The Contraception Debate: There Is No War On Women

So Obamacare is all about birth control… again?  Its’ just like a blood transfusion. Ask Sandy Fluke, universal defender of Reproductive Justice.  I wonder if there a League where they all meet… But I digress.

Ask yourself a few questions to validate whether there’s a war on women.

Who benefits from the lack of price transparency?

  • The people who get to sell you prescription birth control without any price competition
  • Any other guesses gets you a pack of steak knives (Actually, second place gets you nothing. “If you ain’t first you’re last”)

I’m sure none of this is a coincidence:

Obama bundler Sally Susman oversees the lobbying shop at drug giant Pfizer, which sells $7.6 million a year in name-brand birth control pills, while also selling contraceptive injections and generic drugs. Pfizer’s CEO during the Obamacare debate was Obama donor Jeffrey Kindler. In a corporate filing, the company justified his salary increase by pointing to his Obamacare lobbying.

Obama’s contraception mandate requires all employer-sponsored health care plans to cover 100 percent of the cost of all FDA-approved contraception. That gives customers incentives to choose Pfizer’s name-brand pills, because the entire cost is passed onto employers and thus onto customers and colleagues. And of course, this means more profit for Pfizer.

Merck, which also makes birth control pills, deployed top lobbyist, former Democratic congressional staffer and major Democratic donor Mark Raabe to Capitol Hill and the White House to lobby on “efforts to gain coverage of preventive services,” according to company lobbying filings. The administration uses the “preventive services” provision of Obamacare to justify the contraception mandate. Merck sells implants and other contraceptives — if “sells” is the right word for products that many customers now get for “free,” sticking colleagues and taxpayers with the bill.

Is burying birth control behind a labyrinth of bureaucracy increasing access?

I can’t see how having to make an appointment, spend an hour waiting for a 2 minute discussion with a doctor, getting the prescription, taking it to a pharmacist, waiting for it to get filled, and having a whole other party get involved with paying for it is the most efficient way to get from point A to point B.

There is a logical alternative that wouldn’t prevent a woman from visiting a doctor first but allowing for ease of access for women.  Might I suggest OTC birth control pills? Here’s why:

  1. It’s popular: “Close to two-thirds of women favor making contraceptive pills available over the counter, according to a new nationally-representative survey”. – Reuters
  2. It’s recommended by doctors: “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists announced its support last month for selling oral contraceptives over the counter without a prescription in the United States”
  3. It’s also a great way to stop playing politics with a minor detail of American life.

“Contraception is a personal matter—the government shouldn’t be in the business of banning it or requiring a woman’s employer to keep tabs on her use of it. If an insurance company or those purchasing insurance want to cover birth control, they should be free to do so. If a consumer wants to buy birth control on her own, she should be free to do so.”  – The End of Birth Control Politics

Is making people pay for a product who don’t need it reasonable?

  • No
  • Really, no it’s not fair.

 “The rule mandates that contraception, an elective treatment, be provided for free, while the provision of medically necessary, even life-saving, prescriptions and procedures will still require that people pay for them in the form of co-pay or deductible.  –  The New Obamacare Mandate

Was birth control hard to get back in the dark ages of 2008?

  • I don’t recall having to fight off hordes or even my insurance not covering the pill back in the day.  They had these places called stores that sold barrier method contraception and mythical creatures called doctors who could write a prescription if you wanted more assurance that you would not get pregnant.

“The full range of contraceptives, in fact, are covered by more than 86 percent of private insurance plans written for employers.” Factcheck.org July 2008

  • Clearly I’m remembering all that wrong because apparently women were being held down by the nearest Republican from engaging in any of the above activities.

Is contraception actually healthcare if there isn’t a health related reason for treatment?

No.  It’s a commodity you can purchase rather inexpensively similar to tampons which also happen to be an expected monthly expense for women.

If you have a condition that requires hormone treatment, it’s covered by health insurance since in that case its medicine preventing an illness.  Remember health insurance is meant to cover unexpected health issues.

That last point is hard for people to digest.  I‘ll say it again : Insurance is meant to cover unexpected events.

Conclusion: There is no birth control war on women