Statement of Stacey D. Stewart, President, March of Dimes on House Passage of the American Health Care Act

May 4, 2017

The March of Dimes released the following statement from President Stacey D. Stewart following House passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA):

“The March of Dimes is profoundly disappointed in today’s House passage of the American Health Care Act, a bill expected to eliminate health insurance coverage for 24 million Americans, including millions of women, children and families. 

“The American Health Care Act fails to serve the needs of pregnant women, mothers, and babies across our nation.  The March of Dimes estimates 6.5 million low-income women of childbearing age will lose coverage, denying them the ability to get healthy before they get pregnant.  Classifying pregnancy as a pre-existing condition – and charging exorbitant rates for maternity benefits -- would effectively put medical care out of reach for millions of women at a time when they need it most.  Many Americans could find that their health plans are specifically written to exclude the care they are most likely to need.  This is not the solution to our health system’s challenges that women and families are asking for.

“The American Health Care Act fails to protect too many Americans:  pregnant women, couples considering starting a family, and infants born preterm or with birth defects, among many others.  With House passage of this bill, the responsibility now falls to the Senate to take a more measured, evidence-informed approach.  Senators should solicit the meaningful input of stakeholders across the entire health care system and use that expertise to develop a plan with targeted solutions to the specific problems identified.  The March of Dimes looks forward to working with Senators on both sides of the aisle to develop a proposal that will ensure quality, affordable health coverage for all Americans.”