This is so unbelievable as to be something out of Handmaid’s Tale.
The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (S. 1955), currently passed out of committee and up for a vote on the Senate floor, could end basic health insurance coverage for women; birth control, cancer screenings, maternity care, and more. Women in every state will lose benefits. S. 1955 would allow insurance plans to ignore important state laws that protect patients, directly affecting more than 90 million Americans.
You may have heard about this “Lose Your Benefits Bill” before, but now it has passed out of committee and the full Senate will vote on it. It’s an insidious attempt by hardline senators to chip away at our basic rights. These lawmakers have tried before to restrict access to birth control and other health care you need. Their latest strategy? Remove insurance coverage for birth control pills, office visits to to an OB/GYN, mammograms and more.
For example, for years many insurance plans covered a wide range of prescription drugs, but refused to cover birth control pills and other prescription contraceptives for women. It has taken nearly a decade to convince lawmakers in 23 states to remedy this inequity. Now with S. 1955, this progress could be reversed.
Under S. 1955, people with private health insurance also could lose coverage for cervical cancer screenings, maternity care, mental health treatment, and dozens of other benefits they were guaranteed under state law. Besides fair coverage for contraception, here are some of the other benefits that women could lose:
* cancer screenings
* maternity care
* the ability to go straight to your OB/GYN when you have a problem
* the ability to stay with the same doctor throughout a pregnancy
* infertility treatment
* osteoporosis screenings
And it’s not just women who will be affected — the bill guts state protections for coverage for prostate cancer screenings, ambulatory surgery, emergency services, and more. To make matters worse, it will likely also increase the costs of health insurance for older and sicker people who need health insurance most.
Moreover, S. 1955 prevents states from enforcing their own benefit protections. If states try to enforce their own insurance laws, insurance companies would be able to sue states in federal court, even though patients would have no such recourse.
Please take two minutes to speak out against this dangerous bill — the Senate could vote as early as this week.
Here’s my post over on MetaFilter about this for more links.