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Planned Parenthood wants free contraceptives as part of health law

NPR's Shots blog reports that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is joining Planned Parenthood on a campaign to allow free prescription contraceptives as part of the health reform law. "Called Birth Control Matters, the initiative aims to make sure all prescription methods of contraception are covered without copays as part of the preventive services package that will be determined sometime in the next year by the Institute of Medicine and the Department of Health and Human Services. ... But it's not something for nothing, said ACOG Vice President for Practice Activities Hal Lawrence: 'Providing contraceptive care keeps women healthy, and when you keep women healthy they have healthier pregnancies'" (Rovner, 10/12).

The Hill's Healthwatch blog: "Nearly three-quarters of voters support a move to require insurers to cover prescription contraceptives without charging patients, according to poll results released Tuesday. Seventy-one percent of respondents said insurance companies should provide full coverage for birth control pills and other methods of prescription contraception, according to the survey. ... The poll, conducted by Hart Research Associates, was commissioned by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF), an abortion rights group" (Lillis, 10/12).

CQ HealthBeat: "Groups that strongly oppose including contraception in the covered preventive services, such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Abstinence Education Association, said they are also making their views known to the administration but have not yet engaged in major lobbying efforts. The lobbying is based on a provision in the law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152), championed by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., that eliminates co-payments or deductibles for many screening and preventive services for women. Although Mikulski said her amendment would include family planning services, the language does not specify whether contraceptives should be included" (Ethridge. 10/12).

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent news service. It is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health-care-policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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