President Biden and Vice President Harris Are Expanding and Protecting Access to the Affordable Care Act for Women Nationwide

In celebration of Women’s History Month and the upcoming anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, we’re highlighting the work that President Biden and Vice President Harris are doing every day to fight for women across America — from working to protect reproductive freedom and health care, to securing economic equity and opportunity. Meanwhile, MAGA Republicans up and down the ballot are trying to turn back the clock and undermine women’s rights. 

DNC Director of Outreach Communications Tracy King released the following statement: 

“The Biden-Harris administration is delivering on their promise to protect health care from the MAGA Republicans who are hellbent on ripping it away. From lowering insurance premiums to investing in women’s health research, President Biden and Vice President Harris are protecting and expanding essential health care for women across America. Meanwhile, Donald Trump wants to kill the Affordable Care Act, which would leave millions of women without coverage and could force them to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket costs or forego care, and oversaw the gutting of federal funds for nearly 900 women’s health clinics across the country. Trump doesn’t want to build and strengthen health care coverage — he wants to police women’s bodies and rip away the essential care we need.” 

The Biden-Harris administration is fighting to lower insurance premiums so that all Americans can have access to high-quality health care. 

White House Fact Sheet: “Thanks to the President’s American Rescue Plan and Inflation Reduction Act, millions of Americans are saving on average $800 a year on premiums.”

Center for American Progress: “The Inflation Reduction Act, when passed by the House of Representatives and signed into law by President Joe Biden, will give a lifeline to people struggling with health costs by providing much-needed financial relief for the health coverage and medications they need to survive and thrive. The bill improves health care and affordability by:

  • Empowering Medicare to negotiate with drug companies to lower prices
  • Preventing drug companies from raising Medicare prices in excess of inflation
  • Setting a new cap for Medicare beneficiaries on annual out-of-pocket costs for drugs, plus a $35 monthly cap on insulin cost sharing
  • Providing more generous subsidies for health insurance marketplace coverage, thereby granting financial help to middle-class families facing high premiums and guaranteeing that lower-income people have a $0 premium plan option”

The Biden-Harris administration is working with providers and researchers to tackle women’s health disparities.

NBC News: “President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Monday aimed at expanding research on women’s health care, including strengthening data standards.

“The president is also expected to announce more than 20 new actions and commitments by federal agencies, including $200 million for research at the National Institutes of Health. The White House described the investments as a first step toward a ‘Fund on Women’s Health’ that Biden called on Congress to invest in during his State of the Union address this month.”

“The president is directing federal agencies ‘to integrate women’s health across the federal research portfolio,’ prioritizing investment in research and innovation through entities like the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health ARPA-H and the Small Business Innovation Research program, Klein said. The effort aims to galvanize research on women’s midlife health, including post-menopause diseases and conditions such as heart attacks, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis, and ‘to assess unmet needs to support women’s health research by identifying gaps in federal funding and requiring agencies to report on their progress in improving women’s health,’ she said.”

White House Fact Sheet: “President Biden Issues Executive Order and Announces New Actions to Advance Women’s Health Research and Innovation”

Axios: “Biden admin commits $100M for women’s health research”

White House Fact Sheet: “Deliver concrete recommendations to advance women’s health research. 

“Within 45 days, Initiative members will recommend concrete actions that the Biden-Harris Administration can take to improve how research on women’s health is conducted and maximize the Administration’s investments in women’s health research, including to address health disparities and inequities.”

Associated Press: “Jill Biden announces $100 million for ‘life-changing’ research and development into women’s health 

“Biden has said women don’t know enough about their health because the research historically has been underfunded and lacking. The White House initiative aims to change the approach to and increase funding for women’s health research.”

President Biden is holding greedy insurance companies accountable for attempting to undermine or reduce coverage guarantees.

Roll Call: “HHS will be reviewing and reconsidering policies that are antithetical to the purpose of coverage under the health law and Medicaid. 

“Those policies to be reviewed include any efforts to undermine protections for pre-existing health conditions or the individual market or that make receiving marketplace coverage harder or more expensive.

“A Biden White House official on Thursday stressed the importance of protecting access to Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor, and said CMS would be instructed to review any waivers that reduce coverage. This will likely include Medicaid waivers that some states have sought to add work requirements as a condition of Medicaid expansion coverage.”

Under President Biden’s leadership, the U.S. is making strides in protecting maternal health, including addressing racial disparities. 

