Remember when the Republican health care bill was defeated earlier this spring without a single vote being cast? Well, I have bad news: The American Health Care Act has surfaced once again after significant revision, but the plan will still hurt women more than men — which means it's time to dust off your arguments explaining how the AHCA is anti-woman. Of course, it's not the first time women have gotten the short end of the health care stick, and it's not likely to be the last. However, the amended version of the AHCA appears to be even more draconian than the original, thanks in large part to efforts to appeasethe ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus. UPDATE: The AHCA has officially passed the House with a majority of votes, 217 to 213.
There have been two major changes to the AHCA since House Speaker Paul Ryan yanked the bill from the floor in March. First, there's the MacArthur amendment, which allows states to apply for waivers weakening protections for those with pre-existing conditions and redefining what constitutes "essential benefits." Needless to say, this is likely to result in a huge hike in cost for Americans who are already ill. To mitigate this potential rise in premiums, Rep. Fred Upton proposed a last-minute amendment adding $8 billion to pay medical costs for those who would lose coverage. However, given that this money is to be paid out over the course of five years and cover millions of potentially unwell people, the Upton Amendment has been criticized as a paltry effort.
With the AHCA being put to vote on Thursday, it's important to have an idea of how the bill could affect the lives of everyday Americans — particularly some of our most vulnerable groups. If you find yourself struggling with what to say to people who don't understand how the bill is particularly harmful for women, here are seven arguments to explain it: