Of all the hand-wringing about President-elect Donald Trump’s picks to lead federal agencies, one is sure to have devastating consequences for women in Louisiana.
U.S. Rep. Tom Price, nominated to head Health and Human Services, is dangerously out of touch with women’s health care needs and has supported numerous efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA); social safety net programs including Medicaid; access to comprehensive reproductive health care; and LGBTQ equality.
He recently said that that “not one” woman has experienced barriers in accessing contraception in the United States. In 2013, 324,300 women in Louisiana were in need of publicly supported contraception because of our state’s high rates of poverty and lack of insurance. Price supports dramatic cuts in funding to Medicaid, which provides 88 percent of family planning funding in Louisiana and Title X, which provides 8 percent.
Before Gov. John Bel Edwards expanded Medicaid under the ACA, one in five women in Louisiana were uninsured. Under Price’s leadership, the ACA would be dismantled, along with the health benefits it provides to women. This would jeopardize women’s health and economic security, and disproportionately affect low income women and women of color. Moreover, through his support of efforts to use religion to discriminate, Price has shown that he is determined to impose one religious view on everyone. Doing so would interfere in a woman’s personal decisions, threaten LGBTQ equality and safety, and erode individual religious liberty. NCJW believes that we all deserve dignity, fair treatment, and respect to make our own personal, faith-informed decisions about our health, family, and future — regardless s of income, gender, race, sexual orientation or any other factor. Price’s record shows he rejects these ideals. We reject him and urge Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy to do the same.
state policy advocacy chair, National Council of Jewish Women