September 3, 2020/Media, Press

Deborah Ross: Women’s access to affordable health care is in jeopardy, and Mike Pence’s visit to Raleigh is a sharp reminder why

Raleigh – Ahead of Pence’s trip to Raleigh today, the North Carolina Democratic Party published an op-ed by Deborah Ross, a candidate for U.S. House of Representatives who writes about how the Trump Administration has failed women on crucial health care issues. From supporting a lawsuit aimed at dismantling the Affordable Care Act, which would hurt millions of North Carolina women, to repeatedly threatening to cut Social Security and Medicare if reelected, Ross explains how Trump’s record has hurt North Carolinians — especially women. Read her piece below.

When it Comes to Women’s Health Care, the Trump Administration Fails to Meet the Mark 
By Deborah Ross

As an attorney, civil rights advocate, and former state representative, I have always brought people together to get things done. And I’ve always understood that equal access to affordable health and reproductive care isn’t just a “women’s issue” — it’s an economic issue, and one that impacts the health of our children. That’s why in the State Legislature I worked across the aisle to ensure that employers would cover essential women’s health needs and helped fight efforts to restrict our health care decisions.

Our country has worked together to make remarkable progress in recent years to close the coverage gap​ and expand access for women. But right now, women’s access to affordable health care is in jeopardy, and Mike Pence’s visit to Raleigh this week is a sharp reminder why.

Instead of working to expand access to affordable health insurance, Donald Trump and his administration are supporting a lawsuit aimed at completely dismantling the Affordable Care Act, which would eliminate a statute requiring nearly all health insurance plans to cover maternity and newborn care. Repealing the ACA would mean allowing insurance companies to deny coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions, which frequently led to ​gender discrimination against women before the law was passed. If the ACA is repealed, roughly ​30 million​ American women, and ​2.1 million​ North Carolina women, who have a pre-existing condition could be denied coverage.

As millions have lost employer-sponsored health insurance in recent months due to the economic crisis, we need to work together to help women get the critical support services they need in the middle of a global pandemic. From passing paid sick leave to providing affordable childcare, there is so much we can accomplish to support the needs of all women and children during these challenging times.

Additionally, we must protect programs like Social Security and Medicare, which have come under attack in recent weeks. The administration’s intention to eliminate the payroll tax, which funds Social Security and Medicare, would disproportionately impact women across our country and leave them at an even greater disadvantage when it comes to receiving affordable health care.

The bottom-line is this — we need leaders in Washington to come together to find solutions to our biggest challenges. We need to build coalitions to support common-sense policies that will protect the health and safety of all North Carolinians. Losing the Affordable Care Act as we know it, resulting in ​600,000​ North Carolinians getting kicked off their insurance, and funding cuts for clinics that provide low-cost care is the last thing that working families need during this pandemic.

As the Representative in Congress for North Carolina’s 2nd District, I’ll champion legislation to make health care more affordable for people across our state. I will support childcare and paid family leave so that we can work to level the playing field for all women in the workforce.

I’ll work to make sure clinics that provide low-cost care are funded, and I’ll fight for paid sick leave so no one will have to choose between their health and putting food on the table. I’ll work with anyone and everyone to improve the Affordable Care Act, and the Biden-Harris team aims to do just that with a public option that expands access to affordable health insurance to every American.

We can accomplish all of this by putting aside our partisan differences and focusing on what really impacts the health and safety of North Carolina families.

It’s no exaggeration to say that our health is on the ballot this November, and that’s one of the many reasons we can’t afford to sit this election out.