In a party line vote, Georgia’s nine Republican U.S. Representatives voted to gut health care protections for women and their families, while the state’s four Democrats voted against Trump’s American Health Care Act.
The AHCA would be a disaster for the 2.1 million women of reproductive age in this state. Trump’s alternative to the ACA, as it passed the House, allows insurers to charge higher premiums or deny coverage to people for their health history, also called pre-existing conditions.
Pregnancy and menstrual irregularities top an extensive list of health conditions that insurers could consider in deciding the rate to charge an individual, and insurers will have the final say in what goes on the list. The sad irony in all this is that the Trump administration is also interested in rolling back coverage of birth control. Want to get pregnant? Don’t want to get pregnant? It’s going to cost more no matter what a person decides.
The other concern many have raised is that survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence may find that seeking the services they need to heal — like counseling for anxiety and depression or treatment to prevent contracting STDs — will put them at risk of skyrocketing premiums or losing their coverage.
No one should lose access to health insurance because of their health history, but it’s especially despicable that Republicans are a-okay with women losing their insurance after becoming pregnant. Survivors of sexual assault — or any other trauma — may face tough decisions about seeking health care to heal knowing it may ultimately make it difficult to get health insurance.
It will be left up to states to make sure regulatory protections are in place to protect women from these crummy health insurance practices, which is an unpleasant thought in a state like Georgia that continues to push policies hostile to women.
Georgia’s own Tom Price, the newly anointed Secretary of Health and Human Services, has defended the measure, admitting that this new healthcare plan allows “pricing for what the individual’s health status is,” while simultaneously denying that these higher costs will be a barrier to people getting coverage.
In an interview with Meet the Press, he insisted, “it’s a better way.”
A better way?
With the health care fight headed to the Senate and the June 20 special election runoff between Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel right around the corner, it’s now more important than ever to understand where politicians stand on health care policy.
Knowing that Handel has been cozying up to Trump, who has helped her raise a lot of money, it’s safe to assume that, if elected, she would rubber stamp Trumpcare, making Georgia and the U.S. more dangerous for women, folks with disabilities, those on Medicaid, LGBTQ people and so many other Americans.
Here’s how your representative voted, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Buddy Carter, R-Pooler
Drew Ferguson, R-West Point
Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville
Austin Scott, R-Tifton
Doug Collins, R-Gainesville
Jody Hice, R-Monroe
Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville
Rick Allen, R-Evans
Tom Graves, R-Ranger
Sanford Bishop, D-Albany
Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia
John Lewis, D-Atlanta
David Scott, D-Atlanta