National Partnership for Women & Families

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From the desk of ... Stephanie Glover

Thought your #TBT '00s style was bad?

January 12, 2017 | Health Care

Cross-posted to Medium

Throwback Thursday (#TBT) is usually a fun way to show your friends a bad ’00s hairstyle or your embarrassing family photo from Disney World — but today’s #TBT is no laughing matter. Right now, Republicans in Congress are working to undermine women’s health and access to care by repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They are trying to turn back the clock to a time when insurance companies could deny women health coverage just because they had been sick or pregnant. That’s not a #TBT any of us should ever have to experience again.

Back in 2009 — before the ACA became law — denying women coverage was common. That’s right: Many women couldn’t buy health insurance — even if they could afford it — because no plan would cover them. The ACA ended outrageous, predatory practices that allowed insurers to refuse to cover women who’d had breast cancer or cesarean sections, received medical treatment due to domestic violence or had chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.

Seems crazy, right? The whole point of health insurance should be to provide coverage to those who need it, so that you can see a doctor when you are sick.

But until the ACA became law in 2010, it was perfectly legal to deny women coverage if they had a so-called “pre-existing condition.” But, essentially, being a woman was a pre-existing condition. Women faced coverage denials for pregnancy, past cesarean sections or treatment for sexual assault or breast and cervical cancer. If the ACA is repealed, all that may happen again.

Today, thanks to the ACA, women can no longer be denied coverage — even if they have a pre-existing condition. Because of the many important protections for women in the ACA, insurance companies are now required to cover pre-existing conditions and cannot deny women health insurance just because of their gender. Keeping this protection means keeping the ACA and making sure we don’t throw back to how things used to be.

Republican leaders in Congress are trying to send women back to the past. If opponents get their way and repeal the ACA, women’s health and financial security will suffer. If the ACA is fully repealed, women will lose guaranteed access to affordable, high quality health insurance that covers them regardless of whether they previously were sick.

Share this tweet to raise awareness about what’s at stake if Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act without a comprehensive replacement.

ACA tweet (blog)

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