NEW—Senate Dems Introduce Urgent Legislation to Safeguard Key Women’s Preventive Health Care Services from Administration Attacks on Birth Control Mandate
The Save Women’s Preventive Care Act would help shield preventive health care services—cancer screenings, birth control, domestic violence screenings, and more—from attacks by Trump Administration
Senators say legislation is urgently needed, especially in light of political attacks on women’s health and rights by President Trump, Congressional Republicans
(Washington, D.C.) – Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jon Tester (D-MT), and 44 other Senate Democrats today introduced new legislation, the Save Women’s Preventive Care Act, to ensure that coverage for preventive health care services, like breast cancer screenings, birth control, and domestic violence screenings, can’t be revised or rolled back by the Trump Administration. Today, 55 million women nationwide have access to birth control, screening and counseling for domestic violence, breast cancer screening, and other essential health care without any out-of-pocket costs due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“It’s clear that President Trump and House Republicans will stop at nothing to enact their deeply harmful, anti-women agenda,” said Senator Murray. “Democrats are going to do everything we can here in the Senate to fight back against today’s attacks on women’s health and rights—and we are going to stand strong for the preventive health care services like birth control and breast cancer screenings that are essential to women’s health care.”
“Today, Senate Democrats are taking a stand to protect women’s access to basic preventive healthcare, including the birth control of their choice, breastfeeding support and services, and cancer screenings,” said Senator Blumenthal. “Our bill would protect against efforts by the Trump White House to advance their anti-woman agenda – exemplified by a new Executive Order signed today that threatens women’s affordable access to birth control.”
“Without this bill, the Administration has the ability to take health care away from women and allow health insurance companies to charge women for basic preventive care,” said Senator Tester. “This bill is an example of folks working together to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, and ensure that families in Montana and across this country have access to quality health care.”
The Save Women’s Preventive Care Act is supported by the following organizations: Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, Academy of Women’s Health, American Association of Birth Center, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Medical Student Association, American Nurses Association, American Psychological Association, American Public Health Association, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, March of Dimes, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, National Coalition of STD Directors, National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Society of Gynecologic Oncology, and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
Fact sheet—Save Women’s Preventive Care Act
About the Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines
The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) helps make preventive care affordable and accessible to all Americans by requiring health plans to cover certain preventive services without cost-sharing—meaning insurers can no longer charge patients a co-pay, coinsurance, or deductible for those highly effective services.
During debate on the ACA, the Senate added a provision to ensure that women have access to additional preventive services that are necessary to address their unique health needs. The ACA directed the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to enumerate the comprehensive set of women’s preventive services that should be covered without cost-sharing. The resulting HRSA guidelines ensure that women can receive comprehensive preventive care services.
To develop the original 2011 guidelines, HRSA commissioned a study by the National Academies of Medicine (NAM, formerly the Institute of Medicine) and leading experts on women’s health care regarding what preventive services best support women’s health and well-being. HRSA adopted the 2011 NAM recommendations in the original Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines. In 2016, HRSA awarded a cooperative agreement to a coalition of expert academic, clinician, and other organizations to update the Guidelines to better reflect best clinical practice and advances in science.
The Save Women’s Preventive Care Act Overview
The Save Women’s Preventive Care Act codifies the December 2016 update to the ACA’s Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines issued by HRSA and related guidance on implementation of the coverage requirements. The legislation guarantees women continued access to these key services without cost-sharing. Once signed into the law, the Save Women’s Preventive Care Act would prevent the Trump Administration from revising or rolling back parts of the Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines.
The bill also codifies the HHS birth control accommodation as of January 1, 2017, which allows women in certain jobs to continue to benefit from the ACA’s birth control provision without requiring their religiously-affiliated employer to provide or pay for it.
The following preventive services will be guaranteed by this bill:
- Lactation support and counseling
- Screening and counseling for domestic violence
- Screening for gestational diabetes
- HPV DNA testing
- Counseling on STIs
- Counseling and screening for HIV
- All contraception methods approved by the FDA
- Breast cancer screening
- Well Woman visits
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