Results tagged “Medicaid” from Blog for Choice
Today, 37 years ago, Congress passed the Hyde amendment. This measure has effectively taken the right to choose away from countless women who struggle financially. The Hyde amendment blocks federal funds from covering abortion services in almost all circumstances for women who get their health insurance through Medicaid.
A new report from The Guttmacher Institute shows the "dire consequences [of the Hyde amendment] for women and their families" when they've been denied assistance for abortion coverage.
The numbers are stark. One in four women on Medicaid who seek an abortion have been unable to get one. And right now, 33 states have similar bans in place - meaning that only 17 states provide low-income women access to abortion.
For a woman who already struggles financially, the Hyde amendment makes the road to accessing abortion care infinitely more challenging. The cost of the procedure increases over time, meaning that for low-income women it may double or triple because of how much longer it takes to save enough money to pay out of pocket. For 25 percent of these women without insurance coverage for abortion care, they end up with no choice.
And what becomes of the millions of women who are discriminated against under Hyde? According to an eye-opening "Turnaway" study, "when a woman is denied [an abortion], she is statistically more likely to wind up unemployed, on public assistance, and below the poverty line."
The responsibility falls on our elected officials to look at the hard facts about what happens to women who are impacted by this horrible anti-choice policy. But until then, women and their families continue to pay the price.
Check out our graphic in solidarity with the millions of low-income women and families affected by Hyde and share it with your friends:
Some of the nation's most extreme anti-choice Republican governors - who've been anything but timid about their opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on political grounds - are changing their tune about expanding health insurance to millions of low-income residents in their states now that the ACA is becoming a reality.
Why? These governors simply can't ignore the benefits of the ACA. Just today, anti-choice Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA), who previously sued to overturn Obamacare, issued his plan to take advantage of Obamacare's Medicaid program and ensure access to health care for thousands of Pennsylvanians.
Gov. Corbett now joins these other anti-choice Republican governors who decided that the health and well-being of their constituents was, in fact, more important than their own political ideology:
- Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ)
- Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL)
- Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA)
- Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI)
- Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R-ND)
- Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
- Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM)
- Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV)
- Gov. John Kasich (R-OH)
- Gov. Bill Haslam (R-TN)
- Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX)initially rejected expanding Medicaid entirely, but then lobbied the White House to create a Medicaid program for the elderly and disabled with federal funds.
Even though we still disagree with these governors over women's reproductive rights, it's gratifying to see that so many have been persuaded to put aside their own political agendas and pursue the best policy for their constituents regarding access to health care.
For most people, implementing health-care coverage for low-income families is a no brainer. But as we've seen time and again, for many anti-choice governors, it's not about health care, it's about politics. And state officials who continue to play politics with peoples' health and reproductive choices will face the consequences when the elections roll around again.
We were outraged to hear about Kermit Gosnell and his unsafe treatment of women who trusted him with their reproductive health.
What the anti-choice movement doesn't want you to know is that low-income women can be driven to seek medical care from individuals like Gosnell because of unfair restrictions to abortion access.
Even today, rather than work to expand women's access and prevent women from turning to back-alley abortion providers, anti-choice politicians are pushing to make it harder for women to get abortion care.
In Iowa, the state House of Representatives passed legislation that would withhold Medicaid funding for abortion providers. Here's the scariest part: Medicaid funding in Iowa only covers abortion for survivors of rape or incest, and when the woman's life is in danger.
These anti-choice politicians are heartless for wanting to cut funding for abortion care when a woman's life depends on it.
That doesn't sound very "pro-life," does it?
If they get their way, anti-choice politicians will succeed at blocking low-income women from even getting birth control and cancer screenings.
We've seen what happens when ideology trumps women's health. Before Roe v. Wade, women still sought out abortion, but they often ended up in the hands of predators like Kermit Gosnell.
