Texas Court Stops State From Defunding Planned Parenthood |
A federal court in Texas today stopped the Texas legislature from denying Planned Parenthood funding from the state’s Women’s Health Program. The federal judge imposed a preliminary injunction on the law, over which Planned Parenthood sued a few weeks ago. Texas’s Planned Parenthood provides medical services to over 130,000 Texan women every year, and the law would apply to even those health clinics that do not provide abortion. According to Planned Parenthood, “over 40 percent of women who received services through the Women’s Health Program chose to rely on a Planned Parenthood health center for Women’s Health Program services.” In a response to today’s decision by the court, Patricio Gonzales, CEO of Planned Parenthood Association of Hidalgo County, said “The health and well-being of our patients is our number-one priority. We hope that this decision will allow us to continue our lifesaving work of providing high-quality health care and cancer screenings to some of Texas’ most vulnerable women.”
An appellate judge granted the state a stay in yesterday’s ruling, which the Texas attorney general had quickly appealed. Judge Jerry Smith granted the stay on yesterday’s ruling Monday night.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court has just struck down a proposed personhood ballot question — which would have granted embryos the rights of people and outlawed all abortions — calling the measure “clearly unconstitutional”:
4. The United States Supreme Court has spoken on this issue. The measure is clearly unconstitutional pursuant to Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992). The states are duty bound to follow its interpretation of the law. Twenty years ago, this Court was presented with an initiative which facially conflicted with the Casey decision. This Court held: “The issue of the constitutionality of the initiative petition is governed by the United States Supreme Court’s pronouncement in Casey.”
5. The only course available to this Court is to follow what the United States Supreme Court, the final arbiter of the United States Constitution has decreed. In re Initiative Petition 349, 1992 OK 122, ¶ 8, 838 P.2d 1, 5.
6. The mandate of Casey is as binding on this Court today as it was twenty years ago. Initiative Petition No. 395 conflicts with Casey and is void on its face and it is hereby ordered stricken.
In Casey, the Supreme Court held that states may enact some abortion regulations, but they may not “strike at the right itself” to terminate a pregnancy. A law redefining embryos as people is thus a direct attack on women’s constitutional right to choose.
By Amanda Peterson Beadle on Apr 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm
Unnecessary health costs add some $158 billion to the nation’s health care tab, and requiring women to undergo pelvic exams before receiving a prescription for birth control pills only adds to this total. As Mother Jones’ Stephanie Mencimer explains, despite any evidence showing that the annual exam improves health outcomes, one-third of doctors always require women to undergo a Pap smear before they prescribe hormonal contraception, and 44 percent regularly do so:
For instance, there’s no evidence that doctors can diagnose ovarian cancer with a pelvic exam in women showing no symptoms. A clinical trial found that doctors were unable to identify any cancers in test subjects by pelvic exams alone, and the National Cancer Institute no longer recommends the tests for postmenopausal women. [...]
The scientific basis for much of the traditional well-woman ob-gyn annual check-up is so slim that “the routine pelvic examination may be an example of more service leading to worse outcomes,” Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, an ob-gyn at Columbia University, wrote in the Journal of Women’s Health last year.
So why are doctors so adamant about the additional testing? Drug and medical device companies fund most continuing medical education, which is primarily how doctors learn about new science, and these industries are not interested in limiting care, Shannon Brownlee, a health policy expert at the New America Foundation, explains to Menicmer. Under the existing fee-for-service health reimbursement system, doctors are also paid for every additional procedure — regardless of whether it actually improves patient care.
Delinking pelvic exams from women’s birth control prescriptions underscores the importance of health research in guiding health care decisions. The Affordable Care Act invests in comparative effectiveness research to help determine the most cost-effective course of treatment, and it also begins to recalibrate the system so we stop paying doctors for unnecessary care and instead reimburse them for treatments that only bolster patient outcomes.
One of the things Americans like most about the Affordable Care Act is that insurance companies can no longer deny people coverage because of a pre-existing condition like cancer or diabetes. That provision will take effect in 2014, but in the meantime, individuals and families with pre-existing conditions can enroll in temporary high-risk insurance pools that provide coverage for those who are can’t find insurance elsewhere.
