So often in the last ten months the phrase “if you are not at the table then you are probably on the menu” has inspired advocacy. That phrase has more truth as the impact of the signed Executive Order details were released last week. The Women’s Recovery Center is fully engaged on the front lines of this opioid crisis that has had deadly consequences for too many women and families. In Cuyahoga County alone, the death toll is expected to continue to increase throughout the remainder of this year. For women with addiction as part of their medical history, the pre-existing condition executive order could increase their monthly premium making health care unaffordable and inaccessible. In 2019, it is estimated that 18 million Americans will be unable to afford or to access health insurance.
Women’s health was on the menu. Insurance companies no longer have an obligation to offer coverage for maternity care. Furthermore, the United States Congress has not yet reauthorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This program is vital for low income children and pregnant women to access health care.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In the Center’s efforts to deepen the understanding and to support survivors in regaining control over their lives, access to health insurance can be negatively impacted. Was the victim hospitalized? Does she have any lingering physical trauma or perhaps was referred for behavioral health or counseling. These are conditions that will be required to be disclosed and the result could be a significant increase to premiums.
October also is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Yesterday, there was a sea of pink and the emotional stories of survivors. In watching this moving celebration of life, I was also troubled knowing that this Executive Order will also have a negative impact on women to access treatment and requirements to disclose their cancer diagnosis.
There is a quote attributed in Al-Anon materials that states “if you do not want to be a doormat then get off the floor.” The Call to Action is that our elected officials deserve to be informed of the results of their actions. Share the effect of health care policy and changes for your family. Click here to learn more and make a difference in your community.