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Senate’s Health Care Bill Is Bad For Black Women

After weeks of secret meetings between a handful of senators, Senate leadership has released its draft version of the House-passed plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and it means bad news for Black women’s health. 

“The Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act is a half-hearted attempt to improve the House-passed Affordable Health Care Act,” said Linda Goler Blount, president and CEO of the Black Women’s Health Imperative. “This new bill is filled with harmful provisions that will devastate Black women and their families. This bill will drastically cut Medicaid, increase the number of uninsured, allow states to opt out of the essential health benefits and unjustifiably withhold funding from Planned Parenthood. What is even more insulting is the cloak of secrecy surrounding this bill. The Senate refuses to conduct hearings or an adequate investigation. If they would simply listen to their constituents, they would understand how this bill will hurt women and their families.”

This is not about policy debates and partisan infighting, this is about the millions of people who will be impacted. We asked a few Black women how the House and Senate health care bills would impact their lives:

“Without access to Medicaid, my family will not be able to afford the medical evaluation, therapeutic services and counseling services my son needs to thrive and succeed like other children.” – Latiya Loring

“I am a single mother of two young children, ages 4 and 6 years, with Autism. Both of my sons require extensive speech, occupational and behavioral therapies that are only affordable through Medicaid…Without [it], people in worse economic conditions than me may not have the funds to support their health care needs.” – Chioma Oruh

“The Medicaid changes will have a severely negative impact on MY FAMILY… health care is needed for my family’s sake!” – Latasha Bratton

“Access to no cost birth control allows me to have some measure of control over my future. I know if I got pregnant right now, my husband and I would be back at the bottom of our financial hole, which will significantly impact my marriage.” – Landzy Theodore

With more than half of the country holding “unfavorable views” of the plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, we urge senators to listen to the concerns of their constituents. It is imperative that the Senate (and House) engage in meaningful discussions with the American public about the future of health care and how we can improve the health of women, people of color and the poor across the nation. The Black Women’s Health Imperative will continue to fight against any bill that places Black women’s health in jeopardy.

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