Another Big Win for Obamacare

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from MSNBC,

It wasn’t expected to be overly controversial, but the Affordable Care Act guarantees Americans’ access to preventive care without a copay. In practical terms, it means millions of women now have access to birth control at effectively no cost, much to the consternation of Republicans who remain fiercely opposed to the policy,

There’s been quite a bit of coverage about the public-health benefits of the ACA provision, but the New York Times reported late yesterday on an even more obvious shift: a lot of Americans are saving a lot of money.

Out-of-pocket spending on most major birth control methods fell sharply in the months after the Affordable Care Act began requiring insurance plans to cover contraception at no cost to women, a new study has found. Spending on the pill, the most popular form of prescription birth control, dropped by about half in the first six months of 2013, compared with the same period in 2012, before the mandate took effect.

The study, by health economists from the University of Pennsylvania, analyzed health insurance claims from a large private insurer with business in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It evaluated the effect of the Affordable Care Act, the biggest piece of social legislation in decades, on women’s pocketbooks. It estimated that savings from the pill alone were about $1.4 billion in 2013.

For consumers, many of whom wanted contraception but couldn’t afford it, $1.4 billion in savings is a substantial figure. What’s more, that total is from 2013, which means the savings are likely even greater now.

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