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What About MEN?

Retired emergency physician/family physician writes letter to editor of Minnesota newspaper stating that insurance should pay for birth control for all women because otherwise rich women could afford to pay for birth control and poor women would be forced to have unwanted children or “back-alley abortions.

I’m not really sure how someone too poor to purchase birth control is going to be able to purchase insurance so that they receive free birth control via a government mandate, I’m also not sure how people too poor to purchase birth control are going to be able to afford to pay for a “back-alley abortion” on such limited income.

That’s OK. No one ever said that mandates have to make sense or have logically justifiable reasoning to support them.

He’s missing the simple solution to this problem.

Everyone should just be able to pick up as many condoms as they want at any federal building for free. Go drop off your mail, grab a handful of condoms. If government is going to mandate it, the government should pay for it.

Think about it: No worry about adverse side effects from “the pill.” No discrimination against males who don’t get to share in the free handouts. Plus, consider the added bonus of decreasing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

If they were smart, they could even sell political campaign ad space on the packaging. Then again, if that happened, people might get confused and think that the pictures are showing where to put the condoms.


  1. Did you write this after you came home from Mass???
    If nothing else, can you not appreciate the inane logic of charging child-bearing women more for insurance because they might get pregnant and then deny the very thing that would protect them from it?
    Let’s see, no mandated BC coverage from insurance and defund Planned Parenthood where BC can be obtained cheaply becuse they offer abortions…..a personal choice, I might add. Michelle Duggar and The Quiverful of Arrows movement would approve.
    Planning your family size is one of the most responsible things lower income families can do but how they choose to do it is somehow your business? Highly doubt the cost is going to implode the insurance companies.
    Have men pay for their Viagra out of their own pocket while you’re at it.

    • “Planning your family size is one of the most responsible things lower income families can do but how they choose to do it is somehow your business?”

      It becomes my business the instant that I am required to pay for it.

      I have no problem with an insurance company providing any service, so long as I am not footing the bill.

      • Why, in God’s name,would BC,a simple and relatively inexpensive medication, get your financial panties all in a wad?

      • It doesn’t.

        You asked why it was my business.

        BTW, if it is so simple and inexpensive, why can’t they buy it themselves?

      • Very reasonable response. And thanks for the correction on the Viagra.
        What is relevant here is it an uneccessary burden on insured people and insurance companies to absorb the cost of free BC?
        I actually went to a fact checking site. The numbers are all over the place as to whether it is cost effective or not.
        Since they are 7 billion people in the world, women used to die from back alley abortions and an unplanned pregnancy can sometimes have devestating consequences, I will be glad to take the gamble (and the financial hit) that is the right thing to do. And this is from a person who is currently unemployed and self insured.
        I guess I am in the minority.

    • Very few insurance companies cover viagra, FYI.

      • the largest healthcare system in the country, the VA, provides Viagra, etc. for patients. that’s your tax dollars. how about that? they also provide OCs and other means of BC for female veterans. and even better, the latest focus is the transgender veterans and their specific needs.

        it’s still not your business.

      • I personally think it is reasonable for insurance companies to cover birth control(though Sprintec and TriSprintec are only $9/month at Target so that is probably actually cheaper than condoms and covers you non-birth control uses of OCPs in most cases as well).
        Though it is, or was, well within their rights to cover, or not cover, any service/product, they wanted and to market/price it accordingly.
        I was just pointing out the factual error in Midwest woman’s comment. Most insurance companies do not pay for viagra. That you could name one that does doesn’t change my statement one iota.

      • no it does not but what does it do to your “footing the bill” stance? you already do foot the bill. i wonder what DOD covers for active military/families?

      • Since that is not my stance, it really does nothing to it.
        You might want to look at the handles of the people posting when you respond.
        If you are asking my personal opinion on whether the VA should pay for Viagra, the answer is no, I don’t think they should.
        If you are asking the more broad quesiton of if I agree with much of anything the goverment does in regards to healthcare, that answer is also no, but rather irrelevent to this discussion.

      • Justadoc, my last comment was for you. Hit the wrong reply button.

      • Veteran’s don’t have the right to have sex? Erectile dysfunction is a disease. There is a treatment. No, it’s not life threatening but it is a quality of life issue. Plenty of medical conditions won’t kill you, but are treated to reduce discomfort. Should we not treat those? What is erectile dysfunction any different? Where do you draw the line?

    • I would understand this arguement more if people were equally outraged about the free screenings and certain immunizations offered under the mandate.
      Why is BC such a hot button issue?
      Unfortunately, I think I know the answer.

      • Last time I checked, pregnancy was not a disease. It is completely controllable.

        I believe that the confusion is coming from the “insurance” vs “government healthcare” labels.

        If a private insurance company wants to provide coverage for BC or abortion, have at it.

