Shaheen, Hassan Join Senate Dems to Send Warning to OMB Director: Do Not Target Birth Control Access in Upcoming Rule

May 26, 2017

**Due to Trump order, OMB set to review rule that could upend ACA birth control mandate** 

**In new letter, Senate Dems urge OMB Director Mulvaney to cease any efforts to target birth control access** 

**Today, more than 55 million women receive coverage for preventive services, including birth control, with no out-of-pocket costs** 

**Senate Dems: “Access to…contraception is a critical part of women’s health care, as well as an economic priority...It should be treated as such”**

(Washington, DC) U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), along with a group of Senate Democrats, sent a letter today warning Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney not to target access to birth control coverage in his review of the interim final rule entitled “Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act.”

The rule under review by OMB follows President Trump’s Executive Order issued earlier this month directing the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services to “consider amending regulations” that, under the Affordable Care Act, require insurance plans to provide no-cost coverage of critical preventive services, including birth control.

“Given this Administration’s record of seeking to roll back women’s health and rights, we see this as a signal that access to affordable birth control may be its next target,” wrote the senators to Director Mulvaney. “We are deeply concerned that any such amendment would have a devastating effect on women’s access to coverage for preventive services, including birth control, without cost-sharing as guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).”

Today, more than 55 million women are benefiting from coverage of preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs including birth control, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.  

“Access to affordable preventive services including contraception is a critical part of women’s health care, as well as an economic priority for many women. It should be treated as such,” concluded the senators in the letter.

The full letter can be found HERE and below.

May 26, 2017

The Honorable Mick Mulvaney

Director

Office of Management and Budget

725 17th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20503

Dear Director Mulvaney:

On Tuesday, May 23rd the Office of Management and Budget indicated that it is currently reviewing an interim final rule (IFR) entitled “Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act.” Given this Administration’s record of seeking to roll back women’s health and rights, we see this as a signal that access to affordable birth control may be its next target. 

We write to urge you to cease any efforts related to President Trump’s May 4th Executive Order that would undermine access to affordable preventive services including contraception for women. As you know, this dangerous Executive Order directed the Secretaries of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services to “consider issuing amended regulations, consistent with applicable law, to address conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate...” We are deeply concerned that any such amendment would have a devastating effect on women’s access to coverage for preventive services, including birth control, without cost-sharing as guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Today, more than 55 million women are benefiting from coverage of preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs including birth control, thanks to the ACA.  In fact, from 2012 to 2013, the number of women who filled their prescriptions for oral contraceptives with no co-pay nearly quadrupled from 1.3 million to 5.1 million.  Women saved more than $1.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs for birth control in 2013 alone. Access to affordable preventive services including contraception is a critical part of women’s health care, as well as an economic priority for many women. It should be treated as such.

We urge you to abandon any proposal that would erode access to affordable preventive healthcare for women, including birth control.