Contact: Cindy Hoffman: 202 524 5330
YWCA USA stands with the millions of Americans who are calling for Congress to make improvements to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rather than destroy the significant advances that the ACA has made to our healthcare system with the legislative language laid out by the House Energy and Commerce and House Ways and Means Committee on March 7, 2017.
Statement by Casey Harden, Interim CEO of YWCA USA:
“The positive impact of the Affordable Care Act cannot be overlooked, particularly for the women and families we serve at YWCA. The ACA has equipped 9.5 million women with access to healthcare – women who would otherwise be uninsured.
Any congressional action to change the ACA must protect and preserve the advances made for women and families. From the elimination of essential health benefits for Medicaid recipients, to the defunding of Planned Parenthood and restrictions on women’s access to the full range of reproductive health care services, the proposed legislation falls far short of that mark.
We are particularly alarmed about the impact this legislation would have on women and girls, communities of color, survivors of gender-based violence, and other marginalized communities who we seek to support through direct service and advocacy. Congress must not limit affordable, accessible healthcare for women and their families. YWCA USA is demanding that Congress ensure these gains are not reversed.”
For women of color, the ACA has been particularly beneficial. The uninsured rate for women of color has dropped significantly: 42% for Black women, 36% for Latinas, 46% for Asian and Pacific Island women, and 25% for Native women. As a result, more Black women than ever before report having regular doctors’ visits and fewer report they have delayed or avoided care due to cost.
Medicaid expansion is critical to this progress. States who have expanded Medicaid have seen the largest increases in insurance coverage for women of color. States without Medicaid expansion report the highest numbers of uninsured women of color. The plan Republicans have currently laid out rolls back financial support for Medicaid – weakening one of the most effective elements of the ACA.
In addition, the ACA requires Medicaid to provide a basic package of essential health benefits that includes coverage like maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use services, preventative and wellness services, chronic disease management, pediatric services including oral and vision care, and more. If this plan goes into effect, Medicaid will stop providing the basic package of essential health benefits in December 2019. This change would be devastating for women and families who rely on Medicaid for health coverage. YWCA is particularly concerned about the impact on people of color who already experience disparate health outcomes.
Finally, YWCA USA fully supports the funding of Planned Parenthood as a critical healthcare provider for so many women and girls – especially those among us who have been historically underserved by other providers. Reproductive healthcare must be considered a nonnegotiable part of healthcare coverage.
About YWCA USA
YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The organization is one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families each year. Learn more: www.ywca.org.