• Hillary Election 2016






  • Obamacare Now Welcome to the official source for everything to show your support
  • Interview

    A dark political satire film set in the future in the fictional desert country of Turaqistan.

    It stars John Cusack, Hilary Duff, Marisa Tomei, Joan Cusack, Ben Kingsley, and Dan Aykroyd.
    107 min., Rated R, 2008.
  • Movie Review


    Choices of the Heart: the Margaret Sanger Story (True Stories Collection)
    Starring Dana Delany and Henry Czerny, Directed by Paul Shapiro
    Rated: NR
    IMDb:
    **********

    The movie tells the story of Margaret Sanger (Dana Delany, China Beach) fight for women’s health through family planning and sex education in the early 1900s. The story takes place in New York City where despairing, women are forced mainly by economics to end unwanted pregnancies themselves.

    Outraged and saddened by what she sees, Sanger takes on her life work to fight against the moral zealots that have created chaos in women’s lives.

  • Book Review


    Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion
    Trained as a nurse and midwife in New York’s Lower East Side gritty slums, Margaret Sanger grew aware of the dangers of unplanned pregnancy—both physical and psychological. Sanger ignited a movement that has shaped our society to this day. Her views on reproductive rights have made her a frequent target of conservatives and moral zealots.

    In this captivating new biography, the renowned feminist historian Jean H. Baker rescues Sanger from such critiques and restores her to the vaunted place in history she once held.

  • Book Reviewed

    An American Prophecy: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny By William Strauss and Neil Howe
    400 pages. Broadway 1997.
  • Book Reviewed

    The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court

    By Jan Crawford Greenburg
    368 pages. Penguin Press HC. 2007.

The War on Women’s Health

The War on Women’s Health

Part 1: In the Beginning

What all the fuss is about.

By Truthmonk
October 26, 2012

 


In a repeat of history, the conservative Republicans are once again attacking what they perceive as a soft target – women. As is typical for their species, conservative Republicans look backward to the past, for their vision of the future.

Margaret Sanger
Margaret Sanger. Photograph by Underwood & Underwood in 1922.
Photo from
Famous People Collection of the Library of Congress

Stepping through a crack of time, we see a woman, dressed in gray, in a bleak concrete jail cell. The time is 1917. The middle-aged women, Margaret Sanger, is pacing with an urgency born out of real-life experience. Earlier Sanger had been found guilty of distributing information for the prevention of conception. For in this age of darkness, it was considered an evil to tell of “any recipe, drug, or medicine for the prevention of conception.”1

She had tried to argue “exposing women, against their will, to the danger of dying in childbirth violated a woman’s right to life.” Therefore any law prohibiting distribution of contraception or information about contraception, must be unconstitutional. The trail judge bellowed from his high throne of justice, that no woman had “the right to copulate

with a feeling of security that there will be no resulting conception.”

With that he brought down his gavel, its sound echoing the impeding doom through the chamber.

Sanger had to get out and continue the fight.

Courtroom Scene
Artist’s conception of Margaret Sanger’s trail.


Introduction

Just Another Right-wing-conservative Fake Controversy

The brouhaha over the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ruling is too little, too late. The new guidelines are designed to ensure women will receive preventive health services* at no additional cost.

Kathleen Sebelius
US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Photo from
US Department of Health and Human Services

“ ‘The Affordable Care Act helps stop health problems before they start,’ said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. ‘These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need.’ ”2

As stated in a January 20 HHS press release3, the rules would:

  • require most health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services without charging a co-pay, co-insurance or a deductible
  • exemption allowing certain non-profit religious organizations not to provide contraception coverage similar to the regulations in 28 states
  • other nonprofit religious employers will be provided an additional year to comply with the new rules.
  • The guidelines also mandated coverage in many other women healthcare areas from breast feeding support to well-women visits.

