Federal Rules Attack Access to Contraception
by WREN Staff on Nov 21, 2017
We must challenge policies and executive orders that take away critical reproductive health coverage or weaken our healthcare system.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) helped to close gaps in access to care by increasing the number of people with insurance and advancing protections for the services that people need. The ACA also expanded the availability of services that help women to plan their families and have healthy pregnancies when they are ready. This includes eliminating the co-pay for contraception to make sure that financial barriers do not push birth control out of reach and help people to avoid unintended pregnancies. Unfortunately, as the administration keeps up their relentless attacks on the ACA, they are also working to undermine the ability to get affordable contraception.
Earlier this fall they released new rules around coverage for contraception that would allow more employers to opt out of covering birth control as a preventive benefit based on their personal beliefs. The public is overwhelmingly opposed to allowing refusals that prevent people from obtaining the care they need. It is unacceptable that someone’s boss would get to decide what kind of coverage they get and which services or supplies they can afford.
These shortsighted rules are made that much worse by an executive order that the president signed that alters the insurance market to allow small businesses and potentially individuals to buy a long-disputed type of health insurance that would skirt state regulations and Affordable Care Act protections.
This move could drive up the costs of healthcare, particularly for people facing chronic health conditions. It is a win for insurers to be able to sell unregulated plans across state lines without upholding any of the most basic principles around how insurance should be provided and withholding protections for pre-existing conditions or ensuring non-discrimination.
There are huge gains that the ACA provided that the president is attempting to take away with the click of a pen, but you can do something about it!
- TAKE ACTION: There is a history of providing a comment period for these types of rules. Right now, comments are being accepted until December 5th. Do not delay! To make things easy, the Women’s Equality Center created an online portal for comments that go directly to the Federal Register. The portal includes a draft comment people can edit or rewrite, or you can write their own. The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) has a similar comments portal with a sample comment and the ability to customize.
We cannot be silent as policies are created that would allow our boss or a politician to make personal decisions about our bodies, our families and our futures.