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What’s at stake for women if SCOTUS strikes down health reform.

By Emily L. Hauser
Thursday, May 3, 2012 23:44 EDT
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Ok so here’s some really disturbing information of which I was unaware: The Center for American Progress is reporting that if the Supreme Court strikes down or guts health care reform — women will suffer disproportionately.

Through a practice known as gender rating, women pay $1 billion more in premiums than men each year for the same set of benefits. And even though they pay more, they often receive fewer benefits. Individual market plans often exclude essential health services for women, such as maternity care, contraception, and Pap smears. And women are subject to coverage exclusions by health insurance providers in the individual market for gender-specific “pre-existing conditions” such as breast cancer, Cesarean sections, rape, and domestic violence.

So, a) apparently “rape” and “domestic violence” are “pre-existing conditions” for some insurance providers, which – wow. That fact alone fills me with such sadness that it’s a genuinely hard to write; and b) women routinely pay more to, and receive less from, health insurance providers — simply by virtue of being women. You know: Just ’cause. Pap smears – they’re just like going out for Cosmos with the gals!

I do think that the effort to undo this Administration’s greatest domestic achievement to date has whole a lot to do with a whole lot of love for the business interests involved + a whole lot of hate for the President in question, and very little to do with caring about the particulars. Which is to say: I don’t think this is of a piece with the War on Women, because I don’t think that the folks trying to pull HCR apart really care what’s in it, for the most part. It’ll cut into the bottom line, and it looks good for Obama. IT MUST GO.

Yet it is undeniably sinus-clearing to see that even when there probably isn’t a direct intent to hurt women — women get hurt. Even when folks aren’t swanning about declaring it morally wrong for me to suggest that my reproductive health is of some import — my reproductive health is of no import. And then there’s the whole oh hey I guess rape and domestic violence can go back to being pre-existing conditions piece of it.

As the CAP report says:

Opponents of Obamacare also threaten to repeal the law if they can gain full control of Congress and the White House in the upcoming election in November. But for the time being, all eyes are on an extremely divided and increasingly conservative Supreme Court, which sadly has in recent years demonstrated little regard for precedent.

For women and their families, the Affordable Care Act is not a theoretical concept—it is a lifeline. Attacks on Obamacare are attacks on women’s health and well-being. If the Supreme Court decides to strike down any or all of this law, then it is women who will suffer the most. Women cannot afford to lose this high-stakes lawsuit because they cannot afford to lose the benefits of this landmark health reform law.

Some days it feels like just being alive constitutes a War on Women.

h/t ThinkProgress

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emily L. Hauser
Emily L. Hauser has been a freelance writer for 20 years. She has contributed to publications such as the Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, and Dallas Morning News, covering topics ranging from Israel/Palestine and domestic politics, to women’s issues and the occasional burst of geekery. She is a regular columnist at The Daily Beast’s Open Zion, and blogs at Emily L. Hauser In My Head. Follow her on Twitter at @emilylhauser.
 
 
 
 
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