Commentary

Trump’s order on contraceptives is sure to do great damage

In case you missed it over the weekend, the good people at the Kaiser Family Foundation released an important report on Friday about one of the Trump administration’s latest and most shameful regulatory initiatives — this one to roll back progress on the provision of contraceptives via employer health care plans.This is from a release that accompanied the analysis:

“An updated brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation explains today’s new regulations from the Trump Administration that greatly expand the types of employers that may be granted an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage rule.

The new regulations could reduce the number of women receiving contraceptive coverage with no out-of-pocket cost by allowing more employers to drop the requirement that all plans cover the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives without cost-sharing. Female employees, dependents, and students at institutions that choose to claim this exemption will no longer have guaranteed contraceptive coverage, placing some of the most effective yet costly methods out of financial reach for many women.

Under the previous regulations, only houses of worship could claim an exemption to the ACA’s contraceptive coverage rule and decline to provide any birth control coverage for female employees or dependents. The new rules grant broad exemption to nonprofit or for-profit employers with religious objections to contraceptive coverage, including private colleges and universities and publicly traded companies. In addition, nonprofit employers or closely-held for-profit employers with moral objections to contraception are also eligible for exemptions.”

The following graph shows the remarkable progress that had been made in this area under the Affordable Care Act and that will now begin to be rolled back:

 

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