I’m not a super fan of the fact that Congress has prioritized repealing the Affordable Care Act, for silly reasons such as my concern for women’s rights, or as some call them women’s “issues”. They are not far off, I certainly do have an issue with this even being a conversation, that women’s rights are a topic to be discussed, considered. That means they’re not really rights, they are in fact, just options. The repeal will likely revoke the requirement that insurance plans cover contraception and well woman visits at no out-of-pocket cost for women. Not only is this problematic but it completely contradicts other potential policy changes being proposed. That’s an entirely different blog post.
Sarcasm begins here:
I can see why Congress would think these “options” are so outlandish. Why would we want to protect women’s health, men don’t have a cervix, why would we cover a well visit that could provide early detection of cervical cancer? You know what, let’s just strike that coverage, well woman visits are out. Screw the cervix! Yep, I said it. The American Cancer Society recommends women begin cervical cancer screening at age 21, but what do they know? Early detection is overrated! Even if it is a vital component to women’s health, most 21 year-old women have more than enough disposable income to pay for these services out-of-pocket. Their cervix, their problem. I get it, Congress.
Birth control? Why would we want to prevent unplanned, unwanted pregnancies by providing birth control at no cost? It really is a silly option. Only women can get pregnant so we really should pay for biology. Honestly, it is our own fault for being women, please let us pick up the tab.
Here’s a pretty picture for Congress: I will prevent pregnancy, using the birth control that I pay for (as any good woman should). To celebrate the fact that I didn’t get pregnant, I will also pay for and pay taxes on tampons, pads and other feminine hygiene products. Hell, I’ll even purchase some Midol or Pamprin because I like to party.
Disclaimer: I am not claiming the ACA is perfect, no policy is. I’m not saying we don’t have work to do, we do, but let’s preserve the progress that has been made. Other rights that are at risk with this repeal? Maternity care. I will never understand why this isn’t just a thing. Healthy women + healthy pregnancies = healthy children. What do you think is more costly? Maternity care for healthy women/pregnancies or ongoing medical care for children with medical conditions due to unhealthy pregnancies? That’s a real brain buster! I’ll give you a minute to think about it. (Sorry, a little more sarcasm). Can we stop making decisions based on what we think people deserve or don’t deserve and start making decisions that are just cost-effective? Before the ACA, maternity care was not a standard part of most insurance plans and in some cases insurance premiums doubled if a woman wanted to add maternity coverage.
What do all of these things have in common? The exclusion of men. The last time I checked a woman can only get pregnant with a little help from a man. Seems to me that this is the only role Congress is asking men to play, unless of course men are making policy about women’s “issues”, then they have some skin in the game. Yep, I said that too.