Since large groups of sick people are very expensive to insure — they spend the premiums they pay into the risk pool — enrollment has lagged behind expectations, as high risk pools attracted the sickest (and more desperate) individuals willing to pay a hefty price for coverage. But since the federal government instituted a series of reforms, enrollment has picked up. In Alabama, for instance, the size of the state’s pool increased six-fold over the last year, when premiums were cut by 40 percent. Other states also saw tens of thousands more Americans join their state’s pools:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that as of the end of February, 389 people in Alabama were on the special insurance, an option for people with illnesses that make them a high risk, such as cancer or diabetes. Last February, there were 61 enrollees. [...]
Alabama’s uptick in enrollment follows a national trend over the last 12 months, when enrollment grew from 12,437 to 56,257. The plans are for people who have been denied coverage because of their health status and are struggling to find affordable insurance. To qualify, people must have gone without health insurance for six months and not be eligible for Medicaid or Medicare.
“For too long, Americans with pre-existing conditions were locked out of the health care system, and their health suffered,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a recent prepared statement. “Thanks to health reform, our most vulnerable Americans across the country have the care they need.”
Alabama is far from alone in seeing higher enrollment. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 49 states, plus Washington, DC, saw an increase in enrollment in their high-risk pools last year. (The lone outlier, Vermont, was not listed as having any enrollees in its pool, but is a “guaranteed issue state” which offers policies to all eligible applicants regardless of their health.) The federal government’s contribution to the program — $5 billion — is running out fact, but given the new enrollment numbers, the law is clearly having an impact.
Health Reform Saved Medicare Recipients $3.4 Billion This Year |
The Affordable Care Act has already saved Americans on Medicare more than $3.4 billion on prescription drugs so far this year, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The benefits came from changes to the so-called “donut hole,” the gap in drug coverage for older Americans which would require them to pay for many medications out of pocket. Thanks to the health care law, coverage of generic medications in the donut hole will increase until 2020, when the gap will be closed. On average, more than 220,000 people have saved an average of $837 so far this year on prescription drugs purchased in the donut hole. In all of 2010 and 2011, over 5 million Americans saved $3.2 billion on prescription drugs. In addition, CMS reported that 8.9 million Medicare recipients have received at least one preventive service free of charge. 32.5 million received free preventive services last year.
Women across the country participated in “We Are Women” rallies on Saturday to protest state legislation limiting access to contraception and abortion. Hundreds of advocates gathered in Kansas, Colorado, Virginia, Florida, Arkansas, Idaho, and Oklahoma to demand that lawmakers abandon efforts to undermine women’s health.
“Today’s rally was part of a national movement that has had enough of the war on women,” Kansas rally organizer Kari Ann Rinker said. “Not only do we have a governor who sees fit to sign every piece of anti-choice legislation that crosses his desk, the atrocity is the failure to care for the living, breathing children and families that reside here in Kansas.” Protesters in Virginia carried signs that read “Stop the War on Virginia Women,” “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” and “Va. Gov. McDonnell. The Vaginal Probe Guy.” And demonstrators in Oklahoma — where lawmakers have approved more than 30 anti-abortion measures since the GOP gained control of the House after 2004 — rallied against the state’s personhood measure, noting, “That’s not progress. That’s not even status quo backward.”
The Guttmacher Institute estimates that so far this year, at least 45 state legislatures have introduced 944 measures related to reproductive health. At least 75 abortion restrictions passed at least one legislative chamber, and nine have been enacted into law.
This Sunday, during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) was asked about the House Republicans’ plan to avoid an increase in student loan interest rates by taking money from a health care fund that particularly benefits women. The Prevention and Public Health Fund, created by the Affordable Care Act, provides states and communities with funds for “promoting wellness, preventing disease, and protecting against public health emergencies.”
