A woman does not have the right to contraceptive care under the ACA; not in so many words, at least. What the law states is that insurers and employers must cover preventive services for women, and that can be open to interpretation, according to STAT.
President Trump last Friday issued an executive order that loosens the regulatory restrictions of the ACA. Just how that will play out depends on how the Department of Health and Human Services interprets that order. That doesn’t give much hope to contraceptive access proponents seeing that the nominee to head that department, Rep. Tom Price, has been trying to undo Obamacare since the law was passed, as well as being an outspoken opponent of the current interpretation about contraceptive coverage.
Some religious organizations have sued the federal government over how the current interpretation of the ACA makes contraceptive coverage mandatory. They claim that it infringes on religious freedom.
Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, tells STAT that Trump’s executive order “seems to send a clear signal that regulations should be scaled back, which could very well effect what benefits insurers are required to provide, including contraceptives.”
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington asked Price at a Senate hearing last week: “Will you commit to ensuring all 18 FDA-approved methods of contraception continue to be covered so that women do not have to go back to paying extra costs for birth control?”
According to STAT, Price did not directly answer the question. “What I will commit to and assure is that women—and all Americans need to know—that we believe strongly that every single American ought to have access to the kind of coverage and care that they desire and want. That’s our commitment and that runs across the board.”