Mainers Come Out in Force to Oppose Senate Health Care Repeal Bill

Phonebanks, banner drop this week; Pink Out Portland continues

Portland, Maine –– Following the Congressional Budget Office revelation that the Senate health care repeal bill will cost 22 million Americans their health insurance and harm women’s access to health care at Planned Parenthood, Mainers are responding loud and clear in opposition to the bill.

Pink Out Portland City Hall

Pink Out Portland City Hall

“The CBO score confirms what Mainers already knew: this is the worst bill for women’s health in a generation. It makes it harder to prevent unintended pregnancy, harder to have a healthy pregnancy, and harder to raise a family,” said Nicole Clegg, Vice President of Public Policy for the Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund. “One in five Mainers, and nearly one in three Maine women, has relied on Planned Parenthood. Their health care shouldn’t be subject to a political agenda. Senator Collins is right–it makes absolutely no sense to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood. We hope more members follow her lead and reject this bill.”

This proposal puts the health of Maine people at risk and people from all over the state are taking action to stop it. Last Wednesday, Portland City Hall was pinked out in support of Planned Parenthood and local businesses are hanging “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” signs in their windows.

Portland Health Center banner drop

Portland Health Center banner drop

This morning, Planned Parenthood dropped a banner urging Senator Collins to protect our care outside the Portland health center and volunteers will continue to phonebank supporters tonight and tomorrow night to urge Senator Collins to oppose any bill cutting funding for Planned Parenthood.

Last night Senator Collins tweeted she would vote no on a motion to proceed. She has also made positive comments in support of Planned Parenthood, noting Sunday on ABC’s This Week that “it makes absolutely no sense to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood.” Senator Angus King has repeatedly criticized GOP health care repeal efforts, notably referring to the House bill “shift and shaft.”

The Senate bill contains language blocking Medicaid reimbursements to Planned Parenthood, commonly called “defunding” Planned Parenthood. In Maine, 25% of Planned Parenthood patients are Medicaid patients—they come to Planned Parenthood for annual exams, birth control, cancer screenings, disease testing and treatment, and other critical care. Medicaid cannot be used for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the woman is in danger.

The CBO score on the Senate bill also highlights several key points regarding the far-reaching loss of health care coverage:

  • 22 million more people would be uninsured by 2026 and 15 million would be uninsured next year.

  • Women will lose access to maternity coverage and other critical health care.

  • Premiums would be about 20 percent higher in 2018, and 10 percent higher in 2019. The increased costs of care would disproportionately impact women, particularly women of color, given the inequities in earnings for women. Subsequently, Trumpcare will exacerbate existing health disparities. People of color already report less confidence in being able to afford care.

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