CALL: Senator Marco Rubio (202-224-3041 or 904-398-8586)
Senator Bill Nelson (202-224–5274 or 904-346-4500).
YOUR ACTION: Defend women’s health by demanding that your senators vote no on any healthcare bill that imposes barriers to access and financial penalties on women because of their gender.
Given that the Senate’s ACA-repeal bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), was drafted entirely by Republican men, it is hardly surprising that the bill harms women’s health in myriad ways. First, the bill would stop federal funding for Planned Parenthood for a year, even though the Hyde Amendment already prohibits allocation of federal dollars to abortion care. Defunding Planned Parenthood would cause thousands of people, particularly in areas with healthcare provider shortages, to lose access to crucial preventive services like cancer prevention and prenatal care.
The bill also contains multiple other provisions that undermine access to maternity care. The BCRA will allow states to opt out of the requirement that exchange plans must cover ten essential health benefits, including maternity care and contraceptive access. Employers will also no longer be required to cover maternity care, as the bill eliminates the requirement that large employers offer insurance that meets specific standards. Attacks on Medicaid funding would further reduce coverage for maternity care, as nearly half of births in the US are currently paid for by Medicaid, and more than 25 million women are insured through Medicaid. The bill even allows states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients that would allow them to force mothers to find work within 60 days of giving birth.
Finally, the bill prevents people from using tax credits to buy exchange plans that cover abortion services. Reproductive rights advocates argue that this provision will dissuade insurance companies from providing abortion coverage, even in employer-sponsored plans. This provision is also thought to violate the Byrd Rule, which prohibits the Senate from using the reconciliation process (i.e. a filibuster-proof voting process where legislation can pass with a simple majority) to pass any policy changes that do not directly affect the budget.
Women are half of this country’s population and deserve a healthcare bill that does not punish them for their gender.
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY STATE ZIP CODE]
I’m calling to urge Senator [NAME] to oppose any provision in the Better Care Reconciliation Act which would harm women by defunding Planned Parenthood, rolling back Medicaid coverage, and allowing insurers to stop covering maternity care services and contraceptive access. Women should not face financial penalties and barriers to healthcare access simply because of their gender.
[OPTIONAL: Share a story about how the BCRA would harm you or women in your life.]
Thank you for your time.
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