Harmful Health Bill Introduced

Planned Parenthood Denounces Harmful Changes in Regulation of Health Insurance; Senate Bill Would Eliminate Health Care Benefits for American Women, Including Coverage for Contraceptives



WASHINGTON, DC — Today the United States Senate is considering a bill that would have a serious and damaging impact on health coverage for women across the United States. The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (HIMMAA), introduced by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) would allow insurance companies to ignore nearly all state laws that require insurance coverage for certain treatments or conditions, such as laws that require them to include contraceptives in their prescription plans.

"We need to move forward, not backward in expanding access to quality health care, including birth control," said Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards. "Congress should work to protect patients, not undermine them."

This federal legislation would raze hundreds of state laws that ensure patients can get the medical care they need and would

  • not allow women to designate their ob/gyns as primary care providers
  • not allow women to seek care directly from their ob/gyns, but would force them to be screened by their primary care doctors first
  • dismantle coverage for contraception
  • dismantle coverage for annual cervical cancer exams
  • not allow women to stay with the same doctor throughout a pregnancy, if that doctor was dropped from the insurance provider
For years, many insurance plans covered prescription drugs, but refused to cover birth control pills and other prescription contraceptives for women. In the past decade lawmakers in 23 states have remedied this inequity and enacted contraceptive coverage laws. Under HIMMAA women will lose contraceptive-equity protections currently guaranteed by state law

"States enacted protective laws to ensure that women receive the quality health care and fair treatment that they deserve," said Richards. "We can't allow the health care industry to steamroll over these protections. Congress needs to stand up for women's health and safety."

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Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider. We believe that everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. Planned Parenthood affiliates operate more than 860 health centers nationwide, providing medical services and sexuality education for millions of women, men, and teenagers each year. We also work with allies worldwide to ensure that all women and men have the right and the means to meet their sexual and reproductive health care needs.



Contacts

Erin Libit, 202-973-4883
Gustavo Suarez, 212-261-4339

Published: 03.08.06

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