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WASHINGTON, D.C.– Ahead of tomorrow’s vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters (LCV), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Green Latinos, Green For All, Safe Climate Campaign, Climate Reality Project, and Oil Change International sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mcconnell, Senate Minority Leader Schumer, and House Speaker Ryan and House Minority Leader Pelosi urging support of the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood.
“From declaring open season on our climate and environment to destroying the Affordable Care Act, it’s no secret that the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans are seeking to roll back vital protections that keep our families and communities healthy and safe,” said Melinda Pierce, the Sierra Club’s Senior Director, Federal Lobbying and Advocacy. “Undermining safeguards that protect our clean air, water and climate will only increase the number of people — especially women and children — who contract diseases and become sick. Sadly, Trump and Congressional Republicans are trying to make it more difficult and more costly for them to receive the care they need. By attacking environmental safeguards, the ACA, and Planned Parenthood, Trump and Congressional Republicans have made it clear where their priorities lie, and it’s not with the health and safety of American families.”
Preventative health services, covered in the Affordable Care Act and provided by Planned Parenthood, are key to ensuring families have access to safe and healthy environments. Preventive health services and increased access to insurance coverage are critical to promoting public health, especially in the low-income and frontline communities that often bear the brunt of environmental pollution.
“Once again, President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress will do anything to benefit corporate special interests, even if it endangers the health of our communities,” said Tiernan Sittenfeld, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the League of Conservation Voters. “The health impacts of industrial pollution, environmental disasters, and climate change are painfully clear, and repealing the Affordable Care Act and defunding Planned Parenthood would take this country in the wrong direction, further intensifying the health disparities already affecting so many of our communities.”
Low-income communities, communities of color and the women who live within them face a greater risk of getting sick, losing their livelihoods, living in poverty, and being displaced by extreme weather events. These communities are also the least likely to have affordable access to the healthcare they need to discover early warning signs of illnesses such as those caused or exacerbated by environmental factors and to get the treatments they need.
“The Republican effort to unravel health insurance will imperil millions of people,” said Scott Slesinger, legislative director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “And it would be especially harmful to those whose health is already threatened by pollution, many of whom live in impoverished communities.”
Of the government funding Planned Parenthood receives, roughly 75 percent represents Medicaid reimbursements to cover medical services for low-income patients. The rest is for Title X family planning services that are mainly claimed by low-income or minority individuals. Women, especially in low-income communities, rely on access to Planned Parenthood to receive the high-quality healthcare they deserve and Planned Parenthood’s services help to improve health outcomes. Living in safe and healthy communities includes the right to quality and affordable patient care. The Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood are essential to delivering that care.
The full text of the letter can be found here.