It’s not a surprise that the AHCA is an absolute nightmare for anyone with a uterus. With the GOP in charge, protections and coverage for conditions that overwhelmingly affect women’s reproductive health were always going to be on the chopping block.
But with this bill, the devil is really in the details. And this one is not pretty. Desperate to get the votes for his life-ruining health care bill, Speaker Ryan recently added a “manager’s amendment” to mollify the cruelest members of the Republican Party. In this manager’s amendment, new moms on Medicaid will only get two months to start working before they risk getting kicked off the program.
If that sounds like a ridiculously short period of time to you, that’s because it is. Slate explains:
Medicaid currently offers essential resources for low-income women and their children, including screenings for postpartum depression, in-home educational visits, and check-ups, all of which help babies survive and mothers thrive. Forcing women to job hunt in the weeks immediately following her baby’s delivery—a crucial period for infant care and physical recovery—would be both shockingly cruel and counterproductive as public health policy. Even if Republicans don’t believe that every person deserves basic health care, regardless of income, they should recognize that the government has an interest in keeping children healthy. Healthy children become good students, responsible citizens, and productive workers. Cutting off health benefits from a mother in the first several weeks of her infant’s life sets both the mother and the infant up for a cascading set of impediments to physical and financial health.
Every time I find something new about the bill I am shocked by how cruel and out-of-touch it (and the party at large) is. There really is no depth too low for them to go.