Gov. Wolf talks women’s health care in Malvern – Daily Local News

WILLISTOWN Gov. Tom Wolf came to Greentree Park in Malvern Thursday to call on preserving the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and protecting womens health care.

He was joined by state Rep. Kristine Howard, D-167th, of Malvern, state Sen. Tim Kearney, D-26th, of Swarthmore, and Kathryn Kolbert, a reproductive rights attorney.

The officials discussed the coverage and protections the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, provides for women, and said it is important to preserve the ACA to protect the health and safety of Pennsylvanians.

Wolf said that under the ACA, preventive care is available to women free of charge, including annual mammograms and well-woman visits, birth control and breastfeeding support. Additionally, women are protected from being charged more simply for being women, or for becoming pregnant.

My administration has consistently pushed for improvements in womens health care, Wolf said. Those improvements support the gains in free preventive care and the protections for pre-existing conditions that the ACA provides. That gives women needed control over their own health, but that control and access to affordable coverage for many Pennsylvanians is in jeopardy right now.

Kolbert spoke about the threat to women's health care with the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Kolbert argued before the Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey which has been credited with saving Roe v. Wade.

The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court will place in jeopardy both the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade, denying millions of American women access to safe and affordable health care, said Kolbert. Senator (Pat) Toomey, the women of Pennsylvania will remember if you forsake women's health in this political power grab. Let the voters decide whether President Trump or President Biden will select the next Supreme Court Justice.

"Historically women's health has been treated as secondary to men's with less spending on research," said Wolf.

Wolf said health outcomes for women of color are worse than those for white women. They are more likely to be hospitalized due to asthma, diabetes, and COPD compared to white women, and more likely to give birth to a stillborn baby than white women. In 2018, Black women were five times more likely to be living with chronic Hepatitis B compared to white women.

A radical change to the United States Supreme Court could lead to the end of the Affordable Care Act and the legal precedent of Roe v. Wade, said Howard. We have a responsibility to protect the thousands of Pennsylvanians who would lose their health care and the women who would lose their right to make their own choices in matters of reproductive health.

The Trump Administration is in federal court trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act and rip away health coverage from millions of people, Kearney said. More than 5 million people in Pennsylvania who have pre-existing conditions will see their premiums increase dramatically or lose their coverage altogether. Especially during a global pandemic, we should be strengthening the ACA to reduce costs and expand coverage. We need to fight back because lives hang in the balance.

About 30 people watched the event which was held in the park. A few attendees held up signs supporting Democratic candidates, while others were police officers and public officials.

I wanted to see how many people were here, said Richard Lee, a Willistown resident who sat in his car videoing the event. It wasnt promoted, I just heard about it this morning.

Two men who were not there in support of the event occasionally heckled the governor.

Open the schools, yelled Jim Ward of King of Prussia who complained to a reporter that schools in Upper Merion are still closed. The other gentleman did not give his name but also criticized Wolf with calls to open schools.

At the end of the event, Wolf took a few questions and pointed out that while the pandemic has become contentious with limits on businesses the state is no longer shut down. He said schools reopening in-person are a local decision. Wolf said people need to stay safe and minimize the spread of the virus.

Weve got to make sure that were being reasonable and realistic in how we do things, Wolf said. Im doing everything I can listening to folks and continue to change.

He also noted the White House Coronavirus Task Force official Dr. Debra Birx has given the state high marks for doing the right thing in reopening while keeping residents safe.

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Gov. Wolf talks women's health care in Malvern - Daily Local News

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