Tuesday, January 16, 2018
A recent study by the Guttmacher Institute has found no evidence of change in women's contraceptive use as a result of the Affordable Care Act. The proportion of women with insurance coverage for contraceptives increased, but not the use or mixture of contraceptive methods.
This is unsurprising for anyone familiar with the weaknesses of the evidence for the government's repeated assertions in litigation that the contraceptives mandate actually advanced a compelling interest in protecting women's health.
After all, the mandate itself was the product of an Institute of Medicine group that deliberately chose not to scrutinize the relationship between insurance coverage and contraceptive use (as the opinion of the dissenting doctor explained). (Here's a blog post from almost five years ago in which I support this point in more detail, with links to the primary documents.) The government agencies nevertheless adopted the IOM's recommendation without any independent consideration of this relationship. And if the recent study is accurate, it turns out the government's litigators have been wrong thus far to insist that the mandate actually advances a compelling government interest in women's health.