Birth control defined as 'preventive medicine'
The Institute of Medicine (IOM), funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, convened a "panel of experts" last November to discuss whether birth control constitutes preventive medicine under ObamaCare. The women's health amendment included in the Affordable Care Act requested screenings for mammography, osteoporosis and "a definite focus on family planning."
Based upon the IOM's report released last month HHS just yesterday approved the non-profit organization's recommended guidelines mandating insurance companies cover 100% of a wide range of contraception options including sterilization.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced new guidelines in Washington Monday requiring health insurance plans beginning on or after August 1, 2012 to cover several women's preventive services, including birth control and voluntary sterilization.
In the July, 2011 report the IOM wrote that birth control methods, services and education should be available to encourage more consistent use "so that women can better avoid unwanted pregnancies and space their pregnancies to promote optimal birth outcomes."
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, along with researchers funded by the far left Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a non-profit that promotes single-payer healthcare, supported the guidelines set by the panel.
The "optimal birth outcomes" desired by the IOM experts won the day. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius whose agency approved the implementation of the guidelines beginning in August 2012 issued the following statement.
These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need.
PPFA President Cecile Richards cited the cost-prohibitive concerns regarding the accessibility of contraception for lower-income women.
Today is a historic victory for women's health and women across the country...Covering birth control without co-pays is one of the most important steps we can take to prevent unintended pregnancy and keep women and children healthy.
Supporters of the new guidelines suggest that making contraception easy to attain will save taxpayers a bundle.
According to an analysis from the Guttmacher Institute, in 2006, of the 2 million publicly funded births, 51% resulted from unintended pregnancies, accounting for more than $11 billion in costs.
But the President of America's Health Insurance Plans(AHIP) warned of "increasing costs for consumers" who will be charged higher premiums to cover the birth control benefit as well as the danger inherent in "broadening the scope" of what constitutes preventive services.
In determining whether birth control is preventive medicine, the IOM panel looked at the research of men like Dr. David Grimes, an international family planning expert.
There is clear and incontrovertible evidence that family planning saves lives and improves health.
Contraception rivals immunization in dollars saved for every dollar invested. Spacing out children allows for optimal pregnancies and optimal child rearing. Contraception is a prototype of preventive medicine.
Grimes toes the progressive line in equating pregnancy with illness. This is dangerous talk. With the majority of Americans reeling from adding another $2 trillion to the national debt will they pay attention to the assault on our freedom coming from the Left and its single-payer juggernaut?
Read more M.Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report