Reproductive Health Reality Check reports that President Obama may well cave in to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops soon and withdraw regulations that are part of the health care reform bill requiring insurance companies to provide birth control without a co-pay.
Women’s groups working to save coverage of women’s health care under health reform are concerned that President Obama will cave as early as this weekend to demands by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (all 271 men) to eliminate coverage of birth control without a co-pay.
The reason? The President thinks he “owes” the Bishops for help with passage of health reform…
This is a tax on women. Birth control without insurance coverage can run as much as $600.00 per year. Without consistent access to birth control, women face constant risk of unintended pregnancy, abrogating their fundamental rights to plan their families and make decisions about how many children to have and when; to decide about their own educational and economic paths; to safeguard their own and their family’s health. Such a tax will of course fall most heavily on low-income women, and therefore most heavily on Latina, African American, and Native American women who already make up a disproportionate share of this economic group.
This is a tax on women, one many groups expect the President may levy as soon as this weekend… because, you know, a holiday weekend is the best time to engage in an act of capitulation and have it get less press attention.
I don’t really buy the notion that this is a tax; it isn’t paid to the government, after all, it’s paid to insurance companies. But that’s not terribly relevant to the real issue here. Access to birth control is an absolutely crucial aspect of preventative health care. I hope they’re wrong about Obama caving, but I wouldn’t bet against it. He’s been mostly invertebrate up to this point.