Coalition Letter - Vote against H.R. 2 and H.Res. 9
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
January 14, 2011
As organizations committed to protecting and improving women’s health, we strongly urge you to vote against H.R.2 and H.Res.9, which would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively referred to as “the Affordable Care Act.”) These two laws are already providing critically important benefits and protections for women and their families. In short, repealing these critically important laws would harm women and their families, and would once again allow insurance companies to treat women like a pre-existing condition. Repeal would harm women in many specific ways.
Repeal would allow unfair and discriminatory insurance practices that are particularly harmful to women to continue. Repeal would eliminate important measures that hold insurance companies accountable. Repeal would once again allow insurers to deny women coverage if they’ve had a Cesarean section, breast or cervical cancer, or received medical treatment for domestic or sexual violence, charge individual women and small employers with a predominantly female workforce more for insurance coverage, impose lifetime or annual dollar limits on covered services, or rescind insurance coverage when an individual gets sick.
Repeal would make obtaining insurance harder and more expensive. The new law would give women and their families the ability to find more affordable insurance options through the new exchanges to be established in 2014. Repeal would eliminate those opportunities for millions of women, including the 4.5 million women who will be newly eligible for Medicaid in 2014; and the approximately 11 million women who would be eligible for tax credit subsidies to help with the cost of premiums and out-of pocket costs. Most of these women would be otherwise uninsured, or forced to choose between health insurance or necessities like food and rent.
Repeal will make finding comprehensive health insurance more difficult. Too many women struggle to find health insurance that covers important health care services they need, like maternity and mental health care as well as prescription drugs. Repeal of the Affordable Care Act will eliminate the requirement that all plans sold to individuals and small employers cover these critically essential health benefits. Under repeal, women would also lose no-cost access to recommended preventive screenings such as mammograms and pap-smears.
Repeal will eliminate critical tax credits for small employers, making it harder for them to provide insurance coverage for their employees. Women are more likely to work for small employers that don’t offer health insurance. The Affordable Care Act provides critical tax credits to small employers to be able to provide health insurance to their employees- and will have new options to find affordable coverage when the exchanges are operational in 2014.
Repeal will reinstate the Medicare drug coverage gap. Closing the Medicare drug coverage gap is critically important to older women – who in 2007 comprised more than two-thirds of all individuals falling in the donut hole.
Repeal will eliminate many additional provisions providing important benefits to women and their families, including extending dependent coverage to children up to age 26, ensuring working women have the right to take unpaid breaks at work to express breast milk, and prohibiting insurers from requiring women to get a referral to see their ob/gyn.
In sum, the Affordable Care Act is working for women and their families, while repeal will turn back the clock on important progress and cause real harm to real people. We urge you to vote against repeal.
National Women’s Law Center
American Association of UniversityWomen (AAUW)
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees
Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN)
Black Women’s Health Imperative
California Primary Care Association
Center for American Progress Action Fund
Center for Reproductive Rights
Disability Rights Wisconsin
Jewish Women International
Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform
Mautner Project: The National Lesbian Health Organization
Montana Women Vote
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Council of Urban Indian Health
National Coalition for LGBT Health
National Council of Jewish Women
National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association
National Health Law Program
National Institute for Reproductive Health
National Latina Health Network
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for Women and Families
National Research Center for Women & Families/Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund
National Women’s Health Network
NARAL Pro-Choice America
PHI (Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute)
Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
U.S. Positive Women’s Network
Vermont Legal Aid- Office of Health Care Ombudsman
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease