• Wed, Mar 7 2012

Should Birth Control Be Covered By Health Insurance? You Tell Us.

Wow, it’s been quite a week with all of the debate over birth control that Rush Limbaugh stirred up. Should health care insurance be forced to cover birth control? Should religious organizations have to cover birth control under their insurance plans? Should taxpayers be responsible for birth control? Those are the main debates that have been swirling around on our site, and boy, did some of our readers let us know what they think.

So, let’s give everyone an opportunity now to be heard. We want to know: Should birth control be covered by health insurance? Take our poll, leave your comments and voice your opinions once and for all (although, somehow we don’t think this will be the end of the discussion).

Just to recap first, in case you got caught in all the controversy and missed what started it all.

Last month, the GOP held a congressional hearing about birth control and whether or not it was an infringement of our basic rights to mandate that health care plans cover it. Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student, was denied an opportunity to speak at that hearing. Due to the lack of female witnesses, the House democratic members held a separate hearing on February 23, where Fluke was allowed to testify.

Fluke argued that birth control should be covered by religious organizations and stated that birth control would cost a three-year law student $3,000 over the course of their studies. She also gave the example of a friend who suffers polycystic ovary syndrome and lost her ovary because she was refused hormonal birth control under Georgetown’s policy.

Then, the fun really began. Rush Limbaugh got wind of all this and, well, we all know what happened next: All hell broke loose. When we ran the story, some of you were loud and clear as to which side of the issue you were on:

Kerri posted:

People have sex. Women deserve access to birth control, and they should get a job and pay for it themselves. If you are mature enough to have sex, you should be mature enough to pay for your own birth control and not expect the American public to pay for it for them. It is a choice, not a medical need.

And DW commented:

Here’s the problem: people are arguing employers shouldn’t have to cover contraception because they don’t morally agree with it. If you play out that argument, it’s a slippery slope …

Will employers demand they shouldn’t have to pay for coverage for people with AIDS or sexually transmitted disease? What about health-care costs from alcoholism or drug use? And hey, lots of workplaces are banning smoking — maybe employers won’t want to cover care for those with lung cancer because they believe smoking is wrong, too.

When you start drawing the line of what is “OK” to cover and what is “not OK,” you could eventually argue every person out of being covered in this country.

Jim added:

Fluke needs to keep her pants on or her legs closed. Americans have enough problems living with Obama in charge without paying for her sexual activity. Get a life Fluke and Pelosi!

Then Tyler Jeremy Blue wrote:

Furthermore, contraceptives are being offered as “preventive” medicine. Though I recognize HBC can be used to treat certain health conditions (this usage, by the way, is acceptable to Catholics), the only thing it prevents is pregnancy, which is not a disease. It is sad to me that so many people are willing to group pregnancy with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. I find the whole idea of contraceptive as preventive medicine grossly offensive.

To All You Idiots responded:

As a society we should make birth control readily avaliable for those who need it and I as a taxpayer would rather pay for someone else’s birth control than someone else’s child.

And RichardSmoker added:

I could not agree with you more. I think all women should be on birth control and the government should pay for it. I don’t understand why there’s a war on women. We shouldn’t be fighting, we should be loving each other and using contraception except for the gays, lesbian and transgendered who don’t need birth control.

See, we told you it’s been an interesting week!

Take our poll, leave your comments and voice your opinion on this once and for all:

Sorry! This poll is now closed.

 

Photo: thedailybeast.com

 

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  • lindsay

    WOW…. people need to wake up…I love how all of these men posted there opinions, well guess what MEN we dont care about your opinions. You carry a child for 9 months and tell me you dont need contraception. I bet none of you would be happy if your little girl walked through the front door pregnant. sorry to break it to you men but this is not an issue for you to decide. It angers me there arnt more wemon involved in political matters. Why do a bunch of men get to decide if wemon are allowed to take birth control? HELLO why dont you ask the people it affetcs? WOMEN NOT MEN! and as far as tax payers paying for birth control get over it! we pay for everything els why not pay to stop an unwanted pregnancy. It has to be cheaper then food stamps and welfare what about PASSPORT? this whole debate is ridiculous if this were a debate about viagra being paid for by insurance there would be know argument from the men… Women should be able to decide if they want to have a baby or not by either taking the pill or not taking it but we definatly deserve a choice. people have sex even when they dont want kid….s get over it, and for all you men that called fluke a slut for standing up for what us women you are idiots. Really? its not the 1800s anymore women have sex with out being married get over it…. Ist acceptable in our society for men to have as many sexual partners as they can but for women we have this double standard. This is America not North korea if a girl wants birth control give it to her! its her chioce, her body, her decision not mine and not any of YOURS…

  • Kristina

    I think it’s silly that this argument is even happening. I have been on birth control for years because of ovarian cysts and periods so painful I occasionally throw up form the pain. Is that because I’m a slut? No. In fact, I was on birth control a year and a half BEFORE I even lost my virginity.

    But, you know, there’s a long and storied history of hypocrisy and bigotry imposed by norms and the larger social structure, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this stuff anymore.

    • Chrissy

      so agree with u.

    • fig

      Word.
      I 100% agree with you.

  • DW

    For all those people who say they don’t want their tax dollars going toward this (which that is a foggy premise to begin with)….. join the club! My tax dollars go toward the death penalty being carried out, government employees’ trips to “work” conferences in Las Vegas and Hawaii, the wars overseas, government subsidies for oil companies — all kinds of things I don’t agree with!

    You can never have 100 percent control over what your tax dollars go toward. You don’t see people up in arms other these wasteful and unnecessary items. Instead, it’s birth control. Yep, definitely more important than my refund on the billions spent elsewhere wastefully *eye roll*

    • Chrissy

      I agree. Myself… I feel insurance should cover birth control. Aren’t we paying for our insurance? It certainly comes of of my checks.Thought that’s what it was for. Birth control is controlled by pharmaceutical companies.You have to go to your doctor to get the prescription. So why shouldn’t it be one of the things our way to expensive insurance covers? I cant help but feel like if men were the one who had to have BC. this wouldn’t even be an issue.

  • kathleen

    Yes, they should pay for birtth control, or they should pay child support

  • Kittarn

    It is ridiculous that Viagra and other drugs to help male sexual dysfunction are not being included in this debate. If insurance doesn’t cover my birth control then medication to HELP men have sex shouldn’t be covered either!

  • Chris

    I think insurance companies would be smart to cover birth control. If they didn’t they would be paying for pregnancies year after year which would be a lot more costly.

  • Yvonne Self

    Birth control has NEVER been covered by insurance before. Unemployed people will not be covered. Homeless people will not be covered. Seniors do not need to be covered. Hello. Someone has to pay for this and it’s US.

    • Kacie

      My insurance covers birth control and has for the past five years. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than more money for medicaid, schools, foster care, and the list goes on and on and on.

  • Boothby171

    Not only should MY money that I put into insurance cover birth control, but it should also cover Viagra and other PDE5 inhibitors, at more than just 3 or so a month! After my prostate cancer surgery, I was LEGITIMATELY prescribed 1 Viagra/day as part of penile rehabilitation, but could not afford it. It was cheaper to order 100 pills from China than go get a month’s supply here in America.

    Let’s face it, there are a NUMBER of things that insurance should cover that would save insurance companies a LOT of money in the long run, if they did. But they don’t. Birth control (certainly more so than Viagra) is one of those things!

  • Janey

    Insurance covers Viagra. If insurance companies are going to pay for old men to have sex long past when they can get it up themselves, they should be covering a medication that in itself represents choice and responsibility. I’d say stop covering ed medicine because men should be able to keep THEIR pants on. Also, the aforementioned “Jim”… Troll much? You’re on a chick website and Americans had plenty of problems with Bush and we weren’t having this fight for women’s basic rights on the same scale. This is neo-cons grasping at straws to fight against a President who’s actually done something to finally get this country back on the right track.

    • Debbie

      This is an argument I don’t get.
      Insurance in many cases does cover: Viagra, Penis Pumps, and Sex Therapy for Men.
      A woman wants to use Birth Control so that she can have sex and not end up with a child (that in many cases the taxpayers are going to support), and no one wants to help her out.
      So lets see, we have guys that can get it up (because insurance pays for that), with no place to put it for the lack of Birth Control (because insurance doesn’t want to pay for that).
      Okay guys back to the 1900′s so just who are you going to have sex with? If a child is born because of this WHO is supposed to pay for that?

  • Vince

    The self-righteous are trying to inherit the earth but must be thwarted. Problem is these types feed off the energy they emit and so we must be ever vigilant to weaken them at every opportunity. Their ideas are outrageous!

  • Lacey

    Insurance should definitely have to cover birth control. I agree with the article; once you allow individual businesses (whether religious or not) to draw lines and make their own rules about what is “moral” or not, based on whatever doctrine guides them or whatever they think, then the healthcare system goes to hell. Businesses should not be allowed to decide what to cover and what not to cover, and I’m sorry, but if I’m working for a company, I don’t want to be denied access to healthcare because they think I shouldn’t have it. Yes, birth control can be qualified as preventative care; as a student at highly competitive university with a double focus and a minor, a pregnancy to me would be as debilitating as a terminal illness (if the Republicans have their way and ban all abortions). I’d rather prevent that from happening than have to get an abortion, it would be better for my body and my peace of mind, and I bet most women feel the same way.

    And as for those taxpayers who don’t want their money to cover birth control: grow up and look at the big picture. Your tax money covers WIC for low-income women who, for whatever reason, feel the urge to procreate, and TANF/Welfare checks and Peachcare for whatever brat(s) they spit out, as well as the women until the kids are a certain age. (I recognize that these programs may be called different things in other states; I live in GA). Wouldn’t covering birth control be a whole lot cheaper in the long run? Plus, when on birth control, a woman can focus on obtaining employment/improving her education, potentially leading to a career with benefits so that she wouldn’t have to rely on whatever government-sponsored insurance comes along to pay for her contraceptives. There, problem solved.