But Boehner, noting that the Obama administration had earlier agreed to take some money out of the account to pay for the payroll tax cut extension, claimed that none of the money in the account benefits women. He told Crowley:
CROWLEY: We have [House Democratic Leader] Nancy Pelosi out there saying, well, they want to protect the big oil companies because they want to pay for the student loan interest rates by closing loopholes in the oil industry and we want to protect women’s health. We want to prevent breast cancer and cervical cancer and that’s what this fund is for.
BOEHNER: That is just nonsense. There’s no women’s health issue here.
CROWLEY: It’s a preventive fund, isn’t it?
BOEHNER: I’ll guarantee you they’ve not spent a dime out of this fund dealing with anything to do with women’s health.
Watch the video:
Boehner’s statement is absolutely false. The fund has already been used to provide health care workforce development and public health initiatives to combat diseases like obesity, diabetes and HIV/AIDS. It will soon invest millions more in cancer screenings, immunizations, and detection of birth defects — benefits with particularly benefit women. Already, $17 million from the fund has gone to grants in Boehner’s own state of Ohio to provide community prevention, clinical prevention, public health infrastructure and training, and research and data collection.
Rather than protect student loan rates by ending special corporate tax breaks for hugely profitable oil companies, Boehner is asking Americans to choose between enabling students to afford college and investing in preventative care for women and children.
Health spending is flattening out: “The growth of health spending has slowed substantially in the last few years, surprising experts and offering some fuel for optimism about the federal government’s long-term fiscal performance.” [NYT]
Obama reaches out to women voters: “Casting his re-election along gender lines, President Barack Obama told hundreds of female supporters Friday that Republicans seem determined to meddle in women’s health decisions in ways that are ‘appalling, offensive and out of touch.’ A recent fight over contraception access, Obama said, was like ‘being in a time machine.’” [AP]
Food and drink lobby hit anti-obesity efforts hard: “The food and beverage lobbies have fought hard in recent years to defeat policies aimed at changing America’s diet, according to an analysis published Friday. Industry groups more than doubled their spending in Washington over the last three years, Reuters found, and groups fighting for stricter standards were vastly outspent.” [The Hill]
Planned Parenthood slashed lobbying spending amid Komen controversy: “The Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its advocacy arm, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, spent a total of roughly $99,000 in the first quarter on lobbying activities. That’s a huge drop from the fourth quarter of last year, when the two groups spent a combined $839,000 on lobbying.” [The Hill]
States could be in a bind on mandate: “If the Supreme Court strikes down the health reform law’s individual mandate, the states at the forefront of implementing the law could find themselves like Wile E. Coyote in the Road Runner cartoons: racing ahead only to discover there’s no ground underneath their feet.” [Politico]
CAP is proudly taking part in the Health Equity Can’t Wait! blog carnival celebrating National Minority Health Month. Participating bloggers are health, consumer, civil rights, and provider advocates committed to promoting health equity. You can find all the posts for the carnival here.
In America today, an African-American baby is still twice as likely as a white baby to die before her first birthday. More than 30 percent of Latinos in the U.S. are uninsured, compared to 12 percent of non-Hispanic whites. Despite advances in HIV prevention and treatment, gay and bisexual men and transgender women of color are still disproportionately likely to become infected with HIV and to die from AIDS.
Clearly, race and ethnicity matter in health. So do gender, poverty, and ability. So too do sexual orientation, gender identity, and other characteristics linked to discrimination or exclusion.
And according to Senator Daniel Akaka, who introduced the Health Equity and Accountability Act yesterday in the Senate to build on the advances of the Affordable Care Act, “glaring health disparities based on racial and ethnic identity alone…are further exacerbated by factors such as socioeconomics, geography, and sexual orientation and [gender] identity.”
Areas of intersection between sexual orientation, gender identity, and other disparity factors include mental health concerns linked to minority stress, such as depression, anxiety, and suicide; higher rates of smoking and other substance use; and greater risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Fear of mistreatment from health care providers who are not familiar with culturally competent care for different minority populations also prevents many people from accessing vital health services and compounds the seriousness of conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
In a combative speech on the Senate floor this morning, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called a Democrats’ accusations that the GOP is waging a war on women “phony,” “outlandish,” and a distraction.”
