A Better Way to Avoid Pregnancy

A Better Way to Avoid Pregnancy

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You know we have entered the silly season when a major national debate gets underway over whether people should be given something for free that they could easily pay for out-of-pocket. Take the decision of the Obama administration to force Catholic universities, hospitals and charities to provide health insurance that includes free contraceptives. The reaction was poignant and hyperbolic, but (what can I say?) completely deserved:

What makes this so amazing is that it is déjà vu all over again, as Yogi Berra might say. Do you remember the death knell for HillaryCare? I bet you can’t.

Mammograms and Pap smears. Hard to believe, isn’t it?

[Yes, I know. There were many things that helped derail HillaryCare. The biggest mistake was the White House’s failure to throw everything aside and endorse the Senate Republican health plan, which was about as close to HillaryCare as RomneyCare is to ObamaCare. Hillary would have ended up with about 90% of everything she wanted. More about that, perhaps, in a future Alert.]

But what really killed the whole thing in the public’s mind were mammograms and Pap smears. Fifteen years ago the “experts” didn’t agree on how frequently women should have them any more than they agree today. I’m sure that when various women asked various doctors they got various answers. And, by the way, there is nothing wrong with that. Whenever there is risk and uncertainty, opinions will differ. That’s not the end of the world.

What was the end of HillaryCare, however, was the notion that the White House should decide these questions for every woman in America! When you stop to think about it, that takes a certain amount of chutzpah. It also reflects a degree of meddlesomeness that’s really hard for me to understand. But in both the Clinton White House and in the Obama White House there were folks who just could not abide the idea of your having a health plan different from the one they think you should have — down to the tiniest detail!

For Hillary and her advisers it came down to this: They decided that sexually active women should have a cervical cancer test every three years, instead of every two. For women in their fifties, they called for a mammogram every other year, instead of every year. And these decisions, unfortunately for Clinton, were different from what most doctors were recommending.

[The technical folks, by the way had fun with all of this. Cost-effectiveness numbers at the time suggested that Hillary’s cut-off number was about $100,000 for each year of life saved. If the projection comes in below that number, do the test. Above that number avoid it. Interested readers may consult my discussion of this issue here. I don’t think this facet of the problem ever got on anyone’s radar screen outside of the number crunching community; however, and I doubt that Hillary was even aware of it.]

Now the right way to think about all this is very simple. How much does a mammogram cost? $100? If you want one, take the money out of your Health Savings Account and go buy it. How often should you do that? Probably as often as it gives you peace of mind. Is not having the test keeping you awake at night? Then spend $100 and get the test. The same principle applies to contraceptives. You want them? Go buy them.

And what about the tiny, tiny, tiny portion of the population that really can’t afford these services? Go to a community health center or to Planned Parenthood and ask for them for free! This isn’t rocket science.

It is truly amazing how much consternation is caused for no other reason than the desire on the part of some people to tell everybody else how to live their lives.

John C. Goodman, PhD, is president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis. He is also the Kellye Wright Fellow in health care. His Health Policy Blog is considered among the top conservative health care blogs where health care problems are discussed by top health policy experts from all sides of the political spectrum.

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86 Comments on "A Better Way to Avoid Pregnancy"


Guest
Sarah
Feb 6, 2012

Planned parenthood does not give birth control to anyone for free…..

Guest
Sarah
Feb 6, 2012

So essentially by not providing birth control to the lowest economic class you enable them to have more kids, not wanted, that the rest of us get to pay for. Great plan….

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Nate Ogden
Feb 7, 2012

They can afford the cell phone to set it up

The can afford the beer to get in the mood

They can afford the pack of cigs for after

But how dare we ask them to come up with the $20 per month for birth control, they might be able to only afford sex 20 times per month instead of 23 and that is unacceptable.

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Sarah
Feb 6, 2012

Perhaps the best way to avoid pregnancy is to avoid men…. jesus who the heck needs them anyway.

Guest
Peter1
Feb 6, 2012

The Catholic Church has always forbidden contraception not because they are for “life”, but because they are for more Catholics contributing to church coffers.

