House Passes Bill to Protect Contraception Coverage from Trump’s Reckless ACA Repeal

House Passes Bill to Protect Contraception Coverage from Trump’s Reckless ACA Repeal

Sponsored by Five Democratic Women, HB 284 Guarantees Contraceptive Coverage for New Mexicans

Santa Fe, N.M. – Tonight, House Democrats continued to protect New Mexico families from the Trump administration’s threats of an Obamacare repeal by passing a bill to ensure access to birth control. HB 284, sponsored by Representatives Debbie Armstrong (D-Albuquerque), Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Albuquerque), Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces), Christine Trujillo (D-Albuquerque), and Linda Trujillo (D-Santa Fe), passed the House by a vote of 39 to 29.

The bill requires health insurance providers in the state to offer consumers at least one FDA-approved contraception method, and to provide it at no cost. Under the ACA, also known as Obamacare, insurance companies already provide contraception for free, but that could change if the ACA is repealed by the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress.

“Unfortunately, the future of the Affordable Care Act is uncertain, and we can’t afford to wait to see what happens in Washington before we safeguard access to contraception for all New Mexicans,” said the bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Debbie Armstrong. “Better access to contraception is convenient for both women and men and means fewer unintended pregnancies.”

Twenty-two Democratic members of the House joined Rep. Armstrong in cosponsoring the bill.

HB 284 further allows a patient to fill a prescription for a 12-month supply of birth control at one time, easing the strain on patients with limited time or ability to access a pharmacy. This is a significant issue in rural communities where consumers travel long distances to pick up prescriptions.

Finally, the legislation allows for equal, free access to contraception for men and women. Under current guidelines, a vasectomy may require a co-pay while a tubal ligation can be performed without charge. This cost differential places the responsibility of birth control disproportionately on women.

HB 284 now heads to the Senate for consideration.