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By the end of last month, Donald Trump was still displaying a characteristically shaky understanding of the Affordable Care Act-otherwise known as Obamacare-which provides health coverage for millions of Americans who aren't able to get insurance through their job or are self-employed or unemployed. Trump told a FOX News reporter that, as an employer, "I don't much use Obamacare, I must be honest with you, because it is so bad for the people and they can't afford it." Except most employers, Trump included, can't use Obamacare as their insurance, because the whole point is...never mind. Notwithstanding his ignorance, the President-elect has vowed to overturn the national healthcare reform law.
So, as a woman, what does that mean for you? First, it's important to keep in mind that Republican lawmakers hold 51 seats in the Senate; nine less than they would need to outright repeal the Affordable Care Act, assuming no Democrats are into the idea. But, through a partial repeal and the elimination of funding, Trump can sure still screw it up. Some of the provisions below describe consequences for women who get their coverage exclusively through Obamacare, but some (time off to nurse, for example), apply to all women. Here's what we-and our reproductive rights-stand to lose.
For all women:
- The prohibition of insurance companies to discriminate by gender, or deny coverage because of a preexisting condition like breast cancer. (Previously, insurance coverage could even be denied if an individual had received treatment for domestic abuse or sexual violence.)
- HPV testing for women over 30 with normal cytology results
- STI counseling for sexually-active women
- Depression screenings
- Mammograms every one to two years for women over the age of 40
- Cervical cancer screenings for sexually active women
- Annual well-woman visits
For mothers, and mothers-to-be:
- Mandated break times for nursing mothers
- Full coverage of breast pumps
- Folic acid supplements for women who may become pregnant
- Various health screenings before and during pregnancy, including screening for gestational diabetes and for STDs like gonorrhea and syphilis, Hepatitis B screening at first prenatal visit, and urinary tract and other infection screenings.
For their children (some of whom are girls and women):
- Preventative services for children, including hearing and vision screens for newborns, autism and developmental assessments for toddlers, and vaccines and behavioral counseling for older kids
- The ability to stay on a family plan until the age of 26
- The prohibition of insurance companies to deny children coverage due to a preexisting condition, such as Aspergers or lupus
For women who prefer not to be a mother (at least for now):
- The coverage of IUDs
- Reiumbursement of out-of-pocket expense for all forms of prescription birth control
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