General Assembly debates whether to make all forms of birth control free

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DENVER -- The Colorado General Assembly is debating a measure that would require all insurance companies in the state to cover any brand of contraceptive.

The measure was debated in a House hearing Thursday after reproductive rights advocates say a loophole was created in the Affordable Care Act.

According to experts, the ACA was supposed to have insurance companies cover all forms of birth control, but because the language was vague, insurance providers have been getting away with only offering to cover generic brands.

"My birth control is not covered under insurance," said Christine Breen, who testified at the hearing. "The generic form of my birth control is covered, but I have tried that and it makes me sick."

Breen says she is forced to pay $100 out of pocket to feel "healthy." Breen uses birth control to control hormones.

According to the Secretary of State's website, several insurance lobbyists are lining up against the measure. Several lobbyists and associations did not provide formal statements when asked for one.

Alora Riley, an economics student at the University of Colorado, testified against the bill for financial reasons.

"The insurance costs are going to increase for everyone because the insurance companies are not going to flip the bill on this," Riley said.

The measure is expected to pass the Democratic-controlled House, but it faces stiff opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate.

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