Oregon had a backup plan to support women’s healthcare despite House of Republican’s healthcare agenda

Amantha Hood, For the Review

During President Donald J. Trump’s campaign, he made it clear that the Affordable Care Act was his priority to abolish. On March 6, the U.S. House Republicans publicized their plan to repeal the ACA, otherwise known as Obama Care. On March 24, House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled his ACA repeal before votes were casted. The following day, @realDonaldTrump tweeted, “ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!”

The state of Oregon planned ahead in order to challenge the Trump Administration’s agenda to appeal the ACA. Oregon lawmakers proposed House Bill 2232 on January 9, 2017. HB 2232 builds off the ACA, in order to maintain healthcare accessibility for women.  This bill expands on the ACA by offering abortions as well. HB 2232 also affirms no tolerance of discrimination in healthcare coverage. The proposal included reproductive health services, including birth control without co-payment, abortions and other amenities. While the healthcare system was under debate, 28 other states had plans to impose laws to cover contraceptives as well, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. Patricia Haddeland, Director of Linfield’s Student Health, Wellness and Counseling said, “The ACA covers immunizations.  In a college aged population, this means Human Papilloma Virus vaccine, Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis vaccine and Influenza vaccine; all of which prevent major and potentially life-threatening illnesses.”

NY Times said, the ACA improved access to preventive contraceptive measures for 30 million women, giving them access to co-pay free services. The U.S. Department of Health Services said that ACA lowered the abortion rates by 12-percent from 2011 to 2014. The CDC said during 2008-2012 abortions decreased by 31,698 per year. In contrast to statistics four-years prior, from 2003-2007 abortions increased by 248 per year.

In 2011 and 2012, the CDC reported abortions at a historic low. The CDC has researched and reported abortion data analysis since 1969. The highest abortion rates were in the 1980s. The CDC’s research requests data from 52 reporting areas, all of the states plus D.C. and NYC. Oregon Live said HB 2232 is sponsored by Oregon Rep. Jeff Barker, D-Aloha who advocates for women who cannot pay for these services. The Oregonian said secondary sponsor Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson proclaimed that Oregon has always initiated health services for women.

Monnes was referring to Oregon’s HB 2879, which allowed all of the state’s pharmacies to provide birth control and hormonal patches on demand to patients. In order for Oregon pharmacists to prescribe and provide the birth control, the patient must be 18 or older or with proof of prior prescriptions of birth control. HB 2879 became effective July 13, 2015.

Just a month prior, on June 11, 2015, HB 3343 became effective. It required insurers to cover 12-months worth birth control supplies, including the patch, ring or the pills. Oregon was the first state to pass this bill. Prior to HB 3343 women had to inconveniently get pharmaceutical refills every 30 to 90 days.

In the last few years, Oregon has been ahead of the game in supporting their women with healthcare, coverage and accessibility. According to the Oregon Legislative website, there are no scheduled committee meetings or floor sessions for HB 2232.

Dr. Dawn Graff-Haight, a Linfield Health Education professor said, “Even before the ACA, Oregon showed foresight by establishing the Oregon Health Plan, which provided access to medical care for uninsured Oregonians.” With many other women, Dr. Graff-Haight is pleased and applauds Oregon’s ability to ensure women’s reproductive rights.  She said, “Providing women with reproductive check-ups and access to contraception gives them control over so many other aspects of their lives.”

The Planned Parenthood Pro-Choice Coalition press release says they are in coalition with HB 2232, as well as these other organizations: American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, Family Forward Oregon, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, Oregon Latino Health Coalition, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon ad Western States.