Week of 03/20/17: impact of the Republicans’ ACA repeal bill, #OHLeg updates, & a way that you can take action to support low-wage working women in Ohio

In this week’s update, we bring you a closer look at the impact of the Republicans’ ACA repeal bill, updates on legislation impacting women that is moving at the Ohio Statehouse, and a way that you can take action to support low-wage working women in Ohio.

The Republicans’ healthcare bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is scheduled for a vote in the US House of Representatives for tomorrow — on the 7th anniversary of the ACA!

In an attempt to secure votes ahead of Thursday, House leaders released a manager’s amendment with changes to the bill. The changes focus largely on further restrictions to the Medicaid program, tax-credit revisions, and changes to tax provisions.

Our analysis of the Republicans’ healthcare bill, known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA) shows that women and children would be the hardest hit by the GOP’s healthcare bill. Among the many harmful provisions of the bill, we found that:

Deep, permanent cuts to Medicaid and the elimination of Medicaid expansion would threaten coverage for the millions of low-income women and families, pregnant women, women with disabilities, and elderly women that depend on the program for coverage.

The House GOP bill would jeopardize the Essential Health Benefits (EHB) standard provided under the ACA, which has made groundbreaking advancements for women in healthcare such as guaranteed maternity coverage.

Women may be forced to pay out-of-pocket for mental health treatment or substance abuse services

Expanded restrictions on abortion coverage for both public and private insurance plans could potentially dismantle insurance coverage for abortion.

Blocking federal funds from Planned Parenthood and other health facilities providing abortion would deny access to preventative and primary care for millions, particularly low-income women, women of color, and women in rural areas.

TAKE ACTION: Call 866–426–2631 (or 877–736–7831 for Spanish) to be connected with your member of Congress. Tell them to vote ‘NO’ during tomorrow’s vote on the AHCA, a bill that would make healthcare coverage more expensive and leave more people uninsured.

Ohio Legislative Highlight of the Week:

Low-wage workers, two-thirds of which are women, are increasingly becoming subject to harmful “just-in-time” scheduling practices: receiving little advanced notice of schedules, being assigned shifts split throughout the day, getting sent home from a shift early without pay if business is slow, or being required to be “on-call” for shifts that may not result in paid work.

These practices make it difficult for many women to juggle their responsibilities at home and in the workplace. To address this issue in Ohio, Senator Skindell introduced fair scheduling legislation (SB 101) which would regulate certain employment and retention practices to provide predictive scheduling and improve workplace scheduling conditions.

#OHLeg Alerts:

We are tracking the progress of any state bills affecting women in the Ohio Legislature for the 132nd General Assembly. Here’s a quick overview of some key highlights from the last two weeks:

HB 1 — A bill that would extend domestic violence protections to victims of dating violence, received a first hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. The bill previously passed out of the House with a 92–2 vote.

HB 97 — Under current Ohio law, it is still legal to rape your spouse in certain circumstances. Legislation that would close marital rape loopholes in Ohio lawreceived a first hearing on Tuesday in the House Criminal Justice Committee.

SB 7 — Aiming to strengthen protection orders for victims of domestic violence, the House Criminal Justice Committee held a first hearing on the bill on Tuesday. The bill advanced out of the Senate earlier this month with a unanimous vote.

SB 35 — Ohio’s Earned Income Tax Credit benefits many low-income women and families. This bill aims to enhance the state EITC by removing the income cap and making the credit refundable beginning in 2017. The Senate Ways & Means Committee held a second hearing with all testimony today.

SB 96 — Receiving a first hearing on Tuesday, this bill would require additional eligibility checks for enrollees in Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — also known as SNAP or food stamps — despite one of the lowest error and fraud rates of any federal program.

SB 99 — This bill would prohibit new enrollees in Ohio’s Medicaid program under the expanded eligibility rules of the Affordable Care Act, if the Congress passes current proposals to reduce federal reimbursements. It received a first hearing in the Senate Health, Human Services, & Medicaid Committee on Tuesday afternoon.

We are also sharing timely legislative updates on these and other women-centric legislation on Twitter using the #OHLeg hashtag. Follow us to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at the Statehouse.

TAKE ACTION: Call your State Senator and urge them to support SB 101 — fair scheduling legislation. Then contact Senate President Obhof and ask him to assign the bill to committee and hold hearings.