|Health reform bill could make birth control free|
|Written by Erin Hogg, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Monday, 15 November 2010 22:36|
Under the new health care reform, birth control for women could be labeled as ‘preventative medicine,’ which would make contraception free for U.S. women, according to a Chicago Tribune article.
Nearly 93 million women received birth control in the U.S. in 2009, according to the article.
From 1995 to 2002, the percentage of American women who said they received contraceptive services rose from 36 percent to 41 percent, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Kai Tao, vice president of clinical operations and associate medical director of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, explained some of the reasons why birth control could be labeled preventative medicine.
“Birth control prevents pregnancy, but also can help women have more predictable periods, less PMS [premenstrual symptoms], and, with five-year use, can protect women against ovarian cancer,” Tao said.
Tao said birth control should be free because it would allow for more reliable use among the women who are taking contraception.
“Birth control is best used consistently and it’s important for women to get it regularly. If there were no financial barriers, women can get their birth control when they need and don’t have to wait for their paychecks to pay for it,” she said.
Patrick Moraleda, pharmacist at Student Health Services, explained students pay for contraception at the pharmacy through several forms.
“ISU students pay for their contraceptives [with various methods] and some contraceptives have discounted pricing for universities for student use,” Moraleda said.
Moraleda added that the pharmacy not only focuses on contraception, but on all medications in general.
Students also get their prescriptions, including contraceptives, filled at local pharmacies. CVS Pharmacy sees a large percentage of ISU students filling their birth control prescriptions there, Julie Rhodes, staff pharmacist at CVS at Uptown Crossing, said.
“About 95 percent of students pay for their birth control using prescription insurance and the rest pay using cash. With free birth control, we might see more younger women taking birth control,” Rhodes said.
Tao believes there would not be an increase of younger women taking contraception, but rather having more women taking their birth control regularly.
With free birth control, Rhodes explained pharmacies will most likely not see a decrease in profits.
“The government will most likely still find a way to profit from birth control sales even if they subsidize contraception,” she said.
A decision will be made in the next six to 18 months on whether or not birth control for women will be free, according to swifteconomics.com