Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, along with a group of Senate Democrats, today called on Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services Eric Hargan to rescind President Trump's interim final rules (IFRs) issued on October 13, 2017, enabling employers and universities to interfere with their employees' and students' access to preventive health care by allowing them to choose not to cover birth control for religious or moral reasons.
In the letter, the senators highlighted the enormous economic benefit of requiring health plans to cover preventive services, including birth control for women, without out-of-pocket costs.
"This requirement has helped 62.4 million women have coverage for birth control," the senators wrote. "As a result, they have been able to make decisions about their reproductive health care that strengthen their economic standing and allow them to decide if and when to start families. These IFRs also allow employers and insurance companies to once again discriminate against women by requiring them to pay more for the health care they need compared to their male counterparts."
The senators also noted that repealing the birth control mandate goes against the original intentions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which created explicit provisions to guarantee women access to preventive services.
"Congress specifically included the Women's Health Amendment in the ACA to ensure that the legislation would end the ‘punitive practices of insurances companies that charge women more and give [them] less in a benefit' by guaranteeing women access to preventive services," the senators continued. "The IFRs fail to recognize this clear congressional intent to place medical experts' recommendations over political ideology."
"Instead of reversing this significant progress for women - which it did without appropriate input from the public - the Trump Administration should reinstate the protections that allow women to control their own health care and economic security," the senators wrote.
A copy of the letter is available HERE.