Feminists appear to be getting their Christmas wish. Obamacare isn’t even fully implemented, yet an overwhelming amount of privately-insured women are now obtaining oral contraceptive pills for $0 out of pocket.
A newly released study from the Guttmacher Institute details the rapid changes. Researchers took data from a survey of women aged 18-39 and compared their responses in fall 2012 to spring 2013 when Obamacare’s contraception coverage requirement took effect.
As shown by the graph, the amount of women obtaining birth control pills and vaginal rings with no out-of-pocket costs has already increased by 25 and 29 points, respectively.
“That the benefits for pill and ring users have accrued so rapidly is remarkable, showing that the contraceptive coverage guarantee is meeting a real demand," says Adam Sonfield, senior public policy associate at Guttmacher and study co-author. "And the ACA's impact is certain to grow significantly as its protections, including for contraceptive coverage without out-of-pocket costs, are phased in across the country. The number of covered workers enrolled in 'grandfathered' plans—existing plans given a temporary reprieve from many of the ACA's new rules—has been declining rapidly, as Congress intended, from 48 percent in 2012 to 36 percent in 2013."
This sharp increase may be stymied, however, by the Supreme Court, who is deciding whether or not employers can deny contraception coverage to their workers because of their religious beliefs. While Guttmacher laments this possible ruling as “unfortunate,” I tend to side with pro-life writer Ann Scheidler, who argues the lawsuit is merely “challenging the government’s right to force the employer to pay for a woman’s birth control in her employer-provided health insurance. No one is telling women that they can’t walk down to the corner Walgreens and buy whatever birth control they want.”
Why should an employer be forced to pay for their employees’ contraception, especially if doing so would violate his or her conscience?
This graph should alarm anyone who cares about religious liberty.