Yesterday the White House announced which preventative services will be free under President Obama’s health care reform and birth control did not make the cut. Uh, isn’t getting birth control the very definition of a preventative service? Like, preventing a baby? Apparently not. Other preventative services which will be free include mammograms (beginning at age 40), screenings for depression and high blood pressure, immunizations, tobacco cessation, and obesity prevention. These services will not require a co-payment or other direct costs on new health plans after September 23 and you still have to pay for the cost of treating the illness (anti-depressants, for example).
Still, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America is pushing for contraception to be added as a preventative service on separate regulations regarding women’s health, which will be released in coming months. But I’m not getting my hopes up. The idea of empowering women to control their own fertility — and maybe even have sex before marriage! — is still too controversial for some people.