In an op-ed in Lenny newsletter, Sen. Kamala Harris of California attacked the new health care bill drawn up by her (all-male) colleagues in the Senate — a bill that "would be absolutely terrible for women," she wrote.
"The Senate Republican health care plan is, as the young people might say, a 'hot mess,'" Harris lambasted, noting that women would take the brunt of its negative effects.
If the bill becomes law as is, many key provisions in the Affordable Care Act that help women — particularly vulnerable, low-income women — would be stripped away.
As the senator explained, the Better Care Reconciliation Act would:
- Bar women on Medicaid from visiting Planned Parenthood, even though about half of the organization's patients rely on Medicaid for their care.
- Reverse the ACA's requirement that insurers cover birth control and maternity care — a setback that specifically targets women.
- Stick women with a hefty "pregnancy tax" from greedy health insurance providers simply for becoming a parent.
"This is not a time for courtesy," Harris wrote. "This is a time for courage."
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.
While the fate of BCRA is hanging in the balance, Harris is calling on all of us to find our inner superhero.
A handful of key Republican senators have publicly denounced the bill, which suffered an onslaught of negative press coverage after the Congressional Budget Office estimated it would knock roughly 22 million Americans off their health insurance by 2026.
It may be in a "bad place," CNN's Phil Mattingly wrote, but "big pieces of legislation die a thousand declared deaths before they magically find a way to passage." This is why Harris is encouraging every Lenny reader to take action until the bill is, without a doubt, dead.
"Confronted with this catastrophic health care proposal, all of us have a choice," the senator argued. "It's a little like the choice Diana faces in 'Wonder Woman,' which I saw a few weeks ago and loved. Do we steer clear of the troubles of the world? Or do we join the fight? For me, the answer is easy: Join the fight. Make your voices heard. Because this is not a drill."
Reach out to your senators and voice your opposition to the Senate GOP's health care bill.