I oppose the Trump Administration rules, released October 6, that limit women’s access to contraception as a part of their preventative care through the ACA. Contraception IS a basic, preventive health care that every woman should be able to access, regardless of her economic status. Birth control has had such a dramatic positive impact on women and families in this country that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named it one of the top ten public health achievements of the past century. Please continue to allow insurance to cover contraceptives as part of preventative care.
TAKE ACTION by making a public comment before Dec. 5, 2017, on the two rules issued by Trump on October 6. These rules allow employers to limit access to contraception in their preventative insurance coverage. One rule allows exemptions to coverage on moral grounds and the other rule allows exemptions on religious grounds.
Read the rules on the Federal Register:
- Moral Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act
- Religious Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act
Relationship to Environmental Issues
The recently published book “Drawdown” by Paul Hawken offers a vetted list of the 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming. Family Planning is #7 on this list. (Find this book at the San Jose Public Library, IndieBound, Amazon.)
A controversy arose after the Obama administration decided birth control was part of the preventive care that insurers must cover under the ACA. When that mandate was initially implemented in August 2012, it required all health insurance offered by employers to cover at least one of the 18 forms of birth control approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Since then, savings on the birth control pill have accounted for more than half of the drop in all out-of-pocket prescription drug spending, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Since 2012, limited exceptions and accommodations have been carved out for houses of worship, nonprofits with religious affiliations and closely held for-profit companies. Such employers have been able to opt out of providing the contraceptive coverage and instead have their insurance company pay for it by notifying the insurer, a third-party administrator or the federal government.
On October 6, 2017, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury, released two interim final rules addressing religious and moral objections to the coverage of contraceptives under the preventive services requirement of the ACA, as well as accommodations for those objections. The interim final rules are effective October 6, but the administration will accept comments on the rule until December 5, 2017
The rules depart dramatically from the position the Obama administration took on the contraceptives issue. The Obama administration asserted a compelling governmental interest in women having seamless access to contraceptives, without cost sharing, through the insurance plans that otherwise covered their health care.
The Trump administration rule, in a 180-degree reversal, declares that the government has no compelling interest in women having access to contraceptives through employers that object to provision of such coverage for religious or moral reasons. Therefore, any non-governmental organization that objects for religious or moral reasons to providing contraceptive coverage for its employees or students should not have to do so.
Estimates vary widely about how many women will be affected by these rulings.