Birth control: Trump expands opt-out for workplace insurance

Birth control: Trump expands opt-out for workplace insurance

Birth control: Trump expands opt-out for workplace insurance

The New York Times reported on Thursday that the Trump administration is planning to announce an extreme easing of the federal mandate that requires health insurance plans offered by employers to include birth control coverage.

According to senior officials with the Department of Health and Human Services, the goal of the new rule is to allow any company or nonprofit group to exclude the coverage for contraception if it has a religious or moral objection.

There is no way to satisfy all of the religious objections to the contraceptive coverage mandate, so "it is necessary and appropriate to provide the expanded exemptions", the Trump administration says in the new rules. He also said the new rule is open for comments for a 90-day period and will likely face legal challenges, which already began in a lawsuit filed October 6 by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of members of the ACLU and Service Employee International Union-United Health Care Workers West who say they are at risk of losing their contraception coverage because of where they work or attend school. "We thank President Trump for fulfilling a core promise to voters of faith and conscience who elected him".

That fight has been the focus of many court hearings around the nation, and already has been in the U.S. Supreme Court five times.

The Trump administration rescinded that regulation Friday.

The forthcoming roll-back could mean that hundreds of thousands of women who now don't have to pay for pills and devices could once again be asked to do so.

Catherine Glenn Foster, President and CEO of Americans United for Life said, "Millions of Americans want no part of an insurance system that subsidizes the destruction of innocent human life, and HHS's new interim regulation respects that principled stand".

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Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Medina) said in a statement that birth control is essential healthcare.

"I think what the Trump administration is trying to do is effectively gut the rule without repealing it, because repealing it would be so unpopular", Gretchen Borchelt, of the National Women's Law Center, told the Huffington Post.

The action by the Trump administration is nearly certain to spark fresh litigation.

The controversial mandate was at the heart of the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case when the religious employer argued that being required to provide birth control to their employees violated their religious freedom. "It not only allows women to plan and space their pregnancies in a way that is best for their health and their families, but also helps manage a variety of health conditions".

Birth control should be free, but instead the Trump administration is reportedly about to make it even harder for some women to obtain.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said he has been "vocal in his criticism of the Trump administration for systematically attempting to sabotage the Affordable Care Act". Prior to the ACA, 20 percent of American women of reproductive age paid out of pocket for oral contraceptives, which decreased to less than 4 percent a few years after it became the law. She hopes that local companies and insurers recognize the value of offering complete health care for women.

Americans will remain free to make their own decisions about, and purchase or find coverage for, the drugs and devices at issue in the mandate, and entities with objections will not be forced to be complicit in choices that would violate their religious or moral convictions.

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