Dem. Senator BLASTS Mitch McConnell For Excluding Women From Panel Drafting New Senate Health Plan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced who he has selected to take on crafting the Senate version of the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), but Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is having none of it and blasted McConnell for not putting any of the female senators in the group.

Feinstein expressed her extreme displeasure with the decision to exclude women from this important panel on Meet the Press. She told Andrea Mitchell,

“I don’t know what the 13 white men, when you have five Republican women who are excluded from that, that these 13 men are supposed to sit down and put something together.”

One main problem with leaving women off of this key panel is that as passed by the House, the ACHA drastically changed the way pre-existing conditions are treated. Under the Affordable Care Act, premiums could not be raised nor could coverage be denied to people with pre-existing health issues. While many of these problems can affect men and women, such as depression and acne, some only apply to women. For example, pregnancy and problems with menstruation can be considered pre-existing conditions under the House bill.

Feinstein noted that women’s health care has to be considered when they draft the Senate bill. As for responses to the House bill, The American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and the National Physicians Alliance have all come out against the ACHA.  Feinstein added,

“Women’s health is a big part of this, and women are a majority of the population and their health interests deserve to be contemplated in any reform. I’m really very worried that in the rush to judgment, we create a major healthcare problem for people. And we lose a lot of jobs in so doing and we create a whole atmosphere of unpredictability.”

For an idea of what they may now consider pre-existing conditions, this is just the short list of what might force someone to pay more under Trump’s plan, as passed by the House. By making it legal to charge people more for having these problems, they may not be officially barring them from getting insurance but they will make it too expensive for people to afford it.

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  1. Acne
  2. Acromegaly
  3. AIDS or ARC
  4. Alzheimer’s Disease
  5. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  6. Anemia (Aplastic, Cooley’s, Hemolytic, Mediterranean or Sickle Cell)
  7. Anxiety
  8. Aortic or Mitral Valve Stenosis
  9. Arteriosclerosis
  10. Arteritis
  11. Asbestosis
  12. Asthma
  13. Bipolar disease
  14. Cancer
  15. Cardiomyopathy
  16. Cerebral Palsy (infantile)
  17. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  18. Cirrhosis of the Liver
  19. Coagulation Defects
  20. Congestive Heart Failure
  21. Cystic Fibrosis
  22. Demyelinating Disease
  23. Depression
  24. Dermatomyositis
  25. Diabetes
  26. Dialysis
  27. Esophageal Varicosities
  28. Friedreich’s Ataxia
  29. Hepatitis (Type B, C or Chronic)
  30. Menstrual irregularities
  31. Multiple Sclerosis
  32. Muscular Dystrophy
  33. Myasthenia Gravis
  34. Obesity
  35. Organ transplants
  36. Paraplegia
  37. Parkinson’s Disease
  38. Polycythemia Vera
  39. Pregnancy
  40. Psoriatic Arthritis
  41. Pulmonary Fibrosis
  42. Renal Failure
  43. Sarcoidosis
  44. Scleroderma
  45. Sex reassignment
  46. Sjogren’s Syndrome
  47. Sleep apnea
  48. Transsexualism
  49. Tuberculosis

This list is not complete, but you get the gist. Barring women from any discussions relating to this new draft for the Senate is absolutely absurd and it’s just one more reason why we have to keep resisting — they can’t be allowed to pass this bill without every voice being heard. Call your senators now before it’s too late!


Featured image via Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.