Here are some quotes and a press release from Rep. Nancy Pelosi regarding the flap over contraception. It always amazes me how an otherwise reasonable, normal person (I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt) can be so politically warped that distorting facts and ignoring reality becomes normal behavior.
Before the Obama administration decided to follow IOM advice that contraception was somehow a preventive health service essential to women’s health and in addition must be “free, there was no major issue with access or cost. Most (nearly 90%) of employer plans already provided the benefit under the same terms and conditions as other health services. Medicaid covers such services as well. The one gap in coverage may have been for individuals employed in some way by the Catholic church. However, the full cost of contraceptives is modest in the scheme of other life expenses in any case.
There is absolutely no logical reason for any of these services to be “free” any more than other health services. How can we make this case for younger women while older women on Medicare incur a $320 deductible and 25% co-insurance for their prescriptions? Where are our priorities and common sense? If we are all about “free” these days, shouldn’t the drugs or treatment for a serious life threatening illness be where we spend our and everyone else’s money? What will we do when there is an effective drug for weight loss, should that preventive health service be free as well?
“Instead of talking about jobs … we’ve moved on to the Blunt amendment — a blunt, sweeping overreach into women’s health,” Pelosi.
The amendment, she added, is “part of the Republican agenda of disrespecting women’s health issues [by] allowing employers to cut … basic health services for women, like contraception, mammograms, prenatal and cervical-cancer screenings and preventive health reform benefiting 20 million women.”
Find me one employer who has cut any of these services.
“This is a women’s health issue,” Pelosi said. “It’s a matter of conscience for each woman, her doctor, her husband, her family and her God to make her own decisions. And as a Catholic I support the right of a women to make that decision.”
What the heck does any if that have to do with any of this?
Pelosi Statement on Blunt Amendment
March 01, 2012
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after the U.S. Senate voted to table the Blunt Amendment by a vote of 51 to 48:
“Once again, Republicans have proposed a sweeping overreach into the lives, and health, of America’s women. Today, the Senate tabled an extreme amendment to a completely unrelated bill that would allow an employer or insurance company to claim a vague ‘moral conviction’ as an excuse to deny women health care coverage. Democrats have worked to expand coverage for basic health care; this amendment is about cutting coverage for basic health care services for women, including such preventive care as contraceptives, mammograms, prenatal screenings, cervical cancer screenings, and much more.
“It’s not ironic, but, rather, tragic, that on the day we kick off Women’s History Month, the Senate debates this devastating legislation to put at risk health care for millions of women, including the 20 million women already benefiting from preventive health services guaranteed under health reform. But it’s just the latest ploy in the Republican agenda of disrespecting the health of American women.
“I thank my colleagues in the Senate who are working to strengthen women’s health, rather than diminish it, by tabling this extreme legislation.”
“Extreme legislation” you say. Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? I don’t know how Republicans feel, but I doubt they disrespect women or their health. I won’t go into what others have said on this issue but you can read it for yourself here.
Never lose sight of the fact that the lack of insurance coverage for something never takes away the right to obtain that procedure or service. It simply means it will not be paid for by someone else. That is an especially relevant fact when you are talking about routine expenses, you know, like something that costs less than an admission to Disneyworld or your cell phone bill.