What’s at stake for women if SCOTUS strikes down health reform.

Ok so here’s some really disturbing information of which I was unaware: The Center for American Progress is reporting that if the Supreme Court strikes down or guts health care reform — women will suffer disproportionately.

Through a practice known as gender rating, women pay $1 billion more in premiums than men each year for the same set of benefits. And even though they pay more, they often receive fewer benefits. Individual market plans often exclude essential health services for women, such as maternity care, contraception, and Pap smears. And women are subject to coverage exclusions by health insurance providers in the individual market for gender-specific “pre-existing conditions” such as breast cancer, Cesarean sections, rape, and domestic violence.

So, a) apparently “rape” and “domestic violence” are “pre-existing conditions” for some insurance providers, which – wow. That fact alone fills me with such sadness that it’s a genuinely hard to write; and b) women routinely pay more to, and receive less from, health insurance providers — simply by virtue of being women. You know: Just ’cause. Pap smears – they’re just like going out for Cosmos with the gals!

I do think that the effort to undo this Administration’s greatest domestic achievement to date has whole a lot to do with a whole lot of love for the business interests involved + a whole lot of hate for the President in question, and very little to do with caring about the particulars. Which is to say: I don’t think this is of a piece with the War on Women, because I don’t think that the folks trying to pull HCR apart really care what’s in it, for the most part. It’ll cut into the bottom line, and it looks good for Obama. IT MUST GO.

Yet it is undeniably sinus-clearing to see that even when there probably isn’t a direct intent to hurt women — women get hurt. Even when folks aren’t swanning about declaring it morally wrong for me to suggest that my reproductive health is of some import — my reproductive health is of no import. And then there’s the whole oh hey I guess rape and domestic violence can go back to being pre-existing conditions piece of it.

As the CAP report says:

Opponents of Obamacare also threaten to repeal the law if they can gain full control of Congress and the White House in the upcoming election in November. But for the time being, all eyes are on an extremely divided and increasingly conservative Supreme Court, which sadly has in recent years demonstrated little regard for precedent.

For women and their families, the Affordable Care Act is not a theoretical concept—it is a lifeline. Attacks on Obamacare are attacks on women’s health and well-being. If the Supreme Court decides to strike down any or all of this law, then it is women who will suffer the most. Women cannot afford to lose this high-stakes lawsuit because they cannot afford to lose the benefits of this landmark health reform law.

Some days it feels like just being alive constitutes a War on Women.

h/t ThinkProgress


  1. What Progressives never understamd, is that Politics is inherently an act of violence.

    The goal of Politics is to take, by force, whatever we produce, and give it to those who sustain the violence. This was true in Medieval Europe. It was true in the days of the Slave Trade. It paid for the Nazi Holocaust. And it remains so, today.

    The Sustainers of the Violence, in America these days, are anybody who can afford to hire a Washington lobbyist.

    The fundamental failing of Obamacare was compromise.

    By setting the precedent, that our health was to be compromised for the Common Good, whichever demagogue could command our belief in that Common Good, was empowered to deny care to somebody, so as to create their vision of the Common Good. Thus, by not standing upon principle, we simply re-arrange the suffering.

    The principle we should advocate about our health, begins with our inherent, personal and individual right, to self-defense.

    Only the very sickest of us need true Care. Most of us visit a doctor to obtain a license to buy medicines, that we use to treat ourselves at home. Were I a citizen of Mexico, knowing what medicine I need, I could walk into la farmacia and buy it. As an American, I do not have this power…it is in the Common Good, say the Powers That Be, that I must spend $105 on a doctor visit, to prove that I truly need $4 worth of cough medicine, for the Common Good (as defined by Mormons and Scientologists) demands that I be protected from myself in case I might be an addict. Thus, somebody must pay the $105 anti-addiction tax on $4 worth of cough medicine.

    Repeat this process at every step of the medical process. Shackle the caregivers of the truly sick…those inconvenient elderly folks in nursing homes who linger a few months, recover, and return home to draw their pensions a few years more, rather than dutifully expiring a month before retirement…by demanding that they spend 20 minutes documenting every 10 minutes of actual care provided. Put the caregivers in 20-year-old Toyotas and the enforcers of the System in Lexuses. And by compromising the Right to Self-Defense, a Gordian knot of injustices is preserved.

    Most of my female friends know that an unborn baby is a baby. Their concern about the right of access to abortion is rooted in one issue: If they have a problem pregnancy that threatens their health, their lives, and the futures of the children they’ve already had, they want the final say, in whether or not that problem pregnancy is terminated. This is purely a matter of self-defense and nothing more.

    By making this into everything other than a self-defense issue, the demagogues who rule as to the. Common Good, enable insurers to discriminate against all reproductive-health spending.

    Last year, a truly frightening blog appeared on a website run by some retired narcotics police. The author advocated that RU486 be made legal under some very narrow guidelines. And that narcotics police agencies become the investigators into whether the resulting abortions were “medically necessary”…on the assumption that if RU486 were in drugstores, a black market would develop for it.

    Apparently, if some of us must die for the Common Good, the demagogues who demand our lives, will be the last to volunteer their own lives for it.

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