        If the government wants to spend my money to provide the same, that is where I have a problem.

        Me personally, I don’t have a problem with the BC aspect. (although I understand that others do) My problem is the funding for abortions.

        Should the government be allowed to force someone to abandon their beliefs?

  2. Love the thought process as it is inclusive!!:)
    *><* (evil eye)

  3. Not to mention, a lot of women use hormonal birth control to treat medical problems – not just to prevent birth. My mother had cancer and a hysterectomy and now has to be on birth control for hormone treatment, although obviously she can’t get pregnant. I use birth control to treat endometriosis. The birth control I use doesn’t have a generic, so I end up paying close to $500 out of pocket a year (with good insurance) to pay for it. How is it that a prescription that is related to my female reproductive organs is so expensive, but a prescription not gender-specific isnt’? Condoms are not going to fix gender inequality.

  4. What about MEN? I’m missing your point. What does a man have to do with women’s reproductive choices?

  5. Justadoc, the last comment I made was to your post. Hit the wrong reply.

  6. Sometimes I like to throw ideas out there and see where the comments go. Kind of interesting when comments take on a life of their own.

    Regarding insurance companies charging women of childbearing age more for their insurance – rates wouldn’t change if the women decided to drop coverage for pregnancy. Insurance premiums are set based on potential financial risk to the company. Same reason that diabetics, smokers, cancer survivors also pay higher premiums. Economics, not some insidious form of discrimination, are the reasons.

    Second, no one is denying women medications to prevent pregnancy. Point #1 in the post was that if people can’t afford $9/month for birth control, how are they going to afford the insurance policy that pays for that birth control? Don’t you think that the insurance premiums will go up even more because of it — which will cause more people to drop insurance — which will preclude insurance from paying for their birth control anyway? I just don’t get that argument.

    Point #2 in the post was to demonstrate another instance in which government throws an unfunded mandate at the public. If the federal government believes that it is so important to provide women with free birth control, then why doesn’t the federal government just provide people with birth control and cut out the middle man? Same point I have with health care. It is government’s duty to provide for the care of its citizens, not some private entity’s duty. If the government wants comprehensive health care for everyone, why doesn’t the government provide the healthcare rather than forcing everyone to purchase “insurance” which is often a pixie dust dream?

    Point #3 in the post was rhetorical. If the argument is that there is some form of discrimination present because of an uproar over insurers being forced to provide free birth control, then why isn’t there an uproar because government isn’t mandating insurance companies to provide free condoms to men? Why shouldn’t men receive the same fair treatment as women when it comes to birth control?
    The question doesn’t need an answer, it’s merely to show how our slide down the slippery slope of entitlements causes the argument to degrade into people fighting over more and more inconsequential matters.

    Is the next mandate going to be free toothbrushes and dental floss? After all, tooth decay causes a large amount of pain and suffering in people, care is expensive, and the burden on emergency rooms for people with tooth decay is substantial.

    A mandate for free Motrin for headaches?

    A mandate for free Band-Aids for cuts?

    The government is churning out 68 new regulations per day. Where does it end?

  7. I agree with you WC.

    Regarding your 3rd paragraph, it seems many people these days can’t see beyond their own nose. That they can’t follow the logic to the ultimate end results.

    What ever happened to personal responsibility? I never thought anyone had to pay for my birth control. I knew insurance didn’t pay for it. I have never thought anyone owed me anything. What is wrong with society when people are not getting the message of personal responsibility? I believe we need programs to help the poor. But …unfortunately there are those who know how to milk the system that don’t need the help. But when things are given freely – why bother?

    Frankly …I didn’t get the war on women campaign strategy. Or that women buy into it. I’ve never felt I was at war. To me …the real war against women is when 14 year old girls are shot in the head for standing up for their right to have an education. or women are denied the right to breast exams because it goes against their cultural laws, etc.

    But gee …if women are entitled to free birth control then I say do announced fly overs and drop free condoms everywhere. And kids can even use them for water balloons. Every one happy then. :)

  8. Off topic …but: I am really wondering what our new “law of the land” will mean for existing Dr-patient relationships and also quality of care with all providers (physician and facilities). ? The president said we’d be able to keep our doctors. Now we know he lied. That ultimately, private insurance will become too expensive for many to keep and they will be forced into these government exchanges for health care.

    Do doctors know yet …how this obamacare-law of the land health care bill will affect how they practice medicine and also what will happen to their patients. One thing striking to me is that because of current reimbursement regulations – they have to see more patients in a day with longer hours to bring in the money. But if there hasn’t been a sudden influx of new doctors …how then will they be able to keep up with patient demand when so many people will now be “insured”, or can they refuse to see patients enrolled in government insurance? And how will that impact quality of care? Does anyone have the answers to these questions yet? Just wondering.

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