In a statement celebrating Women’s Health Week, President Donald Trump on Sunday called on improving health care access for “quality prenatal, maternal, and newborn care,” in addition to ensuring paid family leave for both mothers and fathers.
“Ensuring affordable, accessible, and quality health care is critical to improving women’s health and ensuring that it fits their priorities at any stage of life,” Trump said in his statement, issued on Mother’s Day.
“Under the current health-care system, however, the lack of choice in health insurance and in health-care providers, along with skyrocketing premium and out-of-pocket costs, are failing our citizens, our families, and, in particular, our women.”
In addition, Trump said: “Women are living longer, healthier lives than their mothers.”
“The number of women dying from heart disease and cancer — the top two killers of women in America — has been decreasing for decades,” he continued in the statement. “Thanks to new breast cancer treatments, our health care professionals have saved lives and improved the quality of life for millions of women. We must continue to foster an environment that rewards these needed advances in research.”
The president said he is committed to working with Congress on behalf of paid family leave for mothers and fathers, and to “invest in the comprehensive care that women receive at community health centers.”
“Through these reforms, and my 2018 Presidential Budget, we will enable access to the critical health-care services women need,” the president said.
Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, has been an advocate for affordable child care and paid family leave and has reportedly tried to build support for it within her father’s administration. Speaking in Aston, Pennsylvania, during the fall campaign, he touted a plan, widely believed to have been crafted by Ivanka, that would guarantee paid maternity leave and bolster other types of child care. “We need working mothers to be fairly compensated for their work, and to have access to affordable, quality child care for their kids,” he said on Sept. 13.
During his address to Congress in February, the president highlighted both issues as having bipartisan appeal.
The president’s statement comes as the Senate is working on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. Current legislation, however, may not be easily reconciled with the goals he stated Sunday.
Under the House bill that was passed last month, the American Health Care Act, funding for Medicaid, which covers approximately 40 percent of pregnancies, would be slashed. In addition, federal funds for Planned Parenthood would be cut for a year. The bill would also prohibit the use of federal tax credits to buy insurance that includes coverage of abortion.
States would also be allowed under the legislation to seek waivers of provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require insurers to cover maternity care.