Senate approves bill on birth control pillsThe Maryland...

Assembly Digest

March 07, 1998|By From staff reports

Senate approves bill on birth control pills

The Maryland Senate approved a bill yesterday that would end the practice of treating birth control pills differently from other prescriptions.

The measure, passed 31-14, would require health insurers to include contraceptive drugs and devices in their prescription plans. The amended version permits religious organizations to request that their insurer exclude such coverage.

Women's groups and medical organizations promoted the bill as gender equity, saying national studies show women of reproductive age spend 68 percent more on out-of-pocket health costs than men. But insurance representatives argued the benefit would drive up the cost of health care. The House has not acted on the proposal.

House bill would designate milk the official state drink

In a bow to the state's beleaguered dairy industry, the House of Delegates approved a bill yesterday that would designate milk the official state drink.

Without debate, delegates voted 112-15 in favor of legislation sponsored by Del. Paul S. Stull, a Frederick County Republican. The symbolic measure now goes to the Senate.

A similar proposal passed the House last year but died in a spat over the chamber's refusal to pass a Senate bill making golden topaz the state gemstone. No golden topaz legislation has been introduced this year.

Pub Date: 3/07/98

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