DC Council sends bill protecting women’s health benefits under ACA in District law to Mayor

After, DC will wait and see if Congress tries to undermine local law

Today the DC Council passed Councilmember Charles Allen’s (Ward 6) bill enshrining all of the women’s health benefits provided under the Affordable Care Act into local law, protecting DC women from being charged extra for basic health services if the ACA is ever repealed.

Once signed by the Mayor, the law will be sent to Congress for review for 30 days – the same Congress who tried three times last year to repeal those benefits during their attacks on the Affordable Care Act.

“As a reminder, no other state or local jurisdiction in the country has to worry that a random congressman is going to try and meddle with a locally-passed law,” said Councilmember Allen. “But I am worried that with a congress obsessed with overturning a law that protects women from being charged more for basic care, we need to be ready to fight back and say hands off DC.”

The Defending Access to Women’s Health Care Services Amendment Act of 2017 ensures women living in DC will always have the same benefits provided under the Affordable Care Act in all 26 health plan sold in DC at no extra cost, regardless of what President Trump and GOP congressional leaders do. Additionally, it removes a barrier to obtaining contraception by allowing pharmacists to prescribe without the need to visit a doctor.  

The bill was moved through the Committee on Health, chaired by Councilmember Vince Gray. Advocates from NARAL, Planned Parenthood Metropolitan-Washington and national, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists were critical in passing the bill.

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