What We're Reading: States Consider Free Contraception as ACA Repeal Looms

What we're reading, January 13, 2017: more states consider contraception laws with Affordable Care Act (ACA) in peril; GOP will speed up timeline to replace ACA; Tom Price will sell his stocks to avoid conflicts.

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed by Republicans in Congress, millions of women will lose access to free birth control. According to Reuters, an increasing number of states are looking to join the ranks of California, Maryland, Vermont, and Illinois, which added the ACA’s contraception mandate into state law. Democrats in Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York are considering similar measures since President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, and the contraception mandate, are in peril.

Meanwhile, the repeal of the ACA is undergoing some timeline changes. Initially, GOP leadership were considering repealing the law immediately, but delaying the effects for 2 or 3 years while a replacement was hammered out. After the president-elect said he wanted repeal and replace to take place almost simultaneously, Republicans in Congress have changed their tune, reported The Wall Street Journal. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, is now saying that the House will have replacement legislation alongside the repeal. With no replacement legislation yet announced, Republicans will have a tight deadline to meet.

After calls for an ethics investigation from some Democrats that Representative Tom Price, R-Georgia, the president-elect’s pick to run HHS, will sell of his stock holdings. Price currently holds stock in more than 40 companies, but he will divest himself of that stock if the Senate confirms him, according to The New York Times. Democrats had raised concerns that Price may have add access to insider information. In addition, Price will resign from his position with the American Medical Association.