Health Reform Expected to Provide Free Birth Control, Social Conservatives Sulk
Dana Goldstein reports in the Daily Beast that the HHS may require all insurers to cover birth control as part of health reform's focus preventive care:
"Experts expect the Department of Health and Human Services, led by pro-choice Obama appointee Kathleen Sebelius, to spend the next six to 18 months researching women's health before releasing new guidelines for women's "preventive health care." Under the new law, services and medications defined as "preventive" must be offered to customers of new insurance plans free of co-pays—whether that insurance is employer-provided or purchased on the individual marketplace, whether inside or outside of the new, subsidized health insurance exchanges." [Daily Beast]
Needless to say, social conservative groups are up in arms about this sensible and politically popular proposal. There's not a lot the can do to stop it, now that the policy has entered the rule-making phase.
The conservative groups have to be careful. They are way outside the mainstream on this issue. Abortion is controversial in some quarters but contraception is as American as apple pie. Twenty-seven states already require health insurers to cover prescription birth control such as oral contraceptives, the IUD, and the diaphragm. The vast majority of sexually active American women say they do not currently want to become pregnant; 89% of them are using some form of birth control. Over 15 million American women are taking birth control pills.
The U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops demonstrates once again that it cares less about preventing abortions than about controlling female sexuality:
""I don't want to overstate or understate our level of concern," said McQuade, the Catholic bishops' spokesperson. "We consider [birth control] an elective drug. Married women can practice periodic abstinence. Other women can abstain altogether. Not having sex doesn't make you sick."" [Daily Beast]
Even the USCCB knows better than to argue that birth control shouldn't be covered because it's sinful. They'd be laughed out of court, even in the red states. Instead, they're arguing semantics.
The USCCB claims that birth control isn't preventative care because fertility isn't a disease. No, fertility isn't a disease, but pregnancy is a life-altering health condition that can kill you. The Catholic Church itself teaches that women have to die if their survival conflicts with that of a fetus. So, pregnancy-prevention is definitely preventative health care.
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
It marks a major shift in the government's battle against the opioid crisis.
- The nation's sixth-largest drug distributor is facing criminal charges related to failing to report suspicious drug orders, among other things.
- It marks the first time a drug company has faced criminal charges for distributing opioids.
- Since 1997, nearly 222,000 Americans have died from prescription opioids, partly thanks to unethical doctors who abuse the system.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
The real Game of Thrones might be who best leverages the hit HBO show to shape political narratives.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren argues that Game of Thrones is primarily about women in her review of the wildly popular HBO show.
- Warren also touches on other parallels between the show and our modern world, such as inequality, political favoritism of the elite, and the dire impact of different leadership styles on the lives of the people.
- Her review serves as another example of using Game of Thrones as a political analogy and a tool for framing political narratives.
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