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Obamacare’s ‘War on Women’



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The final days of this election are coming down to two issues, it seems: (1) the ground game, which this Atlantic article suggests is a heavy advantage for the president; and (2) the quest for undecided female voters, and the purported ‘War on Women’ that affects them. I have a post up this week at Forbes describing how the real war on women is being waged by Obamacare. Here are the key points:

Medicaid. Medicaid is already a mess. Three-fifths of all Americans enrolled in Medicaid are women. Obamacare’s reckless expansion of this program places additional strains on the ability of states to serve their existing Medicaid population.

Female entrepreneurs. Women are expected to create a majority of new small-business jobs in the years to come; the number of businesses owned by women nearly doubled from 1987 to 2007. Obamacare hammers small businesses with additional taxes and the employer mandate requiring all businesses with 50 full-time workers or more to provide government-approved health insurance to their employees.

Women in service-industry jobs. Nine of ten women in the U.S. work in the service sector; i.e., non-industrial and non-industrial work. It’s hourly-wage service-sector businesses, such as retail and dining, that are most likely to pare back hourly work so as to avoid the Obamacare mandates. Darden Restaurants, the company that owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster, is restricting some of its hourly workers to 29-hour work weeks in order to avoid the Obamacare employer mandate, which counts 30-hour work weeks as full-time.

Breast cancer survival. Prior to Obamacare, the U.S. led the developed world in health outcomes for women with breast cancer. 84 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer had a chance of surviving for five years in the United States, according to a 2008 study published in The Lancet. Only 70 percent of British patients lived that long. Unfortunately, Obamacare throws 11–17 million more people onto Medicaid, whose cancer outcomes are far worse than those of private insurance. Studies show that a significant number of people who qualify for Medicaid expansions previously had private insurance, meaning that the quality of their care goes down.

More details at the blog.

— Avik Roy is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the author of The Apothecary, the Forbes blog on health-care and entitlement reform. He is a member of Mitt Romney’s Health Care Policy Advisory Group. You can follow him on Twitter at @aviksaroy.



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