22 answers

Do We Even Understand What the Birth Control Debate Is?

So...lots of questions and opinions flying around on this and it seems that people are up in arms over old news. The original issue was the the new health care act no longer exempted employers of "faith based organizations" (other than actual churches) from mandates to cover contraceptives in their insurance plans. The ability to not cover birth control effectively means that many religious institutions that don't cover contraceptives pay a much higher premium for insurance because each woman of child bearing age who is covered under the plan poses a substantial risk of getting pregnant and generating over $10K in pregnancy-related costs for the insurer. This was a cost that they were willing to bear.

When religious institutions got up in arms about being "forced" to provide a benefit that counters its core beliefs, the administration came up with a compromise where women under one of those plans could go directly to the insurer to get contraceptives covered. This way, the religious-based employer is not paying for the contraceptive and violating its beliefs. I haven't heard the insurance companies complaining about this - it's actually a good deal for them...they're collecting the higher premium because contraceptives aren't covered in the insurance pool, increasing pregnancy risk, and the cost of birth control is a fraction of that increased premium, so it makes sense to use some of that increased premium to cover birth control and further lower the risk of having to pay for pregnancy-related expenses.

So...why are people still up in arms about this? What is wrong with the compromise?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

But Cheryl - they're not saying it has to be covered by the institution. They're saying that in cases where the institution chooses to exercise a religious exemption to deny coverage for something otherwise covered by law, the employees can get it elsewhere, through the insurer. Are you really arguing that employers should have *complete* discretion over everything in their plans and that there should be no laws at all regarding what insurance plans do and don't cover? Insurance isn't a free market where people are free to shop around for what they want. In an industry where access to insurance is largely dictated by employers, there have to be mechanisms in place to ensure some level of parity and equal access to coverage for basic services.

@ Christine S...people who have to use emergency care because they have no access to affordable preventative medicine are one of the biggest reasons for crushing health care costs. Who do you think pays for those ER visits when people can't pay? WE ALL DO. The hospitals cover what they can with government funding and then spread the rest of the cost difference around by charging patients and insurance companies enough to offset the "free" care costs. This is more expensive than just helping everyone get access to affordable preventative care. I had an uninsured relative who got in infection in his arm and because he had no health insurance, didn't get it looked at by a doctor. He finally sought medical care when he had crippling back pain and couldn't move. He had gotten a staph infection that had spread to his spine. Any idea how much it costs to treat a spinal staph infection? Hospital admission for a month, IV antibiotics for 2 or 3 more months, etc. All over something that a $10 antibiotic could have fixed. These kinds of stupid things happen every day with people who are poor and uninsured and it costs us all a staggering amount of money. Clearly, the "buy your own insurance or go to the ER" strategy hasn't worked for us as a country.

Featured Answers

I have to say I have learned more this morning in this forum then the whole past week
BUT
All these post have make me feel guilty I don't know enough about politics.
=*(
Some days is hard to catch up with you ladies! lol

4 moms found this helpful

I beleive it should be made available. Doesn't mean everyone has to use it. And no one should have to know you are using birth control. I don't have to go to my employer and tell them what Rx I'm taking. Its available so don't ask, don't tell. I grew up Catholic with all the narrow-mindedness about birth control. It made me rebel, and I was left without options. Which frustrated me that I was forced to seek out my own forms of birth control and made to feel ashamed because I did so.

2 moms found this helpful

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nothing. it's a sensible solution to a solvable problem.
but anything obama initiates is going to meet furious opposition. even when he does what his opponents furiously demanded.
@@
khairete
S.

7 moms found this helpful

After reading some of these answers, I think a lot of people have no concept or comprehension of this issue outside of whatever talking head they listen to. They are anti-birth control so insurers shouldn't pay for it. No amount of facts will change their mind.

It makes me sad.

6 moms found this helpful

Good clarification. I think some people want to turn everything into a ridiculous exaggerated drama.

6 moms found this helpful

omg.... please make it stop...

6 moms found this helpful

This issue becomes just another divisive talking point for those who don't believe in a government-mandated health insurance program and those who do. There are so many places where it would be ideal if the government didn't have to step in, but it is too often the case that those in power have the ability to run over the "little people" and no moral qualms against doing so.

The government now sees that the health care situation in this country is out of control and needs intervention. Much like a parent who has allowed their 16-year old to drive themselves to school only to find out that the child has started skipping classes and their grades are falling. Time to take the keys away.

In this instance, the government in mandating a certain level of health care coverage be offered by employers. When certain religious organization start balking at offering coverage for things against their beliefs, it opens a very dangerous door for employers to say I don't believe in this, that or the other and whittle away at the base level of coverage the government is trying to assure for ALL Americans. Let's just say contraceptives are a "gateway issue."

BTW, as a military dependent for most of my life, I have been the beneficiary of government-run healthcare and it has been a literal life-saver.

4 moms found this helpful

The government is involved in a lot of things. A food company cannot put arsenic into breakfast cereal because the FDA regulates it. A drug company cannot put arsenic into aspirin because of the FDA. Airline pilots and air traffic controllers cannot drink on the job because of the FAA. A mining company cannot pour toxic chemicals into drinking water (at least not in theory) because of the EPA. Some random guy cannot stumble in off the street and start teaching kindergarten in a public school -- you need qualifications, background check, etc. Etc, etc, etc.

So why is it suddenly this terrible government intrusion for Americans to have equal access to preventative health care?

4 moms found this helpful

I have to say I have learned more this morning in this forum then the whole past week
BUT
All these post have make me feel guilty I don't know enough about politics.
=*(
Some days is hard to catch up with you ladies! lol

4 moms found this helpful

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for posting this, JB!!!!
As well as your responses below.
People get so infuriated by 5% of the arument that they're not willing to even try to understand the rest.
If only everyone took the time.

4 moms found this helpful

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