Yes, lets use government money used to support Catholic Hospitals to espouse Catholic doctrine that helps poor people make more kids they (and taxpayers) can’t support. Of course this is being pumped up to make defeating Obama a religious crusade.

Easy way around this is to not accept ANY government money, then do as you please.

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Nate Ogden
Feb 7, 2012

For those equally at clueless as Peter1 and lacking all common knowledge;

Hospitals are required to stablize and treat anyone that comes in their doors.

If you refused to accept Medicaid/Medicare payment for these services it would take 2-3 months for everyone to figure out they could go to your hospital and get 100% free care, just claim your covered by government insurance.

The government has so intruded into healthcare its impossible to not take government money, pretty easy huh?

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Peter1
Feb 7, 2012

“Hospitals are required to stablize and treat anyone that comes in their doors.”

Do Catholic Hospitals need the government to tell them the right thing to do? Wouldn’t that fall under “charity” care for a church so crusading about it’s “moral” duty?

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steve
Feb 6, 2012

” If you want one, take the money out of your Health Savings Account and go buy it. How often should you do that? Probably as often as it gives you peace of mind. ”

John almost has this right. We should follow best evidence for how frequently we prescribe these tests. Best evidence could allow for some variation if there is real disagreement. We, insurance coverage, should pay for tests of that frequency. If people want the peace of mind that would come from extra tests, they should pay fro them out of pocket, just like John suggests. (i cannot remember John’s stance on taxes and HSAs, but I suspect his plan would have us all contributing towards paying for those who want mammograms every month.)

Steve

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Nate Ogden
Feb 7, 2012

do the math then explain where there is any logic in that suggestion. To cover anything with insurance cost more then if it was paid out of pocket. Why would you pay $x+ to an insurance company when you could pay $x direct?

I know liberals are terrible at Math but I would think eventually it would sink in. If you want everyone to have free birthcontrol then just give it away, pick 2-3 generic versions, buy couple hundred million and hand them out, far cheaper then insuring it.

Start with this simple question; What risk am I insuring, and paying a risk premium for, if I know I have to have this test every X years? If there is no risk there should be no insurance, period

Guest
Tweeder
Feb 6, 2012

Cialis, 30 days supply, 20 mg, $677.00

Pay out-of-pocket, or Shut The …. ..

Guest
Peter1
Feb 7, 2012

Anyone read this amongst all the screaming;

“The administration released an amendment that allows religious institutions that offer insurance to their employees the choice of whether or not to cover contraception services.”

I guess Fox News figures “Fair & Balanced” doesn’t include telling the whole story.

Guest
Nate Ogden
Feb 7, 2012

where is the link to this Hypocrite?

Guest
Nate Ogden
Feb 7, 2012

http://www.catholicsforchoice.org/news/inthenews/2011/Federalhealthagency.asp

you wouldn’t be so clueless as to use the amendment from 2011 that is overridden by the new rule would you? You know this is 2012 right?

I think you should worry less about “Fair & Balanced” and worry more about “Illiterate & Dumb”

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Peter1
Feb 7, 2012

Nate, what new rule? Your link reaffirms the religious opt-out, although opposed by the level headed thinkers at Catholics for Choice. Have you got a link to a new opt-out of the opt-out?

As for Fox, I’ve been watching it ramp up this religious crusade against Obama for a week now. God is a Republican after all.

Guest
Nate Ogden
Feb 7, 2012

The regulation includes a religious exemption if an organization qualifies. Under that provision, an employer generally will be considered religious if its main purpose is spreading religious beliefs, and if it largely employs and serves people of the same faith. That means a Catholic parish likely would qualify for a religious exemption; a large church-run soup kitchen probably would not.

Employers that fail to provide health-insurance coverage under the federal law could be fined $2,000 per employee per year. The bishops’ domestic anti-poverty agency, Catholic Charities, says it employs 70,000 people nationwide. The fine for the University of Notre Dame, the most prominent Catholic school in the country, could be in the millions of dollars.

