Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Free birth control in health care reform?

An independent panel of doctors and health experts recommended Tuesday that health plans cover a broad range of contraceptives for women without copays, bringing a new debate over the impact of the new health care overhaul.

Law that President Obama signed last year requires new health plans to cover many preventive health services without copays or deductibles for patients, a key part of the new law that requires more Americans to get recommended immunizations, cancer screenings, and other services. The law also directs the Department of Health and Human Services to seek input from clinicians about which additional services should be covered for women

Many experts see easy access to contraception as critical to women and babies' health. According to research, mothers with unwanted pregnancies are less likely to receive prenatal care and engage in unsafe behaviors. Recommendations have drawn praise from numerous women's health advocates and leading Democrats on Capitol Hill. But some anti-abortion groups have objected to expanding coverage for contraception that can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.

Furthermore, opponents believe this kind of federal mandate to all insurance plans essentially would mandate coverage for abortion. If birth control and other contraceptions become free to women (and men should be included, quite honestly), would half of all unplanned pregnancies be prevented? Would sex education be strengthened? What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment