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New York Wants to Keep Birth Control Free

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New York has a proposal on the table to keep birth control free for women in the state should Congress succeed in its repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act, which Senate Republicans took the first steps toward dismantling late Thursday morning, currently mandates insurers across the country to provide free access to government-approved methods of contraception. But New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is prepared to take matters into his own hands, NBC News reports.

Schneiderman proposed a bill that would require both public and private insurers in the state to cover birth control. “The Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act will ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the birth control method they need to stay healthy and effectively plan for their future, no matter what happens in Congress,” Schneiderman said, according to NBC News.

The cost of plan would be covered by insurance premium payers or the government for Medicaid. But Paul Macielak, president of the Health Plan Association, told NBC News that the proposal would send insurance prices skyrocketing. “Saying New Yorkers should have ‘cost-free’ access to the coverage ignores the actual costs of the services,” he said.

California, Illinois, Maryland and Vermont already have laws requiring insures to cover the cost of contraception on the books. According to Reuters, lawmakers in Minnesota, Colorado and Massachusetts will also push for similar laws this year.


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Write to Samantha Cooney at samantha.cooney@time.com