KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Perspectives On New Contraception Rule: End To Obamacare’s Coercion; Road To More Unwanted Pregnancies

The Obama administration's decisions about how to handle insurance coverage of contraception was controversial, and the rollback announced by the Trump administration is also sparking debate.

The Wall Street Journal: A Nun’s Right To Choose
The Trump Administration on Friday eased Obama Care’s contraception mandate, the now infamous regulation that coerced Americans (even Catholic nuns) to pay for forms of birth control that violate their religious beliefs. This is welcome news for American tolerance and pluralism, not a scene from “The Handmaid’s Tale.” (10/8)

The New York Times: Mr. Trump’s Attack On Birth Control
Under the guise of protecting religious freedom and moral sensibilities, the Trump administration is making it harder for women to get access to birth control. On Friday, it rolled back an Obama-era rule requiring most employers to provide their employees with birth control coverage without co-payments. The mandate, established under the Affordable Care Act, has helped millions of women avoid unwanted pregnancy by eliminating out-of-pockets costs for contraception. (10/6)

The Washington Post: Does The Trump Administration Want More Unintended Pregnancies?
The Trump administration on Friday tore a big hole in an important public-health law, eroding the federal requirement that health insurance plans cover contraception. ... the Trump administration decided that the federal government’s interest in ensuring women access to birth control is not very important, and therefore surrendered to the objectors. Universities, charities and small businesses will now be able to ignore the contraception mandate without doing anything but informing their employees that they will get no birth control coverage. They could allow the government to independently arrange contraception coverage for their employees — or forbid such a workaround. (10/7)

The New York Times: Trump Takes Away Fundamental Health Care For Women
The average American woman spends just three years pregnant or trying to become pregnant, and a full 30 years trying not to be pregnant. So it’s no surprise that birth control is a standard part of most women’s lives. In fact, roughly nine out of 10 women will use birth control during their lifetime. On Friday, the Trump administration revealed its disdain for women when it removed the guarantee that health insurance will cover their birth control. (Raegan McDonald-Mosley, 10/6)

The New York Times: Out Of Control On Contraception
This week in the world of Washington and sex: The House of Representatives passed a bill banning late-term abortions. One of the co-sponsors announced he was resigning from office after word came out that he had urged his lover to have an abortion. The anti-abortion Trump administration announced it was going to let employers off the hook if they didn’t want to cover contraception in their employee health programs. Is anything wrong with this picture? (Gail Collins, 10/6)

Bloomberg: Trump's Harmful And Unwanted Rule On Contraceptives
Better access to contraception under Obamacare has measurably improved women's health, finances and lives. The Trump administration's move to reverse these gains is wrong. ... One more thing. This abrupt and destructive new policy is not what Americans want. More than two-thirds -- including a majority of Republicans -- say they favor the requirement that employers cover the full cost of birth control. (10/7)

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