Why Ivanka’s Postpartum Depression History Could Hurt Her If Obamacare Is Repealed

By Andrea González-Ramírez

First daughter Ivanka Trump revealed that she suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her children Arabella, 6; Joseph, 3; and Theodore, 1, during an interview aired Thursday.

“With each of my three children, I had some level of postpartum depression,” Trump said on The Dr. Oz Show. She added, “It was a very challenging, emotional time for me because I felt like I was not living up to my potential as a parent, or as an entrepreneur and executive. I had had such easy pregnancies that in some way, the juxtaposition hit me even harder.”

Postpartum depression impacts about one in nine women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But while it’s important that Trump is joining public figures who are speaking up about the issue, she’s also doing it at a time when Republicans are ramping up their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act with legislation that experts consider the worst for women’s health yet. And under said bill, Trump and other mothers who have suffered from postpartum depression could be deeply impacted.

The Graham-Cassidy bill would give states the power to loosen many ACA provisions — from the Medicaid expansion to Obamacare’s subsidies for private insurance. States could also potentially loosen protections on pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits.

Trump claims women’s issues are part of her White House portfolio. If this bill passes, many women who suffered from postpartum depression could be denied coverage or made to pay higher premiums because it could be considered a preexisting condition. Trump has the financial resources to pay for health insurance even if companies hike up the price, but millions of women across the country don’t have that luxury.

Family photo take #45 📸 Lots of fun tonight at the Congressional Picnic 🎠

A post shared by Ivanka Trump (@ivankatrump) on Jun 22, 2017 at 6:00pm PDT

And then there’s the issue of essential health benefits. Among them, we currently have maternity and newborn care, mental health services, and prescription drug coverage — all of which are crucial for new mothers, particularly those suffering from postpartum depression. But under the new Republican healthcare bill, states could allow insurers to pick and choose which benefits to cover. Experts estimate this would end up impacting about 13 million women nationwide.

The Graham-Cassidy bill could affect women in many other areas as well. Like the previous efforts to repeal Obamacare, the legislation would withhold federal funds from Planned Parenthood. That means low-income women wouldn’t be able to get their care at Planned Parenthood clinics. Since the Hyde Amendment already blocks federal funds from being used toward abortion procedures, these women wouldn’t have access to other services such as birth control and cancer screenings.

The Republican healthcare bill would also end the Medicaid expansion, which under Obamacare provided health insurance coverage for about 12 million Americans. Experts estimate that one in five women of reproductive age obtain their health insurance through Medicaid, and in total, women make up about 36% of the population that benefits from the program.

Even though the Republican healthcare bill is unlikely to harm Ivanka Trump if Congress passes it and her father signs it into law (as he has signaled he’ll do), it would have devastating consequences for millions of women. The first daughter has not spoken up in support of or against the bill yet. And during her appearance at The Dr. Oz Show she didn’t address the issue of healthcare. But if she doesn’t say anything at all before the bill is up to vote before September 30, it would not be the first time that she’s stuck to the sidelines as the Republican party threatens to hurt women’s access to healthcare.

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