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Sen. Patty Murray. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Democrats say many insurers are falling short on ACA requirements to fully cover birth control and are calling on the Biden Administration to step up enforcement.

Why it matters: The issue has taken on increased significance, they say, amid other threats to women's health access, such as abortion care.

What they're saying: "The ACA requires insurers cover birth control without out-of-pocket costs. That includes the full range of FDA-approved methods," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) told Axios.

  • "What we're hearing right now from providers and patients is they're being asked to jump through ridiculous, unnecessary, harmful hoops just to get the birth control that works best for them," said Murray, who is chairwoman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

Driving the news: Murray, and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Finance Committee, recently sent a letter to administration officials calling for "additional, comprehensive guidance regarding insurers' responsibilities for contraceptive coverage."

The other side: "Under the ACA, health insurance providers are required to cover one product in each of the 18 contraception categories defined by the FDA without cost-sharing," America's Health Insurance Plans said in a statement.

Go deeper

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen co-opts Reaganomics phrase for new Davos speech

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a speech this week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The U.S. needs to focus on increasing its productive potential, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told world leaders Friday, calling for what she terms "modern supply side economics."

Why it matters: She co-opted a phrase traditionally used by political conservatives to describe low-tax and deregulatory policies — and framed the Biden administration's initiatives as the best path forward to achieve greater national prosperity.