One of Congress’ first orders of business in 2017 will be an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the landmark health insurance program that has provided enormous benefits for millions of women.
As OB-GYNs, we’re calling on Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Mark Amodei to take it from us: Undoing the ACA would be devastating to our patients, Nevada’s women.
Before the ACA, women were being denied coverage because they were victims of domestic violence or had previously had a C-section. Before the ACA, women were routinely denied, delayed or limited when seeking maternity coverage. Before the ACA, women were being charged higher premiums than men for identical coverage. Before the ACA, women couldn’t afford to receive the most effective birth control methods.
The ACA has made tremendous strides to improve access to health care for women by fixing these problems.
Now, 455,665 women in Nevada have no cost-sharing for preventive services such as gynecological cancer screenings, mammograms, and contraception; 329,000 Nevada women have benefited from the ACA’s prohibition on lifetime limits on health benefits. About 857,000 Nevada women have health insurance coverage. Nevada now has the lowest recorded rate of teen pregnancy, elective abortion and unplanned pregnancy. Do we want to put these gains in jeopardy?
Please go ahead and change it! Make the ACA stronger! Figure out how to lower deductibles, how to improve access to local providers and reduce the total cost of health insurance. Figure out how to get more plan options available to rural communities and better support for middle class families caught in the “Family Glitch.” These are the changes we need.
Don’t remove those health insurance programs that have benefited thousands of Nevada women!
We know because we see it every day — the ACA has changed our patients’ lives for the better. It couldn’t be clearer: The ACA is an investment in the health of women, families and our state.
We hope this January, Sen. Heller and Rep. Amodei will protect these investments and their constituents by voting no on ACA repeal.
Dr. Sandra Koch and Dr. Tim McFarren are physicians with Carson Medical Group in Carson City.