SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Watch View Alerts

Trump administration weakens Obamacare birth control coverage mandate

The ...

Posted: Nov 8, 2018 9:13 AM
Updated: Nov 8, 2018 9:13 AM

The Trump administration issued two final rules on Wednesday providing employers more flexibility with exemptions to deny women insurance coverage for birth control.

Under the Affordable Care Act, employer-provided health insurance plans are required to cover birth control as a preventive service.

Contraception

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Health and medical

Politics

Sexual and reproductive health

US federal government

White House

Belief, religion and spirituality

Demographic groups

Donald Trump

Females (demographic group)

Labor and employment

Political Figures - US

Population and demographics

Society

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Health care

Health care policy and law

Health care reform

Health insurance

Insurance

Law and legal system

Obamacare

Political platforms and issues

Charities and charitable giving

Now, the US Department of Health and Human Services has issued a final rule providing exemption from the contraceptive coverage mandate to entities that object to such coverage based on religious beliefs. The second final rule provides exemption to nonprofit organizations and small businesses that may have non-religious moral convictions to such coverage.

These rules finalize interim rules that were issued last year and take effect 60 days after their publication in the Federal Register, according to the agency.

"The religious and moral exemptions provided by these rules also apply to institutions of education, issuers, and individuals. The Departments are not extending the moral exemption to publicly traded businesses, or either exemption to government entities," the agency said in a news release Wednesday.

Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the nonprofit National Women's Law Center, issued a statement Wednesday in response to the Trump administration finalizing the birth control rules.

"The Trump Administration decided to finalize these outrageous rules, despite several pending lawsuits and two federal courts blocking them," Graves said.

"It's clear that this Administration will stop at nothing to attack women's health care. By taking away access to no-cost birth control coverage, these rules try to give a license to virtually any employer, university, or health insurance provider to discriminate," she said. "But if the Administration thinks it can move these rules forward without a fight, they're wrong. Countless women depend on this critical birth control coverage for their health and economic stability -- and we will continue to fiercely defend them."

The conservative group Alliance Defending Freedom released a statement from Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor in response to the rules on Wednesday.

"The beliefs that inspire Christian colleges and universities, as well as groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor, to serve their communities should be protected," Baylor said. "Through these regulations, President Trump kept his promise that people of faith wouldn't be bullied on his watch. At the same time, contraceptives will remain readily available to those who wish to use them."

Clare Coleman, president and CEO of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, a national organization representing publicly funded family planning providers and administrators, said in a statement Wednesday that the rules "could leave millions of women without access to birth control and reverse some of the important public health progress made under the Affordable Care Act in recent years," she said. "Family planning has been designated one of top ten public health achievements of the 21st century. It is baffling that the administration would support any policy that could diminish access to this essential preventive care."

In October 2017, the Trump administration issued two interim final rules providing an exemption for those who had religious or moral objections to such coverage, while seeking public comment on the rules.

In 2017, Health and Human Services officials said the rule would have no impact on "99.9% of women" in the United States. It based that percentage on the 165 million women in America, many of whom are not in their childbearing years.

The agency calculated that, at most, 120,000 women would be affected: mainly those who work at the roughly 200 entities that have been involved in 50 or so lawsuits over birth control coverage.

Policy experts, however, argued that this could open the door to hundreds of employers dropping coverage.

For instance, there are hundreds of Catholic hospitals, nursing homes and nonprofits that may want to stop providing contraceptives, said Tim Jost, emeritus professor at the Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Experts pointed out last year that many women use birth control for more than pregnancy prevention, including treatment of hormonal imbalances and endometriosis.

"There is no way to know how many women will be affected," said Alina Salganicoff, director of women's health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on health policy research and communications.

West Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 96°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 89°
Rensselaer
Mostly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 81°
Fowler
Partly Cloudy
88° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 96°
Williamsport
Partly Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 89°
Crawfordsville
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 88°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 88°
Delphi
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 86°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 86°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 84°
Severe weather risk, then brief, but substantial cool-down...
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751242

Reported Deaths: 13795
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1032931788
Lake556911009
Allen41692692
St. Joseph36990565
Hamilton36588417
Elkhart29398461
Tippecanoe22901226
Vanderburgh22556400
Porter19356325
Johnson18471389
Hendricks17682317
Clark13226195
Madison13149344
Vigo12614253
LaPorte12419221
Monroe12207176
Delaware10966198
Howard10321225
Kosciusko9630121
Hancock8576146
Bartholomew8169157
Warrick7860156
Floyd7811180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6966103
Morgan6761141
Dubois6218118
Marshall6209116
Cass6016110
Henry5900110
Dearborn589878
Noble581488
Jackson509076
Shelby501496
Lawrence4742122
Gibson444894
Clinton442355
Harrison441875
DeKalb439885
Montgomery438090
Whitley406543
Huntington402681
Steuben400159
Miami395269
Jasper388054
Knox375991
Putnam372960
Wabash361983
Ripley347170
Adams345555
Jefferson335886
White331953
Daviess3033100
Wells295281
Decatur289992
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273072
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246036
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228058
Fountain220948
Sullivan214643
Owen211858
Fulton202942
Jay200932
Carroll193620
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion174844
Franklin170335
Tipton166246
Parke149416
Pike138234
Blackford136232
Pulaski120647
Newton113936
Brown104243
Crawford102516
Benton101714
Martin91715
Warren84015
Switzerland8148
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0420

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events