Welcome to This Week in Women’s Health Care—the round-up for women who care about what’s going on in Washington and around the country, and how it affects their rights. Once a week, we’ll bring you the latest news from the world of politics and explain how it impacts you. Let’s get to it!
Here’s what’s up…
Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer said they’ve struck a deal with President Donald Trump to protect “Dreamers.”
Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration’s plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA, which former president Barack Obama implemented in 2012, protects “Dreamers,” or children who were brought to the United States without proper documentation. But on Wednesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, both Democrats, announced that they’d reached an agreement with Trump: If Democrats in Congress fund some measures to strengthen border security (not including the Mexican border wall), then Trump will protect the nearly 800,000 Dreamers currently living in the United States from being deported. Though this deal doesn’t include funding for the Mexican border wall, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that campaign promise was still a priority. “[Trump is still] committed to the wall,” she said in a press briefing. “It doesn’t have to be tied to DACA but it’s important, and he will get it done.”
One more thing: More than a dozen states have come together to legally challenge the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA. New York, Massachusetts, and Washington are leading the charge, though many other states have signed on to the lawsuit.
Bernie Sanders unveiled single-payer health care legislation, and one-third of Democratic senators said they support it.
On Wednesday, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders proposed a “Medicare for All” health care plan. Sanders’ bill would create a universal health care system to cover all Americans via a government-run plan. Businesses wouldn’t be allowed to offer separate employer-sponsored plans, and Americans would have four years from the law’s passage to transition to this new form of coverage. Also worth noting: There would be no out-of-pocket health care expenses, like copays or emergency room fees. So far, one-third of Senate Democrats and two-thirds of House Democrats have endorsed Sanders’ legislation. That said, Republicans control the House and the Senate, so the bill likely won’t pass anytime soon.
California residents are trying to propose legislation that would criminalize abortion as first-degree murder.
Anti-abortion advocates in California have gotten officially cleared to collect signatures for a proposal that would classify abortion as first-degree murder, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced late last week. The proposal would also expand the definition of abortion to include forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization methods. If the anti-abortion advocates get the 585,407 registered voter signatures they need, the measure will appear on a ballot in 2018, and residents will have the opportunity to vote for or against it. That said, the Sacramento Bee reports that the measure is expected to fail—both because Californians typically vote in favor of expanding abortion access and because the measure might be subject to a lawsuit about its constitutionality in light of Roe v. Wade.
A new CBO report found that the Trump administration’s mismanagement of the Affordable Care Act is driving up health insurance premiums.
A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the Trump administration is causing problems for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)—specifically, average insurance premiums are going up, and enrollment is going down. According to the CBO, insurance premiums are going up because insurers aren’t sure if the administration will continue providing some of the subsidies they received under Obamacare. These subsidies help insurance providers cover high-risk individuals—like older adults or adults with pre-existing conditions—without losing money. The CBO also reported that lower Obamacare enrollment numbers are due to both the rising cost of premiums and the Trump administration’s recent decision to cut the Obamacare outreach budget. Though President Trump has accused Obamacare of “imploding” on its own, this CBO report indicates that the administration’s decisions are at least partially responsible for the program being less functional.
Congress is running out of time to fund a program that provides health insurance to 9 million children.
On September 30, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is set to expire. CHIP was designed to provide health insurance to children in lower-middle-class to middle-class families that don’t qualify for Medicaid, and the program currently covers 9 million children. The $14 billion CHIP receives from the government each year will run out at the end of this month unless Congress takes steps to extend the funding, and CHIP managers at the state level are already crafting contingency plans in case this doesn’t happen.
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