Call of the Day: Support Insurance Coverage For Birth Control

Today’s call is different; in addition to reaching out to our Members of Congress, we’ll also comment on a rule.

As you may know, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), nicknamed ObamaCare, requires that insurance cover female contraception without a co-pay.  While some exemptions exist for religious and ‘closely held’ private companies, overall this mandate has extended birth control coverage to millions of Americans.

The Office of Management and Budget is reviewing an “Interim Final Rule” entitled “Coverage of Certain Preventative Services under the Affordable Care Act,” which would extend far more exemptions to this mandate.

The draft rule makes the exemption available to *all* employers, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, all on the basis of religious beliefs or so-called “moral convictions.”  It also would make the mandate completely optional for religious organizations.  Worst of all, it creates an exemption for health insurers that claim to have religious or moral objections to covering birth control for their policyholders!

Insurance is a benefit paid to workers, just like their salary.  Don’t let your bosses decide what you can and cannot do with your benefits.

After you've done that?  Ring up Senator Cassidy as well, who said at his Covington town hall that birth control should be available over the counter and "for pennies" a purchase.  Tell him that you expect that provision will make it into the Senate draft bill that he's so "encouraged" by!

WHO TO CALL:

Office of Budget and Management, Mick Mulvaney at 1 (202) 395-3080

Senator Bill Cassidy: in DC at (202) 224-5824, and in METAIRIE at (504) 838-0130

Reminders:  Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent.  Be concise - the office will get through more calls that way.  Be polite and don't argue with the staffer - they don't set policy.   If you get a voicemail, then leave a message.  And if you get a busy signal -- call back later!

Sample script-

Hi, my name is [Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].  I don't need a response.

 I want to express my objection to the "Coverage of Certain Preventative Services Under The Affordable Care Act" interim final rule.  By broadening the exemptions to the contraceptives mandate, millions of Americans will find it much harder to gain access to preventative care.  I'm asking you to abandon your efforts to publish this rule, or at least allow for public comment before putting it in place.

Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones.

This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.