Washington, DC—Haywood L. Brown, M.D., president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), released the following statement in response to Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s confirming a vote on the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA):
“ACOG condemns the latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act by ignoring regular order and rushing the harmful Graham-Cassidy bill to a vote. This latest effort is the most dangerous bill to date, threatening to strip health care from millions of Americans and end Medicaid as we know it.
“This bill is an assault on women’s health. Under the guise of state flexibility, the bill ends guaranteed insurance coverage of maternity care and women’s health preventive services, including cancer screening and contraception. In truth, this is not flexibility, but discrimination, and it endangers efforts to reduce maternal mortality and reverse the 30-year low in the unintended pregnancy rate.
“Prior to the ACA, women were routinely charged more than men for the same coverage, a practice that cost women approximately $1 billion annually. Graham-Cassidy would allow states to return to this practice. It also allows states to define a prior C-section, depression, breast cancer, and experiencing domestic violence as pre-existing conditions, and reason to deny coverage. Being a woman is not a pre-existing condition.
“Graham-Cassidy also takes aim at our most vulnerable patients, starving the Medicaid program, which covers nearly half the births in the United States, and converting the program into a per capita cap. This jeopardizes access to care for women with high-risk and expensive pregnancies, such as those with Zika virus, opioid use disorder, and preeclampsia. It further obstructs safety net patients’ access to care by forbidding Planned Parenthood’s participation in the Medicaid program.
“We urge Senate Majority Leader McConnell to cancel the vote, abandon this harmful bill, return to regular order, and resume bipartisan health care reform efforts that will improve our health care system, not turn back the clock on women’s health and put the well-being of millions of Americans in jeopardy.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org