Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today joined Senate colleagues to introduce bipartisan legislation that would eliminate copays for veterans in Oregon and nationwide seeking contraception.
“For too long, countless veterans have been unable to have access to contraception without burdensome out-of-pocket costs,” Wyden said. “At a time when reproductive healthcare is under attack across the country, removing barriers to essential reproductive health care like contraception is more important than ever. I’m proud to cosponsor the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act and ensure that all veterans in Oregon and across the country receive the benefits and care they deserve.”
Under current law, only a restricted group of veterans, including 50 percent disabled veterans and veterans below specific income levels, are exempt from copayments for contraception. While civilians can receive contraception without a copay through the Affordable Care Act and active duty service members can receive health care — including basic contraceptive services — without copays through TRICARE, Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare only waives contraception copays for a limited number of veterans. The Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act would eliminate out-of-pocket costs levied against countless veterans, including women who make up the fastest growing group of veterans enrolling in the VA healthcare system.
The bill is led by U.S. Senators Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. Alongside Wyden, the legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Tim Kaine, D-Va., Angus King, I-Maine, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
The bill is also endorsed by the Center for Reproductive Rights, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Council of Jewish Women, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, National Women’s Health Network, National Women’s Law Center, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, American Academy of Nursing, American College of Nurse-Midwives, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, National Council of Jewish Women, National Women’s Health Network, and the National Women’s Law Center.
The full text of the bill is here.
A web version of this release is here.