Letter: Overturning the ACA adversely affects childbearing people
On Nov. 10, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments in California v. Texas, the case that will determine the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — ACA. This case puts equitable health care coverage critical to supporting the health of pregnant, childbearing and postpartum people on the line.
In 2010, the ACA added maternity care to the list of essential health benefits that all health insurance plans must cover. An estimated 13 million more pregnant people have gained insurance coverage for maternity care because of this change.
Infant feeding support and home visiting programs are now covered for more families because of the ACA. It requires most health insurance plans to cover lactation counseling and supplies for nursing parents.
The ACA makes midwives and birth centers available, particularly in medically-underserved communities, by allowing Medicaid reimbursement for services and facility fees.
And lastly, under the ACA people cannot be denied coverage because they are sick or have preexisting conditions. Before the ACA, people could be denied insurance because they were pregnant or had a prior cesarean section.
The U.S. is the only developed nation with a consistently rising maternal mortality rate. However, in states that have adopted Medicaid expansion, a component of the ACA, maternal mortality is increasing at a lower rate, indicating the importance of access to maternity care. Overturning the ACA would exacerbate the U.S. maternal health crisis and disparities in maternal health outcomes.
We cannot control the decision of the Supreme Court, but we do have a voice in what happens next. Call your senators and congress people. Demand support for pregnant, childbearing and postpartum people in future health care legislation.
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