6 Things Every Latina Mom Needs to Know On Senate Health Care Bill

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On Friday, Senator John McCain revealed in a statement he cannot "good conscience" vote for the GOP's bill proposal, Graham-Cassidy which is intended to replace and abolish the Affordable Care Act under Obamacare. The passing of this new bill will directly impact many women in America, but more so Hispanic and according to The CommonWealth Fund, millions of Latinos are covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Here's how the decision to change our health care will affect the future of Latinos. 

MORE: Op-Ed: What Do I Tell My 11-year-old Son About the Future of His Health Care?

Affordable prenatal care and maternity care are under attack in this bill. Slashes in maternity coverage mean less preventive care and more maternal deaths

Women who receive no prenatal care are three to four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than women who do, and women with high-risk pregnancies are five times more likely to die if they do not receive prenatal care. Health insurance coverage helps women access needed care earlier in pregnancy and avoid these risks, but under Graham-Cassidy, many may go without seeing a doctor because they can’t afford it.

 

Women with pre-existing conditions, which includes pregnancy and breast cancer, will be charged more.

  • Pregnancy could be considered a pre-existing condition — with a steep price for new and expecting moms (around about $17,320 by some estimates)
  • For many, the Graham-Cassidy proposal could mean that your health insurance isn’t just more expensive, it’s completely out of reach. Insurance companies could charge patients $28,660 more for having breast cancer, and$142,650 more for cancer that has metastasized.
  • Latinas face higher rates of many chronic illnesses, meaning these exorbitant costs will hurt their health and financial security more than others. Latinas are more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer than women of any other racial or ethnic group, and studies have shown that, even when diagnosed at similar ages and stages and with similar tumor characteristics, Latinas are more likely to die from breast cancer than non-Latino white women.
Kids will suffer
  • While the Senate debates this dangerous bill, they’re delaying the approval of key funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is expected to expire next week.Together, Medicaid and CHIP provide health care coverage for more than half (52%) of Latino children so they would be among the groups most at risk of losing their coverage.
  • Similar to the elimination of maternity and newborn coverage, the Graham-Cassidy bill allows states to waive pediatric care. This could cut off millions of kids from doctor’s visits, eyeglasses, dentistry, and other care that is necessary to make sure your family is healthy.
  • New moms who keep their coverage would be forced to choose between being with their newborn or keeping their insurance. It forces new moms who rely on Medicaid back to work after 60 days — even if the mom or her baby needs additional time for medical needs.
It guts Medicaid, which has been a lifeline for millions of moms and children.
Under this bill, low-income patients would be prohibited from coming to Planned Parenthood health centers for care.
  • This would leave many women with nowhere to go for basic care such as cancer screenings, birth control, STI treatment, and more.
  • 2.4 million people -- one-fifth (500,000) of whom are Latino --  rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for essential health services. One in five women in America has relied on Planned Parenthood in her lifetime.
Women will pay more for less.
  • The increased costs of care would disproportionately impact women of color given the inequities earnings for women. This is particularly true for the 15 million households — disproportionately led by Black and Latina women — where women are the head of households. People of color — even those who are insured — already report less confidence in being able to afford care.

Bottom line: Latinas already face disproportionate access to health care in this country. As of 2013, approximately 20 percent of Latinas had not visited a physician in the last two years, and one-third of Latinas don't have a regular health care provider. A greater percentage of Latinas (20 percent) are uninsured than women of any other racial or ethnic group in the U.S. and one-fifth of Hispanic women live in poverty. 

The new Senate health repeal bill (Graham-Cassidy) is dangerous for Latina moms and families in general, to stop the bill from being pass call your local senator at 202-804-8210.