October 18, 2017

Van Hollen, Democrats Push to Block Trump Administration’s Roll Back of Birth Control Mandate

Today, Senator Van Hollen joined Senate and House Democrats introduced the Protect Access to Birth Control Act, legislation to rescind the Trump Administration's interim final rules issued on October 6 that allow companies to interfere in their employees' health care choices and force women to pay more for an essential part of their health care. If enacted, the Protect Access to Birth Control Act would ensure President Trump's rules have no force or effect, safeguarding women's continued access to contraceptive coverage.

"Through the Affordable Care Act, we made huge progress in increasing access to birth control. With the stroke of a pen, President Trump undid that progress," said Senator Van Hollen. "President Trump has turned back the clock to a time when a woman's boss can decide whether or not she has health insurance that covers birth control. With this move, the Administration took direct aim at health care access for 62 million women. We must fight back. Access to a health plan that offers birth control should not be something dictated by Trump, their employer, or anyone else."

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), preventive health care, including the full range of FDA-approved contraception, must be covered without out of pocket costs. President Trump's rule threatens the guarantee of contraceptive coverage for 62 million women across the country by eliminating the requirement to provide coverage for all employers and universities, including for-profit employers, if they have a religious objection. The rule also extends to publically traded for-profit employers and universities if they have a moral objection. Employers and universities with religious objections that previously had to make sure women had another option to obtain contraceptive coverage, would no longer be required to provide that accommodation.

Democrats joining Van Hollen include: Patty Murray (D-WA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Edward Markey (D-MA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Chris Coons (D-DE), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Tom Udall (D-NM).

Companion legislation will be introduced in the House of Representatives by: Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Lois Frankel (D-FL).

Text of bill HERE.