In 2010, Representative Nancy Pelosi famously said about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that, "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what's in it." More than half a year into its implementation, American women are finding out that along with their now "free" birth control, the 20,000 pages of regulations includes countless mandates that are making healthcare less affordable, less accessible and less personal for women.
It's an ironic outcome, of course, since women were supposed to be one of the primary beneficiaries of this new entitlement. Obamacare's intrusions into the patient-doctor relationship are especially paradoxical. Controversial procedures like abortion have long been defended on the basis that "healthcare" is about a special and private relationship between a woman and her doctor. However, now under Obamacare and its mandates and regulations, women are learning that they need to figure out how they fit in the patient-doctor-bureaucrat relationship. Thanks to narrower networks, cancelled plans and more red tape, women are seeing for themselves how Obamacare is forcing their physicians to jump through unnecessary hoops to treat them. And for the millions of women who were forced to give up their plans, the new healthcare law meant many would lose their doctor. After having been promised by the President himself that they could keep their doctor, is it any surprise that 48 percent of women have an unfavorable view of Obamacare?
The biggest and most important claim the ACA promised was to lower healthcare costs, but it hasn't. Instead, higher premiums – and especially deductibles – have increased anxiety and uncertainty for women. Since women have more frequent doctor visits than men over the course of a year, they are disproportionately hurt by Obamacare's higher deductibles. They are also the biggest victims of the many negative effects Obamacare is having on the economy and the labor market. With women making up a full 57 percent of all part-time workers, they're being hit harder by the impact of small businesses cutting both hours and employees in order to avoid the snares of the Obamacare law. With less take-home pay for groceries, gas, rent and other necessities, their children are inevitably feeling the pinch too.
Sadly, the negative impact of Obamacare extends beyond a woman's prime working years and into her golden years. It's no secret that women live longer than men, but thanks to Obamacare's cuts to home healthcare reimbursements, more of them will soon be prematurely forced out of the comfort of their homes and into nursing homes. This is especially true for women living in rural America, where the population tends to be older and poorer and where the local home healthcare business is operating at smaller margins. Obamacare regulations are having a detrimental economic impact on the home healthcare industry, and thanks to the ACA, an alarming number of them are in danger of shuttering, forcing too many elderly women to lose this critical service. What's more, these cuts threaten the jobs of over 1.2 million Americans who work in the home health industry, 90% of which are women.
As it turns out, Nancy Pelosi was right. The impact of a 950+page federally centralized healthcare law cannot be fully appreciated until it has passed. After eight months of being in full effect, women now know that Obamacare was sold on promises that have been broken – and they are being disproportionately hurt by this fact. As health care costs and deductibles continue to rise along with federal intrusion in their doctor's offices, the polls are reflecting their frustration and millions are deciding that even with much touted "free" birth control, Obamacare cost women too much.
Rachel Campos-Duffy is the National Spokesperson for The LIBRE Initiative. She is a parenting expert, author, blogger, political pundit and television personality.
(This article was originally published on The Huffington Post)