    To accommodate non-profits employers such as charities, hospitals, schools, universities, or other religious organizations that may have “a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan,” President Obama modified the guidelines4 so they no longer have to include contraceptive services. Instead, the health insurance company will cover the women’s contraceptive services needs. Thus the new guidelines “accommodates religious liberty while protecting the health of women.”

    Catholic Health Association, Catholic Charities, and Catholics United have praised the new guidelines — White House (Feb 12)4.

    Even with this olive branch offered to the right-wing religious community, the critics keep babbling about the infringement of their religious liberty.

    Some Facts about the new law — White House (Jan 20)5:

     
  • Churches are exempt from the new rules.
  • No doctor will be forced to prescribe contraception when it violates their religious or moral beliefs.
  • No individual will be forced to buy or use contraception.
  • Abortifacient drugs like RU486 are excluded from the list of contraceptive drugs that must be covered, period. No Federal tax dollars are used for elective abortions.
  •  

    The eight new additional women’s preventive services that will be covered without cost-sharing requirements include:

    • Well-woman visits: This would include an annual well-woman preventive care visit for adult women to obtain the recommended preventive services, and additional visits if women and their health care providers determine they are necessary. These visits will help women and their health care providers determine what preventive services are appropriate, and set up a plan to help women get the care they need to be healthy.
    • Gestational diabetes screening: This screening is for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant, and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes. It will help improve the health of mothers and babies because women who have gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. In addition, the children of women with gestational diabetes are at significantly increased risk of being overweight and insulin-resistant throughout childhood.
    • HPV DNA testing: Women who are 30 or older will have access to high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing every three years, regardless of Pap smear results. Early screening, detection, and treatment have been shown to help reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer.
    • STI counseling: Sexually-active women will have access to annual counseling on sexually transmitted infections (STIs). These sessions have been shown to reduce risky behavior in patients, yet only 28 percent of women aged 18-44 years reported that they had discussed STIs with a doctor or nurse.
    • HIV screening and counseling: Sexually-active women will have access to annual counseling on HIV. Women are at increased risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. From 1999 to 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 15% increase in AIDS cases among women, and a 1% increase among men.
    • Contraception and contraceptive counseling: Women will have access to all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling. These recommendations do not include abortifacient drugs. Most workers in employer-sponsored plans are currently covered for contraceptives. Contraception has additional health benefits like reduced risk of cancer and protection against osteoporosis.
    • Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling: Pregnant and postpartum women will have access to comprehensive lactation support and counseling from trained providers, as well as breastfeeding equipment. Breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive measures mothers can take to protect their health and that of their children. One of the barriers for breastfeeding is the cost of purchasing or renting breast pumps and nursing related supplies.
    • Interpersonal and domestic violence screening and counseling: Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence should be provided for all adolescent and adult women. An estimated 25% of women in the United States report being targets of intimate partner violence during their lifetimes. Screening is effective in the early detection and effectiveness of interventions to increase the safety of abused women.

    Members of Congress are already have coverage for these preventive services. The National Business Group on Health recommends these services and many private employers already cover them.

    Source: Ø | Affordable Care Act Rules on Expanding Access to Preventive Services for Women | U.S. Department of Health & Human Services | Posted on: August 1, 2011; Last updated: July 31, 2012; Accessed September 7, 2012 @ http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2011/08/womensprevention08012011a.html
     



    National Academy of Sciences Report

    Advise from The Supreme Council of Nerds

    Where could more unbiased, dispassionate, honest, factual advice be found than with our very own National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine?

    IOM Logo
    The Institute of Medicine6 (IOM) has an international reputation for scholarly independence and the highest quality reports. Their reports are regularly used internationally.

    The IOM7 found that “evidence exists that greater use of contraception

    within the population produces lower unintended pregnancy and abortion rates nationally” and the removal of co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles will greatly increase the use of contraception.

    IOM states that preventive contraceptive services is the healthcare industry standard for both federal and private insurance programs. All federal employees, including members of congress have no-cost contraceptive services benefits.

