Letters to the Editor

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BIRTH CONTROL: It’s cheaper than pregnancy

Letter by Robert L. McComas, Gig Harbor on March 7, 2012 at 11:16 am with 23 Comments »
March 7, 2012 11:45 am

Re: “Give choice to policy holders” (letter, 3-6).

I believe the writer is mistaken in his premise that policy holders would benefit by insurers not covering birth control. It is far cheaper to pay for birth control than to pay for pregnancy and all of the associated costs.

If we are to make decisions on a cost basis, then women who use birth control would be given cheaper insurance than those who do not.

If we are only interested in saving money, we should quit covering costs of erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs for men. For those who keep injecting religion into this argument, perhaps God is giving you a sign that he wants you to quit having sex when he afflicts you with ED.

Why should insurance policy holders and taxpayers pay for ED males to have chemically induced sex? The House of Representatives should immediately reconvene its all-male panel to have hearings on the matter. This time the discussions would be appropriate as the panel and the mostly male representatives would have “some skin in the game,” so to speak.

I also recommend they seek out former Republican Sen. Bob Dole to chair the panel as he is intimately familiar with the topic and is also blessed with an abundant sense of humor and common sense – qualities which are totally lacking in the current chairman.

Leave a comment Comments → 23
  1. Theefrinker says:

    Good letter Robert. On the associated costs of pregnancy, raising the child would probably sit at the top–which will also cost the insurers more money. Plus, putting the money into contraceptives instead is ultimately more eco-friendly too.

  2. cclngthr says:

    Erectile Dysfunction does not always mean that low sperm counts are causing it. What people don’t realize is there is a blockage of blood to that particular region and men won’t have a erection due to being hit in the testicles (particularly if they slid off a bicycle seat) a few times.

  3. Pacman33 says:

    Pregnancy vs Pulmonary Hypertension

    Non-Disease and considered a blessing to many.


    A Disease recognized every Medical Organization.

    First Amendment Implications

    Some Religious Institutions believe providing or funding contraception, ella and Plan B goes against the conscience of their church.


    No recognized institution finds it to be immoral to provide medical treatment for PH or ED.

    So what is the left blathering about? Why do they award themselves some sort of victory for merely mentioning Viagra or ED? Why do they act proud of themselves when they should clearly be embarrassed and ashamed for appearing so ignorant?

  4. old_benjamin says:

    Maybe God is also giving those women who can’t afford contraception without government help a sign: Don’t have sex. Contraception isn’t fool proof and there are already more than enough fools in the gene pool.

  5. LornaDoone says:

    Only a man not in a committed relationship would see sex as something other than a demonstration of love.

  6. itwasntmethistime says:

    I’m not buying that women are going without contraception because of the cost. Low or no-cost contraception is available at Planned Parenthood and Community Health Centers. If a gal gets pregnant because she’s not using contraception, it’s not because the contraception is too expensive, it’s because she was too lazy to go get it and use it.

  7. old_benjamin says:

    Lorna, does that apply to “sex-workers.”

  8. Pac? Cancer of the Uterus, Uterine Fibroids, Ovarian Cysts, Ectopic pregnancy, Endometriosis, severe anemia, cervical cancer are ALL recognized by the medical association as serious medical conditions. How does such conditions that happen inside a woman’s body compromise anyone else’s conscience or first amendment rights?

  9. LornaDoone says:

    old_benjamin – I’ll take your word for that. Something tells me you are far more experienced than I on that subject

  10. Question:
    If birth control and erectile dysfunction medications can only be prescribed by a physician as a treatment for accepted ailments, does it not follow that the popularity of legislation to legalize marijuana as a medical treatment for accepted ailments will result in the government/insurance companies being forced to pay for that as well?

    There is no intent here to start a discussion on marijuana, just illustrating how as soon as something is held out as a treatment for a medical condition, it suddenly becomes necessary for everyone to have access to them and have it paid for.
    Birth control pills are to keep you from getting pregnant, secondary effects help some, but the primary function is to keep you from getting pregnant. E.D. pills came about as a result of research into blood pressure medication. The most noticeable side effect was it gave the user an erection. Suddenly, there was an epidemic of blood pressure problems treated with erections.Prior to that, many must have died.

    Government/insurance companies have the right to scrutinize their liability to provide treatments which do not have clear patterns for use as treatment for compelling medical reasons or which have secondary benefits of unproven medical necessity.

  11. It also prevent abortions

  12. Pac & Old_B – birth control pills are often prescribed for many medical reasons that have nothing to do with conception.

    Lorna – to paraphrase Desmond Morris – sex is what holds relationships together.

    Itwas – a good point – if PPH etc are available to women.

  13. Pacman

    Viagra doesn’t treat pulmonary hypertension. It treats “erectile dysfunction” – a symptom that was named and promoted AFTER it was discovered that Viagra increases blood flow for the flaccid male. The symptom was MARKETED to sell a drug that had a different effect than what R&D was trying to create.

