Trump Admin Poised to Limit Obamacare's Birth Control Mandate

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Oct 06, 2017 8:25 AM
Trump Admin Poised to Limit Obamacare's Birth Control Mandate

The Trump administration is set to roll back the federal requirement that employers include birth control in their employees’ health insurance plans, according to The New York Times—changes that could take place as early as Friday.

The new rules argue that the Affordable Cart Act does not mandate coverage of birth control, which could mean hundreds of thousands of women would no longer have access to the contraceptive without a copay. 

The action, according to a Republican briefed Thursday on the regulation, will allow a much broader group of employers and insurers to exempt themselves from covering contraceptives such as birth control pills on religious or moral grounds. It represents the latest twist in a seesawing legal and ideological fight that has surrounded this aspect of the 2010 health-care law nearly from the start.

The rule change, first reported by the New York Times, will be among the recent moves by President Trump to dismantle initiatives enacted under the Obama administration. It will fulfill a crucial promise Trump made as a candidate to appeal to social conservatives and in May when he signed an executive order in the Rose Garden to expand religious liberty. (WaPo)

One of the new rules, according to the Times, provides an exemption to employers or insurers that object to covering birth control “based on its sincerely held religious beliefs,” while another rule gives an exemption to employers with “moral convictions” against covering birth control. 

The new rules state that since all religious objections to the contraceptive coverage mandate cannot be satisfied, “it is necessary and appropriate to provide the expanded exemptions.”

“Application of the mandate to entities with sincerely held religious objections to it does not serve a compelling governmental interest,” it says.

The Trump administration also notes that there are other means of acquiring birth control.

“The government,” it says, “already engages in dozens of programs that subsidize contraception for the low-income women” who are most at risk of unplanned pregnancies.