ObamaCare has been out of the spotlight for a while, which might account for the increased public support the boondoggle has enjoyed lately. Allowing ObamaCare to slip away from the conversation is troubling for all sorts of reasons, chief among them all the surprises in the 3,000-page law still waiting to be revealed. At the Daily Beast, Dana Goldstein reports on a looming battle over public birth-control coverage:
Could prescription birth control—whether the pill, an IUD, or a diaphragm—soon be free of cost for most American women?
Polls suggest the majority of Americans would support such a policy. But the Daily Beast has learned that many conservative activists, who spent most of their energies during the health-care reform fight battling to win abortion restrictions and abstinence-education funding, are just waking up to the possibility that the new health care law could require employers and insurance companies to offer contraceptives, along with other commonly prescribed medications, without charging any co-pay. Now the Heritage Foundation and the National Abstinence Education Association say they plan to join the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in resisting implementation of the new provisions.
The conservative groups are particularly worried that a birth control coverage mandate could include teenage girls and young women covered under their parents’ health insurance plans. “People who are insured don’t want to pay for services they don’t need or to which they have moral objections,” said Chuck Donovan, senior researcher at the Heritage Foundation. “Parents want to have a say over what’s covered and what’s not for their children.”
Currently, 27 states require insurers to cover birth control, but federal health reform has the potential to go much further—mandating that prescription birth control be offered to consumers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia free of “cost-sharing,” or payments at the pharmacy counter.