Science

ObamaCare Update: Could Donald Trump Get Rid Of Free Birth Control?

By Monica U Santos , Nov 18, 2016 05:04 PM EST

For many women, the victory of Donald Trump feels first and foremost like an attack on their bodies. As early as the night of November 8, women organizations started encouraging each other to make an appointment to get an intrauterine device (IUD), a long-acting and reversible birth control method that could outlast Trump's presidency. The fear is that Trump admin could potentially get rid of Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Aside from that, many are also concerned that Trump could further curb women’s reproductive rights by introducing obstacles to abortion access.

Repealing The Affordable Care Act

Republicans could try to fully repeal Obamacare, but they don’t have a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate so it’s unlikely. According to Quartz, under Obamacare, birth control for women is free, in any form, from pill to IUD. In 2012, 15 percent of American women were getting free contraception; in 2015, it was 67 percent. Obamacare saves women $1.5 billion a year, according to one study. Trump is opposed to the law and has said he would nix it as president. With Congress dominated by Republicans—almost all of whom share Trump’s view—the health care reform stands little chance.

As reported by CNN, repealing the act is also a "high item on the list" for Trump's Republican colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday. However, for now, enrollment will still be available through January 31. Neither Trump nor Congress has revealed a detailed plan of what would replace the ACA, so no one knows exactly what would happen to birth control access. In September, Trump said that he actually is not in favor of requiring a prescription to purchase birth control. Trump said, "I would say it should not be a prescription; it should not be done by prescription."

Citizens Reaction Regarding Trump's Plan

According to The Inquirer, if the contraceptive benefit goes away, women without insurance would typically pay $20 to $50 a month for birth control pills. An intrauterine device and the procedure to insert it can cost up to $1,000 — a hefty out-of-pocket expense. Tweets and Facebook posts about getting intrauterine devices, or IUDs, swept social media Wednesday as women warned each other that their access to birth control might dwindle once the President-elect takes office next year.

 

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