GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It’s one of the first things he said he would do as president: replace and repeal Obamacare. On Inauguration Day, President Trump signed an executive order to start rolling back the Affordable Care Act.
Some women - fearful that affordable birth control might be taken away from them - are reacting to the looming change by getting their hands on contraceptives as fast as they can.
“I have seen 15 to 130 women since the election that have said, 'I am thinking about getting an IUD, and I need it now because when it’s [Affordable Care Act] overturned, I can’t afford it anymore,'” said Suzanne West, a local OBGYN.
Getting an IUD is a procedure that can cost up to $1,500 if not covered by insurance. It's a long term contraceptive; it can last 3-5 years so many women are rushing to get it done now to avoid paying $50- $60 a month for birth control pills and other methods if Obamacare goes away.
“An IUD is a birth control method. It’s as effective as getting your tubes tied but its 100% reversible and it’s a small device inserted in the uterus,” said West.
West said there will be generic birth control pills that will be available for women to buy for $9-$10, however, these pills don’t help people with certain medical conditions. She said she has a patient in her early 40’s who has high blood pressure, diabetes, and just had a stroke. That patient can’t use estrogen.
“I have heard people say, 'well who cares if the Affordable Care Act is overturned because people can get birth control pills for about 9 to 10 dollars a month.' And that is true, although not everyone tolerates it,” said West.
President Trump has said several times he wants to keep popular parts of Obamacare such as coverage with preexisting conditions and allowing young adults to stay under their parents' insurance. He hasn’t specified what he is going to do about birth control coverage. His choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services - Representative Tom Price - has voted against access to birth control throughout his career.
West says the country has made leaps and bounds of progress with affordable contraceptives under Obama’s administration.
“We have lowered the unwanted pregnancy rate and we have lowered abortion. We have done everything that Trump administration and Republicans want but yet they want to repeal birth control,” said West.