04.30.2010 0

Obama’s War on Women – ObamaCare (Part I)

  • On: 05/25/2010 23:28:06
  • In: Health Care
  • By Rebekah Rast

    Women were one of Barack Obama’s greatest supporters in his 2008 election victory. In fact, 79 percent of single women, including separated, divorced and widowed women, voted for him.

    Tugging at issues that are important to women during his campaign, like pay equality between men and women and health care for children, Obama did a good job at targeting a very specific and powerful demographic.

    Now that he is president, is Obama working towards these issues and keeping his policies honest to women? Some would say no. And when looking closely at specific legislation it is easy to see why.

    When the government decided to take over health care, provisions in ObamaCare along with federally-suggested health care criteria have the potential to negatively affect women of all ages and in all stages of life.

    One such area, which is of big concern to all women, is cancer. American Cancer Society has strongly recommended that women start receiving yearly mammograms at the age of 40. The organization has seen the number of deaths related to breast cancer drop dramatically since women have started testing earlier.

    A special group thinks otherwise. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force states that women should not have a mammogram until they are 50 years old, and have one every two years until they are 74.

    In a statement in a CNN Health article from Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, Brawley points out that “with its new recommendations, the [task force] is essentially telling women that mammography at age 40 to 49 saves lives; just not enough of them.”

    Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women. In 2009, the American Cancer Society found 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer and there were 40,170 deaths from breast cancer. Mammograms have been effective at finding cancer in women in their 40s, and because of early detection, many lives have been saved.

    Yet, as a cost cutting measure, California has already adopted these new recommendations that threaten women’s health and other states are also reducing cancer screening services.

    So much for preventative care.

    Another way women are harmed by current policies is through the healthcare legislation.

    A damaging provision tucked inside ObamaCare could possibly deter firms from hiring single mothers or low-income women. Under Section 4980H., Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage in the healthcare law, the law states that if even one employee of a firm cannot afford the employer insurance option, thereby needing government subsidies, and if the employer does not cover insurance comparable to government-set “minimum essential coverage” then that firm will face vast financial penalties. What does this mean?

    It means firms will not want to hire low-income workers who are eligible to receive government subsidies or those who need more expensive family coverage — disproportionately hurting single mothers — because the firm doesn’t want to have to pay up.

    “ObamaCare hurts the very people this Administration says it wants to help,” says Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). “With this provision even more single mothers will be unable to find jobs and more children will be left without health care.”

    ObamaCare not only affects single mothers, but women-owned small businesses as well.

    The new healthcare bill includes a tax that could be detrimental to a small group of business owners: tanning salon owners. The law requires that tanning salons pay an additional 10 percent tax, and guess who owns about two-thirds of all the tanning salons in the U.S.? That’s right — middle class women — so much for your promise to not tax the middle class, Obama.

    Joseph Levy, vice president of the International Smart Tan Network, said in a CNN Money article that this tax will also close tanning salons, further hurting these small business owning women. He estimates 9,000 jobs are in jeopardy and more than 1,000 salons are at risk of being forced to close their doors.

    The negative impact of Obama’s policies on women’s health care only scrapes the surface when it comes to issues affecting women today. Scott Rasmussen’s latest research shows that women are reevaluating their support for Obama with his approval rating down to 48% and only 28% of this critical electoral group calling themselves “strongly favorable.”

    As the Obama Administration continues to create barriers for women through higher taxes and increased regulations, he risks further eroding women’s support — whether it is a single working mother barely making ends meet, or a successful entrepreneur trying to grow a business.

    Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to ALG News Bureau.

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