The latest Republican health care bill is under fire for a host of reasons, but some last minute tweaks are drawing the ire of women, who saw healthcare services stripped from the bill.
On Thursday, GOP leaders announced there would not be a vote on the American Health Care Act — the Republican replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act. Members of the Freedom Caucus wing of the Republican Party said that they would not support the bill, depriving the GOP of a majority to pass it. Lawmakers and the Trump administration met Wednesday night and Thursday to discuss last minute changes to their health care bill in order to win over the Freedom Caucus. President Donald Trump is now calling for a vote on Friday.
The Freedom Caucus — lead by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) — advocates eliminating a list of ten essential health benefits, according to the Washington Post. "We've made very reasonable request and we're hopeful that those reasonable request will be listened to and ultimately agreed to" Medows said, according to the New York Times.
As shown by a tweet posted by Rep. Kamala Harris (D-CA.) these requests could leave many people without coverage. They include cuts to coverage of pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care as well as many other essential services.
According to the Pew Research Center, in 2015, the Freedom Caucus had a sole female representative: Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wy.), who has since retired.
According to the Washington Post, the Freedom Caucus also promotes eliminating coverage of emergency services, immunization, prescription drugs, rehabilitation services, laboratory tests, and some pediatric care. The caucus is only willing to keep two parts of the ACA: forbidding insurers from denying coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions, and allowing children under 26 to stay on their parent's healthcare, the Washington Post reports.
'It speaks volumes about the Republican Party that they need to try to make this bill worse for the American people in order to buy off the Freedom Caucus." Matt House, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D- N.Y.) said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The bill has also faced opposition due to the fact that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the revised bill will still leave 24 million people uninsured and only save $150 billion (less than the initial savings estimate), Politico reported. While the vote for the health care bill has been postponed, President Trump is calling for a vote tomorrow.