McCain’s remarks, typical of GOP rhetoric on the issue, sweep aside the reality of the last few months. ThinkProgress compiled this video report:
The latest example, and the context for McCain’s remarks, was today’s vote on the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The bill passed 68-31, with every “nay” vote coming from a Republican man. The five female GOP senators voted for the re-authorization.
But before that, there was, of course, the overwhelming Republican opposition to the White House’s attempt to improve women’s access to contraception, Rush Limbaugh’s misogynistic rants against Sandra Fluke, the Republican amendment to allow employers to deny women contraception for any moral reason, Herman Cain’s suggestion that women have an inferior understanding of policy, Republican governors’ support for mandating medically unnecessary ultrasounds for women seeking abortions, Mitt Romney’s silence on the Lilly Ledbetter Act, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s repeal of that state’s equal pay laws, and the general denigration within both Republican political ranks and the right-wing media-sphere of women’s ability to ably serve in the military.
The issue of school bullying has garnered a lot of attention over the past few weeks, with a ratings controversy over the film “Bully” sparking renewed focus and support for victims. Bullying’s effects on mental health are well-known to anyone who faced it as a child, or still does. Now, however, researchers are claiming that its effects go far beyond that.
A new study released this week by Duke University researchers examined more than 200 children growing up in England and Wales. When looking at a type of DNA sequence called telomeres, the study found that exposure to violence during childhood, including bullying, correlated to a faster breakdown of that DNA in those children. That, in turn, can lead to faster aging, and more health problems later in life:
Telomeres are special DNA sequences found at the tips of our chromosomes; much like the plastic tips of shoelaces, they prevent our DNA from unraveling. Telomeres get shorter each time cells divide. That erosion places a limit on the length of time that a given cell can go on dividing. Emerging evidence suggests that telomeres are “master integrators,” connecting stress to biological age and associated diseases.
We showed, for the first time, that cumulative violence exposure is associated with accelerated telomere erosion, from age 5 to age 10 years, among children who experienced violence at a young age (e.g., domestic violence, frequent bullying or physical maltreatment by an adult). Children who were exposed to multiple forms of violence had the fastest telomere erosion rate.
As the researchers note, previous studies have linked increased stress to several health problems later in life. The reason for the link has been less clear, but the study authors hope that this will offer some insight into the mechanism behind it. At the very least, they write, this study “suggests new urgency for preventing harm to children.”
Moments before the House Republicans disregarded President Obama’s veto threat and passed a bill preserving lower interest rates on student loans by gutting the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, the Democratic women of the 112th Congress blasted Republicans for undermining women’s health, arguing that the Fund would disproportionately benefit women. “It particularly benefits the reproductive health care, child bearing health care, preventive health care that benefits women,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said and predicted that the action would further shrink the GOP’s support among female voters.
“We would prevent screenings for breast and cervical cancer,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) explained. “This fund helps to prevent coronary heart disease — and that is the leading killer of women in America. It mitigates osteoporosis, arthritis, mental illness — which disproportionately effect women in the United States.” Watch it:
The GOP measure — which passed in a vote of 215-195, with the support of 13 Democrats — finances the $5.9 billion cost of maintaining the 3.4 percent interest rate on Stafford loans for one year by repealing the Fund in its entirety and rescinding all unobligated balances, including money being spent this year. Health advocates believe that the Fund is essential for re-orienting the American health care system towards prevention of chronic conditions, which are “responsible for 7 of 10 deaths among Americans each year and account for 75 percent of the nation’s health spending.” Under the law, the Fund will “invest $12.5 billion over the next ten years (FY2013-FY2022) in effective programs proven to prevent disease and injury.”
“I call your attention to the fact that they don’t only take out what they need, they want to eliminate the Fund,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters. “I view it as a statement of their values.” Democrats tied the action to the GOP’s proposals to restructure the Medicare program — which would force future seniors, particularly women to pay more for coverage — and their opposition to renewing an inclusive Violence Against Women Act.
Significantly, the Fund is also being used to increase “the size of the health care workforce” “to create new residency positions for primary care doctors and ramp up training capacity for physicians” and fund programs “to reduce obesity and tobacco use by targeting environmental factors — things like providing safe walking paths for exercise or access to smoking cessation programs.”
