The Trump Administration’s interim final rules will make it easier for companies to interfere in their employees’ health care choices and force women to pay more for an essential part of their health care.
In a statement to The Seattle Lesbian, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands wrote: “With this rule, the Trump administration is taking direct aim at birth control coverage for more than 3.7 million women in Washington state. Under this rule, any employer could decide that their employees no longer have health insurance coverage for birth control. Birth control is not controversial – it’s basic health care the vast majority of women will use in the course of their lifetime. We’re talking about a fundamental right – to be able to decide whether and when you want to have children.”
Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) said, “Birth control is essential healthcare, plain and simple. Not only does it help women plan their families, also used by thousands of women to treat serious medical conditions, like endometriosis and ovarian cysts. Denying women medically necessary health care based on ideology is unjustifiable and wrong.”
DelBene added, “In the last five years, 55 million women have received access to birth control at no cost, saving them as much as $50 a month. We cannot roll back the progress we’ve made. But that’s exactly what President Trump’s proposed rule does. It would allow virtually anyone – including employers, schools and insurance companies – to deny women coverage for the healthcare they need.”
DelBene referenced the divisive move to deprive women of contraception coverage an “unacceptable intrusion into our personal medical decisions, jeopardizing our health and our economic wellbeing. Unfortunately, President Trump doesn’t seem to understand that. Women deserve better.”
As one of the leaders of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, DelBene works to protect and advance women’s access to reproductive healthcare and their constitutionally protected rights.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate health committee, called the decision “wrong and outrageous.”
“President Trump wants to make birth control about ideology, but let’s be clear: for women and their families in the 21st century, birth control is about being healthy and financially secure – and allowing a woman’s employer to decide whether or not it’s part of her coverage not only takes women backward, but takes hundreds of dollars out of their bank accounts,” Murray said, adding: “I will be pushing every Republican who claims to care about women’s health and economic security to join me in fighting back.”
The sweeping move by Trump to target women’s access to birth control confirms concerns first brought up by Sen. Murray to OMB Director Mulvaney in May 2017.
The interim final rules issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) follow President Trump’s Executive Order issued in May directing the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services to “consider amending regulations” that, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), require insurance plans to provide no-cost coverage of critical preventive services, including birth control.
Earlier this year, Sen. Murray introduced the Save Women’s Preventive Services Act with strong support from Senate Democrats to protect women’s preventive health care from further attacks by the Trump Administration.