What editorial writers are saying about mandatory insurance coverage for birth control

The Obama administration has announced that health plans will be required to cover contraception, among other preventive services for women, starting in 2013.

Posted Aug. 22, 2011.

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The move came after the Institute of Medicine recommended that insurers be required to cover such health services. Some editorial writers say paying for birth control would prevent unplanned pregnancies, but others criticize adding it to the list of mandated items.

The administration's wise decision to cover contraceptives

It makes enormous sense to include contraception among preventive services. Nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned, according to the Guttmacher Institute, and about 40% of women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy opt for abortion. The Washington Post, Aug. 3

Free birth control proposal goes too far

But if you look at the bigger picture of health care, there is a danger in requiring insurers to pay the entire cost of services. Namely, it ensures patients have no financial "skin in the game" when it comes to paying for care. When an insurer picks up the entire tab for a medical service or drug, patients do not think twice about the expense. The Des Moines Register, July 21

Many women to benefit from new health support

The far-reaching support for reproductive health was quickly criticized by conservative religious groups, but the measure can go a long way toward reducing costs down the road, both for health care providers and the government. (Huntington, W.Va.) Herald-Dispatch, Aug. 7

Should health insurance companies be required to provide free birth control services?

Let's be honest: Decisions like this lead to more premarital and extra-marital sex. That is the wrong message to send to impressionable youngsters and those struggling to uphold traditional family values. Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise, Aug. 2

Bargain-basement birth control

Low-income women must sometimes choose between paying for contraception and paying for food and rent. As a result, many use birth control only sporadically. Even modest co-payments can deter teenagers, as well, from using the most reliable forms of contraception. The Oregonian, Aug. 5

Fighting birth control policy makes no sense

It speaks volumes that Viagra -- the drug to improve men's sexual performance -- was covered by Medicare six years ago, with little debate. And yet it's entirely possible that if a Republican wins the White House next year, the new regulation will be overturned before it even goes into effect in 2013. San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, Aug. 4

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