Ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee Sen. Patty Murray told HHS secretary nominee Dr. Tom Price she has “serious concerns” about his views on health care, especially any plans that would include requiring women to pay for their own birth control.
“When women are empowered to plan their families and pursue all of their dreams, our communities benefit,” Murray said at the start of Price’s confirmation hearing Wednesday morning, adding that the Georgia representative’s effort to repeal and replace Obamacare would be taking “our healthcare system in a vastly different and harmful direction.”
“As a woman, as a mother, and a grandmother, and a United States senator, I am deeply troubled by the ways in which your policies would impact women’s access to health care and their reproductive rights,” Murray said, continuing:
I have serious concerns about your understanding of women’s needs for basic health care like birth control given your expressed doubts on this topic. Your proposals to make women pay extra, out-of-pocket for birth control, and your repeated efforts to defund our nation’s largest provider of women’s health care, Planned Parenthood.
In February of 2016, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest abortion chain – boasted to Hillary Clinton supporters that – because of Obamacare – 55 million women in the United States were obtaining free birth control.
“The thing that’s important to me, because it’s really part of why this election is so important,” Richards said, “as a result of the long, hard fight for the Affordable Care Act, 55 million women in America are getting birth control–and no co-pay.”
Murray said she would be asking Price tough questions to ensure he would be “putting people first, not politics, not partisanship,” and placing “science before ideology.”
The ranking HELP committee member added on Thursday Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) would be hosting a “forum with witnesses who can speak to the impact of healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood.”