OP-ED

A Better Way to Avoid Pregnancy

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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Dr.Jaina BhabheraDeterminedMDBobbyGNate OgdenTweeder Recent comment authors
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Nate Ogden
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Nate Ogden

“As well how do you accuse the “media” of not reporting Democratic wrongs and only Republican wrongs”

Go back to school and learn to read Peter.

“You see this all the time when the media fails to report someone that did something wrong was a democrat but when a republican does the same thing party affiliation is in the headline. “

Peter1
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Peter1

But that’s just you talking Nate. Show me examples of this as a wide spread effort. Even better show me hidden crimes of Democrats that the “media” won’t report.

Peter1
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Peter1

Well I Goggled Fox News reporting on priest sex abuse and school sex abuse, not much difference between the two in numbers of pages – and Fox is on your side. As for the publishing of the story about the government report on educational sex abuse I don’t know how many times you can run the same story on the same report to equal what the Catholic Register considers fairness when reporting about multiple priest/church abuse stories. Certainly these things are reported as they happen in schools – and it was the LA Times that reveled their front page investigation… Read more »

Dr.Jaina Bhabhera
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Nate Ogden
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Nate Ogden

No Peter I blast them for bias, there is a huge difference. They might have some argument or reason they don’t run sex abuse stories, there is no excuse for the disparity in reporting. You see this all the time when the media fails to report someone that did something wrong was a democrat but when a republican does the same thing party affiliation is in the headline. My problem is not the “media” supposed journalist, self proclaimed report one thing or another, its when they report as a weapon or agent of propoganda. Reread this figure; Tom Hoopes, then… Read more »

Peter1
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Peter1

I certainly won’t defend any school system for ignoring and not taking action on child sex abuse, but leave it to the Catholic Register to claim a conspiracy of news organizations to hide educational sex abuse in schools while running a witch hunt against the Catholic Church. The Church has used some pretty despicable tactics when victims came forward such as blaming the parents and lawyer-ing up, so they’re always looking for scapegoats and deflection issues. That’s been one of the complaints by victims, the Church has not reached out to them. I do think that institutions ( or parts… Read more »

Nate Ogden
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Nate Ogden

In all of 2010, there were eight credible accusations against Catholic clergy for contemporaneous abuse of a minor. In 2009, the number was six. Tom Hoopes, then National Catholic Register executive editor, observed: “during the first half of 2002, the 61 largest newspapers in California ran nearly 2,000 stories about sexual abuse in Catholic institutions, mostly concerning past allegations. During the same period, those newspapers ran four stories about the federal government’s discovery of the much larger — and ongoing — abuse scandal in public schools.”[159] n US schools, according to the United States Department of Education,[156] “nearly 9.6% of… Read more »

Nate Ogden
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Nate Ogden

As mentioned here this is why I have such disdain for the media and liberals For several years, we have reported on the disparate coverage by the Times and other mainstream outlets when reporting the awful crime of child abuse. While the Times and others seem to trumpet each-and-every decades-old allegation against a Catholic priest, they have either downplayed or ignored current-day scandals in our nation’s schools. As we’ve written before, “When it comes to the abuse of children, it sure seems like the national media doesn’t get too worked up unless the words ‘Cardinal,’ ‘bishop,’ or ‘priest’ is in… Read more »

Nate Ogden
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Nate Ogden

An explosive, front-page investigation on Sunday (5/10/09) in the Los Angeles Times reported that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) “repeatedly” returned teachers and aides credibly accused of child molestation back to classrooms, and these individuals then molested children again. The jaw-dropping story, by Times staffer Jason Song, is incredibly angering, and the tales of abuse are stomach-turning. (An accompanying audio slideshow at the Times web site is quite sad and maddening.) In the last several years, media outlets have endlessly ripped and tarred the Catholic Church for mishandling episodes from decades ago. Meanwhile, these episodes in LAUSD date… Read more »

Nate Ogden
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Nate Ogden

Isn’t this exactly what you “claim” your problem with the church is? A major child sex abuse scandal has erupted in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Where’s the national media? Steve Thomas Rooney faces 13 felony sex-related counts, including charges that he had unlawful sex with two female students, ages 13 and 14, during the time he was an assistant principal at a middle school. And here’s the kicker: In August 2007 LAUSD assigned Rooney to his job even though it knew that police had investigated him about an alleged sexual relationship with a student at his previous… Read more »

Nate Ogden
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Nate Ogden

Timothy your story yesterday was right on and John and Ken you should be proud. But, you need the rest of the ugly story the district and the administration of South Gate Police Department is trying to keep secret. I am a police officer with LAUSD. LAUSD Officer Barajas was just transfered (when Angulo returned to work) far away from Southeast high school to keep him quiet and as punishment for standing up and doing the right thing. He is a hero and should be vindicated. This is what really happened at Southeast HS that you dont know about. In… Read more »

Nate Ogden
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Nate Ogden

You make it so easy Peter; “The reason the Catholic Church is such a target is because the abuse was institutionalized and with a wide spread cover up. It would be like the LA School District (your example) acting as an institution to hide, move and cover up pedophile teachers.” You mean you don’t know LA Unified School District is far worse then the catholic church? Compared by number of employees a LAUSD employee is far more likly to sexually abuse a child then a catholic priest or nun. 2008 Los Angeles Unified School District says a total of 21… Read more »

Peter1
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Peter1

“I haven’t defended them once, you can’t cut and paste one comment where I said what they did was right, enough, or acceptable.” No, but you seem to by trying to insinuate I support pedophiles everywhere but the Catholic Church. And you seem to be attempting to disperse the church’s crimes by pointing out other peoples crimes that were not part of the original discussion. “I have argued your an idiot for some how equating failing to excommunicate to doing nothing.” No, I did not equate that at all. The excommunication issue came up only when I posted how easily… Read more »

Nate Ogden
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Nate Ogden

I suspect some of them might be smoking on the court the way they are playing. It would explain some of the defence

They use to offer free Taco Bell Chaluppas if they scored 100, I thought it was for the fans, it was probably more for the team to motivate them. 17,000 chaluppas would sound like heaven if you have the munchies

DeterminedMD
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DeterminedMD

Wonder why Obama doesn’t show an interest in the Pro game? Probably because most players don’t really care nor worship him, they don’t care about him or politics. Too busy smokin’ them doobies when not on the court.

Nate Ogden
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Nate Ogden

lol

typing and yelling at the basketball game at same time doesn’t work

dang Bucks just wont lay down and die

Nate Ogden
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Nate Ogden

Poll “Do you support insurers being required to provide free birth control” “Generic birth control cost $10 per month, do you support requiring insurers to pay $15 per month to provide it thus driving up premiums and the number of uninsured?” Number two is more factual then number one. Its not free birth control, it increases premiums by the cost plus 10% or 15% plus what ever pharma marks it up since they are not price sensitive any more. The jump in prices when a drug goes from private pay to insured is huge. I thought we had an uninsured… Read more »