The federal Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to cover all methods of birth control approved by the
Advocates want lawmakers and Gov.
A similar bill introduced in the current legislative session failed to win support. Senate Majority Leader
"This issue will be critical for the Legislature next session, given that the president-elect has made clear his intention to repeal the ACA," Chandler said in a statement.
"Regardless of what happens to the Affordable Care Act, we need to make sure that
Wajda said earlier attempts to close gaps between Obamacare and state law focused on cases where birth control access was restricted, such as insurers who covered only certain kinds of birth control or required women to make co-payments.
With Obamacare facing repeal, the proposal has taken on added urgency, supporters say.
"If provisions of the (Affordable Care Act) regarding birth control go away, it's going to be absolutely critical to replace it with a state law that protects
Rising health care costs could complicate those efforts.
Last year the state's overall health care costs increased 3.9 percent to about
Health care costs were fodder in the fall presidential campaign, especially when federal officials announced that premiums for mid-level plans under Obamacare would jump an average of 25 percent.
A study by the state's
Eldridge, who co-chairs the Legislature's
"Regardless of whether the ACA's contraceptive coverage mandate is repealed, women in this state will continue to benefit from generous access to a broad variety of measures to prevent pregnancy for a modest co-payment through the state's health plans and pursuant to state law," Murphy said in a statement.
Adding free birth control to the state's health care law, he said, will be a "main priority" for the group next year.
Recent studies show the federal birth control mandate, in place since 2013, has increased usage of contraception and reduced costs, particularly for long-acting methods such as intrauterine devices.
While Trump made a campaign theme of replacing Obamacare, he's offered few specifics about how he will do that.
Since winning the presidency on
Trump hasn't specifically targeted the birth control mandate, but Vice President-elect
Instead of taking a vote to scrap Obamacare, changes could come through provisions aimed at reducing government expenses. Trump could also change policies that define birth control as non-preventative care, eliminating the mandate.
Meanwhile, Wajda said Trump's victory has prompted a surge in the numbers of women seeking birth control.
"People are worried about their access to health care under a Trump administration, and that includes birth control," she said.
(c)2016 The Eagle-Tribune (North Andover, Mass.)
Visit The Eagle-Tribune (North Andover, Mass.) at www.eagletribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.