    The IOM concluded that “ the full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for women with reproductive capacity” should be provided as a preventive service for women. (Page 165)

    By accepting the IOM expert advisory panel recommendations for contraceptives, supplies, and counseling services, the HHS wants to eliminate financial disincentives to using effective preventive care and improving the subsequent health outcomes.



    National Business Community

    The Gold Star Standard in Healthcare

    The National Business Group on Health represents large employers on national health policy issues.8 In their report Investing in Maternal and Child Health they reported that all

    Gold Star
    contraceptive methods produced a significant cost-savings.[2-83] They came from both financial savings and health gains. Compared to no contraception, oral contraceptives resulted in cost-savings of $8,827 and the monthly injectable resulted in cost-savings of $8,770.

    Among NBGH’s unintended pregnancy prevention services recommendations is to include, even in their most basic benefit set:

    1. “all FDA-approved prescription contraceptive methods (e.g., pills, patches, IUDs, diaphragms, vaginal rings);”
    2. “voluntary sterilization” procedures (e.g., tubal ligation, vasectomy);
    3. “medically appropriate laboratory examinations and tests, counseling services, and patient education;” and
    4. with no coverage limits or cost-sharing on counseling services, medication, procedures, or prescribed devices.

    The report concluded, “In order to reduce unintended pregnancy, employers should provide comprehensive contraception coverage for employees and dependents. Employers should also consider removing cost barriers by eliminating cost-sharing requirements on contraceptive medications, devices, procedures, and office visits. Expanding coverage and removing cost barriers is particularly important for adolescents because many can not afford to pay for contraceptives out-of-pocket.”[4-27]

    Doing this will the raise preventive contraceptive services coverage in ObamaCare to near the national business community standard.



    28 States Have Similar Requirements

    Or the Horses Have Already Left the Barn

    Most of our citizens already live in state with similar contraceptive health requirements as the proposed federal requirements.

    Twenty eight states9 require insurers to provide full coverage of all FDA approved contraceptive drugs and devices if they cover prescription drugs.

    Eight states have no exemptions — Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

    Another four states allow only churches and their associations an exemption: Arizona, California, New York, and Oregon. The remaining 16 states require coverage very similar to the federal plan.


    Contraceptive Map

    Right now 178 million people have full coverage under their state plans and the federal plan would have little, if any effect on them. The federal plan would be bringing the other 133 million people up to par.

    The religious right’s outrage seems to have gone awol concerning the 28 states that have full coverage requirements where over half the population lives.



    The Economics of Providing Contraceptive Coverage

    Saving money by preventing unplanned pregnancies

    “Debates over improving insurance coverage of contraceptives invariably touch on the issue of cost. Research and experience now suggest that contraceptive coverage does not raise insurance premiums and that employers providing such coverage can, in fact, save money by avoiding costs associated with unintended pregnancy.”10

    Multiple studies from 1987 to 2010 have found contraceptive coverage does not cost more but saves money both for public Medicaid and private insurers.


    Cost Savings of Contraception Graph

    Results varied from a National Business Group on Health study that had results of $0.16 for the private insurers to a Business and Health study finding of $28.57 also for private insurers. Public Medicaid savings were about $3 to $4.

    Business and Health in a 1993 special report for employers, found the average costs associated with the birth of a healthy baby was $10,000 (prenatal care, delivery and newborn care for one year following birth). It also reported that the cost for oral contraceptives was $300–350 per year. Avoiding the cost for unintended pregnancies was a major factor in the savings for an insurer.

    The cost looked at in the studies are only the easily determined direct cost “associated with normal live births (vaginal and cesarean), abortions, miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.” 10 There is also the saving of indirect costs which “include wages and benefits associated with employee absences, maternity leave, and pregnancy-related sick leave, as well as costs associated with reduced productivity during an employee’s pregnancy and with replacing employees who do not return to work after a pregnancy.”

    Business employers not covering contraceptives in their employee health plans pay at least an additional 15 – 17% more than if they had coverage.

    Providing contraceptive coverage does not increase the bill an employer is required to pay. And may in fact reduce the bill.

    Next: The War on Women’s Health, Part 2 – Family Planning




    Choices of the Heart: the Margaret Sanger Story (True Stories Collection)

    Starring Dana Delany and Henry Czerny, Directed by Paul Shapiro
    Rated: NR
    IMDb:
    **********

    The movie tells the story of Margaret Sanger (Dana Delany, China Beach) fight for women’s health through family planning and sex education in the early 1900s. The story takes place in New York City where despairing, often poor, women are forced by their situation to end unwanted pregnancies themselves.

    Sanger, a registered nurse, crosses paths with some of these women and sees the resulting mayhem and death. Outraged and saddened by what she sees, Sanger takes on her life work to fight against the moral zealots that have created chaos in women’s lives.



    Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion

    Trained as a nurse and midwife in New York’s Lower East Side gritty slums, Margaret Sanger grew aware of the dangers of unplanned pregnancy—both physical and psychological. A botched abortion resulting in the death of a poor young mother catalyzed Sanger, and she quickly became one of the loudest voices in favor of sex education and contraception.

    Sanger ignited a movement that has shaped our society to this day. The movement she started spread across the country, eventually becoming a vast international organization with her as its spokeswoman.

    Her views on reproductive rights have made her a frequent target of conservatives and moral zealots. Yet lately even progressives have shied away from her, citing socialist leanings and a purported belief in eugenics as a blight on her accomplishments. In this captivating new biography, the renowned feminist historian Jean H. Baker rescues Sanger from such critiques and restores her to the vaunted place in history she once held.




    Sources

    1 Lepore, Jill | Birthright, What’s next for Planned Parenthood? (Webpage) | The New Yorker Digital Edition | 20111114 | Accessed 20120301 @ http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/11/14/111114fa_fact_lepore.
     
    2 HHS Press Office | Affordable Care Act Ensures Women Receive Preventive Services at No Additional Cost | U.S. Department of Health & Human Services | 20110801 | Accessed 20120213 @ http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/08/20110801b.html.
     
    3 HHS Press Office | A statement by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius | U.S. Department of Health & Human Services | 20120120, Last revised: 20120202 | Accessed 20120213 @ http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/01/20120120a.html.
     
    4 Palmieri, Jennifer | What They Are Saying: Preventive Health Care and Religious Institutions | The White House Blog | 20120212, Last revised 20120213 | Accessed 20120218 @ http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/02/12/what-they-are-saying-preventive-health-care-and-religious-institutions.
     
    5 Muñoz, Cecilia | Health Reform, Preventive Services, and Religious Institutions | The White House Blog | 20120201, Last revised 20120201 | Accessed 20120213 @ http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/02/01/health-reform-preventive-services-and-religious-institutions.
     
    6 Wilkinson, Emma | The science behind the policy | European Heart Journal | Volume 30, Number 24, Pages 2955 – 2956 | December 2009.
     
    7 Committee on Preventive Services for Women | Clinical Preventive Services for Women: Closing the Gaps | IOM (Institute of Medicine), The National Academies Press; Washington, DC | 2011.
     
    8 Campbell, Kathryn Phillips: editor | Chapter 2, Maternal and Child Health Plan Benefit Model: Evidence-Informed Coverage; Investing in Maternal and Child Health: An Employer’s Toolkit | Center for Prevention and Health Services, National Business Group on Health, Washington, DC | 2007 | 89 Pages.
     
    9 State Policies in Brief: Insurance Coverage of Contraceptives | Guttmacher Institute | February 2, 2012.
     
    10 Dailard, Cynthia | Special Analysis: The Cost of Contraceptive Insurance Coverage | The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy | Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY, USA | Volume 6, Number 1 | March 2003.
     

    2 Responses

    1. […] Previous: The War on Women’s Health, Part 1 – In the Beginning […]

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: