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House Renews Contraceptive Coverage for Federal Employees

On July 25, the House voted, 334-94, to pass the FY2002 Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government appropriations bill (H.R. 2590), thereby retaining contraceptive coverage for federal employees.

Under the measure, health plans participating in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) would be required to cover prescription contraceptives if they cover other prescription drugs. Two religious health plans and individuals who object to prescribing contraceptives on religious or moral grounds would be exempt from the provision. An identical provision has been in place since 1998. H.R. 2590 also would prohibit abortion coverage under FEHBP.

The legislation renews two other provisions: one would authorize federal agencies to use administrative funds to provide child care for low-income federal employees and the other would allow women to breastfeed their children in federal buildings or on federal property.

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