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house Bill H.R. 742

Should Free Birth Control Be Part Of The DOD's Health Care Plan?

Argument in favor

Women play a critical role in the U.S. military, and offering them access to free birth control without a co-pay gives them one less thing to worry about. Plus it brings the DOD up to ACA standards.

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02/24/2015
A great man once said "Everything is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power." I for one refuse to exert my power as a privileged caucasian man to oppress our nation's women. I stand by empowering women to make their own decisions. History proves that women have a much better track record in decision making when compared with men.
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Molly's Opinion
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03/05/2015
Some women (like me) have health conditions that require birth control; it's a financial hardship when we have to finance medical conditions beyond our control.
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Cara's Opinion
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03/05/2015
Women use BC for other things than not getting pregnant. All this sniffy hyperbole about "personal choice" is just code for sexism.
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Argument opposed

Birth control is available over-the-counter whether you’re in the military or a private citizen. It is a matter of personal responsibility and choice that shouldn’t be funded by taxpayers.

tjpaulfrederick's Opinion
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04/13/2015
NOTHING should be free. NOTHING can be free. EVERYTHING does have a value. The way the federal government will make it "free" is by taking money out of our pay checks. What is an outrage is that MEN, who obviously don't use birth control, will have to pay through their taxes for the women who are too poor to pay for it themselves or who are too stupid to know what could happen from having sex.
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Wendell's Opinion
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03/18/2015
Birth control is a private matter, and should be determined and provided by the couple (husband and wife). what has the DOD got to do with it anyway? Isn't this just a way of getting us ( US tax payers) to pay for a person's abortion, as if it is birth control after the fact?
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Jeff's Opinion
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10/23/2015
Not only no, but he'll no. Birth control is not a "right". Buy it yourself.
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What is House Bill H.R. 742?

This bill requires the Secretary of Defense to ensure that all military treatment facilities have a sufficient supply of birth control (various types) within 180 days of this legislation’s enactment. Birth control would be covered under the Department of Defense’s TRICARE program and would be available to female servicemembers with no co-pay.


Healthcare providers would be given guidelines based on best practices for counseling patients on the various types of birth control that would be available. The broad range of contraceptive methods that would be made available would be based on recommendations by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Office of Population Affairs within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).


This bill would also establish a family planning curriculum that would be made available to all members of the Armed Forces, male and female.


Members of the military who have been sexually assaulted would also be offered counseling by a military healthcare provider who would describe options for emergency contraception and any necessary follow-up care. Information provided by the healthcare provider, whether provided verbally or in writing, should be comprehensive, free of bias, and medically accurate.

Impact

Members of the armed forces and their dependents, military health care providers, the Department of Defense, the Secretary of Defense.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 742

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: 

Currently, TRICARE does offer plans with birth control and contraceptives, but only when they are prescribed. It also offers limited family planning services

Of Note:

Requiring healthcare providers to give members of the Armed Forces the ability to access birth control without co-pays essentially brings the military’s TRICARE into alignment with the requirements that the Affordable Care Act imposes on private sector healthcare providers.


There are approximately 4 million women and girls that are enrolled in TRICARE as members of the Armed Forces or their dependents, and of those there’s about 1.1 million who are of reproductive age. Women make up 16 percent of the U.S. military as active duty or reserve personnel.


The sexual assault component of this legislation is part of a continuing response by the military to the plague of sexual assault within its ranks. In 2012, 26,000 members of the Armed Forces reported being subjected to unwanted sexual contact — only 11 percent of which were reported. The trend of non-reporting appears to be changing as there were 50 percent more reports filed in 2013.


Media:

Sponsoring Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) Press Release

The Hill

Daily Caller

Military.com

Armed Forces Benefit Association

Center for Reproductive Rights (In Favor)

(Photo Credit: Flickr user Hey Paul Studios)

AKA

Access to Contraception for Women Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2015

Official Title

To amend title 10, United States Code, to ensure that women members of the Armed Forces and their families have access to the contraception they need in order to promote the health and readiness of all members of the Armed Forces, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Armed Services
      Military Personnel
    IntroducedFebruary 4th, 2015
    A great man once said "Everything is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power." I for one refuse to exert my power as a privileged caucasian man to oppress our nation's women. I stand by empowering women to make their own decisions. History proves that women have a much better track record in decision making when compared with men.
    Like (25)
    Follow
    Share
    NOTHING should be free. NOTHING can be free. EVERYTHING does have a value. The way the federal government will make it "free" is by taking money out of our pay checks. What is an outrage is that MEN, who obviously don't use birth control, will have to pay through their taxes for the women who are too poor to pay for it themselves or who are too stupid to know what could happen from having sex.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Some women (like me) have health conditions that require birth control; it's a financial hardship when we have to finance medical conditions beyond our control.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    Birth control is a private matter, and should be determined and provided by the couple (husband and wife). what has the DOD got to do with it anyway? Isn't this just a way of getting us ( US tax payers) to pay for a person's abortion, as if it is birth control after the fact?
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Women use BC for other things than not getting pregnant. All this sniffy hyperbole about "personal choice" is just code for sexism.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Not only no, but he'll no. Birth control is not a "right". Buy it yourself.
    Like (4)
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    Better family planning leads to equality in gender. That's what America is about-free and equal.
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    The issue of birth control is a religious one, and those who believe it to be wrong and not in accordance with natural procreation should be allowed to decide for themselves.
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    Birth control is used for other things besides pregnancy prevention. It is a costly medication that is neccessary in some cases. Having it provided to our female troops would give them one less thing to worry about. I think it should also be given to the public as well. At least to those on welfare to prevent more people coming into this world that need government support via taxpayer dollars.
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    1. Yes, for military personnel. 2. No, for anybody else. 3. No government b.c. for anybody who is not on welfare. For welfare recipients, b.c. should be mandatory!
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    The world is now setup by the freebee system, while those of us whom work hard have to pay the bill.
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    Not all can afford to buy the birth control like young women who may not be working and teens. Being able to keep control of when they have kids would help many Women and their kids stay out of the poor house and to have a better future.
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    My view is Yea. Personally, the Military tries to skimp on our military service men and women. Big business- and the Military is big business- uses health coverage as a bonus to entice future employees. So why not the Military? Birth control medication is relative inexpensive for Planned Parenthood patients. And having to switch pregnant personal to special duty or off duty will affect all aspects of assigned duty.
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    Women need to have the ability to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy. Birth Control is not abortion. It is preventative healthcare and to deny women access is discriminatory.
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    In order to provide healthcare to those mothers with difficult decisions we need to make the options available. I do not support abortion but I want these mothers or would be mothers to have options that does not involve abortion.
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    It's a health benefit which should be offered to all woman who need it and without any cost. Those who don't want to use should remain free not to. As far as your tax money and what it should pay and should not pay for it's a separate issue.
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    This bill offers important services and education for military personnel regarding family planning and managing pregnancy
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    Don't make taxpayers pay for a personal choice issue.
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    Yes absolutely, why shouldn't it be covered? Because birth control should be a private matter? Religion should be a private matter but all of us still have to pay for churches and other religious institutions so they don't have to be taxed even if we don't follow a faith.
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    How is allowing and opening contraception availability to working women not a key issue in any healthcare plan? These women, serving in the military, may opt to wait on having children and if so - they deserve to have that option made available to them in their healthcare plan.
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