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House of Representatives Advances Veterans’ Legislation and Contraceptive Coverage Access

by Press Release
November 11, 2017

 

Representative Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston) joined her colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in voting to pass legislation recognizing the contributions of veterans on the municipal level as well guaranteeing patients’ access to contraceptive coverage without a copay in light of recent federal reforms.

Representative Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston) joined her colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in voting to pass legislation recognizing the contributions of veterans on the municipal level as well guaranteeing patients’ access to contraceptive coverage without a copay in light of recent federal reforms.

In the week leading up to Veterans Day, the House passed several bills designed to recognize and support Massachusetts veterans. H.3968 authorized $199 million in bonding to support the construction of a new Soldier’s Home in Chelsea to provide long-term care to veterans in a new, approximately 154-bed facility.

H.1948, An Act allowing any town or city to designate a check-off box on its municipal tax bills or motor vehicle excise tax bills to donate or pledge an amount of money, authorizes municipalities to create a spot on local tax bills or vehicle excise bills where taxpayers may voluntarily donate money to a Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Celebration Fund. The funds raised through this local option would be used to create or restore monuments or to fund memorial activities for veterans that live in the city or town.

The House also passed H.2763, An Act providing for designated parking for veterans at city and town halls, which would direct municipalities to designate a veterans-only parking space at the city or town hall parking lot.

These bills would work to support the contributions and sacrifices of local veterans, in recognition of the significant role that Massachusetts veterans continue to play in their local communities as well as the long history of service and sacrifice by Massachusetts residents in the armed forces.

“These bills represent some of the many ways, both big and small, that state and local officials work to recognize the contributions that veterans make to our communities,” said Rep. Dykema. “It’s important that our policies reflect the utmost respect and gratitude we all share for those who served.”

The House also passed H.4009, An Act relative to advancing contraceptive coverage and economic security in our state, also known as the ACCESS Act. This bill would guarantee access to contraception prescriptions by requiring insurance companies to provide copay-free coverage to Massachusetts subscribers. Health plans are required to cover contraceptive coverage for prescriptions, devices, and related care, including a 12-month supply of oral contraceptives.

This legislation seeks to address the concerns raised about ongoing changes to federal health care requirements and to preserve the birth control benefit requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Churches and other religious organizations that purchase employer policies are allowed to opt out from the provisions of the bill, as long as they provide notice to prospective enrollees.

“This legislation takes important steps toward guaranteeing that access to quality contraceptive care to Massachusetts residents is not eroded by changes in federal policy,” said Rep. Dykema. “A patient’s ability to pay should never prevent access to essential reproductive health services.”

The bills will now travel to the Senate for consideration.

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Rep. Carolyn Dykema has served in the Massachusetts House of Representative since 2009 and represents the residents of the 8th Middlesex District which includes Holliston, Hopkinton, Southborough and pct. 2 of Westborough.

 

 

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