A. “FREE birth control led to dramatically lower rates of abortions and teen births.” Has FOX news solved the birth control arguments? And they reported “One abortion could be prevented for every 79 to 137 women given a free contraceptive choice” according to study by Washington University in St. Louis. (Fox News, 2012 Oct.)
B. Public policy health issues are very serious issues for me. I have been researching the issue of birth control and women as a policy issue. In the U.S. birth control is a religious issue although in other countries it is a health issue. In the United States certain churches feel it is there right to decide for women everywhere. That leaves out the woman and her doctor entirely from any decision making.
C. Key to the health problem each woman needs healthy, safe birth control for three decades of her life but not all women are receiving it. The change back and forth in administrations causes problems. President Obama did not keep the restrictions on Title X and now family planning organizations can include birth control. (Zorea, 2012, p. 67)
The solution rests in developing and enforcing public policy such as public insurance plan that can solve the problem. Plus according to Bingham of ABC news (2012) MSN reported that on August 2, 2012 the 2010 health reform law provision that requires private insurance policies to pay for birth control pills kicks in, meaning everything will be paid for including the copay
II. Birth control and health care policy: The problem, the cause, and the solution.
A. Each person in the U.S. has a right to health care. Pharmacists who decide to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control are ignoring the health concerns of a woman and her doctor. Their actions have made many people angry.
B.Kaiser Family Foundation reported in 2010 that 20 percent of the women in the USA did not have any health care because of the need for health care reform.
C. In a 2010 issue of Contraceptive Technology Update the question was asked “Is contraception part of preventable health care?” This is an important policy issue because the answer determines whether or not birth control will be required in private health plans. Marilyn Fetter wrote in an article in Medical Surgical Nursing that there are limits to regulatory and legal efforts and health care professionals need to work out some of the problems.
A. Historically birth control decisions have been made privately between a patient and their doctor. Unfortunately some pharmacists refuse to fill birth control prescriptions or even refer the prescription to another pharmacy. Several state and federal legislative bills were introduced and passed to force pharmacists to meet the needs of consumers.
B. The Commonwealth Fund’s President Davis (2010) is satisfied that the Affordable Care Act will help supply good health care to about 30 million women in the next decade. By October 2013 47 million women will receive contraception for free with no need to pay their private insurance a co-pay.
Is contraception part of preventive health? Contraceptive Technology Update, 2010 September 1. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 10 Oct. 2012.
Study: Free birth control leads to fewer abortions. Fox News, Oct 5, 2012. Web. 10 Oct. 2012.
Kaiser Family Foundation. Fact Sheet: Women’s Health Insurance. Publication #6000-09 available from www.kff.org
Miller, N. S. Millions of women could benefit from health reform law. Family Practice News. 40.14, 2010 September 1, p. 54. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 10 Oct. 2012.
Birth control pills become free for many today under new law. MSN. 2 August 2012. Web. 12 October 2012.Available from http://now.msn.com/birth-control-pills-are-now-free-under-2010-healthcare-reform-law
Zorea, A.W.Birth Control. California: Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood ABC-CLIO, 2012
Kaiser Family Foundation. Fact Sheet: Women’s Health Insurance. Publication #6000-09 available from www.kff.org
Health insurance coverage is a critical factor in making health care
accessible to women. Women with health coverage are more likely
to obtain needed preventive, primary, and specialty care services,
and have better access to new advances in women’s health. Among
the 96 million women ages 18 to 64, most have some form of
coverage. However, the patchwork of different private sector and
publicly-funded programs in the U.S. leaves one in five uninsured.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 includes several measures that
will change the profile of women’s coverage between now and 2014,
when the new law will be implemented.
Sources of Health Insurance Coverage
Employer-sponsored insurance covers 59% of women between the
ages of 18 and 64 (Figure 1). Women continue to be less likely than
men to be insured through their own job (35% vs. 44%, respectively)
and more likely to be covered as a dependent (24% vs. 14%).1
Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor, covers 12% of
non-elderly women. Typically, only very low-income women who
are pregnant, have children living at home, or who are disabled can
qualify for the program.
