The National Campaign Disappointed by House Passage of Bill that Will Result in Millions of Women Losing Health Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage: We strongly urge the Senate to vote against the bill

May 04 2017

(Washington, DC)—The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy is disappointed that the U.S. House of Representatives voted 217 to 213 today to pass the American Health Care Act or AHCA (H.R. 1628), which effectively repeals many existing provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA has resulted in millions of women gaining health insurance coverage that has enable them to obtain the full range of contraceptive methods without co-pays or deductibles. Earlier estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted that 24 million people would lose health insurance by 2026 because of this bill—including millions of women.

The bill would also block Medicaid reimbursements from going to a key safety-net provider of birth control. The National Campaign’s research shows Planned Parenthood is the only publicly funded clinic offering the full range of birth control methods in an estimated 105 counties across the U.S. If women covered by Medicaid—especially in those counties—cannot go to a provider offering the full range of contraceptive methods, then their ability to get birth control could be compromised.

“Today’s vote could significantly and negatively impact women’s access to the full range of birth control methods,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, The National Campaign. “This disappointing bill will result in millions of women losing their health insurance and, with it, their coverage and access to birth control which almost everyone believes is a basic part of women’s health care.”

Research from The National Campaign shows that despite the coverage gains of the ACA, more than 19 million American women already live in contraceptive deserts—defined by their lack of reasonable access to public health care sites offering the full range of contraceptive methods. Furthermore, an overwhelming majority—81% of Americans (including 70% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats)—agree that birth control is a basic part of women’s health care.

“We strongly urge the U.S. Senate to oppose this bill,” Ehrlich stated. “The AHCA will only exacerbate the current gaps in contraceptive access for millions of low-income women and deny millions more their contraceptive coverage. Women need contraceptive coverage and access in order to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant. Without that, we will lose the benefits of reduced unplanned pregnancy rates, such as improved health outcomes, less taxpayer spending, and fewer abortions. These are positive results that we should all work toward.”

About The National Campaign: The National Campaign is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families by preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy. Please visit us at www.TheNationalCampaign.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

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