Trump's Healthcare Plan Makes It Costly To Be A Woman

by Mike Julianelle
Image via Shutterstock

His plan would eliminate universal maternity coverage

Only a few years after President Obama’s Affordable Care Act helped reduce medical costs for women, the Trump administration seeks to undo those benefits.

Because nobody has more respect for women.

A story on Huffington Post highlights the damage Trump’s plan would do to the benefits women gained with Obamacare. Before the Affordable Care Act leveled the playing field, women were often forced to pay more for men for the same health coverage. And it was legal for insurance companies to refuse to cover women who were pregnant or might become pregnant.

Yeah, um, almost every woman “might” become pregnant.

Under Obamacare (which, FYI, is just a nickname for the Affordable Care Act), every available plan was required to cover pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care. Trump ain’t down with that. White House press secretary Melissa McCarthy explained how benefits like maternity leave were the reason healthcare is so expensive.

“A 54-year-old doesn’t need certain things. They don’t need maternity care,” Sean Spicer told reporters. “They don’t need certain medical services that are being provided to them by this government product that is being forced on them right now.”

The American Healthcare Act doesn’t abolish those requirements, but Trump is on the record as saying the AHA is just the first step in a three-prong approach, and that one of those prongs will cause a spike in women’s healthcare costs.

As is the case with every new proposal the Trump Administration puts forth, there’s a fair amount of dissent.

“We shouldn’t allow insurance companies to say men’s health care is basic health care, but women’s health care is not,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said.

Under Obamacare, it wasn’t treated that way. But if the maternity care requirement is revoked, things would be going backward. Insurance companies could once again treat pregnancy as a pre-existing condition and refuse to cover many of the associated expenses. Women would need to sign up for maternity coverage months before getting pregnant, which isn’t always the easiest thing to game plan.

Pregnancy isn’t the only thing Republicans don’t seem to understand. They don’t seem to get the concept of insurance either.

“Sean Spicer’s comments illustrate how dangerous it is to allow people to propose health policy for this country when they don’t understand how insurance works and apparently don’t believe in ending discrimination against women,” said Gretchen Borchelt, vice president for reproductive rights and health at the National Women’s Law Center.

My bad, it’s not just pregnancy and insurance Republicans don’t seem to understand. It’s also human decency.

As Stabenow told The Huffington Post, “We are all connected. There are essential basic services in health care that should be available for men and women, as well as children. … When a mom can go and get prenatal care and a baby is born healthy, we all benefit by that.”

At least, we all should. If Trump has his way, some of us won’t.