Ok, I may be an LJST drop-out here, (really, who didn’t aspire to be an LJST major at some point or other?), but I learned enough from social org. to know when a judge is just twisting the constitution to try to advance his/her narrow political views. The Affordable Care Act, signed in March 2010, required health insurance companies to provide a certain baseline of services: things like contraception, yearly well-woman visits, support for breast feeding, counseling for sexually transmitted infections, and screening and counseling for domestic violence. It also required that health insurance policies provide these services at NO out-of-pocket cost for the patient. So that means NO MORE CO-PAY for our birth control (and other important health services)! WHOOOOOO!! And while the birth control benefits make me excited, be sure to check this law out! (Wiki is more than thorough) This act also allows young adults to stay on their parents’ plans until they’re 26; it strives to close the health-coverage gap between socio-economic groups; and it’s looking out for grandma and grandpa too!
Right now the Affordable Care Act is stuck in court… While most judges have found that congress has the authority to pass such an act, some (a very few politically motivated) judges say that Congress doesn’t have right–because the constitution never specifically said anything about co-pay. (George Washington liked to take Martha to get her Yaz; it made him feel powerful to pay the $10/month…so he made sure to exclude that power). Well, those days are over (hopefully).
The Institute of Medicine just recognized these basic health services as essential to women’s health, which should cool some of the political heat; what kind of politician wants to allow health insurance companies to determine the price of essential health services? At this point, it’s just simple: these health benefits need to be available to all women–meaning they need to be affordable for all women. Matthew Yglesias said it better than I could: “you have a pretty seamless web here between social and cultural liberation and practical economic betterment. Taking human equality seriously requires that useful preventative treatments be broadly available, and taking human equality seriously also requires taking contraceptives seriously as a species of preventative medical treatment.”
Even if you don’t care about women’s issues this is a practice in creating a healthier society–healthier bodies, healthier families, better planned families, and more economically stable families.
Still don’t care about other families being economically stable? maybe you want to destabilize all families everywhere? fine. But maybe you can at least agree that we should stand up to insurance companies! If we don’t find a way to put a bridle on insurance companies, then they’ll rule our health access without restrictions. How does this translate? Insurance companies want to make money–that means forcing a co-pay on you for the medications you WILL buy (no matter what–like birth control), even when these medications are a necessary part of good health. Rather than structure health insurance plans to benefit people–health insurance companies structure plans to benefit the company. The Affordable Care Act just wants to look out for people, is congress really so weak that it no longer has the power to defend its own people from health insurance companies? Are big corporate firms are true governors now? I don’t think so…I think the Affordable Care Act is here to stay, and the nay-saying judges don’t stand a chance! Comment to celebrate (hopefully) free birth control!!