Tuesday, November 1, 2016
HHS Nominee Tom Price, A Step Backwards for Reproductive Health
Atlantic (November 30, 2016): Tom Price: 'Not One Woman' Struggled to Afford Birth Control, by Olga Khazan:
The New York Times has suggested that Donald Trump's nomination of Tom Price for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services "signaled an undiminished determination" to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In Congress, Price has championed alternative legislation to the ACA which would take a free market approach and decrease consumer protections and mandated coverage.
While repeal of the ACA would require Congressional action, as HHS Secretary Price could have an immediate impact on the implementation of the ACA because the act gives the Secretary discretion in how it is administered.
Price is on record as opposing the ACA's birth control mandate and may support defunding Planned Parenthood or requiring co-pays for contraceptives. In 2012, he made made comments that all women can afford birth control, stating:
“Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one,” Price replied. “The fact of the matter is this is a trampling on religious freedom and religious liberty in this country.”
Despite Price's statement, studies show that poor women have faced significant barriers to accessing contraceptives in the U.S. and that recent declines in the teen pregnancy rate may be the result of greater access to contraceptives.