Healthcare: This administration has a case pending in federal court right now to repeal the Affordable Care Act. On June 25, 2020, the Trump Administration through the Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This case is expected to go before the Supreme Court in the spring of 2021. A Republican Congress has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than 60 times. Losing this legislation will affect women. There will be loss of access to birth control; maternal and newborn care, mammograms and vaccinations. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, for-profit insurance companies enacted polices with lifetime coverage caps and coverage exclusions for pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies could also return to the practice of charging women more than men for the same or less coverage.
Social Security: Women represent 55.6 percent of Social Security beneficiaries ages 62 to older and 65 percent of beneficiaries ages 85 and older. Without Social Security, 9 million more women would live in poverty. Conservatives have fought to cut Social Security and/or to privatize it. Payroll tax cuts and payroll tax deferrals also threaten Social Security by eliminating its funding. In August 2020, Trump signed an Executive Order giving workers a break from paying payroll taxes. Social Security estimates that if were to become a permanent change, the program’s funds would be depleted in 2023.
Child Care: Single parents are overwhelmingly women. For two parent households during the epidemic, 33% report that at least one partner has either left the workforce or dropped down to part-time. Of the parents giving up their work, 70% were women. For single parents, women faced with closed schools and day care facilities have also lost their jobs, forcing them onto public assistance. Two bills in the House would provide needed funds to keep child care centers and schools open. The current bill is the Child Care is Essential Act, a $50 billion grant to pay for personnel, training, sanitation and other costs with re-opening and running child care and after school care during the pandemic. The House also passed the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act which provides grants to improve child care facilities and to social services to provide care for essential workers. These bills acknowledge that business cannot go on as usual if the needs of working parents are not met. While both parties have similar bills, the Democrat-led House bills provide more funding than the the Republican-sponsored legislation.