The administration of President Joe Biden is expanding contraception coverage under Obamacare by removing the “moral exemptions” enacted during the term of former President Donald Trump, The Hill reported Monday.
According to the report, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor, announced the proposed change Monday through a statement by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.
“Now more than ever, access to and coverage of birth control is critical as the Biden-Harris Administration works to help ensure women everywhere can get the contraception they need, when they need it, and — thanks to the [Affordable Care Act] — with no out-of-pocket cost,” Becerra’s statement to The Hill said.
The rules change eliminates allowing moral exemptions to private insurers so that they can deny providing free contraception under their plans, but keeps religious objections, according to the report.
The new regulations require insurers to provide coverage for at least one of 18 forms of birth control in their policies.
“Simply put, the action is undertaken by the individual, for the individual,” the agencies said in the proposal. “[Ensuring access to contraception at no cost] is a national public health imperative.”
The Hill reported the agencies said, as it can help people “exercise control over their reproductive health and family planning decisions, particularly in states with prohibitions or tight restrictions on abortion.”
“We are going to protect your health care,” Becerra said during a visit to a Washington D.C. Planned Parenthood facility Monday. “In this country we try to expand rights, not deny them. We might need to fight a little harder right now, but we are never going to stop fighting.
The Hill reported that Becerra said the actions were legally “consistent” and respect religious freedoms.
“The actions we took are consistent with the law, to try to make sure that we are protecting the rights of all Americans to access the health care they need. At the same time, protecting religious freedoms,” he said. “If you can show that you went through this in a very studied, methodical way to make sure you got it right — and so here there are many interests that are impacted and we wanted to make sure we did this in a way that was not just compliant with the law, but that people of reasonable mind would look at this and say it makes sense.”
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