A bipartisan bill to allow women to obtain a year’s worth of prescription contraceptives passed the House with widespread support, but faces an uncertain future in the Republican Senate.
House Bill 1186 was assigned to the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, a committee used by the majority party to kill unfavorable legislation.
In the Democratic-controlled House, the bill was heard in the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee. It passed the full House by a vote of 50-14.
A photo of Reps. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, and Lois Landgraf, R-Colorado Springs, as the two congratulated each other for passage of the bill, circulated around the Capitol, highlighting the bipartisan nature of the legislation.
Supporters of the bill are worried that Republicans in control of the Senate won’t provide the legislation with the same fairness it saw in the House.
But Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-Canon City, said the bill being assigned to State Affairs is not necessarily an indication of the measure’s demise.
“There’s some issues …” Grantham said.
“It is an intriguing concept, not a new one to us. But we’ll let the committee take a look at it. We had other stuff that has found its way through State Affairs successfully. We’ll see if this one … can do that too.”
After an initial three-month trial, the bill would allow women on private health care plans to pick up 12-month supplies of their monthly birth control, either in the form of a pill or a patch. It also would require insurers to cover a three-month supply of a woman’s vaginal ring prescription.
Studies show that dispensing a multi-month supply of birth control is associated with a 30 percent reduction in the odds of an unplanned pregnancy.
Similar legislation last year passed the House 42-23. The bill was also sent to State Affairs in the Senate last year, where it died.