Trump Administration Department of Justice stalls rather than defending birth control requirements included in the Affordable Care Act
(Washington, D.C.) – Today U. S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement after the Department of Justice declined in court filings to provide an update on ongoing litigation related to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control coverage measures, a move that suggests the Administration may be preparing to roll back this important protection as it works to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
“Let’s be clear: for women, having access to contraception isn’t something ‘extra,’ it’s an essential part of basic health care—so I’m very disappointed that this Administration is sending signals that it wants to return to the days when women could be charged out-of-pocket for birth control on top of their coverage. Millions of women nationwide are making clear that they don’t want their health care going backwards, because they know this isn’t about politics, it’s about their wellbeing and their economic security. I urge the Trump Administration to listen and stop undermining women’s access to health care—and I’m going to keep fighting until they do.”
The Affordable Care Act required that employers provide coverage of all FDA-approved forms of birth control without a copay, expanding access to affordable birth control to millions of women nationwide. In a confirmation hearing, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price refused to commit to upholding these requirements when questioned by Senator Murray. To date, 55 million women have benefited from the provision and according to one study saved $1.4 billion dollars.