HHS says employers can appeal a decision on whether they qualify for an exemption. But Hannah Smith, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said: “The mandate vests too much unbridled discretion in the hands of government bureaucrats.”

Mandates for birth-control coverage are not entirely new for religious groups. Twenty-eight states, including Washington, require contraceptive coverage in prescription-drug plans. Of those states, 17 offer a range of religious exemptions, while two others provide opt-outs of other kinds. However, opponents of the HHS regulation say there is no state mandate as broad as the new federal rule combined with a religious exemption that is so narrow.

Now the federal government will decide if someone is religious or not and organizations such as Noter Dome, Cathoilic Hospitals, etc etc must cover it as they don’t meet the requirement. It’s not even certain a perish would qualify for an exemption.

Talk about fair and balance how did you manage to leave all of that out of your cut and paste?

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Nate Ogden
Feb 7, 2012

WASHINGTON—Many church-affiliated institutions will have to cover free birth control for employees, the Obama administration announced Friday in an election-year move that outraged religious groups, fueling a national debate about the reach of government.

The new rule announced Friday Jan 20, 2012

Guest
Peter1
Feb 7, 2012

“Never before in U.S. history has the federal government forced citizens to purchase directly what violates their beliefs.”

“Administration officials stressed that individual decisions about whether or not to use birth control, and what kind, remain in the hands of women and their doctors.”

Guess what, it’s still up to the individual to decide whether they want to use birth control, free or not. We know Nate how the Catholic Church has always fought for freedom of thought and religion, and been a champion of social justice.

Here is a broader discussion with less “Crusader” mentality.

“Sebelius agreed, issuing a new federal regulation last summer.

That rule, however, exempted houses of worship and their employees, as well as other institutions whose primary purpose is to promote religious belief. Churches, synagogues, mosques and other places would not be required to cover contraceptives, it specified.

It was a different story for religious-affiliated hospitals, colleges and social service agencies.

Although many of those employers had not traditionally covered birth control, the new regulation required them to do so. Catholic hospitals, which at a critical moment had defied the bishops to back Obama’s health care law in Congress, immediately sought a broader exemption. On Friday they were denied.

Representing some 600 hospitals, the Catholic Health Association expressed disappointment.”

“”The challenge that these regulations posed for many groups remains unresolved,” said Sister Carol Keehan, president of the group. “This indicates the need for an effective national conversation on the appropriate conscience protections in our pluralistic society, which has always respected the role of religions.””

The exemption is still there for houses of worship, just not “affiliates”, which has to go through an approval process, otherwise anyone who just wanted to avoid the coverage could claim the exemption no matter how loose the religious connection.

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Peter1
Feb 7, 2012

I wonder if Catholic Hospitals and institutions cover male reproductive problems?

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=91538#.TzGI5EoT61w

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Nate Ogden
Feb 7, 2012

Basis of Health Insurance going back 40+ years, what does Insurance cover;

• Medically unnecessary. That are not medically necessary for the care and treatment of an injury or illness, except where otherwise specified, or are not accepted as standard practice by the American Medical Association or the Food and Drug Administration.

Birth Control when Medically necessary is covered. Equating birth control and the treatment of a medical condition, ED, in any other manner is dishonest and a sign of ignorance.

Insurance was for the diagnosis and treatment of illness and injury, preventing birth is neither. Something ABC and most liberals aren’t smart enough to understand.

Guest
Peter1
Feb 7, 2012

“Birth Control when Medically necessary is covered. Equating birth control and the treatment of a medical condition, ED, in any other manner is dishonest and a sign of ignorance.”

When would birth control be medically necessary, especially in the eyes of the Catholic Church?

In case you didn’t notice an erection is just for sex, not a life threatening medically necessary function – unless you’re a male of course also deciding when birth control is covered. If a male can get ED coverage could his wife get birth control covered just for balance?

