Press Releases

Monday, June 26, 2017

CBO SCORE CONFIRMS BCRA WOULD DECIMATE HEALTHCARE FOR 22 MILLION

Press Release
Washington
Elianne Ramos Phone: (646) 795-6284 Email: Elianne@latinainstitute.org

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their score of  the "Better Care Reconciliation Act” (BCRA) which is the Senate GOP’s latest version of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bill. The CBO score analysis estimates that the BCRA would cause 22 million people to lose coverage in the next 10 years, while giving increased tax breaks to the rich. All in all, BCRA would be a disaster for women and their families.

 

“Today the CBO score confirmed our worst fears. The BCRA is the greatest  threat to health equity that we have seen in the past decade,” said Bethany Van Kampen, policy analyst for NLIRH. “The devastating, long-term impact it will have on women of color’s health, economic security and progress cannot be underscored enough.”

 

The BCRA includes provisions to “defund” Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid program by blocking women enrolled in Medicaid from accessing critically important healthcare services at Planned Parenthood health centers for one year. By limiting access to preventive care, including reproductive health exams, contraceptives, cervical cancer and breast cancer screenings, pregnancy tests and STI screenings and treatment, the BCRA is jeopardizing the lives of women of color. In 2014, 23 percent of Planned Parenthood patients were Latino/as and 15 percent were Black. Communities of color rely on Planned Parenthood for quality healthcare, and cannot afford to be cut off from this care.

“This bill is a direct attack against Latinxs, low-income people, and communities of color who depend on programs like Medicaid and Planned Parenthood to get the quality, affordable healthcare they deserve. By decimating the programs our communities so desperately need, the BCRA is not only actively denying us coverage, but putting the lives of millions of Latinas at risk. We are appalled that this bill was drafted behind closed doors and without input from our communities and those who will be impacted most.” Van Kampen added.

 

The BCRA would also decimate the Medicaid program as we know it, of which over a quarter of Latinas of reproductive age are enrolled, by cutting federal funding for the program, ending the Medicaid expansion in 2023, and in the meantime, rolling back protections for those enrolled in the expansion. In addition, the BCRA will end coverage of the essential health benefits for the Medicaid expansion population, without which women are not guaranteed access to vital healthcare services, such as maternity and newborn care. Further, under BCRA, new mothers who are enrolled in Medicaid could be forced to return to work within as little as 8 ½ weeks after giving birth in order to keep their health insurance. These harsh work requirements are unnecessary and are an attack on women of color’s ability to make thoughtful decisions about their health and the way they choose to raise their children. Work requirements such as these prey on stereotypes that stigmatize mothers of color. Rather than provide incentive to work, these requirements can further push women of color and their children into poverty by eliminating healthcare coverage at a time when they need it most.

 

Additionally, under the BCRA, states will be able to apply for waivers, which could result in the loss of coverage for vital services required under the essential health benefits provision, such as maternity care, prescription drug coverage, and mental health coverage. Without such protections, already existing health disparities for women of color and their families could be further exacerbated.

 

Adding insult to injury, the BCRA would deny individuals tax credits for purchasing a health insurance plan in the individual market that includes abortion coverage, effectively banning private insurance coverage of abortion.

 

“NLIRH urges the Senate to stay strong against all attempts to cut our communities from the care they need. It is time to stop playing political games with our access to critical and affordable healthcare. The lives of entire generations are on the line. Vote no against the BCRA,” Van Kampen said.

fact sheet based on the House version of the repeal of the ACA, authored by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF), In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda, and the National Partnership for Women & Families outlines the harms of this bill specifically on women of color.

 

For more information on NLIRH’s fight for health, dignity and justice, visit us at latinainstitute.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @NLIRH.

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The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for 28 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.