On March 12, 2019, I was among 700 OBGYN physicians from across the country who descended onto Capitol Hill with the American College of Obstetrician-Gynecologists (ACOG) to preserve the lives of pregnant mothers, to protect women’s healthcare benefits under the Affordable Care Act and advocate extending Medicaid postpartum benefits for twelve months rather than the traditional 6-week period.
ACOG invited five Congresswomen to speak at the conference including the Honorable Lauren Underwood, the youngest African American woman elected to Congress and the first nurse; the Honorable Ayanna Pressley and the co-sponsor of the postpartum Medicaid expansion bill, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Ph.D.
The theme of the leadership conference was “Access” to care for women’s health. Each ACOG district met with their U.S. Senators and congressional representatives to lobby for continued support of the Maternal Mortality Act of 2018 and preserving the pre-existing condition benefits of the Affordable Care Act. I am happy to report that my Congressional Representative, Stephanie Murphy’s office and Senator Mark Rubio's legislative aide, Eduardo Sagas, were cordial and open to our suggestions which are a testimony to the power of bipartisanship.
It is common knowledge that there is an effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act but what you may not be aware of is the “junk” healthcare plans they are proposing as a replacement. The incumbent administration is endorsing these “short term” disability plans and trying to extend them for three years. While these plans appear to be cheaper in price, they offer NO health care benefits to women such as mammograms or maternity health. ACOG is lobbying to keep these plans at three months and not have them extended to three years.
The preservation of health and healthcare is a human right, not a privilege. How can you get involved in the process? Please write or email your congressman today to make sure your voice is heard. https://www.house.gov/representatives
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