Apparently I’m a little late on this Des Moines Register editorial stating the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that insurers cover preventative health services for women goes “too far.”
Excuse me, that’s bullshit.
The argument behind this naïve and short-sighted stance is that Americans in general overuse health care, and if people don’t have to pay things like deductibles or co-pays then they don’t “think twice about the expense.” Which is actually kind of ironic phrasing, considering this writer must not have thought twice—or once—about the cost of preventative measures (birth control, yearly exams) versus the cost of unintended/ unplanned pregnancies, or sexually transmitted infections.
“This is exactly why co-payments and deductibles are necessary in health insurance. They help to prevent the overuse of care, something Americans are globally notorious for.”
How you gonna overuse birth control? Hmmm? OD on the 4th week sugar pills?
Placing the burden of disorderly spending on the shoulders of women, especially low income women, is not the way to break Americans from their “drug habit.” This will just mean a continuance of unintended pregnancies of which the parents aren’t financially ready for (because if it’s hard to afford the cost of birth control it might be harder to afford the cost of a child). Not to mention the services that child will need, most likely to be paid for (at least in part) by social and governmental services—aka tax money. It also means covering the cost of women’s medical needs that could have been prevented or detected and treated earlier (cervical or breast cancer), as well as the cost of treating STIs.
If the Register is truly concerned with our country’s dependence on prescription drugs then it needs to go after the pharmaceutical companies that exploit patients into thinking they need useless drugs. (Sexual female dysfunction anyone?!) Keeping women from preventative health measures is really what will cost you in the long run.