Millions and millions of American women could, in the near future, get access to a wide variety of birth control methods for free. They would have a recommendation issued this Tuesday by health experts advising the government to thank for this.
The government was advised that current health insurance companies cover birth control and contraceptive measures for women as a preventative measure for free. This was passed by An Institute of Medicine panel. Additional Primary (or preventive) measures of health care that were advised to be added in health insurance plans included tests that detect some kinds of cancer, diabetes during pregnancy and others for women.
It has been half a century since the birth control pill has been created and even longer since other currently available contraceptives have been around. The current law states most health insurance plans to account for standard primary care for men as well as women without additional charges to the consumer. Women’s plans in general do not cater for most of these issues that are specific to them. The nonpartisan institute was expected to examine this issue in detail and report back
Although this new measure is a possibility the support for it is scattered. There are conflicting opinions as to whether or not Birth Control is even preventative health care or just family planning.
"There is clear and incontrovertible evidence that family planning saves lives and improves health," said obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. David Grimes, an international family planning expert who teaches medicine at the University of North Carolina, however the U.S. Catholic bishops claim pregnancy is a healthy state of being not an illness. They oppose this new possible measure to include birth control in current health insurance without additional cost as primary or preventative health care. We don't consider it to be health care, but a lifestyle choice," said John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, a Philadelphia think tank whose work reflects church teachings. "We think there are other ways to avoid having children than by ingesting chemicals paid for by health insurance."
The healthcare program for low-income people, Medicaid, covers prescription contraceptives currently. The government says birth control is not always used correctly or always used at all, thus there are so many unplanned pregnancies every year. Advocates for it claim that free birth control would increase the likelihood of it to be used. It is still unclear how the Obama administration will add this new possible change in the budget and also whether or not it will actually be applied.