There ’s a New Health Secretary. What Will He Mean for Women’s Health?

On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical company executive, as the new secretary of Health and Human Services. Though Azar’s formal position on women’s reproductive rights is largely unknown, reproductive health groups are roundly criticizing the pick. Azar is the former president of Eli Lilly USA and served in HHS under former President George W. Bush. “The Affordable Care Act has helped millions of patients have access to affordable and high-quality reproductive health care,” said Dr. Anne Davis, Consulting Medical Director of Physicians for Reproductive Health in a statement about the confirmation. “Mr. Azar, however, has been a harsh critic of the ACA and once called it a ‘fundamentally broken system.’ As physicians, we seek to preserve gains brought by the ACA for Americans, and we are concerned Mr. Azar does not has those same interests in mind.” During a confirmation hearing for Azar in late November, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray asked Azar if he supports a recent rule from the Trump Administration that allows employers with a conscience objection to deny insurance coverage for contraception for women (the law is currently blocked by a federal court). Azar responded that the number of employers believed to take advantage of the rule is overall small, but said “I do believe we have to balance of course a woman’s choice of insurance that she would want with the conscience of employe...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized abortion Alex Azar Alex Azar HHS Birth Control contraception health secretary healthytime onetime pro-choice pro-life public health trump Source Type: news

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