KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

New Contraceptive Rule Has Precedents In Federal, State Law

NPR reports that not much has changed in the new regulation other than requiring coverage for contraceptives at no cost, while CNN reports on the escalating "rhetorical war" in Washington.

NPR: Rules Requiring Contraceptive Coverage Have Been In Force For Years
There's been no let-up in the debate about the Obama administration's rule requiring most employers to provide prescription birth control to their workers without additional cost. Here's the rub: The only truly novel part of the plan is the "no cost" bit. The rule would mean, for the first time, that women won't have to pay a deductible or co-payment to get prescription contraceptives. In fact, employers have pretty much been required to provide contraceptive coverage as part of their health plans since December 2000 (Rovner, 2/10).

CNN (Video): Contraception Controversy Consumes D.C., Campaign
Congressional Democrats and Republicans escalated their rhetorical war Thursday over a pending federal rule requiring religiously affiliated employers to provide full contraception coverage to women -- one day after hints emerged of a possible compromise between the White House and conservative religious critics. Numerous rank-and-file Democrats urged the White House not to back away from its support for the rule, while Republicans demanded a full retreat. "It is time for the extreme right wing to stop playing football with women's health," said Rep. Nita Lowey, D-New York. "My colleagues and I stand in solidarity with American women who have waited decades for equity in contraceptive coverage. We have fought for too long" (Silverleib, 2/10).

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