When the Solicitor General defended the constitutionality of the mandate in the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court last month, Chief Justice John Roberts complained that the law’s minimum coverage provision would require Americans to purchase coverage they could do without or in some cases would never need. “You’re requiring people who are not — never going to need pediatric or maternity services to participate in that market,” Roberts said. Associate Justice Antonin Scalia agreed, noting, “It may well be that everybody needs health care sooner or later, but not everybody needs a heart transplant, not everybody needs a liver transplant.”
At the time, health care advocates pointed out that the law allows Americans to purchase a wide array of insurance products, including less comprehensive packages for those who wish to pay lower premiums for their coverage. Today, a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation puts a finer point on this argument:
With much of the controversy over the ACA focusing on the individual market, it is noteworthy that the minimum coverage requirement is for insurance that is significantly less generous (and with a lower premium) than what most people have today. It is a level of coverage that most would consider catastrophic, providing protection in the event of an expensive illness while subjecting routine expenses (except for preventive care) to a relatively high deductible. While much of the opposition to the individual mandate is likely due to views about the appropriate role of government, a better understanding of how it works and what it requires could moderate some of the resistance to it. [...]
People will have the option of buying more generous coverage than the minimum required, required, and lower-income enrollees will be eligible for cost-sharing subsidies that decrease their out-of-pocket costs. But, some may still find themselves with insurance that requires substantial cost-sharing.
For instance, a bronze plan would have a deductible of $4,375 and an out-of-pocket cost sharing limit of $6,350 — rates are are “significant and would be considered catastrophic plans, particularly for people without significant personal savings,” the report notes. “These plans would also meet the requirements for tax-preferred Health Savings Accounts,” it adds.
These aren’t the comprehensive policies that progressive health policy wonks would have hoped for. But they will offer individuals and families an opportunity to buy insurance that will only cover the bare minimum and hopefully satisfy the justices in the process.
White House Threatens Veto Of Student Loan Bill That Would Slash Preventative Care |
The White House announced Friday morning that President Obama will veto a student loan bill that would maintain lower interest rates on Stafford loans by gutting the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. The bill, H.R. 4628, would prevent interest rates on Stafford loans from rising from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1. The Prevention Fund will “provide for hundreds of thousands of screenings for breast and cervical cancer,” the White House said in its statement and argued that while the administration “strongly supports serious, bipartisan efforts to prevent interest rates from doubling,” the bill “is a politically-motivated proposal and not the serious response that the problem facing America’s college students deserves.”
Since the Obama administration promulgated a new rule requiring employers and insurers to provide preventive health care services — including contraception coverage — some Catholic institutions have taken great offense to the regulation and accused the White House of waging a war against their religious objection to birth control. The rule exempts religious institutions and affiliated organizations from providing the benefit and offers employers a year-long grace period to implement the measure.
And while some Catholic colleges have responded to the controversy by stripping contraception from their plans, Georgetown University — the nation’s first Catholic institution of higher learning — has announced that it will not adopt any changes to its health insurance policies and will continue to provide birth control coverage to its employees. In a letter obtained by ThinkProgress dated April 26, 2012, President John J. DeGioia informs the Georgetown community that the University will offer contraception “for students who require them for health reasons unrelated to birth control,” and will institute “no change to the University’s approach to contraceptive coverage for employees”:
After thoughtful and careful consideration, we will continue our current practice for contraceptive coverage in our student health insurance for the coming year, as allowed for under the current rules issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
There will also be no change to the University’s approach to contraceptive coverage for employees for 2013.
We will be monitoring further regulatory and judicial developments related to the Affordable Care Act. I hope this is helpful in clarifying a matter of concern to many of you.
In February, a Georgetown University spokesperson confirmed to ThinkProgress that employees “have access to health insurance plans offered and designed by national providers to a national pool. These plans include coverage for birth control.”
Adults with pre-existing conditions spend $1,504 to $4,844 more per year annually on health care, and most — 88 to 89 percent — live in areas of the country “without insurance protections similar to the Affordable Care Act provisions, which will become effective in 2014.”
