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Pre-Existing Conditions Target Women In GOP Health Care Bill

Following the initial failure of the GOP to replace Obamacare, the House will vote again today, May 4, 2017, on the GOP's latest amendment to the proposed American Health Care Act.

Update: On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act and it will now go to the Senate. 

Earlier: The MacArthur-Meadows amendment, proposed by New Jersey State Representative Tom MacArthur, permits states to refuse health care coverage for certain pre-existing conditions, an alarming amount of which are female-centric.

Things like postpartum depression, cesarean sections, surviving domestic violence and, yes, even rape, are all grounds for coverage denial under this latest AHCA change.

Coverage for mammograms and gynecological services could also be denied under this new plan.

Though it's clear a majority of these conditions listed are gender-specific conditions, the amendment itself denies any sort of gender-based discrimination. It reads,

The amendment also claims it won't "limit access to health coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions."

However, Physicians for Reproductive Health advocacy fellow Dr. Diane Horvath-Cosper told Elle, "Most of the people who have C-sections identify as women, so that's a shorthand for a gender discriminatory policy," and she also added, "A majority of people who get pregnant identify as women, so that's gender discrimination, straight up."

Horvath-Cospar also says in a statement,

In terms of rape and sexual assault, conditions which were originally protected under Obamacare, insurance companies can now deny coverage for the physical and mental care needed following an assault.

According to Gina Scaramella of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center,

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These latest changes to the AHCA aren't the only female-centric targets of the Trump administration's approach to women's health care.

One major part of the GOP's plan is to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood for a year, meaning tons of women everywhere could potentially lose access to birth control, condoms, sex education and IUDs.

A statement from NARAL Pro-Choice American President Ilyse Hogue says,


As of Wednesday, May 3, The New York Times reported that House majority leader, California State Representative Kevin McCarthy, is confident the House has enough votes for the bill to pass.

If approved, the new AHCA would then force those living with the pre-existing conditions mentioned to pay incredibly high insurance premiums to seek treatment.

This post has been updated from its original version.