The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday June 29th

Trump administration raises health care concerns among women

<p>Amid legislative efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, some students are considering how a Trump administration might change the health care landscape &mdash; including access to contraceptive measures like IUDs.</p>
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Amid legislative efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, some students are considering how a Trump administration might change the health care landscape — including access to contraceptive measures like IUDs.

Jonathan Oberlander, a UNC professor in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, said the details of the ACA repeal are unclear.

“We’re at the beginning of the end of the Affordable Care Act,” he said. “Certainly they’ll repeal major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, but when they do that, exactly what they do and what they replace it with, we don’t know.”

Oberlander said that women’s health care rights are vulnerable in the wake of an ACA repeal.

“The ACA has protections that are important to women’s health, and those protections are certainly vulnerable, and some of them are likely to be repealed,” Oberlander said.

UNC sophomore Carley West recently began paying for her own insurance, and she said she wasn’t sure if her plan would change under the Trump administration — so she switched from birth control to an IUD.

“I wasn’t sure if my policy would pay for my birth control, and I was afraid of how the election might affect my ability to get access to the pills,” West said in a Facebook message.

Ken Pittman, director of UNC Campus Health Services, said the ACA repeal will not affect its offerings, but might change what services are covered by insurance plans.

He said the best thing students can do is familiarize themselves with their insurance coverage.

Jamie Ramos, a UNC sophomore, said she is concerned about how her coverage might shift. Medicaid is the only reason she can afford her current birth control.

Ramos said when she went to campus health and explained her situation, her doctor wasn’t concerned by the ACA repeals’ effect on her coverage and recommended against switching to an IUD.

“I’m going to have to go to a doctor off campus and hope that they are more willing to listen to my concerns, and switch me over,” Ramos said.

She said the reality of a Trump administration and potential health impacts has not quite set in yet.

“I’m just thinking, ‘what could he possibly be signing right now that’s going to affect me,’ and I’m not getting any form of say in this.”

Defunding Planned Parenthood, a resource outside of the campus system, has been a goal for some Republican legislators.

Sarah Eldred, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, said millions of women would be affected by a loss in funding.

“When politicians try to play with real people’s health by denying patients access to the healthcare they need, they suffer real consequences,” Eldred said in an email. “In 2016 alone, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic in North Carolina served over 25,000 patients, most of whom rely on the funding we receive to be able to afford this basic health care.”

“No matter what we may see in a Trump administration, Planned Parenthood is prepared to fight,” she said.

Oberlander said Gov. Roy Cooper should aim to fill the gap that will be left by an ACA repeal, though a divided legislature might add difficulty.

He said the House and Senate Republicans will begin passing federal legislation to repeal some major parts of the ACA, but not all of it.

But he added that Republican Party members disagree on how an ACA replacement plan should look.

“It’s easier for them to repeal than to replace,” Oberlander said. “What replace looks like and when that happens is a big question, and we simply don’t know the answer.”

@charlie_anneh

state@dailytarheel.com



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