NBC News: “In December, Vice President Kamala Harris hosted the first federal Maternal Health Day of Action at the White House, where she issued a call to improve health outcomes for parents and infants in the U.S. Months later, she is still using the vice presidential bully pulpit to push for policy and structural changes aimed at saving lives. 

“‘In our nation, we are looking at the fact that more women are facing death because of childbirth than in any other developed nation,’ Harris told journalists during a call on Thursday during Black Maternal Health Week. ‘We are looking at the likelihood that Black women are three times more likely to die in connection with childbirth, that Native women are twice as likely to die, that rural women are one and a half times more likely to die.’

“Black Maternal Health Week is an education and advocacy campaign founded and led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance that is observed each April. The White House officially recognized the designated week in 2021, and President Joe Biden issued a proclamation for it this year.”

Spectrum News: “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are working with 11 states, plus Washington, D.C., to expand postpartum coverage for new mothers to a full year after they give birth. Louisiana, Virginia, New Jersey and Illinois already offer such services to patients. The new states hoping to elongate postpartum healthcare coverage are California, the District of Columbia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

“Should the efforts be successful, up to 720,000 people could benefit from guaranteed Medicaid and  Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage for 12 months after birth. Typically, mothers are covered for a minimum of 60 days after birth.”

Trump was one vote away from repealing the Affordable Care Act and wants to terminate it in a second term.

New York Times: “Attention All Women: Trump Is Coming for Your Health Care” 

“In the middle of a catastrophic public health crisis, the Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act. This is dangerous for many reasons — but for women, it’s devastating. They would be stripped of the protections they have had in the decade since passage of the law, known as Obamacare.

“Before the law, insurance companies routinely discriminated against women. Those who didn’t work for employers that offered health coverage or who weren’t old enough or poor enough to qualify for Medicare or Medicaid struggled to buy health insurance in the private market, where insurance companies made all the rules.”

The Trump administration instituted a gag rule that halted funding for nearly 900 women’s health clinics, disproportionately affecting health care access for low-income women of color.

NBC News: “Nearly 900 women’s health clinics have lost federal funding over gag rule”

“The lack of funding could affect access to reproductive health services, including breast cancer screenings, HIV tests and birth control for over 8.7 million women living in 390 counties in the U.S.

“Paloma Zuleta, director of media relations at Power to Decide, told NBC that any changes in the way reproductive health clinics do business will mainly affect low-income women of color — defeating the purpose of the family planning program known as Title X, which was created to help low-income women.”

The Trump administration promoted insurance plans that wouldn’t even come close to covering women’s basic health care needs. 

Commonwealth Fund: “Trump Administration Promotes Coverage That Fails to Adequately Cover Women’s Key Health Care Needs”

“The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded women’s access to comprehensive coverage. Congress has failed to repeal the law, but the Trump administration is seeking to overturn it in a case before the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the administration has promoted coverage options that are exempt from the ACA’s consumer protections, including short-term plans and health care sharing ministries (HCSMs).”

KFF Health News: “A larger share of non-elderly adult women (30%) than men (24%) have declinable pre-existing conditions in 2018, unchanged from 2015.  We estimate that 23.7 million men have a pre-existing condition that would have left them uninsurable in the individual market pre-ACA, compared to 30.1 million women.”

Commonwealth Fund: “All 12 short-term plans we reviewed exclude or severely limit the four key health services:

  • At least six fail to cover all preventive services women with an ACA-compliant plan can obtain without cost sharing; five explicitly exclude contraceptive coverage.
  • All 12 exclude maternity care.
  • Nine exclude outpatient prescription drug coverage, including medications required to treat chronic conditions and some forms of contraception.
  • At least eight exclude mental health care or substance-use disorder treatment or both.”

Trump isn’t just waging war against American women’s health care — he’s also attempted to rip away family planning services in other countries.

Foreign Policy: “Trump’s War on the Concept of Women’s Health”

“The United States has joined with a group of authoritarian countries in opposing not just abortion, but also basic medical vocabulary that applies to women.”

The Independent: “Within the first 100 days of Mr Trump in office, his administration gutted funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which provides family planning and reproductive services to more than 150 countries globally.”

NBC News: “With the stroke of a pen, President Donald Trump reinstated a controversial rule that blocks foreign aid for family planning services. Known as the ‘Mexico City policy’ or the ‘Global Gag Rule,’ the policy bars foreign aid or federal funding for international programs that provide abortions — or even information about the procedure.”