US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Harkin: Supreme Court Decision Will Limit Access to Critical Preventive Care for Everyday Working Americans

Monday, June 30, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

“Providing consumers with access to preventive care services with no cost-sharing was a top priority for me in crafting the Affordable Care Act.  This coverage empowers Americans to make the health care decisions that are best for them and their families. For men and women alike, decisions about medical care and personal health, including birth control, should be made in consultation with their doctor, not their employer.

“Contraception is essential health care. Ninety-nine percent of women— our sisters, daughters, friends, colleagues, and neighbors—will use some form of birth control in their lifetime, and strong majorities of Americans support the notion that women should be able to make their reproductive care decisions without interference from their employer.

“I disagree strongly with today’s Supreme Court’s decision, which will limit access to critical preventive care for everyday working people in Iowa and around the country. I am heartened, however, that the Court’s narrow decision would not extend to other guaranteed health benefits from the Affordable Care Act such as blood transfusions and vaccinations.

“While the Supreme Court has ruled, this fight is far from over. Along with my colleagues in Congress, I am deeply committed to ensuring that all Americans—men and women alike—can get the health coverage they need, and we will be exploring legislative remedies to ensure that affordable contraceptive coverage remains available and accessible.”

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