age by failing to extend Medicaid under the ACA,” said Peggy Ramin, Counsel on Health/Poverty at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “With the upcoming reconciliation legislation, Congress has a real opportunity to address long standing disparities and access to care by providing comprehensive coverage to 2.2 million adults, including 800,000 women of reproductive age, that fall within the Medicaid coverage gap. Closing the coverage gap will help to ensure all people of reproductive age can get the health care they need before, during, and after pregnancy.”
“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has made it even more urgent for Congress to expand access to affordable health care for the American people,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Closing the coverage gap and extending the American Rescue Plan’s premium tax credits are common sense policies to ensure women and their families can access free contraception, maternal services, and other essential care. Congress must act quickly to mitigate some of the damage as states move to restrict abortion access.”