If you are an American woman, be afraid of the Trump administration’s latest attempts to repeal Obamacare. If you are an American woman living in poverty, be very afraid. Connecticut has taken note. During the legislative session that just ended, the Connecticut Senate unanimously voted to protect 21 health benefits (such as contraceptives and mammograms) that Trumpcare would obliterate. Sadly, that bill died in the House.
Now is the time to repeal a 40-year-old law that perpetuates inequality among women. The Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds to pay for abortions except in certain circumstances, is unfair. The amendment targets women who rely on Medicaid for their health care coverage. According to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, roughly two out of three adult women enrolled in Medicaid are between the ages of 19 and 44—the reproductive years. Abortions can run upward of $1,000, which places the (legal) procedure out of reach for most women living in poverty.
Attention ladies! That rundown feeling you experienced last month just might have been the weight of the government balanced on your shoulders. Case in point: October’s government shutdown is over – for now – but in recent history, the government has shut down 18 times. Six of those times – arguably seven, but let’s not quibble – have been the end result of arguments about funding women’s health and/or welfare. October’s two-week shutdown was a petulant attempt to defund the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – which contains an unprecedented amount of initiatives aimed at women, including extending free preventive care (birth control), maternity coverage and eliminating the so-called gender rating, where women are charged more for insurance simply because they are women.