Press Release |

Tax bill puts politics ahead of Americans’ basic security and well-being

Ahead of Congress voting on the tax bill that would chip away at access to health care and threaten the economic security of Americans, Board Chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health Dr. Willie Parker issued the following statement:

“It is unsurprising but nevertheless appalling that Congress has chosen to close out a year of legislative attacks on the health and well-being of everyday Americans with this shameless tax bill.

I am disheartened by our elected representatives’ eagerness to put politics ahead of the basic security of all Americans.

“When our legislators treat governing as a game of hoarding resources for themselves and the wealthy few, they ignore the real-life and potentially deadly consequences of their actions. Among the many repercussions of this bill that will increase inequality in this country, there are several in particular that deeply concern me as a physician. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate will result in 13 million people losing their insurance coverage and dramatic increases in premiums. It will lay the groundwork for drastic cuts for Medicaid and Medicare and will plunder future generations’ well-being. For my patients who are already struggling to get by, this bill will remove critical components of their safety net. The ability to get health care affects patients’ economic security, the stability of their families, and their capacity to thrive.

“I am disheartened by our elected representatives’ eagerness to put politics ahead of the basic security of all Americans. I am afraid for the harm this bill will cause to my patients. The costs won’t be merely fiscal. People without health coverage are often sicker, suffer more, and their care will be more expensive. They deserve better than to have their health traded away for political gain.”

Board Chair Willie J. Parker, MD, MPH, MSc is a reproductive justice advocate who travels as an abortion provider in Alabama and Georgia. He also was recently honored by the United Nations Office of Human Rights as one of 12 Women’s Human Rights Defenders on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women. He is also a recipient of Planned Parenthood’s 2015 Margaret Sanger Award.

Dr. Parker joined the Physicians for Reproductive Health board in November 2007 and is the current Chair.