The 20 point gender gap in the 2012 election was the largest since Gallup poll began tracking in 1952 — the Obama-Biden ticket beat the Romney-Ryan ticket by a large margin with women, driven largely by women of color turning out at high rates for the President.
That loss was predictable based on polling that asked women questions about specific proposals in Paul Ryan’s previous budgets, which showed that women highly disapprove of cutting Medicaid, Medicare, and other vital programs that meet their health care needs. But the budget Ryan released this week suggests he learned nothing from women’s responses at the voting booth.
Ryan has never been a friend to women’s health, and has repeatedly taken action to limit women’s rights and access to health care — and his new budget is just more of the same. It would dismantle the advancements made through the Affordable Care Act and institute dramatic reductions in the services available through key programs, on top of the cuts women’s health services are already facing as a result of the sequester.
Here are the top four ways the new Ryan Budget (which is just the same as the old Ryan budget) guts key programs for women’s health:
1. Repeals crucial reforms in the Affordable Care Act.
Millions of women would lose the consumer protections and access to affordable health coverage that they gained under the health law. These reforms are critical for both women’s health and economic security.
The Ryan budget would eliminate the ban on discrimination against those with preexisting conditions, including breast cancer, Cesarean sections, rape, and health needs related to domestic violence; provisions that allow young women to stay on their parents health insurance plans until age 26; premium tax credits that help individuals and small businesses purchase health insurance; Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid; and a slew of other benefits that the law provides for women’s health.
By repealing protections in Obamacare, the Ryan budget would preserve an individual health insurance market that routinely discriminates against women. Insurance companies in the individual market charge women $1 billion more in premiums than men each year for the same set of benefits. Under the health reform law, insurers will also be required to cover maternity care — only 12 percent of plans on the individual market currently do.
Our guest blogger is Lindsay Rosenthal, a Research Assistant for Health Policy and Women’s Health and Rights at the Center for American Progress.