Obama Administration: Confused over whether birth control is healthcare
In a move familiar to the Administration's kabuki on DADT, they are now claiming they need a year - a YEAR - to study whether birth control is a preventative health care treatment covered under the new health reform law. Although it will actually take longer than a year to decide that question:
Comissioned by Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the study is supposed to determine whether contraception is, in fact, a preventive health service. Allowing a year for the research, which is due next August, then additional time to issue new regulations, and, after that, a year in which insurers will have to comply with new regulations, it’ll be at least 2012 before women can get birth control without a hefty co-pay. 2013 is more likely.
Women's advocacy groups have pointed out that the year is bullshit. That there's plenty medical literature already out there on birth control (which isn't exactly new). But the year is important because it gives the opposition time to mount its campaign:
In a move that’s brought unpleasant flashbacks to last Winter and Spring, the Catholic Church is waging its own campaign. According to a letter the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent to HHS last week, contraceptives and sterilization should not be considered preventive services. “To prevent pregnancy is not to prevent a disease,” the bishops’ letter explains, going on to argue that the interim list, which doesn’t include birth control, should be made permanent.
In other words, the same kind of campaign that led not only to further restricting of abortion access in the health insurance bill (by the Democrats who told me that I had to vote for them to protect my rights from evil Republicans), but also to the even worse language the Administration itself put into its executive order and regulations implementing the bill. That's so nice of the Obama Administration to give them the time to mount their opposition.
Now, I'm supposed to get my ass off my couch and go save them in November? Well, I need to study the issues. It's going to take me about a year to decide who to vote for. It's unfortunate for them that they need my vote before then, but this is an important decision and I want to make sure I have all of the information I need. Hear both sides. That it might hurt some Democrats now is unfortunate, but these are hard issues and I have a responsibility to listen to all sides so that I can make the best decision possible. I'm sure Obama and the Democrats will understand. These are hard times and everyone has to sacrifice.
NOTE - For the life of me, I do not understand why access to birth control is so often relegated to the status of "women's issue". Do men not want to control when they become fathers? Do they not want to be able to have sex with their partner without using a condom and without worrying about having a kid? The pill didn't just free women sexually, it freed men, too. But somehow the belief is that only women get hurt by these kinds of policies. And, of course, we all know this Administration doesn't give a crap about hurting women. Added bonus: this disproportionately affects poor women since wealthier women can afford birth control.