If anti-choice politicians succeed in promoting their agenda - blocking access to abortion care to women who have been raped, or cutting vital health programs that prevent pregnancy - then surely these zealots must bear some responsibility for the horrors from unsafe providers like Kermit Gosnell.
Just when we thought we'd seen it all - anti-choice lobbyists in Arizona are trying to defund Planned Parenthood by exploiting the state's move to expand Medicaid through Obamacare.
Available as part of the Affordable Care Act, states can choose to expand Medicaid and provide health-care coverage to millions of uninsured low-income Americans.
These services include access to preventive-health services, including contraception, maternity care, and well-woman visits.
Unfortunately, rather than accept this opportunity to increase women's access to essential reproductive-health care, extreme anti-choice groups in Arizona are trying to change the Medicaid package so that it prohibits funds from going to Planned Parenthood.
These anti-choice tactics could torpedo the legislation all together since the bill needs bi-partisan support.
If the legislation is derailed or if it somehow survives with the Planned Parenthood defunding language intact, the outcome would be the reduction of essential reproductive-health care services for women across the state of Arizona. Blocking funds for Planned Parenthood in Arizona means fewer cancer screenings, STD testing and treatments and HIV tests - for low-income women and men - services that save lives and keep people healthy.
Sadly, these extreme anti-choice opponents never miss an opportunity to attack women's reproductive freedom, even at the expense of the thousands of women that could completely lose access to health-care if the Medicaid expansion doesn't go through.
One aspect of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) that is getting a lot more press coverage lately is the Medicaid expansion. Under the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to expand the Medicaid program to provide health-care coverage to more low-income people.
If Medicaid is expanded, millions of uninsured American women would qualify for health-care coverage. People covered under the expanded program will receive access to maternity and newborn care and women's preventive-health services, including contraception and well-woman visits.
Making health-care services more accessible for low-income women could improve their lives in a big way. Low-income women are more likely to experience health problems but often face roadblocks that prevent them from accessing the care they need.
It's sort of a no-brainer for states to expand Medicaid programs to more people. Under the law, the federal government will pay the costs completely until 2016. After that, states only need to cover 10 percent of the costs.
Given that local health-care providers often treat low-income people who can't fully cover the cost of their health care, these added resources will help pay for health-care services that local doctors and hospitals are already providing. The whole thing helps people stay healthy and makes good financial sense.
However, the Supreme Court left it up to the states to decide whether to expand Medicaid. Many anti-choice governors railed against the expansion and announced they would refuse the offer in their states.
But in an interesting turn of events, several anti-choice governors who had opposed Obamacare are now supporting expanding Medicaid in their state. Do we smell political opportunism in the air?
Anti-choice Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) is the most recent convert. Funny, because he eliminated family-planning funding from New Jersey's budget and twice vetoed efforts to restore it. He also blocked efforts to expand coverage of family-planning service for low-income women. But now he stands behind expanding Medicaid in his state.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has never met an anti-choice law she didn't like. However, not long after two of her key advisors left to lead a coalition of hospitals, insurers, and other providers supporting the policy, Brewer too decided to back expanding Medicaid.
Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) was one of the most outspoken opponents to the Affordable Care Act, and even spearheaded efforts to challenge its constitutionality before the Supreme Court. But even he has reversed his position to support expanding the Medicaid program.
Clearly, even some anti-choice politicians can't deny that getting more people insured through Obamacare just makes common sense. Will these same people start to see the error of their ways and stop attacks on other aspects of women's health? We won't hold our breath.
Friday marks the two-year anniversary of President Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law.
This landmark piece of legislation brings 30 million Americans into a health-care system that includes affordable family-planning services, better access to contraception, and maternity care. It represents one of the greatest advances for women's health in a generation.
Every day this week, Blog for Choice will share a story from someone who has benefited from the health-reform law.
Today, we hear from Karen in Michigan:
So far, the health-care program has paid for my mammogram, a Pap smear, and three immunizations. I could get by without them for a year, or I could pay my own way with my $150/week salary. More importantly, at age 59-plus, I would soon be priced out of the insurance market. I could potentially have a heart attack or stroke and die because I couldn't afford to pay for care. I don't want to be bankrupt, and I don't want to be a burden to my family. Yet, I am the only one in my immediate family who works, but insurance isn't offered and I don't qualify for Medicaid.
Next week, the Supreme Court will begin to hear three days of arguments from opponents who want to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
If these efforts are successful, the results would be devastating for women like Karen.
We're all super excited that, starting next year, newly issued insurance plans will cover the full range of FDA-approved contraception without a copay. Ninety-eight percent of American women use birth control at some point in their lives, and the new no-cost birth control regulation is a big win for women's health.
A lot of people have been asking some great questions about what no-cost birth-control means. We've put together a handy FAQ page to try and answer some of them.
What does "no-cost birth control" mean? How would it work?
"No-cost" means that women can get their prescriptions for birth control filled without a copay.
Under the health-care law, the cost of contraception will be included as part of your premium--meaning no more out-of-pocket payments.
How will no-cost birth control help women?
Improving women's access to birth control is positive in many ways.
A woman who can plan when to have a family is able to participate in society more fully. Allowing women to plan and space their pregnancies contributes to healthy childbearing. And ultimately, fewer unintended pregnancies can reduce the need for abortion.
No-cost birth control is especially important for women who cannot afford prescription contraception or a deductible.
Wait. Isn't birth control easy to get already?
Currently, one in three women struggles with the cost of birth control.
Additionally, even though 98 percent of women use contraception at some point in their lives, there are still 22 states that don't require insurance companies to cover prescription birth control.
Requiring newly issued plans to cover birth control at no cost will help ensure that women are able to access comprehensive preventive care.
When does no-cost birth control go into effect?
Newly issued insurance plans beginning on or after August 1, 2012 must cover all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives at no cost. Newly issued plans created before August 2012 have one full plan year to comply with the new law.
I don't have health insurance or qualify for Medicaid. How will no-cost birth control help me?
The health-reform law signed by President Obama, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, puts our nation on the path to universal health-care coverage.
Under the law, Americans who do not qualify for Medicaid and do not receive health insurance through their employers will be able to purchase affordable health coverage in health-insurance exchanges beginning in 2014. Individuals who have incomes below 400 percent of the federal poverty level (about $43,000 for an individual or $88,000 for a family of four) will qualify for a subsidy to help pay premium costs. Even individuals who do not qualify for a subsidy will be able to find affordable health plans within the exchange.
Thanks to the new health-care law, health insurance will become more affordable for all Americans--whether they receive it through an employer, purchase it in the exchange, or qualify for Medicaid. All newly issued plans will cover birth control without a copay, and contraceptives are already covered at no cost by Medicaid. For more information, please go to http://www.healthcare.gov/.
Why shouldn't birth control have a copay? Other medications have a copay.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), preventive medicine is health care people "need to stay healthy, avoid or delay the onset of disease, lead productive lives, and reduce health care costs."
HHS followed the advice of medical experts and classified birth control as preventive medicine.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act emphasizes preventive medicine as a way to promote Americans' health and reduce health-care costs. To that end, many forms of preventive medicine must now be made available without a copay--including flu vaccines, wellness visits, mammograms, and birth control.
Access to birth control has been shown to reduce unintended pregnancy rates and the negative health outcomes associated with unplanned pregnancy.
Got a question that you don't see here? Feel free to ask it in the comments section.
Sen. Hatch wants to tell a hospital that providing life-saving abortion care to a woman who will die without it will render it ineligible for the Medicaid family-planning program. This latest attack underscores just how obsessed politicians like Sen. Hatch are when it comes to attacking women's freedom and privacy. Not even a trade agreement is immune from Hatch's relentless and mean-spirited anti-choice extremism.
If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion.