Wyden, Colleagues Push to Provide Quality Reproductive Health Care to Military Families
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said today that he and Senate colleagues have introduced legislation that would ensure military families in Oregon and nationwide receive the quality reproductive health care they deserve.
“Military families in Oregon and nationwide deserve access to equitable reproductive health care and contraception—without having to pay hundreds of dollars per year out of pocket,” Wyden said. “I’ll fight with all my heart to ensure military families have the benefits they have earned, which should include crucial reproductive care.”
The Access to Contraception for Servicemembers and Dependents Act would bring health care provided to servicemembers in line with current law for civilian populations by ensuring those who receive health care through the military have access to all forms of contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration with no health insurance co-pay. The legislation would also guarantee access to emergency contraception for survivors of sexual assault upon their request and require the Department of Defense to develop a comprehensive family planning education program.
The Department of Defense provides health care to millions of women of reproductive age, including servicemembers, guardsmen, reservists, spouses and dependents. Although the Affordable Care Act guarantees that employer-sponsored and marketplace health plans cover preventive services for civilians without cost sharing, including all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, counseling and related services, these protections do not apply to coverage through TRICARE, a health care program for uniformed servicemembers and their families. Due to this disparity, active duty service members and dependents of servicemembers are particularly impacted.
The Access to Contraception for Servicemembers and Dependents Act would:
- Require that all people enrolled in TRICARE have coverage of contraceptives without cost-sharing, the same as civilians;
- Require the Department of Defense to develop a comprehensive family planning education program for all servicemembers, ensuring that military families have the information necessary to make informed decisions; and
- Guarantee access to emergency contraception for survivors of sexual assault upon their request.
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., led the legislation. Alongside Wyden, the bill was cosponsored by U.S. Senators Susan Collins, R-Maine, Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Elizabeth Warren. D-Mass., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Jon Tester, D-Mont., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Tina Smith, D-Minn.
The bill text is here.
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