What’s this healthcare and contraception issue all about?

So, what’s this issue about all employers providing contraception aids all about, anyway?

Let’s just talk about whether it makes sense or not.

First, a couple of appeals to common sense.

Our government is telling us that it’s a health care issue and everyone should have equal access to it.  To me, that means protection from disease.  Can we be really candid, straightforward and honest here for a few minutes?  Do you really think most people are thinking about disease protection when they use contraception?  Admittedly, many are, but most people?  Really?

I think most people engage in contraception to prevent conception.  The name (“contra-ception”) kinda says it all, doesn’t it?  So, with apologies to those who really do engage in the practice to prevent disease, can we just move this topic out of the “health care” column and into the “lifestyle” column?

So if this is (predominantly) a “lifestyle” issue, then are we actually talking about a federally-mandated aspect of your lifestyle?

My second appeal to common sense is related to cost.  What does contraception really cost?  When I was a kid, I found out from an older kid that you had to have a condom if you were going to have sex.  Not that I actually understood why, but I nodded knowingly with the rest of my buddies.  One of them (less concerned about status than me) asked where you would get one?  Our senior kid chuckled as he sagely advised us, “The drugstore, stupid!”

And that’s how it has been for many years.  How expensive is contraception, really?  Not all that much.  Most people can afford it.  If you are one of the unfortunate few who really, really can’t afford it, did you know that Planned Parenthood will give it to you for free?

So, in my mind, contraception expenses will hardly break a family budget.

So why in the world is there a need for the government to get involved at all?  It isn’t cost.  Consider this:

Case 1:  Government is not involved.  So the cost is like this:

Cost of product ==> What it costs

Case 2: Government is involved. So the cost is like this:

Cost of product + cost to collect taxes + cost for Gov to force availability ==> What it costs

You don’t have to understand the math to get it – Case 2 costs more than Case 1.

Can we agree that reduced cost is not the primary driver here?

Finally, let’s consider the fairness factor.  I know many people who don’t engage in contraception.  Some are older.  Some are trying to grow their families.  Some believe it’s a sin and some don’t even have an opinion about it.  But all these people have one thing in common, at least to some extent.  They pay taxes that are used to subsidize something that they don’t want.  Why should anyone be forced to contribute money to a cause they don’t support. Where’s the moral authority to do that?  Hint:  Check the US Constitution – maybe you can find the clause about this that I missed.

So, in my mind, it isn’t about health and it isn’t about cost? So what is it?

Here’s my conclusion.  There are people in our government who care passionately about what they think our health and lifestyle options ought to be. They are working hard to get it implemented and they are using the taxes I paid to promote, implement and sustain their agenda for “health care”.

I could be wrong and I’m not sure, but I don’t think I remember ever having been asked if it was what I wanted.  But I do know that I don’t want someone I don’t even know telling what the best options are for me.


One thought on “What’s this healthcare and contraception issue all about?

  1. The disease-prevention aspect of this makes sense. Condoms help prevent disease, but condoms are not something you get a prescription for, so it doesn’t really apply here. So you removed condoms from the “healthcare” column to the “lifestyle” column and dismissed it, as only people with a certain “lifestyle” would require a disease-preventing condom. Fair enough. Other forms of contraception do not prevent STDs (although some DO treat other medical conditions in women). But for this purpose, let’s just agree that primarily, condoms would be considered the only disease/STD-prevention mechanism.

    Yet it appears you continue to address overall contraception within the “lifestyle” column? Am I missing something?

    Pregnancy and childbirth are not diseases, but rather medical conditions (a broken bone is a medical condition, not a disease) and usually involve a physician and hospital, which are routinely covered by insurance plans. Access to contraception is NOT a lifestyle issue. Ask anyone who owns a uterus. For most women of child-bearing age, the absence of contraception means conception, which results in a medical condition requiring medical attention.

    As for the cost, contraception can cost anywhere from $15 to $50 a month. If a woman is low-income (perhaps on Medicaid) she may be able to obtain the pill at little or no cost. No, Planned Parenthood doesn’t just hand out birth control pills willy nilly. For other women, it requires a physical exam (upwards of $250) and a written prescription. For a struggling young working mother, this could very well move groceries from the “necessity” column to the “luxury” column. The result is that she continues to buy groceries for her children, and becomes a mother once again. Don’t pretend to know what poor families go through. Of course, the Catholic Church says that the only answer to not having the means to raise more children is to refrain from marital relations. Yeah, like that’s going to work.

    About the “fairness factor”: I have no need for contraception whatsoever. Does this mean that I don’t care what other women go through? Absolutely not. I have no children in the public school system. Do I still pay my taxes that support the schools? Yes. Do I believe the war in Iraq was started for an agenda other than what we were told? Yes, but I still paid my taxes. Do I think my insurance premiums are higher because insurance companies pay for Viagra? I sure do, and perhaps if we weren’t subsidizing a bunch of guys pole vaulting around all over the place, contraception wouldn’t have to be so much of an issue.

    And if this is to be a “what the people want” issue, show me where the majority of Americans don’t want or use contraception at some time in their lives. Even 98% of Catholic women do. And the majority of them want this to be covered by insurance. This is not about what we want; it’s about what the Catholic hierarchy wants. Mostly they are using this to try to appear relevant again, and to distract everyone from what they really need to be taking care of. But it’s not working, because it only serves to show that most everyday Catholics don’t agree.

    I agree that we shouldn’t have someone we don’t even know telling us what the best options are for us. I would like to think that in this country where public policy is not supposed to be driven by a single religious group (however powerful and resourceful it may be), a woman’s personal liberty would count for something. No woman should have to look up and see a Bishop standing over her bed.

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