NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With Obamacare’s fate hanging in the balance, New York’s attorney general is trying to make sure birth control coverage is protected in the state.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants to require all insurers in New York to cover contraception for both women and men.
“New Yorkers have a right to comprehensive, cost-free access to birth control,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “With the Affordable Care Act under attack in Washington, it’s all the more critical that New York act now to protect these rights.”
Schneiderman proposed the same measure in 2015. It died in the State Senate, but now the stakes are different, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.
“This is 2017, an election is causing complete panic among our patients,” Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Adrien Varilli said.
Appointments for long-term birth control are up by a third since the election, with the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage up in the air, Varilli said.
“People were telling our clinicians like, ‘What’s gonna happen? Am I gonna lose my health insurance? Am I gonna lose access to birth control?'” Varilli said.
Birth control can cost $1,000 a year in some cases.
The attorney general’s bill would allow women and men to pickup a year’s worth at a time for no cost.
“The Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act will ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the birth control method they need to stay healthy and effectively plan for their future – no matter what happens in Congress,” Schneiderman said.
Early Thursday, the U.S. Senate took the first step toward dismantling Obamacare. The Senate approved a Republican budget measure that sets the stage for repeal legislation that could be voted on next month. The 51 to 48 vote was mostly divided along party lines. The House is set to vote on the measure Friday.