April 23rd, 2014
69% of surveyed Americans support coverage for birth control
There’s debate over whether all health plans in the United States should be required to cover the cost of birth control. An overwhelming majority of Americans—69%—say yes, according to a breaking survey published in the journal JAMA.
While this suggests the issue is less divisive than previously thought, it’s still a hot-button topic in the courts. In June, the Supreme Court is expected to reach a decision in the Hobby Lobby case, in which the owners of the arts-and-crafts chain, who are Southern Baptists, contend that their right to exercise religious freedom are infringed upon by the Affordable Care Act provision requiring them to guarantee no-cost birth control and emergency contraceptive coverage for their employees.
Although most Americans are in favor of the mandated birth control coverage—77% of women and 64% of men—it was the least agreed upon when compared with other health services under the ACA provision. Coverage of preventive services like mammograms and colonoscopies, vaccinations, mental health care, and dental care all had more support than mandatory contraceptive coverage, according to the JAMA poll. (Birth control coverage has the most support among women, and black and Hispanic respondents.)
The researchers hope their data can be used to inform the ongoing national debate over contraceptive coverage.