JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Fourty-seven million American women will now have access to free birth control as a portion of the Affordable Care Act goes into effect Wednesday.
It's one of eight well-woman benefits provided by the Act, which requires insurance companies to provide FDA approved contraceptives at no cost.
"Thanks to the new health care law," said Kathleen Sebelius, the US Health and Human Services Secretary, "all insurance policies will be required to cover new vital care that women need to stay healthy and they'll have to cover the care without charging women anything out of pocket."
But not everyone agrees with the law. Employers with religious affiliations are not required to provide free coverage, and despite a Supreme Court ruling that upheld the constitutionality of most of the Act, some Republicans are taking steps toward a repeal.
"I think it would be appropriate to have a vote on the repeal of Obamacare," said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R). "And I would hope to be able to offer that amendment during the pendency of the bill on cyber-security, which we believe will be open to amendments."
The Affordable Care Act was passed two years ago, but is being implemented in phases, with most of it going into effect in 2014.