Since 2011 the ACA has required that female contraception, as a critical preventative service, must be covered by insurers without co-pay. This “contraceptive mandate” has extended affordable birth control to millions of Americans: today 55 million Americans benefit from coverage of preventive services, including birth control, with no out-of-pocket costs, saving Americans billions of dollars per year.
The existing coverage mandate gives exemptions to certain organizations that object to birth control for religious reasons, including houses of worship, certain religiously affiliated hospitals and universities, and ‘closely held’ private companies (recall the ‘Hobby Lobby’ Supreme Court case of 2014). Despite these accommodations, the Trump Administration is pushing further exemptions to the contraceptive mandate. The Office of Management and Budget is reviewing an “Interim Final Rule” entitled “Coverage of Certain Preventative Services under the Affordable Care Act” which goes much further in providing exemptions to the mandate. The draft rule makes the exemption available to *all* employers, including large, publicly-traded, for-profit companies, on the basis of religious beliefs or “moral convictions.” It makes the mandate optional for religiously affiliated organizations, and it creates an exemption for health insurance companies that have religious or moral objections to providing birth control.
This broad expansion of the exemption is in line with the Trump Administration’s record of seeking to roll back women’s healthcare and rights by undermining access to critical, affordable birth control. If this Interim Final Rule is published by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the exemptions will immediately go into effect.
CALL Office of Budget and Management, Mick Mulvaney +1 202-395-3080
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m calling from Springfield.
I’d like to leave a message for [Secretary Price / Director Mulvaney]
I’m calling to express my objection to the Interim Rule “Coverage of Certain Preventative Services under the Affordable Care Act.” This broad expansion of exemptions to the contraception mandate will erode access to preventative healthcare for millions of Americans. Any plan to publish this new rule should be abandoned, or at the very least, allow for a period of public comment.
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