NY lawmakers vote to keep birth control free if Obamacare is repealed

Posted: 4:15 PM, Jan 18, 2017
Updated: 2017-01-18 16:15:13-05

NEW YORK — Birth control will still be free in New York, even if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, under legislation approved by the New York State Assembly.

The Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act passed in a vote Tuesday night. The legislation requires health insurance companies to provide free contraceptive coverage for all its members, and at least one type of FDA-approved birth control has to be free, including the morning-after pill.

The new legislation comes days before President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated and as Republicans continue their attempt to dismantle Obamacare, a move causing concern that birth control costs will increase if the law, which makes contraceptives free under insurance, is repealed.

“With Republicans in Congress and President-elect Trump looking to roll back the critical gains made under the Affordable Care Act, New York must take the lead and guarantee access to contraceptives,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who introduced the bill this year, said in a statement.

Trump has vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare, though has been mum on details of what he replacement plan would be.

Last week, Congress approved the budget that will begin the process of dismantling the law. That budget prevents Democrats from using a Senate filibuster to stop the GOP from repealing Obamacare. House Speaker Paul Ryan said earlier in the month that federal funding for Planned Parenthood will be stripped in the process.

Another bill, the Reproductive Health Act, also passed for the second time, giving women the right to an abortion in New York. It will be the first time the legislation has been updated since 1970, three years before Roe. v. Wade ruling.

The legislations still have to pass through the state Senate.