Individually purchased insurance is used by just 6% of women. This
type of insurance often provides more limited benefits than job-based
coverage and can be costly. Also, pre-existing medical conditions can
trigger coverage denials in the individual market, depending on the
insurer and state regulations.
Medicare and other government health insurance covers a small
fraction (3%) of women under age 65. For nonelderly women,
coverage is limited to women who either have a disability (Medicare)
or are covered through the military (TRICARE).
Uninsured women account for 20% of the population of women ages
18 to 64. They typically do not qualify for Medicaid, do not have access
to employer-sponsored plans, and either cannot afford or do not
qualify for individual policies.
Approximately 57 million non-elderly women in the U.S. receive their
health coverage from their own or their spouse’s employer. Historically,
full-time employment has provided the greatest opportunity for
obtaining job-based coverage.
• Women in families with at least one full-time worker are more likely
to have job-based coverage (73%) and less likely to be uninsured
(15%) than women in families with only part-time workers (33%) or
without any workers (31%).1
• Women are more vulnerable to losing their insurance compared
to men, as they are more likely to be covered as dependents. This
places them at greater risk of losing coverage if they become
ABC news By AMY BINGHAM (@Amy_Bingham)
Aug. 1, 2012 http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/fact-checking-free-birth-control-day/story?id=16900144#.UHhDh2_MiQw
Today is a big day for birth control. Under President Obama's health care reforms private insurance companies have to start providing contraception for free on August 1. That means no more co-pays for birth control.
But while the law goes into effect, only a tiny fraction of the 97 million American women between the ages of 18 and 64 will be able to snag any co-pay free contraception today.
First, only women with private insurance plans will be affected. About 65 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 64 – those that are old enough to be adults but too young enough to qualify for Medicare--have private health insurance which they get from a their employer or pay for out of pocket, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
That means the 19 million women between the ages of 18 and 64 who are uninsured will still have to pay for contraception out of pocket.
The 17 million women on Medicaid also may not feel the effects. Each state gets to decide whether their Medicaid plans will provide at no cost the contraception and seven other women's health services that are covered under the no-cost-sharing law taking effect today.
While the federal government provides cost incentives for states that drop contraception co-pays for Medicaid enrollees, states are not required to. Some Medicaid programs already provide these services free.
Even for the 57 million women that have private health insurance, if their plan has not changed since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in March 2010, it can be grandfathered in and does not have to adhere to the co-pay free rules.
Oct 5, 2012 Study: Free birth control leads to fewer abortions
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/10/05/study-free-birth-control-leads-to-fewer-abortions/#ixzz296NBeRrd
Free birth control led to dramatically lower rates of abortions and teen births, a large study concludes. The findings were eagerly anticipated and come as a bitterly contested Obama administration policy is poised to offer similar coverage.
The project tracked more than 9,000 women in St. Louis, many of them poor or uninsured. They were given their choice of a range of contraceptive methods at no cost - from birth control pills to goof-proof options like the IUD or a matchstick-sized implant.
When price wasn't an issue, women flocked to the most effective contraceptives - the implanted options, which typically cost hundreds of dollars up-front to insert. These women experienced far fewer unintended pregnancies as a result, reported Dr. Jeffrey Peipert of Washington University in St. Louis in a study published Thursday.
The effect on teen pregnancy was striking: There were 6.3 births per 1,000 teenagers in the study. Compare that to a national rate of 34 births per 1,000 teens in 2010.
There also were substantially lower rates of abortion, when compared with women in the metro area and nationally: 4.4 to 7.5 abortions per 1,000 women in the study, compared with 13.4 to 17 abortions per 1,000 women overall in the St. Louis region, Peipert calculated. That's lower than the national rate, too, which is almost 20 abortions per 1,000 women.
In fact, if the program were expanded, one abortion could be prevented for every 79 to 137 women given a free contraceptive choice, Peipert's team reported in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
The findings of the study, which ran from 2008 to 2010, come as millions of U.S. women are beginning to get access to contraception without copays under President Barack Obama's health care law. Women's health specialists said the research foreshadows that policy's potential impact.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/10/05/study-free-birth-control-leads-to-fewer-abortions/#ixzz296MuTSBF
From database online: Gale Cengage Learning Expanded Academic ASAP
Results for Basic Search Keyword (birth control legislation)LIMITS: With Full Text
Title:Is contraception part of preventive health?
Source:Contraceptive Technology Update. (Sept. 1, 2010):
Full Text:A Thomson Healthcare Company
Is contraception part of preventive health?
As of September 2010, federal health reform legislation will require all new private health plans to provide coverage of a slate of preventive health services at no cost to patients. Will contraception be included in that coverage? Reproductive health advocates are calling for such measures.
While many health plans already cover prescription contraceptives, women face challenges when it comes to insurance co-payments. Co-payments may be set at up to $50 per month for birth control pills to several hundred dollars for a longer-acting method such as an intrauterine device..sup.1 Twenty-seven states have laws that require insurers include some level of contraceptive coverage in their plans..sup.2
By including contraceptive services under preventive care, the United States could move forward in reaching its goal of decreasing unintended pregnancies to 30% by 2010. Such efforts are needed. Statistics indicate approximately one-half of all pregnancies in the United States were unintended in 2001, the last year for which data is available..sup.3 Unintended pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of morbidity for women, as well as with health behaviors during pregnancy that are associated with adverse effects. Unintended pregnancies carry a high economic cost as well: The direct medical costs of unintended pregnancies in the United States were estimated at $5 billion in 2002..sup.4
For contraception to be included under the new legislation, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requires an official interpretation of the legislation's requirement and of the specific preventive services it requires. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which falls under HHS, is contracting with the Institute of Medicine to review supporting data regarding contraceptive services, says Judy Waxman, vice president for health and reproductive rights at the National Women's Law Center in Washington, DC.
The institute will take a comprehensive look at the subject, weigh the evidence, and will issue its findings to HRSA, says Waxman. While similar data reviews have taken up to three years, findings may be released to HRSA more rapidly, perhaps in nine months to a year, Waxman states. The accelerated timeline is projected given that the health care reformlegislation goes into effect September 2010, says Waxman.
In 2007, the Washington, DC-based National Business Group on Health, a membership group for large private- and public-sector employers, recommended that all employer-sponsored health plans include comprehensive coverage of unintended pregnancy prevention services, free of any cost-sharing, as part of a recommended minimum set of benefits for preventive care..sup.5 By including the full range of prescription contraceptive methods, sterilization services, lab tests, counseling services, and patient education to a plan that currently includes no coverage at all, estimates indicate costs at about $40 per member per year.
Even putting aside the fact that the $40 annual figure does not account
Results for Basic Search Keyword (Public health records)LIMITS: With Full Text And Entire Document (birth control)
Title:Aborting health reform: without reproductive-health coverage, any public insurance plan is doomed to fail
Source:The American Prospect. 20.7 (Sept. 2009): p19.
In September 1993, as Hillary Clinton lobbied Congress to pass herhealth-reform bill, she plainly addressed the looming controversy over reproductive care. "It will include pregnancy-related services, and that will include abortion, as insurance policies currently do," she told the Senate Finance Committee. Conservatives were incensed. But as the history books record, it was industry pressure and legislative malaise that killed Hillarycare, not debate over women's rights.
On the campaign trail, Barack Obama did not shy away from the issue of abortion, pledging, "On this fundamental issue, I will not yield." In the context of health reform, though, the president and his staff have been reluctant to directly address reproductive rights. In a March interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody, the White House's chief domestic policy adviser, Melody Barnes--who once sat on the board of Planned Parenthood--claimed she had never spoken to the president about whether abortion services should be covered under a universal health-care system. "We haven't proposed a specific benefits package or a particular health-care proposal, so we're going to be engaging with Congress to have this conversation," she said. When Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag was asked by Fox News in July whether the public insurance plan should cover abortion, he was vague. "I'm not prepared to rule it out," he said. The president finally addressed the issue himself in a July 21 interview with Katie Couric, in which he bucked reproductive rights groups by saying he would consider deferring to the "tradition" of "not financing abortions as part of government-funded health care."
