HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Planned Parenthood says it has seen a 900 percent increase in calls concerning intrauterine devices since the election. The Harrisburg chapter says it’s working to keep up with the volume.
It’s a very real concern for women whose birth control costs could go up if the Affordable Care Act – known as Obamacare – is repealed and replaced.
Steps from the Capitol, politics pour into Little Amps Coffee Shop where Kait Gibboney works.
“I would joke to my fellow women, ‘Oh man, I gotta get my birth control while it lasts’,” she said.
Gibboney is worried she won’t be able to afford her birth control pills on a barista’s budget.
“With student loans, rent, utilities, I might have to do without it,” she said.
That’s a very real thing for 55 million women whose birth control is currently covered by insurance under the ACA. Many are now considering getting rid of the pill for longer-term IUDs.
“Folks are calling in and saying ‘Trump is President and we’ve heard that Speaker Ryan’s first motivation is to repeal the ACA,” Lindsey Mauldin of Planned Parenthood in Harrisburg said.
Callers are acting now, worried that birth control costs might return to pre-ACA levels when a month’s supply of pills, now free, was about $15 and IUDs, now about $30, were about $1,000.
“We’ve been fighting this fight for six years,” Mauldin said. “Since 2010, we’ve seen these attacks on women’s health care, but this feels really real.”
For Republicans like state Rep. Steven Bloom, it is real. Bloom (R-Cumberland) spoke to us about the ACA in general.
“People are hurting right now under Obamacare,” he said.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) has called for an ACA repeal within six months.
“There’s going to be some winners and losers under any change that’s made, but we need to make sure the system is fair and provides good quality care in an accessible manner,” Bloom said.
The future of Obamacare is still hazy. There is no set plan on what will replace it.