– (As seen in The Trentonian)
Recent threats by President Trump to once again strip the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which provides healthcare to millions of Americans and over 900,000 children and adults in New Jersey, exacerbates the disparities in healthcare for women, especially women of color.
Losing access to affordable health insurance undermines the very strides we are making in NJ to reduce the mortality rates for women and infants. The Medicaid program is a primary insurance used by many women for better access to prenatal services, screenings, medications and mental health services. Any change to ACA destabilizes this critical federal government program and has life-threatening, irreparable damages.
A critical component to combating the disparities in maternal health, where African American women have the highest maternal mortality rates, is access to services and professionals to deliver care. The Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid to make sure that a reimbursement source covers the cost of services for women and their families.
I will continue to do my part in partnership with the Legislature to bring awareness to this issue, and fight for those precious matching dollars that the federal government owes to support the health of women in our state and throughout the country.
Healthcare is not a luxury but a right for all.
— Shavonda Sumter, Assembly representative for the 35th Legislative District encompassing parts of Bergen and Passaic counties.