Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones calls on Trump Administration to withdraw rule that threatens women’s access to health care services
News: 2018 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones submitted formal comments calling on the Trump Administration to rescind its proposed rule which would restrict funds for vital women's reproductive health services and prevent doctors from being able to provide women with information about all their reproductive health care options. The proposed rule is clearly intended to defund Planned Parenthood and other community health care clinics that provide a full range of reproductive health care services. Existing rules already prevent Title X funding from being used to reimburse providers for abortion services, but the proposed rule goes beyond that and effectively prevents providers that receive Title X funding from discussing abortion or directly referring a patient, even one who has already independently stated their choice to pursue an abortion, to a provider that performs abortions. The rule would also require physical and financial separation between entities that receive Title X funding and those at which abortion services, including simply referrals and support, are provided.
Commissioner Jones explained the impact of the rules in his letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
"These proposed regulations make it more difficult for women to access family planning and other basic health care services and undermines the standard of medical care for those women who manage to obtain care.
The proposed rule, Compliance with Statutory Program Integrity Requirements, is an outright attack on the women's health care rights. It will result in the loss of health care for women that will reach far beyond access to abortion services, by preventing access to many other medically necessary basic health services. The Trump Administration's proposed rule is an egregious interference with the provision of necessary health care to women served by the Title X program, and will result in undiagnosed cancers, untreated diseases, and restricted care choices.
Existing federal law already prohibits the use of Title X funds to provide abortion. The new Trump rule proposes to go far beyond this limitation by censoring medical providers. It will force health care clinics, including Planned Parenthood and Community Health Centers, to choose between providing adequate, medically necessary care to their patients and accepting the federal funds that enable them to provide a wide range of essential health services to underserved communities. I strongly object to the proposed rule, Compliance with Statutory Program Integrity Requirements, and urge that it be withdrawn by your Department."
Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.