Statement on the Threat to Essential Health Benefits
We at 1,000 Days are profoundly troubled by reports that the leadership of the U.S House of Representatives is working to take away the guaranteed health benefits that are critical to ensuring healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. As part of the American Health Care Act, (a.k.a.“TrumpCare”), many in the White House and Congress want to take away the “essential health benefit” requirement which covers pregnancy and maternity services, childbirth and newborn and pediatric care, and they are rushing this to a vote at any cost. This is dangerous and irresponsible.
Without comprehensive coverage for maternity care, childbirth and pediatric services, a woman and her baby are put at greater risk for serious health problems including low birthweight, preterm birth, and even death. Moreover, when moms and babies don’t have adequate health care, we all pay the price. Pre-term births alone are estimated to cost the U.S. $26 billion per year in medical and social services costs and lost wages and economic productivity.
Ensuring that women have the health coverage they need to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies should be a non-negotiable. Maternity care, childbirth and pediatric services must remain essential health benefits and must be required to be covered by all health insurance plans in the U.S.
We urge Congress to strongly reject the American Health Care Act which will force many hard-working families to pay more money for lower quality insurance and endanger the wellbeing of mothers and young children throughout America.