Thursday, July 21, 2011

Copay-Free Contraception: The Rational Solution, the Right Solution

The gradual implementation of President Obama's Affordable Care Act has included time for studies to be conducted regarding what should be a part of its sweeping changes. A recent report from the Institute of Medicine recommends "the full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods" be covered by insurers without requiring a copay from the women receiving care. Though I can already hear the high-pitched whine of the right-wing talking points machine starting up to claim this as a moral failing on the part of our government, I encourage everyone to take a breath and recognize that this recommendation benefits everyone.

Copay-free contraception will save money. According to the Guttmacher Institute, "every $1 invested in public dollars for contraception saves $3.74 in Medicaid expenditures that otherwise would have been needed to provide pregnancy-related care (prenatal, labor, delivery and postpartum care) for women’s unintended births, as well as one year of medical care for their infants." With the increasing cost of Medicare to America, fiscal conservatives should be jumping at an opportunity to lower the costs of the system they constantly bemoan as being in desperate need of an overhaul.

Copay-free contraception will save lives. At least according to the definition of life which matters to social conservatives. As I have written, nothing would do as much to lower the demand for abortions as easy access to contraceptives linked with honest sex education efforts. While there is some sick fixation on legislating what can be in a woman's uterus and when, we can more readily eliminate much of the need for abortions by just giving women the tools they need to be responsible about their reproductive health.

Copay-free contraception will make life easier for millions of women. Partisan hackery aside, let's focus on why this is really important. We all know strong, smart, sexually active women who deserve the right to have control over when they want to start a family, even and especially when it wouldn't be economically viable for them to do so on their own. The potential for complications from unprotected sexual encounters is significantly higher for women, and there's no good reason why random genetic chance should so heavily discriminate against individuals of one gender when it is possible to prevent it. Take some time out of your day to call your congressperson and let them know how important it is that the women in your life be given copay-free contraception through their insurance. The Institute of Marriage recommends it, reason endorses it, and to do the right thing demands it.


Roi des Foux said...

Ahhh, but you forget that contraception is evil. Thus it does not matter how much money it would save or how many abortions it would prevent, it's wrong! Especially since you can achieve the same results by simply cutting Medicare completely and outlawing abortion. Boom, problem solved.

Alexis Preatori said...

Contraception is not an evil deed. It's just a good way birth control that couples should use. It also doesn't promote abortion because it prevents the sperm cell from having contact in an egg cell.

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Boyd J said...

I agree, Alexis. If contraception existed in Biblical times, I'm sure we'd read about characters in the Bible using contraceptives, giving a moral basis for birth control.

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Koby said...

With the times going harder, isn't it advisable to take a step and avoid going deeper into debt by raising a kid empty-handed?

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