Perhaps in response to the failure of the Clintons' highly detailed plan, Obama's strategy has been to leave the nuts and bolts of health reform up to the legislative branch, saying only that the resulting bill must fulfill three goals: lower costs, provide Americans with more health choices, and assure quality. That lack of detail has shoved Congress deep into the weeds. Predictably, the president's vagueness hasn't prevented anti-choicers from seizing upon the possible inclusion of reproductive-health services as a vehicle to activate their base against reform. "A vote for this legislation, as drafted, is a vote for tax-subsidized abortion on demand," wrote Douglas Johnson, the National Right to Life Committee legislative director, in a letter to Congress. That message penetrated. At a July 14 press conference, Rep. Joe Pitts, a Republican from Pennsylvania, claimed health reform undermined Americans' "right to life. Let's make it explicit that no American should be forced to finance abortions." As the health-care debate reached a fever pitch in the weeks before Congress' summer recess, Fox News featured daily segments on the threat of "subsidized abortion."
Meanwhile, Obama declared in his July 18 radio address that he would not sign any reform bill that did not include a public health-insurance program. A public plan is central to progressives' goals of lowering costs by giving private insurers real, high-quality competition and creating a government-funded insurance option that might, eventually, serve as the shell for a single-payer health-care system similar to those of Western Europe. But if Congress acquiesces to abortion opponents and passes a public plan that does not provide
Results for Basic Search Keyword (Millions of women couldbenefit from health reform law) LIMITS: With Full Text
Title:Millions of women could benefit from health reform law
Author(s):Naseem S. Miller
Source:Family Practice News. 40.14 (Sept. 1, 2010): p54.
Ab s as 30 million women could many benefit from the healthreform law over the next decade, according to an analysis of the Affordable Care Act by the Commonwealth Fund. This includes up to 15million women without health insurance who could get subsidized coverage; 14.5 million insured women who will benefit from improved coverage or reduced premiums; and an estimated 100,000 uninsuredwomen who could gain coverage under the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.
The study authors said that although women are as likely as men to be uninsured, their health care needs leave them more vulnerable to highhealth care costs and they are more likely to lose their healthinsurance. Insurance carriers consider women, especially those of childbearing age, to be at a higher risk than men, according to the study. In addition, most policies sold on the individual market won't cover the cost of pregnancy, according to the study. Women also are more likely to delay their care and be more central in coordinatinghealth care for their families.
Although this is good news for women across the nation, the question remains whether there will be enough physicians to provide care for them.
Physician shortage in the United States is documented through dozens of studies by organizations such as the Association of American Medical Colleges, in addition to several states.
But Karen Davis, Ph.D., Commonwealth Fund's president, said that there are provisions in the Affordable Care Act that could help alleviate the current physician shortage and encourage more physicians to accept Medicaid and Medicare patients.
For instance, there will be an increase in primary care fees that are paid by Medicare, and Medicaid reimbursement rates for physicians will come up to Medicare level in the next several years, she explained.
But, "the big improvement comes from increased funding for communityhealth centers," Davis said. She said that the Act's provisions will double the capacity of community health centers, which mostly provide care to low-income patients.
Some of the ACA provisions that benefit women will start as early as September of this year. Others, such as expansion of Medicaid eligibility and new state insurance exchange with premium and cost-sharing subsidies of up to 400% of federal poverty level, will go into effect after 2014.
Birth control pills become free for many today under new law
If you use birth control and have a private insurance plan, your cost of living may be about to get cheaper. Starting today, the 2010 health reform law provision that requires private insurance policies to pay for birth control pills kicks in, meaning everything will be paid for including the copay. Pap smears and mammograms will also be covered, along with breast-feeding support, supplies for pregnancy-related diabetes, and domestic violence screening. The exact numbers of women to take advantage of the benefit is unclear, but 47 million have a private insurance plan. The law applies to current policies so women with existing coverage may have to wait several months for the switchover. [Source]