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Nate Ogden
Feb 7, 2012

“In case you didn’t notice an erection is just for sex, not a life threatening medically necessary function”

You just can’t stop the stupid once it starts can you? Ingrown nail is that life threatening? Heck broken arm wont kill you 99% of the time. Very very few illness or injury are life threatening, where did this new car you set come from? Your argument falls apart so now you only want to treat life threatening illness and injury?

An eye is just for seeing should we stop treating those?

“When would birth control be medically necessary, especially in the eyes of the Catholic Church?”

When it is used to treat a medical condition. Cyst are a common reason as are some conditions that cause excessive bleeding I believe.

Guest
steve
Feb 7, 2012

If the test has value, I would prefer it be covered by insurance rather than paid for out of pocket. We know that when people pay for things out of pocket, like with high deductibles, they often skip tests or treatments that lead to much higher costs in the future. I think the costs of any individual test are important, but total costs are even more important.

” If you want everyone to have free birthcontrol then just give it away, pick 2-3 generic versions, buy couple hundred million and hand them out, far cheaper then insuring it.”

This would be ok with me.

Steve

Guest
Nate Ogden
Feb 7, 2012

if covering all these test and routine services drives up the cost of insurance to the point people can’t afford it what have you accomplished?

Guest
steve
Feb 7, 2012

“nsurance was for the diagnosis and treatment of illness and injury, preventing birth is neither. ”

Your insurance does not pay for tubals?

Steve

Guest
Peter1
Feb 7, 2012

Ok, sex then for males is like a broken arm that the rest of us should pay for? Can’t they just suck it up and deal with it, like a man?

“Birth Control Pills – If you have a functional cyst, your doctor may prescribe birth control pills to help make it smaller. If you get ovarian cyst often, birth control pills decrease the chance of new ones forming.”

Would a Catholic Hospital prescribe the pill for this type of cyst?

The treatment for cysts is not usually to make the women incapable of having children. It may be a result of the surgery to treat a severe cyst, but it is not the treatment.

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Nate Ogden
Feb 7, 2012

yes almost all plans, I have not seen one that doesn’t, allows birth control when treating a medical condition that requires it.

“Ok, sex then for males is like a broken arm that the rest of us should pay for? Can’t they just suck it up and deal with it, like a man?”

You really have no grasp of law and common sense do you? If an insurance plan covers diagnosis and treatment of illnesses why would it exclude ED? Following your lack of thought I can only assume when a women has a mastectomy due to breast cancer you don’t think she should get cosmetic surgery to repair the cosmetic consiquences of the cancer? Why should women get cosmetic surgery, that’s your thinking on this right?

I also don’t see you making any distinction when viagra et al is used post prostate surgery, or do you object to that as well?

Guest
Peter1
Feb 7, 2012

Actually Nate, I support most supported health care issues, including treatment of Ed (even though it’s just sex after all). Pregnancy is a health care issue and a life changing issue especially for women who bear the blunt end of child care. One argument against artificial pregnancy prevention is just stay abstinent, why isn’t that argument used to deny ED treatment?

But you object to the feds mandating pregnancy prevention and Catholics are being used to fan the flames of a crusade against Obama, yet many states already require birth control to be covered.

“At least 26 states have laws requiring insurers that cover prescription drugs also provide coverage for any Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved contraceptive. These states include: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

An additional two states—Michigan± and Montana—require insurance coverage of contraceptives as a result of administrative ruling or an Attorney General opinion.
Two states—Texas and Virginia—require that employers be offered the option to include coverage of contraceptives within their health plans.
Some laws prohibit insurance plans from excluding contraceptive services or supplies.”

In addition I don’t look to the Catholic Church for any moral high ground as most of that has been abandoned in it’s history. Explain how a nun in Arizona was excommunicated for allowing a very justifiable pregnancy to be aborted, and NO priest has been excommunicated for pedophilia or for covering up pedophilia?

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Nate Ogden
Feb 7, 2012

I can’t find a single pedophile kicked out of the Democrat Party, why is that Peter?

