Trump administration rolls back birth control coverage under ACA
- Author: Joey Payne Oct 07, 2017,
Oct 07, 2017, 0:32
The new policies announced by the Trump administration would exempt employers from covering birth control if they have "moral convictions" or "seriously held religious beliefs" " that conflict with providing contraceptives.
"I can't imagine that many employers are going to be willing to certify that they have a moral objection to standard birth control methods", said Dan Mendelson, president of the consulting firm Avalere Health.
"Application of the mandate to entities with sincerely held religious objections to it does not serve a compelling governmental interest", the Trump administration said in a statement.
Legal challenges to the change in rules have already begun, including with a lawsuit filed Friday by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The action by the Trump administration is nearly certain to spark fresh litigation.
The Trump administration argues that women have affordable contraceptive options should employers drop coverage, and that several government programs provide free or subsidized contraception for low-income women, including Title X family planning grants.
With some women who lose the ACA's contraceptive coverage, "it means choosing between preventive care like contraceptives and paying their rent, their mortgage, electric bill", said Mara Gandal-Powers, senior counsel at the National Women's Law Center.
Trump has long spoken about his plans to fight the Obama-era requirement that, according to Planned Parenthood, has helped 55 million women, including 17 million Latinas and 15 million African-Americans, gain access to birth control without copay.
Now, exemptions to the mandate are available to any nongovernmental employer, including owners of publicly traded companies.
"Contraception is an essential component of health care", Davis said in a Friday press release. Both of these measures would reportedly go into effect as soon as they are published by the office of Federal Registrar. A number of religiously affiliated schools have filed lawsuits challenging the mandate. About 55 million women have directly benefited from no-cost birth control, according to an Obama administration report released previous year.
"You don't need nuns to give out contraceptives", he said, noting that until Obamacare's rules were implemented, about 2011 or so, "nobody would have thought the right way to get contraceptives to people would have been to get nuns involved".
"There is no way to know how many women will be affected", said Alina Salganicoff, director of women's health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on health policy research and communications.
In May, Trump signed a decree on religious liberty ordering his administration to take account of objections of conscience on matters of contraception.
Dr. Haywood L. Brown, the president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told the Times that the rules would "turn back the clock on women's health".