Democrats slam ‘biased and partisan’ report: “House Democrats on Thursday accused Republicans of cherry-picking and distorting information to produce a “fundamentally misleading” report about President Obama’s healthcare law.” [The Hill]
Sebelius signals ‘doom’ if healthcare funds cut for student loan benefit: “Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hit back Thursday at a GOP plan to extend a student loan benefit with money designated for the 2010 healthcare reform law, saying that cuts to preventive care will “doom” future generations. “We can educate our kids and invest in healthcare at the same time,” she said in committee. [The Hill]
Radical anti-abortion bill defeated: “A Mississippi Senate chairman on Thursday killed a bill that could have led to a homicide criminal prosecution for anyone performing an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is found.” [The Republic]
D.C. infant mortality rate at historic low: “The District’s infant mortality rate, long among the highest in the country, has fallen to a historic low because pregnant women are smoking less, fewer teenagers are having babies and women have better access to prenatal care, according to a Health Department report to be released Thursday.” [Washington Post]
Cancer survivors urged to eat better, exercise: “A cancer diagnosis often inspires people to exercise and eat healthier. Now the experts say there’s strong evidence that both habits may help prevent the disease from coming back. New guidelines issued Thursday by the American Cancer Society urge doctors to talk to their cancer patients about eating right, exercising and slimming down if they’re too heavy.” [AP]
Mental health report shows 11 million with serious illness: ‘Just under five percent of U.S. adults, or 11 million people, had a serious mental illness in 2009, US mental health officials report in the latest update. And 34,000 Americans committed suicide linked to mental illness.” [National Journal]
Students outside Ryan's speech (via Faith In Public Life)
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) today faced further backlash from religious groups after attempting to use Catholic social teaching to justify the House Republican budget. Ryan spoke this morning at Georgetown University in Washington, where he was met by faculty members and religious groups who protested his budget’s drastic cuts to programs that help the poor.
About 90 members of Georgetown’s faculty, including two dozen Jesuit priests, signed a letter telling Ryan that he is “profoundly misreading Church teaching” and that his budget would have “devastating consequences” for poor Americans:
However, we would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has wisely noted in several letters to Congress – “a just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons.” Catholic bishops recently wrote that “the House-passed budget resolution fails to meet these moral criteria.”
Small protests also occurred outside the speech, where Georgetown students held up signs that read, “Stop the war on the poor.” Catholics United, a progressive group, unfurled a 50-foot banner asking Ryan, “Were you there when they crucified the poor?”
As ThinkProgress has noted, Ryan’s budget appears to ignore Catholic social teaching, and religiousleaders, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have criticized its cuts to programs that help the poor as “unjustified and wrong.” The backlash is similar to what Ryan faced last year, when religious leaders hammered him for adhering more closely to the policies of anti-government, anti-religion author Ayn Rand — who Ryan said inspired him to enter politics — than to the teachings of the church. Before today’s speech, however, Ryan backtracked on his admiration of Rand, saying, “I reject her philosophy.”
Ryan, in his speech today, still refuses to acknowledge that he and the Catholic Church have a different of opinion on his budget cuts.
I suppose there are some Catholics who for a long time have thought they had a monopoly of sorts… not exactly on heaven, but on the social teaching of our Church. Of course there can be differences among faithful Catholics on this. The work I do as a Catholic holding office conforms to the social doctrine as best I can make of it. What I have to say about the social doctrine of the Church is from the viewpoint of a Catholic in politics applying my understanding to the problems of the day.
Watch it (via Faith In Public Life):
As FPL’s Nick Sementelli notes, Ryan isn’t just disagreeing with the Church — he’s basically issuing a public challenge to the Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Church’s official leadership.
MAP: Women Would Pay Higher Premiums Than Men If SCOTUS Strikes Down ACA |
The Affordable Care Act includes a provision that prohibits health insurance companies from charging women higher premiums than men. Should the Supreme Cout overturn the law, however, women who purchase health care in the individual market could pay up to 100 percent more for their health care coverage in some parts of the country: