Health care reform could make birth control pills free

For generations, Americans have had an odd aversion to contraceptives. Even as the birth control pill launched the sexual revolution — forever changing sexual mores in the Western world — this country remained reluctantly to overtly embrace the use of readily-available contraceptives.
Only in the last few years have advertisers launched promotions of birth control pills on TV. Ads for drugs like Viagra dominated the airwaves before ads for the pill crept onto the air. That strangely prudish attitude helps explain why out-of-wedlock births in the US are so much higher than in Western Europe, where contraceptives are widely available and publicly embraced.
But the US approach could change with the passage of health insurance reform. From The WaPo:

Fifty years after the pill, another birth control revolution may be on the horizon: free contraception for women in the U.S., thanks to the new health care law.

That could start a shift toward more reliable – and expensive – forms of birth control that are gaining acceptance in other developed countries.

But first, look for a fight over social mores.

A panel of experts advising the government meets in November to begin considering what kind of preventive care for women should be covered at no cost to the patient, as required under President Barack Obama’s overhaul.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., author of the women’s health amendment, says the clear intent was to include family planning.

It will certainly set off another huge fight over so-called family values. Oddly, conservatives have always had an understated antipathy toward birth control, even though its the best way to curb abortions. But this is another fight they are bound to lose.

One of the best things that could happen for health care, family planning and family dysfunction is widely available contraception.

332 comments Add your comment

PeaDawg

November 1st, 2010
8:10 am

My only thing w/ free contraception is who’s going to pay for it?

Joel Edge

November 1st, 2010
8:10 am

Sure, why not. Family planning was the intent. Not another freebie.

Aquagirl

November 1st, 2010
8:10 am

Oh, the Catholic church is gonna throw a fit—when they aren’t busy covering up their sex scandals.

Middle of the road and looking both ways

November 1st, 2010
8:12 am

This is great news so that all babies will be welcomed into families who can plan for them and take care of them. One caveat, women on hormonal contraceptives should not smoke. The warnings in small print should not be ignored. More young women flat line at hospitals due to the mix of contraceptive hormones and smoking than for any other reason. Women need to be educated about what they use in their bodies. Women should take responsibility for their reproductive health and get the information they need to be informed so they can have a safe pregnancy when they are ready to have a child.

Bubba Bob

November 1st, 2010
8:15 am

PeaDawg,

We’ve got plenty of money. Just ignore what you owe and keep paying for new things. That’s what I do at home, right?

Georgian

November 1st, 2010
8:16 am

Cynthia,

It is a choice to have sex and risk getting prego. If a person does not want to get pregnant, then they need to not have sex, or have an operation if they are old enough to make the choice not to have kids.

mystified

November 1st, 2010
8:16 am

Free.. That’s great news… I can’t believe the pharmaceutical companies are going to produce and distribute these pills for free.

Maybe we can even give them away to our middle and high schoolers.

Aquagirl

November 1st, 2010
8:17 am

It’s a choice to do just about anything in this life, Georgian.

about time

November 1st, 2010
8:19 am

Peadawg:
birth control pills are a lot cheaper than welfare children.

Bob

November 1st, 2010
8:21 am

How long can companies stay in business giving things away ? Obo’s panel is currently making decisions about what is paid for and what is free. Why not just make it easy and make everything free, it’s only fair that we all get free stuff.

Call it like it is

November 1st, 2010
8:22 am

Nothing like starting the day with a chuckle. Government gives away “free” pills. I tell you what instead of taking my money and giving away “free” pills, I rather the government spend the money on education and or how you get and transmit STD’s. Hey Cynthia did you realize that Georgia is like number 3 in the nation in Syphilis cases!

But hey if Europe does it, we should too. Because they are so much better then us.

Georgian

November 1st, 2010
8:23 am

So Aquagirl,

THey are choosing that burden, so if they want to take the risk let them PAY for their BC!!!!

Reality

November 1st, 2010
8:23 am

I’d much rather my tax dollars go towards birth control pills than paying for a crack baby’s medical bills, or the like. It would be a lot cheaper!

This has nothing to do with “liberal” or “conservative” or even “religion” but rather what simply makes sense for our current society.

Keep up the good fight!

November 1st, 2010
8:24 am

Force those victims of rapists and incest to bear their children and raise them…. but dont let them have a chance at birth control ahead of time so maybe their wont have to raise them.

About time…. great point!

Georgian

November 1st, 2010
8:25 am

Its NOT gonna be free, the people that pay (me personally) for their insurance will be footing the BILL!!! Then they can have their free health care, food, birth control, etc. You name it, just give it to ‘em for free. They can’t help it, they were born that way, it wasn’t the choices or decisions they made.

James

November 1st, 2010
8:25 am

Viagra should not be paid for by insurance. I don’t follow the “make it free” as I would assume it will cost something, or is it like manna from heaven?

ctucker

November 1st, 2010
8:26 am

James, Has anyone suggested that Viagra be paid for by insurance?

about time

November 1st, 2010
8:27 am

James: Why shouldn’t Viagra be paid for by insurance???? Erectile disfunction is a medical condition. Viagra should definitely be paid for by insurance.

ctucker

November 1st, 2010
8:27 am

James@8:25, I should have added: Contraceptives would be covered by the cost of the premiums, which consumers will still be paying.

Georgian

November 1st, 2010
8:27 am

Keep,

Nice try. But we all know the majority of BC users use it to prevent from getting prego so they can just go live it up and not have to worry bout the consequences.

ctucker

November 1st, 2010
8:28 am

Georgian@8:25, It won’t just be you paying premiums. I know there has been a lot of misinformation about health insurance reform, but all consumers will pay premiums. The insurance will not be free — and contraceptives would be covered by the premiums. So you can calm down now.

Aquagirl

November 1st, 2010
8:29 am

So Georgian,

Why should I pay for the guy who lodges a fishhook in his ear fly fishing? They are choosing that burden, let them PAY for their ER visit!!

Georgian

November 1st, 2010
8:29 am

Cynthia,

You kniow good and well the majority of those getting the freebies wont be paying any premiums! They wont be able to!

ctucker

November 1st, 2010
8:29 am

Bob@8:21, The contraceptives would be covered by the cost of the premium. You remember paying an insurance premium, don’t you? or are you on Medicare?

ctucker

November 1st, 2010
8:29 am

mystified@8:16, Contraceptives would be covered by the cost of the premium. Calm down.

AFret

November 1st, 2010
8:30 am

CT, another part of Obama care, free, free, free! Yea. Free pills. Free abortions, free health care. Free, free, free. Come get it. It’s free! Here illegal, it’s free. On welfare, it’s free, daddy in prison, it’s free. etc. etc. etc…

Keep up the good fight!

November 1st, 2010
8:30 am

Wow Georgian…people are taking birth control pills so they dont get pregnant? How appalling!

Paddy O

November 1st, 2010
8:31 am

Cynthia – if factored out the atmospheric black portion of the out of wedlock numbers, how much higher is the rest of the country compared to western europe?

TnGelding

November 1st, 2010
8:31 am

Nothing is free. I leaned that when I started kindergarten. Abstain, abstain, abstain! From someone that had a shotgun wedding. But we’ve been together for 45 years. Comprehensive sex education is still badly needed in this country. That would allow most of our offspring to make the right decision for themselves. We parents have too many hangups of our own. It seems the latest adult generation doesn’t appreciate the freedom we gave them and would rather remain barefoot and pregnant.

Georgian

November 1st, 2010
8:31 am

Aquagirl,

That guy “flyfishing” will have the money to pay for his flyfishing. Flyfishing is a hobby, bodily injury is bound to happen. Sex is a choice, and unprotected, unsafe, not-thought-out sex is a choice. People need responsibility, not people making excuses for them, giving them a way out, and giving them the free ride.

Aquagirl

November 1st, 2010
8:32 am

CT, these people are upset about women getting themselves pregnant. Because there’s obviously no man involved anywhere in the process.

Really, guys, why don’t you just cut loose with a rant on WIMMIN and SECKS!!!!!! Because that’s what really gets to you.

Paddy O

November 1st, 2010
8:32 am

Just like the morons the college system has admitted, which cost $22 million to re-educate; the premium will NOT cover the cost of all these freebees.

Paddy O

November 1st, 2010
8:33 am

aquagirl – the man involved – what are the odds of him becoming pregnant?

