January 20th is coming, Republicans are trying to get rid of Obamacare, and it's time to buckle the f*ck up.
Last week, House Republicans led by Speaker Paul "Reek" Ryan confirmed a plan to strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funding as part of the GOP's plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
This could happen as early as next month.
When the effects will kick in, however, isn't so clear.
Now this isn't the first time Republicans have tried to put out a bill that takes away PP's funding in it's 100 year history. In 2015, they introduced a similar bill but guess who vetoed it? That's right! Everyone's favorite president: Barack Freakin' Obama.
But 2016 crapped out a whole new kind of POTUS and guess what?
He is expected to sign the GOP's bill into law, which would repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood is probably f*cked, realistically, but it's worth it to note that repealing the Affordable Care Act could have unpredictable consequences. Repeal, remember, does not necessarily mean replace.
There probably will be a replacement, at one point, since no specific timeline has been provided, but the details of this "bigger, better" replacement are pretty vague. Vague, which here, means non-existent.
Sure, we'd like to believe the President Elect and Ryan's promises to not just leave millions of Americans (a good percentage of their voters, in fact) out in the cold, but well, it would be naive to not consider this outcome.
But wait: What is Obamacare and why should I give a f*ck?
Obamacare, not sure if you know this, was not named Obamacare by Obams himself. That was a snarky trigger add-on the Republicans threw into the mix because they hated it so much convinced that you would to if you were unable to make the distinction between the man and the law.
The Affordable Care Act, as it's actually called, was designed to encourage reform on the part of insurance companies who were basically running unchecked, raising rates, denying coverage for pre-existing coverage, and being overall shady characters.
The idea was to make affordable health insurance available to more people lowering the overall costs for household incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.
Translation: Really broke people. Think of the people so many don't believe deserve a livable wage for fast food service. Of course, those same people are generally people that also believe people who can't afford healthcare shouldn't just be given healthcare.
But that also goes for adults with the mission to "Expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 138% of the federal poverty level. (Not all states have expanded their Medicaid programs.)
Another major move was allowing people under 26 years old (um, US, you guys) to remain on their parents' healthcare, even if you're financially independent, married, not even living with your parents, or your job offers you a plan.
On that note, if your job does offer you a plan, and you work less than 30 hours a week, repealing Obamacare would mean that companies with at least 50 employees are no longer required to hook you up.
If you somehow don't know how important this is, walk around asking kids fresh out of college how many of them have landed jobs with full benefits, and you should get a little snapshot of how royally f*cked some of us may be.
Basically, the ACA—in every iteration—is jam-packed with noble causes that make sense. If you know nothing about it, and only know it by its now-toxic associations, look into it. Don't be an ass.
But let's talk about women, specifically, as there are deeply impactful changes (for the worse, btw) that will happen if the ACA is repealed and Republicans succeed in completely defunding Planned Parenthood.
Beginning under Obamacare, private insurance companies began offering a number of birth control methods and preventive services without co-pays.
Chances are, you might not remember a time when you couldn't waltz out of CVS with your cute, little generic B.C. pill pack completely free. Ditto for the depo shot and NuvaRing.
Nobody here is a doctor, just a disclaimer, but there's a reason that droves of women are flocking to their GYNs for IUDs, which can keep you baby free from 3- 10 years. You can literally have birth control placed to outlive Trump's term (....or 2. Who knows, we don't trust y'all anymore).
Also, quickly, if you've got an IUD, but not a consistent sexual partner, you've still gotta WRAP THAT SH*T UP, ladies. Preventive services like HIV and STI screenings might not be so accessible anymore.
Now let's move onto Planned Parenthood, which has been around for a century, and for some reason, it's still okay for people to be completely uneducated on what's going on behind their bulletproof glass doors.
If you've never been to Planned Parenthood, or you don't know someone who has, let me talk to you a little bit about it.
First off: you DO know someone who has been to Planned Parenthood!
It's me! I've been! Congratulations! And there are many other women (AND MEN) that go for safe, affordable healthcare.
Next up: it's not just about abortions.
Of course PP provides abortion services to those in need (but actually, abortions account for only 3 percent of PP's services).
You can also have your gynecological exam, STI/STD tests, obtain birth control, like an IUD insertion, and more performed at PP for low to NO cost. Yeah, I was amazed at how affordable PP was, and how friendly and warm the staff were.
Sounds like a pretty groovy place right?
And if you're thinking, "But how do they keep it so affordable!? Crooked!" wait one moment whilst I clench my fists and direct your attention to this chart:
If you hate charts, I understand you on a spiritual level.
Let's talk turkey: If PP loses its federal funding, Medicaid will actually go UP. Taxpayers (that's just about everyone except for our dear tweeter) will pay more for services like those offered at Planned Parenthood, but will no longer be affordable at Planned Parenthood!
We can take away affordable healthcare options for those in need, but we can't taken away the NEED for these options. If we lose affordable access to birth control, people don't suddenly stop having sex! DIRRRRRR!
All together now:
Healthcare is not a privilege. It is a right. Donald Trump, Paul Ryan & Co. have made it clear that they believe that access to affordable healthcare is optional; a perk for the wealthy. And it's not going to stop there.
If this bill becomes law, expect one more civil rights violation after another because that is exactly what this is. A violation of civil rights– without question.
When you deny a human being access to the care they need, even if it could save their life, you are telling that person that you view them as less than human. Full stop.[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]