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The ramifications of recent health policy actions for cardiovascular care of women: Progress, threats, and opportunities.

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Women's health and well-being are shaped by a combination of healthcare policies that impact the type of health insurance coverage they benefit from, as well as access to preventive, screening, and treatment services. Furthermore, more distal policies, such as those that pertain to housing, education, and employment, as well as social determinants of health, such as issues of socioeconomic status and women's status in society, also impact their cardiac health. Before the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, women were at greater risk of facing barriers to coverage, reflecting gender rating and the higher likelihood of the existence of preexisting health conditions such as a previous pregnancy. The ACA made substantial progress in responding to women's health needs by expanding the numbers of low-income groups eligible for Medicaid (for the 32 states and Washington, DC that expanded the program) and other subsidized healthcare, as well as access to preventive health services. Although health reform efforts to eliminate the ACA failed in 2016, the administration and Congress are using a variety of channels, including the new Tax Cuts and Job Act, to implement policies such as the elimination of the individual insurance mandate, as well as the elimination of premium subsidies, that will likely impact women differentially, potentially undoing the progress that has been achieved over the past decade.

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