Bleeding Green: On the Socioeconomic Polity of Women's Healthcare
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In March of 2017, House Republicans shook the nation by proposing the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as a supposed alternative to President Obama’s highly controversial Affordable Care Act (ACA). Citing Obamacare as a costly, restrictive program, House Republicans fought against the majority of its central aims, many of which had proven beneficial to American women. While Obamacare expanded women’s coverage through Medicaid, Planned Parenthood, and “essential health mandates” the AHCA withdrew federal funding from such programs while eliminating the requirements that guaranteed women’s access to basic primary, preventative, and reproductive care (including maternity and newborn care). Though the AHCA was ultimately pulled before being put to the vote, its implications still reverberate throughout the nation: women are scared for their rights and scared for a future in which their health care needs are ignored. The unfortunate reality, however, is that the AHCA is not novel in its marginalization of women and their needs. By examining history, we can see that modern events are merely an extension of underlying issues that persist within an inherently exploitive framework. With modern issues in mind, this paper interests itself in three primary endeavors: discerning the factors that continuously undermine women’s relationship with the system, examining the failure of efforts to address these factors, and suggesting ways to remedy these issues going forwards. By mapping women’s healthcare over time and with both social and financial lenses, I will demonstrate that our nation needs to reform its ideological attitudes before undertaking procedural and structural reforms.