Worse yet you liberals seem to really love your Pediophiles as elected officials;

REP. FRED RICHMOND (D-N.Y.):
Richmond was arrested in Washington for soliciting sex from a 16-year-old boy. Richmond apologized for his actions, conceding he “made bad judgments involving my private life.” In spite of a Democratic primary opponent’s attempts to cash in on the headlines, Richmond easily won renomination and reelection.

REP. GERRY STUDDS (D-Mass.):
The House ethics committee on July 14, 1983, announced that Crane and Studds had sexual relationships with teenage congressional pages — Crane with a 17-year-old female in 1980, Studds with a 17-year-old male in 1973. Both admitted the charges that same day, and Studds acknowledged he was gay. The committee voted to reprimand the two, but a back-bench Georgia Republican named Newt Gingrich argued that they should be expelled. The full House voted on July 20 instead to censure the two, the first time that ever happened for sexual misconduct. Crane, married and the father of six, was tearful in his apology to the House, while Studds refused to apologize. Crane’s conservative district voted him out in 1984, while the voters in Studds’s more liberal district were more forgiving. Studds won reelection in 1984 with 56 percent of the vote, and continued to win until he retired in 1996.

REP MEL REYNOLDS (D-Ill.):
Freshman Reynolds was indicted on Aug. 19, 1994, on charges of having sex with a 16-year-old campaign worker and then pressuring her to lie about it. Reynolds, who is black, denied the charges and said the investigation was racially motivated. The GOP belatedly put up a write-in candidate for November, but Reynolds dispatched him in the overwhelmingly Democratic district with little effort. Reynolds was convicted on Aug. 22, 1995 of 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography, was sentenced to five years in prison, and resigned his seat on October 1.

Neil Edward Goldschmidt (born June 16, 1940) is an American businessman and former Democratic politician from Oregon who held local, state, and federal offices over three decades. After serving as the governor of Oregon, Goldschmidt is widely considered the most influential figure in the state’s politics, both as an elected public official and as a lobbyist and policy consultant. His legacy and career were severely damaged by revelations that he had a sexual relationship with a minor during his first term as Mayor of Portland

I could go on all day posting all the sick disgusting things Democrats do.

Guest
steve
Feb 7, 2012
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Nate Ogden
Feb 7, 2012

LOL why don’t you cite your neighbors’ sister’s friend’s bartender, they would be more reliable then this.

Forty Deuce is not a strip club, if they can’t get simple facts like that strait.

“uses a strip club named Forty Deuce in Las Vegas”

Not to mention it starts with this;

“some lack sources, and some are rumors. Mark individually those that do, mark as a rumor if there’s been no source provided for a long time, or add a source if you know it to be true and have a link or other verifiable outside reference from a reliable source.”

If this is the best you have it proves my point how sleazy liberals are. Democrats get caught molesting kids, you respond with rumors and made up stories. Just what we ewxpect from liberals.

Guest
steve
Feb 8, 2012

Cant say I really care. It takes a real partisan ideologue to claim that his side is devoid of sexual scandals. I know of no serious writer on either side of the political spectrum who claims that one side dominates on the issue of sex scandals. TBH, I dont really care enough to spend more than 10 seconds searching, which is what I did. This seems to be important to you, so feel free to look.

Steve

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Nate Ogden
Feb 8, 2012

“It takes a real partisan ideologue to claim that his side is devoid of sexual scandals.”

Please cut and paste where I said anything close to that.

Ya exactly, so what does that make you killing straw men like this? What’s lower then a partisan ideologue?

Democrats by far are more forgiving of scandal. Republicans vote out their perverts and criminals. Those people have a lifelong place in the Democrat party.

Kennedy
Franks
Clinton
and all the pediophiles I listed that got reelected

Guest
Nate Ogden
Feb 7, 2012

” and NO priest has been excommunicated for pedophilia or for covering up pedophilia?”

Why would they be excommunicated? That is one of the dumbest arguments I have heard. Does the US revoke citizenship when someone abuses children? Numerous priest have been defroked which makes sense, to ask why none have been excommunicated just shows your irnorance.

