Obama to require insurers to cover birth control

birth control pills

The Obama administration announced today that all health plans beginning in August 2012 or later will be required to cover birth control without a copay, part of a larger expansion of preventative services for women. 

On the recommendation of Health and Human Services, the updated plans will also cover breast pumps for nursing mothers, yearly "well woman" checkups, and counseling for domestic violence. In addition to preventing disease and promoting overall health, the new requirements are being instituted "so that women can better avoid unwanted pregnancies and space their pregnancies to promote optimal birth outcomes," according to the Institute of Medicine.

Naturally, ignoring the seventy-eight percent of Americans who think the government should subsidize family-planning services, some faith-based groups are none too pleased about the new development and say that it would "essentially mandate coverage for abortion." Thus, religious institutions will be allowed to choose whether or not they cover contraception for employees.

It's a little annoying that this is even vaguely controversial, but still, an exciting day for women's healthcare.

Commentarium (28 Comments)

Aug 02 11 - 10:52am

About f'n time.

Aug 02 11 - 11:55am

I think all health plans should cover birth control, but I don't think it's the government's place to legislatively mandate it.

Aug 02 11 - 12:07pm

I don't see it happening any other way, though.

Aug 02 11 - 4:00pm

Yes, people SHOULD do a lot of things - treat their workers fairly, obey traffic laws, etc. The problem is that they often don't, unless compelled by law (and then, even still...). As we've witnessed for the last few decades, most health plans aren't going to spend extra money to cover birth control out of the goodness of their little corporate hearts because they SHOULD - the government has had to make them.

Aug 04 11 - 5:14pm

I want the government to pay my mortgage. If birth control is a right then certainly a place to live is as well. Let me tell you though: It's going to be a very nice house.

Aug 02 11 - 1:28pm
mr. man

now what about breast pumps for guys with manboobs? also free?

Aug 02 11 - 2:11pm
John Son

Only if they successfully lactate.

Aug 05 11 - 9:13pm

I know this isn't what you mean John, but I think I heard something about men being able to lactate if they try hard enough.

Aug 02 11 - 4:06pm

This sounds great and all, but if he's going to force insurance companies to do this, he should also mandate that they can't jack up their rates. They won't mind adding this to your plan, but they aren't going to do it for the same price you pay right now.

Aug 02 11 - 4:06pm

Now they need to hurry the hell up with birth control pills for guys.

Aug 02 11 - 5:48pm

why no copays? does he really think that we're ALL not going to end up paying for this via higher premiums?

Aug 02 11 - 9:11pm

Yeah man!

Aug 03 11 - 6:50am

It's all part of the world owes me a living and apparently other tbings mentality. Can't afford condoms ...

Aug 03 11 - 1:49pm

If Obama can give us birth control without co-pays, could a future republican force high co-pays?

Maybe this "Government controls health care" thing wasn't thought out too well.

Aug 03 11 - 2:05pm

Woohoo! Free birth control! Only problem with that is SOMEONE still has to pay for it. The insurance companies will have to charge people more or the government will have to subsidize it adding to our enormous debt or increasing our taxes. So never mind on that Woohoo...

Aug 04 11 - 5:15pm

No, SSS, "someone" doesn't have to pay for it, the rich can pay for it. They make too much money and it's high time we legislate that no one can make more than $100,000 a year.

Aug 05 11 - 9:18pm

um, besides what @SSS said (which will probably make you ragey, obvious troll is obvious)

Sure someone will have to pay for it but we already spend so much public money on unplanned pregnancies since they are majorly by lower income people, so that means more cost to programs like medicaid, food stamps, schools, etc. So the "Free" birth control is likely going to cut more costs than it's cost just by preventing some of those unplanned pregnancies. They wouldn't have done it unless there was some economic benefit.