Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Free Birth Control for Everyone

Not sure if you guys have seen this, but the department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has dictated that insurance companies must provide birth control to women free of charge. That means zero out-of-pocket dollars. A woman who wishes to be on birth control will not be required to pony up a co-pay.

In a column at The Daily Beast, writer Amanda Marcotte can’t seem to understand why those with conservative ideals would reject this. She goes on, blathering about reduced costs as pregnancies are supposedly reduced and all that. I think she either misses the point or intentionally has her head buried in the sand. I will agree there is a morality issue here but that is not part of the argument from the point of view from most on the right. It has to do with money and the federal government’s lack of it and it also has to do with the feds sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.

SIDENOTE: Bill O’Reilly can be a knucklehead at times.

I really have no issues with women obtaining birth control in any form. I am also not so much a prude as to say that pre-marital sex is a bad thing and that it can or should be controlled. This is a personal choice. I do counsel my boys on the responsibilities of sex before marriage and do tell them the wise decision is to wait at least to a point where you are able to either get married (don’t support “shotgun” weddings) or at the very least, provide for the child. And I always counsel them that until they are married, birth control should be at the forefront of their minds. The responsibility lies with both, not just the woman.

What I do have troubles with is using tax payer dollars for this. I also have a problem with the increased insurance costs I am going to face as insurance companies pass along to costs to consumers. I also have a problem with the feds continually making decisions that have an impact on my pocketbook. I am smart enough to realize that tax payer dollars are not a factor is this decision, at least not right now. But it will be. This decision by HHS is just a small step towards a government funded single payer system, which is the progressive (re: Obama and his cronies) goal. As more mandates are handed down from HHS that increases the cost of health insurance (can free abortions be very far in the future?), the more people are going to clamor for the government to pick up the tab.

I sincerely doubt this will reduce unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. When you really dig into the dynamics of unplanned or unwanted pregnancy you will find that many of those pregnancies are to people who already have access to little to no cost birth control and family planning through Planned Parenthood and other state level health services. The American taxpayer currently funds PP to the tune of over $360 million, much of which is used to provide birth control. If people in the lower economic stratus want birth control, they can get birth control at little to no cost.

BTW: It is a falsehood that PP uses taxpayer money to fund abortions. HOWEVER, if this taxpayer money was not available, then the private monies they do get and use for the abortion program would have to be directed away from funding abortions to the other services (such as birth control and women’s health services) now covered by taxpayer funds.

Also we need to consider that most forms of birth control are relatively cheap. The pill costs $15 to $40 each month, while a condom costs less than $.50 each. Not terribly expensive. Most women can afford this and if they can’t there are other resources available to them. Men can also afford their part. Of course, the left will try to throw this right back at me by saying, “See, it is not that expensive for the insurance companies to pick up this tab.” (When the left uses logic, it tends to be faulty logic.) Taken one by one, sure the cost isn’t all that high, but it soon begins to add up. If birth control and other women’s health services are so cheap then why does PP need nearly a billion dollars in funding (government and private) each year? And this money is used only for those who otherwise cannot afford these services through insurance or pay as you go. When you add in the rest of the women who are currently on insurance or pay as they go, the costs are going to reach into the tens of billions of dollars. This is going to be passed on to the consumer.

So, while people on the left try to paint those of us on the right as not caring about women’s issues or not understanding the full benefits of spending tons of money, they themselves are not thinking this all the way through.

Rose over at Simple Everyday Living has a brief comment and another link to this story. Her blog is one of those quirky sites that I like to read every so often. You should go visit.


  1. I don't agree with it, but then again I don't agree with ANY insurance being mandated by the government. That said, I will point out something that happened to a close friend of mine several years ago. Vasectomy was covered for HIM but birth control pills were not covered for HER. I'm far from being a feminist, but that seems pretty darned wrong for a male birth control procedure to be covered, but not one for the female. Not sure if that's how it is now though.

  2. From a woman's point of view though things are a little different. For the past few years, Viagra and other ED drugs ARE covered by insurances, but no form of birth control for women. Also I know a lot of guys who know a woman is on the pill won't use a condom. Not right but young kids don't think. We have instilled in OUR boys 'keep it covered'. We prefer that they refrain from sex until marriage and so far 1 of the 3 has. At least the others do use their own protection just in case the woman forgot her pill or says she is taking one but isn't(had a nephew caught that way). I think that if they are going to help a guy out they should also help the woman. I do think there should be a co pay, I think all meds should have one. There are cases where women are put on birth control piulls because of medical reasons that have nothing to do with preventing pregnancy but more in line with controlling a woman's period. They do this at times when a woman has her period continuously or if it refuses to come at all. It helps regulate a woman when her body refuses to do the job on it's own. Yet even in these circumstances the woman has to pay for it herself. I guess mainly what I am trying to say is if they help a guy out with ED they should help the other half also. ED can cause depression, but the above mentioned woman problems can call depression and many other medical and mental and emotional problems. I always thought that Viagra and other ED drugs shouldn't be covered but they were and are. Why I don't want tax payer dollars paying for abortions, if they are paying for Viagra, I feel they should pay for the prevention of what that drug can do also to the female side. Not sure if I am getting my point across correctly, hope I am.

  3. To my Readers; I think I should have been a tad more clear on this subject. Covering birth control should be up to the individual insurance companies, not mandated by the government. the other point, and probably more important, is that I think the co-pay should be required, just like it is for almost every other insured medical procedure or medication.

  4. Rob, I posted a short comment on my blog about this topic. I am so exhausted by the ever expanding list of entitlements. It is not the govt's job to be mandating insurance companies to provide birth control. People need to decide what is important for them to spend their money on. If someone is truly low income, there are many clinics that offer low cost or no cost birth control. Birth control hasn't reduced the number of housing projects, the number of delinquent fathers or the number of unplanned pregnancies, so that argument is invalid. It just puts the burden of the cost onto insurance payers and goes against the morals of some who object at financing the indiscretions of others, or financing the conjugal aspect of marriage when it should be their responsibility. Has anyone heard of NFP? As far as I'm concerned, if you can't afford birth control, you can't afford a baby- so don't have sex.

    Did you hear the PA is now offering free cell phones for those on welfare? The govt also wants to know who and what vaccines everyone in your family has had, and if you haven't vaccinated against such diseases as chicken pox or HPV, you as a parent may need to go to counseling (reeducation). I'm not sure what the plan is. Forced immunization, maybe?