  14. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    It is far cheaper to pay for birth control than to pay for pregnancy and all of the associated costs.

    Well… except that it doesn’t. At a minimum, there is little evidence to support the writer’s, 0bama’s, and the commonly-spouted liberal contention that it absolutely does.

    I posted this from factcheck (to make my liberal friends, here, happy) the other day:

    – The administration cites Hawaii’s birth-control mandate, which a study said “did not appear” to increase health insurance premiums. Interestingly, the same study also showed an increase in the number of pregnancies after contraception coverage was required.
    – The administration cites a 1995 study that found significant savings from contraception. The study also said insurance company costs are likely to increase if coverage is simply provided to people who would otherwise buy birth control.
    – When Pennsylvania considered a birth-control mandate, an independent state agency concluded that “the amount of possible savings relative to the cost of the legislation is unclear.”
    – Connecticut also could not conclude whether private insurance plans saved enough from reduced pregnancy costs to cover the added expenses of providing coverage under that state’s mandate.
    – A Texas study estimated that covering contraception would not produce enough savings to cover the added cost. It reasoned that, in most cases, women would get contraceptives on their own even if not covered by insurance.
    – Premiums did not increase when the Federal Employee Health Benefit System was required to cover contraceptives. Some of the 300 plans in the system covered contraception prior to the mandate.
    – A recent survey of 15 insurance companies said six of them expected costs to rise while another three believed the mandate would be cost neutral. None predicted a net cost savings by reducing unintended pregnancies.


    If we are to make decisions on a cost basis, then women who use birth control would be given cheaper insurance than those who do not.

    Which would be fine. But 0bama would not appreciate your messing with his mandate.

    And that’s what it’s really all about, Robert, MANDATE – say it slowly m a n d a t e. (And no, we’re not talking about a gay encounter here.) As long as this administration gets to decide what should be covered by your employer’s health care insurance – regardless of conscience, necessity, or applicability (based on the sex of the insured), you will continue to pay for your 55-year-old trailer trash neighbor’s ED pills, as well as his fifteen teen-aged daughters birth control.

    That is what libs like you refer to as “fair”.

  15. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Frida, I doubt anyone is arguing that drugs – such as contraceptives – which have coincident effects that are useful in treating health conditions other than what they were originally intended (i.e. birth control) should not be covered for those who need them for those reasons.

    This argument is a complete red herring.

  16. LornaDoone says:

    Why not let the insurance companies make the decision? If they feel it’s a better investment to cover contraceptives, they’ll do it. The problem here is a religious employer getting their nose where it doesn’t belong

  17. LornaDoone says:

    “55-year-old trailer trash”

    I’d love to see a picture of the person that submitted this phrase. A real diamond in the mine of America, I’m certain.

  18. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    The only thing better than a Lorna Doone (although I don’t eat them) is a sense of humor… and facetiously exaggerated examples (insert smiley-face emoticon here). You should try them sometime.

    Diamonds, not so much.

  19. LornaDoone says:

    Vox_clamantis – I can see you have an inability to address the subject matter without personal insults directed at one sector of Americans or another. I don’t need excuses when you are called on it.

    Maybe you can explain to us why a 55 year old woman who lives in a mobile home in the Midwest or the Deep South, or possibly Arizona is “trash”, or how that would be humor. Right up there with Rush’s “slut” and “prostitute” I’d say.

    Most people casting such stones have already made holes in their glass houses

  20. Vox? My argument is not a red herring. Its the same argument Sandra Fluke presented before the panel and she was subsequently called a slut, prostitute and slandered on national radio. My point? To get an RX for BC, I need to have a speculum shoved into me, swabbed for samples, and gloved hands probing and inspecting my body cavity and sometimes inanimate objects are probing invasive ultrasounds. I seriously doubt men with ED suffer the same probing. YET there is no argument that insurance covers this medical condition. They just ask. So even with such an examination that is required for the RX, there is STILL a question as to whether insurance should cover oral contraceptives. Women are already probed and prodded too much for the Rx- we don’t need to suffer the same from Joe Religious Objecting Citizen.

  21. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Maybe you can explain to us why a 55 year old woman who lives in a mobile home in the Midwest or the Deep South, or possibly Arizona is “trash”

    Maybe you should stop putting words into my mouth and making things up.

    And, while you’re at it, buy a sense of humor.


  22. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Frida, again, only libs, and you, seem to be proffering this as an issue – not conservatives. I stand by my 3/ 8, 6:14 AM post and don’t see the need to restate it.


  23. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    BTW, Frida, your case for insurance coverage of contraceptives – specifically birth control pills – (with which I doubt anyone would argue) also applies to ED meds (Viagra, Cialis, etc.) since they have coincident effectiveness in treating other conditions. They’re commonly prescribed to treat pulmonary hypertension in men.

    It’s a red herring.

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