Universal healthcare. Something we all can agree is a good idea, but the way that Republicans and Democrats go about it is something that is as controversial and heated as the gun debate. When President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law in 2010, Republicans were furious. And now, Trumpcare, or the American Health Care Act, looms on the horizon.
There isn’t anything wrong with a President wanting to make things better for the people over whom he governs, however, this is not an example of this, especially to women. Millions of people will lose healthcare, and the price for care for others has skyrocketed. Sure, people were affected by Obamacare in similar fashions, but this is to a whole new level. The biggest issue many are finding is the long and lengthy list of pre-existing conditions that was released in early May of this year. Under the ACA there were certain protections put in place for people with pre-existing conditions, and under Trumpcare, those would be removed. What becomes explicitly clear when reading the list of conditions, is that this bill, this “huge” reforming piece of legislation, is a direct attack on women. (Last week, Trump signed an executive order changing regulations related to healthcare and put a stop to insurance company payments to offset lower deductibles for the poor.)
C-Sections, Menstrual Irregularities, Pregnancy, and varying other conditions are on the list. Conditions that effect women, and only women. The pregnancy condition does include expectant fathers but otherwise, women are at the forefront. Perhaps one of the most crucial piece is that this bill would put abortion care far out of reach for women. We’ve all heard about the attacks on Planned Parenthood and the attempts to defund it, however this takes it to a whole new level. Women’s preventive care is so important, and under Trumpcare, there would be little to no access for women, regardless of social class or status.
What’s ironic is that the bill was written and created by 13 white men. And the bill they created will not only cut abortion care out, but also prevent women who care for their aging parents from keeping their jobs, and pretty much dismantle the system that insurance companies have had in place for a long time that covers abortion. So yes, please tell me that this isn’t just an attack on women’s rights. There’s no way it isn’t.
And maybe those thirteen white men actually do care about their mothers, daughters, granddaughters, and sisters. Maybe they don’t. In reality, the only real care they may have is being able to say that they repealed Obamacare. Either way, their pride and egos are getting in the way of millions of people getting adequate healthcare, and unfortunately, they don’t seem to care.
The stereotyping and cultural oppression that women endure are enough without having these men dictate what they can and cannot do with their bodies. The sad truth is, however, that these are the same men who wouldn’t be able to label the female anatomy. Or the type of men who make jokes about a woman’s time of the month. Or the men who refuse to pick up some tampons for their wives because how embarrassing would it be for a man to be seen near feminine products. And now they’re ready to disrupt women’s lives even more.
If this bill goes through, the fabric of women’s lives will change. I know that my life would change so drastically if this bill went through. Of all the attacks that Trump has made on the core of the American people, this has the potential to be the worst, with women at the center of the attack.
The saddest part of this, is that no matter how many women march on Washington, how many women die from back alley abortions, how many women are raped, assaulted, abused, how many women cry because of a man, there is little change. To Republicans, women don’t seem to be high on the priority list. With the potential to do damage to the women they love, they don’t seem to be able to move past their egos and rise to the challenge of standing alongside the women that have built them.
So we are at a crossroads. On one hand, Obamacare may not have been the right choice, but in no way is Trumpcare a substitute for it. I know the healthcare problem is a long-winded, confusing question with few answers, but I hope that the legislators who have the power, wield it appropriately. There may not be a solution, but there is a right answer. Stand with women.