As prenatal conditions worsen in the United States, state-funded health care becomes even more crucial. The 2017 National Center for Health Statistics report revealed preterm birth rates rose to nearly 10 percent in the past two years, marking the second consecutive increase after declines over the previous seven years. This alarming data particularly stresses the need for affordable health care, especially under the new administration.
“Preterm birth is the number one cause of death among babies and a leading cause of lifelong disabilities,” said Stacey D. Stewart, president of the March of Dimes, in a recent press release. “Now is the time to increase our investments in a healthier nation by expanding access to quality prenatal care and promoting proven ways to help reduce the risk of preterm birth.”
Repeated congressional attacks of the Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as Obamacare, have many parents concerned about how they will provide health care for their children.
“We have insurance through Massachusetts, and while it’s not quite the ACA, it’s Romneycare [the nickname for a similar insurance law championed by then-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney], and it could be affected if the ACA were repealed,” freelance writer Britni de la Cretaz — who also has pre-existing conditions — stressed. “But it’s allowed me and my family to be insured, as both me and my husband are self-employed consultants. I would be incredibly concerned about what kind of insurance we could afford if the ACA were repealed and replaced.”
According to ObamaCare Facts, which is run by dogMedia Solutions, over 20 million Americans rely on the ACA for coverage, including “the Marketplace’s 10.3 million, Medicaid expansion’s 11 million or so, about 2.6 million young adults staying on their parents plan, the many newly covered via the employer mandate, and those covered under other coverage provisions created by the ACA.”
“I was unemployed when I found out that I was pregnant in 2013,” Sa’iyda Shabazz, also a freelance writer, told HelloFlo. ”I immediately applied for Medi-Cal — California state insurance — and was able to have my prenatal care and delivery completely covered. If I had to pay anything out of pocket, we would have been in really bad shape. State-funded insurance is imperative to making sure that my son can see a doctor [or] dentist.”
“I can’t even begin to imagine how horrible it would be if Trumpcare [the nickname for the insurance program Congress has been attempting to replace the ACA with under the Trump administration] replaced Obamacare,” explained psychotherapist and coach Reaca Pearl. “[My family has] a boatload of pre-existing conditions, so not only would I be forced to work a corporate job and give up my private practice in order to afford health insurance, but we might not be covered anyway because of all the pre-existing conditions.”
Romper reports previous proposed health care-repeal legislation removes the ACA’s mandate to provide coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. For those assigned female at birth, rape and pregnancy could easily be deemed as pre-existing conditions. Sexual violence survivors could be denied coverage as well as pregnant parents.
“Because my husband works for a small company, there’s no way we’d have been able to afford adequate insurance for our family without the marketplace,” stressed consultant and parenting writer Steph Montgomery.
“When I got pregnant last year, our plan provided for my prenatal care, which was not true of any of the plans my husband had purchased before the marketplace existed," Montgomery explained. "Then, last year, when I was seven months pregnant, we discovered that our insurance company would no longer be offering plans through healthcare.gov. If we had been forced to pursue a new insurance before the ACA, my pregnancy would have been considered a pre-existing condition.”
Stay tuned for further updates on the future of the American health care system.
A version of this article was originally published on HelloFlo.
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