With a ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act expected as early as tomorrow, ThinkProgress offers this map that shows the disparities by gender in health care coverage that will persist should the court overturn the law.
At least twenty-two states will not offer coverage of contraception to women on the same basis that is offered to men. In most other circumstances that practice is called gender discrimination, but in the health insurance industry it’s called profit- motive. Insurance companies will charge women more for a necessary service because they can, plain and simple.
But this is a reality that we must prepare for, even in the short-term. Republicans have made it clear they intend to protect the health insurance industry at all costs, even when that literally means the lives of Americans. Contraceptive coverage is not the only disparity we will see either–should the law fall we can expect a return to lifetime caps, pre-existing coverage discrimination and insurance companies forcing young people off their parents insurance regardless if they are employed or not.
Hopefully the court follows the jurisprudence and upholds the Affordable Care Act, but if it doesn’t, then progressives must work with other allies to pressure the insurance industry to keep these provisions while we work for another solution. We know the answer from the GOP: you are on your own and at the mercy of a for-profit health care system.
For the rest of us, that is simply not a sustainable option.
Photo from subewl via flickr.