The Presidential Election, Women, and Healthcare

Tuesday, November 8th is Election Day. The results of the Presidential election will have a drastic impact on healthcare for all Americans, but especially women. What will a Trump presidency versus a Clinton presidency do for women’s access to insurance?

The difference between the Democratic and Republican Party platforms on healthcare could not be harsher. To summarize it simply—Democrats believe that healthcare, and equitable access to healthcare, is a right of the American people. Republicans see it as a privilege for those who can afford it. If the Republican presidential nominee were to win, women will suffer the negative affects of such an outlook on healthcare far disproportionately than men would.

When speaking of healthcare, women have historically been discriminated against. Women have more need for affordable access to crucial services, as they are more likely than men to have lower incomes, live longer and alone, and require more prescription drugs. Before the ACA (or Obamacare), women were charged more for health insurance simply for being a woman, and denied coverage for services such as prenatal and maternity care (read more here).

However, the Affordable Care Act has changed that for women. The law includes protections against gender discrimination, and insurance plans must cover preventative services with no out-of-pocket expense. New preventative coverage for women includes: breast cancer mammography, cervical cancer screening, contraception, domestic violence screening and counseling, and osteoporosis screening to name just a few.

Plans also have to include coverage for prenatal care, pap smears, and contraceptives (which, according to a 2014 survey found here, almost 70% of Americans support!). Any exclusion of services that specifically focus on women’s health is considered gender discrimination.

If elected president, Donald Trump has repeatedly vowed to overturn the ACA immediately. He has offered no plan for what would replace it and how the more than 20 million Americans who have coverage now because of the ACA would be assisted. In fact, when it comes to his healthcare plan, Trump has repeated his nonsense rhetoric and campaign talking points. No details on a replacement or what it would look like for the American public.

Additionally, an overturn of the ACA would likely repeal the protections against gender-based discrimination and pricing. Women would lose all that they have gained (which, as we’ve seen, is significant) under the ACA.

In contrast, Hillary Clinton supports the ACA, wants to expand it, and fix the problems it does have. The gender discrimination protections would remain intact. She has proposed a public-option insurance plan and allowing people to enroll in Medicare at age 55, which would be a great benefit to older women. Republicans want to actually raise the eligibility age on Medicare.

While not a comprehensive list, this brief overview should give you a glimpse into what healthcare for women might look like under the different presidencies. For more information, click here and here.  

Remember to VOTE BLUE on Tuesday 11/8 to keep your protections and access to healthcare. #Imwithher #hillyes #HillaryClinton2016