I thought I knew as much as anyone about the barbaric state of the American healthcare system. Well this morning, I learned something even I didn't know.
Right now in the United States of America, (87%) of individual health plans available to a 30-year-old woman across the country do not provide maternity coverage. The Affordable Care Act, corrects this grotesque state of affairs.
Here's an ACA fact sheet on the benefits for women when/if the law is enacted.
Impact of the Affordable Care Act
Starting in 2014, all new health plans sold to individuals and small businesses will be required to cover maternity and newborn care--these services are explicitly listed in the law as "essential health benefits" that the plans must provide.
Today, a woman who wants to get pregnant, who has the misfortune to be an American citizen and needs to purchase insurance in the individual market will not be able to do so in most states. These are tales from the crypt--the horrific realities about the U.S. healthcare system--that pro-life Republican extremists don't dare discuss.
This is from a groundbreaking report by the National Women's Law Center called Still Nowhere to Turn: Insurance Companies Treat Women Like a Pre-Existing Condition, about gender disparities in healthcare access for women.
It is difficult and costly for women to find health insurance that covers maternity
Do you know that in the swing state of Florida
and other vital care they need. The vast majority of individual market plans that NWLC
examined did not cover maternity care at all. A limited number of insurers sell separate
maternity coverage for an additional fee known as a “rider,” but this supplemental coverage is often expensive or limited in scope.
if you're a pregnant female and you want to buy individual insurance because, hey, you want to have a baby (not an abortion), this is virtually impossible.
Florida women who want to be mothers and can't get insurance through an employer or qualify for income-based aid have no choice but to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket. A typical birth with no complications costs $8,000 to $10,000, according to Richard Bernstein, CEO and founder of a company specializing in health care and life insurance. A Caesarean section or delivery with complications can cost $20,000.
So on that day in June, when the political hacks on the Supreme Court have the final say, remember the war on women in the United States is not a pithy campaign slogan, it's the damn, grotesque, awful truth.
Democrats should be shouting this from the rooftops, where are they?