James

November 1st, 2010
8:33 am

Georgian- “giving them a free ride”- now that is funny.

Georgian

November 1st, 2010
8:34 am

Yeah, Cynthia

That is a lie too about the health care bill. There is no way everyone will be paying for health care. The same people getting freebies, and that just make it will not be able to afford the price of the premiums. Due to the increase of freebies brought by this plan, premiums will skyrocket more than they are now, and THAT is whats scary.

Paddy O

November 1st, 2010
8:34 am

Tn- i graduated in 83 – schools in NJ give the basics about sex & reproduction; that is practically 30 years ago; so, how have the school progressed since then?

Aquagirl

November 1st, 2010
8:35 am

Paddy, those odds would be zero. That’s why birth control is up for debate, when guys like Georgian can justify clearly optional choices for men.

Jeffw

November 1st, 2010
8:35 am

PeeDawg: I only have 1 question too: Who is going to pay for the GOP Medicare Part D that CONSERVATIVES celebrated more than falling of the Berlin Wall and defeating Saddam combined.

James

November 1st, 2010
8:35 am

CT @ 8:29- “covered by the cost of the premium”- the same premiums that you light your hair on fire and scream about when they go up? those premiums?

Georgian

November 1st, 2010
8:37 am

Keep,

Yes they are. I’m not condemning the use of it. If that is a persons choice, then it is their choice. But dont sit around and say it needs to be free when it doesnt. Making something available for free because a person has a genetic disease that cannot be cured is reasonable. Making it affordable or free for those with cancer is reasonable. But just bc a female went and got knocked up does not qualify her for a freebie. And dont use the rape/incest card. There are exceptions to every rule.

TnGelding

November 1st, 2010
8:38 am

ctucker

November 1st, 2010
8:27 am

Thanks for letting us know you understand that. I’ve always said if a single girl can’t afford them, her male partner(s) would be more than happy to pay. It should be up to the policyholder if they want that coverage or not. I lean toward the catastrophic coverage, myself. Insurance is a scheme to make the salesmen wealthy.

Bob

November 1st, 2010
8:38 am

ctucker, please tell us how the lowlifes that get everything they need from gov now will be paying the same premiums as everyone else. And for those that think free contraceptives will stop the birth of crack or welfare babies please, get a clue.

Paddy O

November 1st, 2010
8:38 am

ah, yes – the liberal thought process – dredge up an event with the likelihood to occur once every 10 – 60 days – to prove that their process is so much superior to those uneducated fools opposed to squandering other peoples $$$, as opposed to fornication which probably happens over a million times a day in this country – and has actual disasterous affect – 25% of all conception in this country is terminated – is this less immoral than slavery?

Georgian

November 1st, 2010
8:39 am

Aquagirl,

How have I justified options for men? Are there some freebies for guys out there to keep from getting prego? I think not!

Paddy O

November 1st, 2010
8:39 am

aqua – OK, why should male insurance purchasers pay for this amenity?

Paddy O

November 1st, 2010
8:40 am

a female ages 25 cost more to insure than a male; unless that male is reckless. Thus, female insurance rates should be higher.

TnGelding

November 1st, 2010
8:41 am

Paddy O

November 1st, 2010
8:34 am

Well, that’s more than I got in the late ’50s. And I certainly didn’t get any at home. I’m sure many comunities have excellent programs. We just need to make it consistent nationwide. Of course, that’s hard with so many with their heads in the sand.

Jeffw

November 1st, 2010
8:41 am

BTW: I’m a prochoice liberal who will gladly support banning ALL ABORTIONS paid for by insurance o any kind. How about CONs. Oh, your insurance lobby will never go for that, and you know where your bread is buttered.

TnGelding

November 1st, 2010
8:42 am

Have a great day, everyone. Be sure and vote tomorrow if you didn’t vote early!

Paddy O

November 1st, 2010
8:42 am

Of course, insurers know age oriented trends. So, an insurance actuary would be able to tell you the general costs related to gender & cost. Car insurance is a good example – under 30 males do more dumb things (at least 25 years ago) than under 30 females – not sure that disparity is as great as it used to be. Ms. Tucker – asked you this a week or so ago – do you have any autographed photographs of you that a fan could buy? Preferably, I would like to have a photograph of you in a string bikini! Thank you!