I don’t think you have a problem at all with pedophila Peter you just hate the church. If you really cared about kids you would also complain about the unions that protect pedophile teachers, but being the good liberal sheep you are you would never do that.

On June 26, 1997, New York teacher Roland Pierre was was arrested on felony sex-abuse charges after allegedly calling one of his PS 138 sixth-grade students into an empty classroom, closed the door and molested her. Pierre was permanently removed from the classroom, but like many tenured teachers accused of wrongdoing, he wasn’t fired. Instead, he joined other disgraced educators in the so-called “rubber room” — the “purgatory of teachers yanked for the classroom for alleged wrongdoing” — where he’d wait out the union-guided appeals process.

But, as the NY Post notes, 13 years later, Pierre is still receiving full pay and fringe benefits from his old teaching job, including health benefits, pension and vacation time. In all, the 75-year-old continues to pull down $97,101 a year for a job he hasn’t done in 13 years.

Another teacher accused of serious wrongdoing — including impregnating a 16-year-old student and allegedly molesting a string of other girls — finally retired this month after spending seven years in his own “rubber room”:

A teacher charged with 23 counts of lewd conduct in his classroom successfully thwarted attempts by the Los Angeles Unified School District to fire him. In the process, the teacher, who is accused of spoon-feeding his semen to blindfolded children, managed to retain lifetime health-benefits provided by the nation’s second-largest school system.

Former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt also automatically receives nearly $4,000 a month in pension from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System.

Guest
Feb 7, 2012

Boy, has THIS shit ever gone off the rails.

Guest
steve
Feb 8, 2012

Agreed. Cant believe I got sucked into this. Always try to avoid this asinine stuff. Sigh. Mea culpa.

Steve

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Peter1
Feb 8, 2012

That’s right Nate use other sex scandals to justify the abuses in the Catholic Church while claiming I support pedophiles in other institutions.

As for you stupid statement asking, has anyone ever lost their citizenship for abusing children, well has anyone ever lost their citizenship for doing abortions?

Yea I have a problem with the Catholic Church that has done everything it can to trample womens rights while claiming “moral” high ground. But you know, even Catholic women have got it figured out – they have sex, just for the sex – AND use birth control – even the Pope can’t grasp that one.

And religious affiliate institutions don’t hire just their own believers, so maybe the non-believers want access to the same coverage as other people.

But in the end the ACA doesn’t force anyone to use birth control, so don’t sweat it. Don’t believe in it, don’t use it, that’s choice. Want to believe the Catholic Church which says even if you’re poor keep having kids, then keep having kids, and turn their support increasingly over to the taxpayer.

Seems it’s always the Catholic Church who roadblocks progress.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/30/obama-birth-control-religious_n_1242680.html

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Nate Ogden
Feb 8, 2012

“I have a problem with the Catholic Church that has done everything it can to trample womens rights while claiming “moral” high ground.”

But you don’t have a problem with the Presidents you elect that sexually take advantage of teenage interns?

“My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath, to set out in sometimes graphic detail how she spent days and occasionally nights with the notoriously sex-addicted president.

She tells how he refused to kiss her on the lips, and once instructed her to perform a sex act on one of his friends, which she did. On another occasion, he asked her to similarly “look after” his younger brother Teddy, but she refused.”

Clinton?

I think I am beginning to peace together your liberal thinking. You want women on birth control and able to get abortios so all the women you sexually molest won’t get pregant. And if they do you can quitely take care of it without causing you any problems. Your entire idelogy is built around molesting underage and barely legal women.

Hollywood
Fashion
Democrat Presidents

Not a more depraived and disgusting group of people have lived.

“Alford also wrote that at one point she mistakenly thought she was pregnant. Kennedy set up an appointment with an abortion doctor, even though abortion was illegal at the time.”

“But she says the intimacy didn’t stop with him. Kennedy coerced her into taking care of a friend who looked “tense” during a swim.

This was a challenge to give Dave Powers oral sex.

She writes:

“I don’t think the president thought I’d do it, but I’m ashamed to say that I did. The president silently watched.”

Ya you really care about women