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Democratic states combat Trump on women’s health

Several Democratic-led states want to their legislature to insulate them from any modifications brought on by repealing Obamacare.

Chief amongst them is Oregon, the place two state lawmakers launched a invoice earlier this month that seeks to enshrine protections for women’s health created underneath the controversial regulation.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo additionally issued an government order to require insurance policy to cowl contraception for free of charge to women, part of Obamacare created to enhance gender fairness in healthcare protection. The order additionally required insurance policy to cowl any “medically necessary abortion services” and not using a copay or deductible.

The strikes come as President Trump and Congress transfer towards repealing the Affordable Care Act. Four House and Senate committees are drafting laws that may be accepted within the Senate by way of a 51-vote majority by means of a course of referred to as reconciliation.

However, fast repeal is not a positive factor as a number of GOP senators have expressed concern at repealing the regulation with out a direct alternative. Most House and Senate leaders need to repeal the regulation however depart it intact for a couple of years till a GOP various is accepted and carried out.

Oregon is not ready to see what occurs in Washington earlier than shifting to protect reproductive health protections. The federal regulation included a slew of latest provisions aimed toward enhancing women’s health, together with no value for prenatal visits and no copay or deductible for contraception.

The state hopes to go a step additional than present regulation with the brand new invoice that requires insurers’ plans bought within the state to cowl a collection of women’s health-related circumstances. Conditions embrace screening for the illnesses and pregnancy-related providers reminiscent of being pregnant exams, abortion and prenatal care, the invoice stated.

Insurers additionally should cowl contraceptive medicine and contraception.

It additionally requires the Oregon Health Authority, a state company that primarily oversees Oregon’s Medicaid program, to reimburse prices for reproductive health and “medical assistance if not for certain federal requirements.”

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Several liberal and pro-abortion rights groups in the state championed the bill, saying it is necessary to remove barriers to reproductive health coverage.

“Preventive services reduce healthcare costs and strengthen our communities and our economy,” said Zeenia Junkeer, director of equity and community engagement for NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon. “In order to have stronger health outcomes, Oregonians need quality medical care to prevent problems before they start.”

Cuomo’s order is similar to the Oregon bill. It also applies to state plans and requires coverage for medically necessary abortions.

The order also bans insurers from charging any copays or deductibles for the procedure.

Cuomo also calls on health plans to cover birth control and contraceptive devices without charging any copay or deductible “regardless of the future of the Affordable Care Act,” the announcement said.

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Trump on Friday issued an order suspending immigration from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. The 90-day ban is meant to give federal agencies time to review the information they need to verify the identity of immigrants seeking to enter the United States.

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Cuomo said the regulatory actions will “help ensure that whatever happens at the federal level, women in our state will have cost-free access to reproductive health care and we hope these actions serve as a model for equality across the nation.”

Both Cuomo’s order and the Oregon bill would provide an exemption for religious employers, a nod to an issue that caused a Supreme Court battle with the federal authorities final yr.

Oregon and different states have addressed contraceptive protection earlier than, as Oregon and 28 states have already got a regulation that requires insurers to cowl contraception.

However, solely 4 of these states supply any cost-sharing assist, in line with Usha Ranji, affiliate director for women’s health coverage on the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, throughout a current webinar.

In addition, not one of the legal guidelines “apply to self-insured plans,” stated Ranji, referring to the person marketplace for individuals who do not get insurance coverage by way of their job.

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President Trump is set to announce his Supreme Court pick Thursday — or maybe even earlier, if a rumor flying around Washington is to be believed. There have been reports that Trump, who during the campaign named 21 prospective nominees and promised his final choice would be one of them, has narrowed his options to three, all currently serving on federal courts of appeals: Neil Gorsuch from the 10th Circuit, Thomas Hardiman from the 3rd, and William Pryor from the 11th.

But there’s also a feeling in Washington that some other player might still be in the mix.

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