The Trump administration is readying to make changes to ObamaCare’s birth control coverage mandate that many conservative groups are applauding. Trump is working to grant broad exemptions to employers who object to providing birth control on religious or moral grounds.
This move would impact thousands of women who currently obtain birth control from employer-provided insurance plans—plans that require no out-of-pocket costs. This particular change in ObamaCare bodes well for religious persons who have been troubled sine 2012 by the mandate that companies provide coverage for birth control without forcing women to pay any out-of-pocket costs.
According to The Hill, the rumor surrounding Trump’s proposed action would allow any employer, whether colleges, universities, health insurance companies, etc., to seek exemption from providing birth control coverage based on moral or religious grounds. This action would expand the current exemption, which includes only houses of worship and some companies.
Reproductive rights groups are already speaking out against the mandate. “We think that’s unconstitutional, both in terms of separation of church and state and discrimination against women,” said Brigitte Amiri, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project. She added that should the mandate become law, the ACLU would counter with a lawsuit.
Already, Trump’s mandate is in the final stages before becoming a law. Only the Office of Management and Budget is left to review it before it goes into effect, according to The Hill. Whether the Office of Management and Budget would make any changes remains ambiguous.
Although Congress is actively seeking to repeal ObamaCare, there would still be no change to the current law regarding access to birth control; Trump’s proposed mandate seeks to change it.
Earlier this month Trump instructed Health and Human Services and other services to explore the area surrounding “conscience-based objections” to his mandate. Groups such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Roman Catholic affiliation, strongly opposed the ObamaCare policy, arguing that it violates a core value they feel is sinful to cross.
Conservatives have praised Trump’s mandate, saying it is a win for groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor.
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