The House Republican health care proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act could have a profound impact on women’s health care coverage.
The ACA reformed several insurance provisions that affect women, including requiring coverage of no-cost birth control, not allowing insurance companies to charge women more than men and expanding coverage of pre-pregnancy care. Changes to these provisions would impact all women, but especially low-income women.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, one in three low-income women receives birth control from family planning clinics like Planned Parenthood while three quarters of higher-income women receive birth control from a doctor’s office.
President Trump has proposed major cuts to federal funding that support family planning clinics – a move that could disproportionately affect low-income women’s access to family planning services. Anti-abortion advocates have long supported defunding Planned Parenthood due to its role as an abortion provider. House Speaker Paul Ryan has said he supports redirecting women’s health resources from Planned Parenthood to federally qualified health centers, which, he said, will allow women to get the services they need without the controversy.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.