Planned Parenthood Statement on Newest ACA Repeal bill

Portland, Maine –– With a revised, more extreme proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans now want to exempt Members of Congress from the disastrous effects of their latest attempt to eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans.

“The first attempt to repeal the ACA was the worst bill for women’s health in a generation. It’s hard to believe, but members of Congress have managed to make this bill even worse — and they know it, which is why their insurance is exempt from the higher prices and poorer coverage under the new bill,” said Nicole Clegg, Vice President of Public Policy for the Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund. “For the past four months, thousands and thousands of Mainers have stood up to protect access to health care and Planned Parenthood. As long as Congress continues to propose ways to cut back on health care, Mainers are going to fight back.”

The first attempt to repeal the ACA would have eliminated health insurance for 24 million Americans and blocked more than 2 million patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood. Congressman Bruce Poliquin initially praised the bill for providing “relief” to Americans, but with only 17% of Americans supporting the bill, he later refused to say whether or not he would vote for it.

The new bill:

  • Eliminates the community rating provision allowing insurers to charge people with pre-existing conditions an exorbitant amount for coverage.

  • Allows insurers to once again discriminate against women and charge more for being a woman. Eliminating the community rating provision disproportionately affects women, since insurers can claim having given birth, having had a C-section, or having been a survivor of domestic violence is a so-called pre-existing condition. For example, a woman who had breast cancer could be charged more than $28,000 per year for coverage and a woman who was previously pregnant could be charged more than $17,000 per year for coverage.

  • Removes the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits (EHB) coverage standards, which is a direct attack on women of all ages. Women disproportionately rely on every one of the EHB standards — not just maternity coverage — and would be disproportionately affected by the elimination of these services. (Full list below)

  • Exempts the plans Members of Congress and their staff would purchase from these provisions.

  • Prohibits women from getting care like birth control and lifesaving cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood, kicks millions of women off their insurance, reduces access to birth control, and imposes a nationwide ban on private insurance coverage of abortion.

Fact Sheet: Rolling Back the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits Will Hurt Women

  1. AMBULATORY CARE: Women make up approximately 60% of outpatient visits.

  2. EMERGENCY SERVICES: Women account for 6 in 10 visits to the emergency room.

  3. HOSPITALIZATIONS: Women are 70% more likely than men to have had an in-patient hospital stay.

  4. MATERNITY & NEWBORN CARE: Approximately 13 million women could stand to lose maternity coverage. Prior to the ACA only 12% of individual market health plans covered maternity care. And, prior to the ACA, some insurance plans did not cover C-sections at all; when they did, they charged women 25 percent more in premiums.

  5. MENTAL HEALTH & SUBSTANCE USE: Women are 40% more likely than men to have mental health needs. Additionally, women are roughly 75% more likely than men to report having recently suffered from depression.

  6. PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: Women are more likely than men to need prescription drugs to meet their daily health care needs.

  7. REHABILITATIVE SERVICES: Women are more likely to suffer from a stroke and require rehabilitative services to help them regain motor or speaking skills.

  8. LAB TESTS: Some of the most common lab tests are specifically geared to women, including pap smears, pregnancy tests, mammograms, brca gene testing (breast cancer testing), and many other lab services that are necessary to diagnose and treat conditions that disproportionately impact women like autoimmune disorders, thyroid disorders, and urinary tract infections.

  9. PREVENTIVE SERVICES & CHRONIC DISEASE MANAGEMENT: 55 million have received access to copay-free birth control, well-woman visits, domestic violence screenings, and STI/HIV screenings thanks to the ACA.

  10. PEDIATRIC SERVICES. In two-parent households where at least one parent is a woman, women tend to bear a disproportionate share of childcare and caregiving responsibility for children. In addition, 80% of  single-parent households are headed by women.

A new ABC-Washington Post poll this week shows that 62 percent of Americans, including 67% of Independents, want to keep national protections that cover essential health benefits, and not allow it to be varied by state.


Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in Maine. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.

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