Senate Democrats push for Medicaid to cover birth control

Senate Democrats push for Medicaid to cover birth control
© Getty Images

A group of Senate Democrats on Thursday introduced a bill that would provide free birth control to women enrolled in Medicaid, while also expanding access to preventative services nationwide.

Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayIBM-led coalition pushes senators for action on better tech skills training Members of Congress demand new federal gender pay audit Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Health chief grilled on Trump drug pricing plan, ObamaCare case MORE (D-Wash.), the top Democrat on the Senate Health Committee, said the bill would allow more women “to be in the driver’s seat about their own health care.”

ADVERTISEMENT
The bill would launch a study of abortion access, create new training programs for nurses who specialize in women’s health and ensure that all hospitals provide emergency contraception to rape victims.

"At a time when the GOP congress is trying to drag women back to the last century, we are offering a bold agenda to strengthen women's health in this century," Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerThe ‘bang for the buck’ theory fueling Trump’s infrastructure plan Kamala Harris endorses Gavin Newsom for California governor Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response MORE (D-Calif.), who is also a co-sponsor, wrote in a statement.

The biggest piece of the bill is providing free contraception for all women enrolled in Medicaid — a government-run program that covers nearly 70 million people nationally.

ObamaCare already requires all private health insurance plans to cover contraception.

It would also help women afford breast pumps and receive breast feeding counseling.

The bill faces a tough challenge in the GOP-controlled Congress, though Murray said she would remain firm in her stance. The bill has three sponsors, all of whom are Democratic women in the Senate.

“I do know there are those who are going to say 'no' right off the bat. That will not stop me." Murray told reporters Thursday.