President-Elect Trump has nominated Representative Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon representing the 6th district of Georgia, to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services. If price is confirmed as hhs secretary, Americans will need paid family and medical leave and paid sick days more than ever. Why? Well…
You’ll Need Paid Sick Days: Because You Won’t Have Preventative Care!
Having insurance allows people to afford more preventative care, which has proven to keep patients healthier in the long term. Unfortunately, Price has fought hard to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), under which 20 million Americans have found insurance – according to the Department of Health and Human Services… of which Price would be the head. Without insurance, more people will get sick and need time off. So if Congress is going to confirm Rep. Price, then they better get busy working on a paid sick days plan.
You’ll Need Paid Family Leave: To Take Care of the Baby!
Price was asked in 2012 what would happen to women who were able to afford birth control only under the Affordable Care Act. Price told the reporter, “Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one.” Of course, Price is wrong; prior to mandating that insurance cover birth control, many women were, in fact, unable to afford it. In 2010, before the mandate took effect, Planned Parenthood found that one in three women struggled with the cost of birth control. The same survey found that three out of four Americans supported the mandate, which Price stridently opposes, claiming it infringes on religious liberties. Unfortunately for the 2.5 million people who rely on services from Planned Parenthood each year, Price also supports cutting funding for Planned Parenthood and opposes access to abortion.
Since the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that – shockingly! – unintended pregnancy rates are highest among those least able to afford birth control, those of us who are not independently wealthy should fight for better paid family and medical leave. We’ll need it when our lack of access to birth control results in a child we need to stay home and take care of – ready or not.
You’ll Need Paid Time To Care: To Manage Your Pre-Existing Condition!
Price wants to do away with the language in the ACA that compels insurance companies to cover those with pre-existing conditions. Have asthma? Ever had cancer? Fighting a long-term immune disorder? You’ll need paid time off to manage your health; whether you come down with the common cold or that pre-existing condition acts up, you won’t be covered by insurance if you want to see a doctor.
You’ll Need Paid Leave and Paid Sick Days: When You Can’t Afford the Medication You Need to Get Well!
Like many of the President-Elect’s nominees, Price has conflicts of interest that don’t bode well for the American people. He’s invested in as many as 40 pharmaceutical and drug companies, including one that gave him what was widely referred to as a “sweetheart deal” in the hopes that his investment would lead him to help the company as they moved into the very expensive US pharmaceuticals market. Deals like this keep drug prices high; a wealthy few benefit while the majority of Americans struggle to afford the medication they need. While Price has said he will divest, we’ll need to see it to believe it. Meanwhile, you’ll be going to work without the medication you need.
You’ll Need Paid Time To Care: Because Your Family Members Won’t Have Health Insurance!
The ACA currently prohibits insurers from charging their oldest clients more than three times as much as their youngest; this helps keep insurance affordable for aging Americans, who usually need health care the most. Under Price, older enrollees would be subject to the whims of the free market, with no upper limits on how much insurers could charge them for coverage. Between that and rolling back Medicare and Medicaid provisions, many poor and elderly people will likely be unable to afford care, forcing them to rely on family members when they become ill. Right now, the United States guarantees twelve unpaid weeks off for such serious emergencies under the Family and Medical Leave Act (and only for some employees–many people don’t qualify). (). We’re going to need paid leave to support those we love under a new system that clearly cares a lot more about profits than it does about people.
Here’s our suggestion: while Congress works to pass Paid Family and Medical Leave and Paid Sick Days policies, they should not confirm Rep Tom Price. Clearly, he is bad for America’s health and since the majority of Americans don’t have access to paid family leave (86 percent of us to be exact) and many of us don’t get paid sick days (40 percent of us) we simply can’t afford Price’s “leadership” at the nation’s top healthcare policy agency.