Rep. Maloney, Feminist Majority Foundation, the National Organization for Women, the American Association of University Women (AAUW), and ERA Coalition Speak Out on How Trumpcare Targets and Harms Women

May 18, 2017
Press Release
Republican Healthcare Bill Endangers Women’s Health and Access to Care, Another Example of Why We Need an Equal Rights Amendment

WASHINGTON, DC – A broad array of leading advocates for women’s rights spoke out today about the tremendous harm the Republican health care bill, also known as Trumpcare, will have on women all across the country.

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), House sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment;  Feminist Majority Foundation president Eleanor Smeal; National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill; the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy Lisa Maatz; and ERA Coalition COO and DC Director Bettina Hager joined forces to address the many ways which the Republican American Health Care Act (AHCA) would harm women’s health and turn back the clock on women’s rights.

Rep. Maloney pointed out that the proposed bill “cuts guaranteed maternity coverage, strips protections for preexisting conditions, allows women to once again be charged a premium based on their sex, slashes Medicaid funding for women and children, and threatens coverage of breast and cervical cancer screenings and no copay birth control. This bill solidifies Republican attacks on Planned Parenthood, defunding a 100-year-old organization that one in five women turn to at some point in their lives for care. It’s outrageous and yet another example of why we need to prohibit gender discrimination in the Constitution by passing the Equal Rights Amendment.”

Congresswoman Maloney also pointed out that the 13-person Republican working group assembled in the Senate to craft a bill that will directly affect the health of tens of millions of women, does not have a single woman on the panel to give voice to women’s concerns about issues such as maternity coverage, no-cost mammograms, and pre-natal care.

Rep. Maloney added:  “Republicans failed to bring this bill to the floor back in March, not because it would strip 24 million Americans of the health care they already had, but because it just wasn’t extreme enough for some of its caucus. So they chipped away even more essential services and protections – especially ones that benefited women – just to get enough of the far right ideologues on board. The end result is a Trumpcare bill that reverses the progress we made under the Affordable Care Act, progress that has resulted in the lowest rate of uninsured in our nation’s history.”

“Discrimination against women is alive and well in Trumpcare,” said Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal. “Trumpcare politicians are clearly willing to trade women’s health and Medicaid services to the poor, elderly and disabled—who are mostly women—in exchange for tax cuts for the super wealthy. The addition of an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would give us the strongest possible tool to prevent and combat this type of dangerous legislation.”

"Trumpcare is a massive tax giveaway to corporations and billionaires, paid for by slashing $880 billion from Medicaid, allowing insurers to charge exorbitant rates for maternity care, and letting them price those with pre-existing conditions (including survivors of sex assault and domestic violence) out of coverage altogether,” said National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill. “Not to mention the rollbacks in women's access to coverage of abortion care and birth control. All of this disproportionately hurts women, especially women of color. If we had an ERA, bills like Trumpcare that target women's -- and not men's -- access to basic care would be unconstitutional."

“The American Health Care Act is unfortunately another example of some policy makers not taking into account the different experiences and inequities faced by women and people of color,” said Lisa Maatz, vice president of government relations and advocacy at the American Association of University Women. “The AHCA would take women back to a time of gender rating, limited access to preventive and maternity coverage, as well as high out-of-pocket costs for birth control. We must not go back to a time when being a woman was a pre-existing condition.”

“The importance and power of the Constitution has never been as clear as it is today,” said Bettina Hager, COO and DC Director of the ERA Coalition. “We need the Equal Rights Amendment in order to protect the women of this country from discriminatory laws that have real consequences on their lives and ability to succeed. This is about respect. This is about equality. It’s time.”

In addition to provisions that directly target American women, the American Health Care Act will also make healthcare less affordable and less accessible for millions of American men, women and children. The bill passed the House of Representatives earlier this month without a single Democratic vote and with 20 Republicans joining the opposition.