NARAL Pro-Choice America About Our Bloggers Contact Us Disclaimer RSS Feed

Results tagged “bc4me” from Blog for Choice

Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) followed medical experts' advice and announced that newly issued insurance plans must cover all FDA-approved birth-control methods without a copay.

The decision from HHS marked a huge step forward for women's health. Ninety-eight percent of American women use birth control at some point in their lives, but one in three struggles with the high cost.

But while no-cost birth control will level the playing field for women at all income levels, birth control must also be available to all women, regardless of their employer.

That's why today we delivered comments submitted by 29,045 Americans to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. HHS is currently considering a provision that would allow certain employers to opt out of the no-cost birth-control policy.

In addition, we, along with our state affiliates, submitted formal comments.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, explained why the public was so galvanized in support of no-cost birth control:

Americans know that birth control is basic health care, and they want all women to benefit from this administration's decision to follow medical experts' advice and require insurance companies to cover contraception without a copay. The public is united behind this commonsense policy. Improving women's access to birth control is the best way to prevent unintended pregnancy.

NARAL Pro-Choice America has been leading a grassroots public-education and advocacy campaign in support of no-cost birth control since the beginning of the year.

In June, we unveiled a Facebook app that lets you find out how much you or a woman you know would save if you didn't have to pay out-of-pocket costs for prescription birth control.

BC4ME screen shot.jpg

Huge props go out to Secretary Sebelius for following medical experts' recommendations and making no-cost birth control a reality. Now, we will work to make it a reality for all American women.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Debunking Michele Bachmann

|

Last night, the Republican candidates for president met for a tea-party debate, and they made some pretty bold claims.

Here's one particularly strong assertion from Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota:

President Obama in a stunning, shocking level of power now just recently told all private insurance companies you must offer the morning-after abortion pill because I said so and it must be free of charge.

Cue the fact-checking: Rep. Bachmann is wrong. Again.

Here are the facts:

Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) followed medical experts' advice and announced that newly issued insurance plans must cover all FDA-approved birth-control methods without a copay.

Emergency contraception, or the "morning-after" pill, is a type of birth control that works if taken soon after sex. The "morning-after" birth-control pill is not the same thing as the abortion pill (RU 486). Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy; it does not cause abortion. If you're already pregnant, taking the "morning-after" pill will not end the pregnancy.

Ninety-eight percent of American women use birth control at some point in their lives. A panel of medical experts at the Institute of Medicine recommended that birth control be included as no-cost preventive care in all health plans because it will help millions of women prevent unintended pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion.

HHS' decision to make birth control available without a copay has nothing to do with abortion. The vast majority of private insurance plans do cover abortion care, but they set their own rules on copays and fees.

So, in conclusion, Rep. Bachmann's statement is (surprise!) completely and 100 percent false. But then again, I don't think she ever was one to let facts get in the way of her extreme ideology.

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Americans Support No-Cost Birth Control

|

Where do people stand on no-cost birth control?

Even though our country can be sharply divided on a lot of topics, a new independent poll about the overall health-care reform law shows strong support for improving women's access to contraception:

On another health policy issue in the news, two-thirds of Americans (66%) say they support the recent decision by the Department of Health and Human Services to require health insurance plans to pay for the full cost of birth control and other preventive services for women under the new law, and 24 percent of the public oppose the decision.

Together, we did so much to make this policy possible. Let's build on this broad support by continuing to share what this positive change will mean for women.

After all, need we be reminded that the 24 percent of the people who oppose this progress often appear on Fox News?

Enhanced by Zemanta

One in three American women struggles with the high cost of prescription birth control.

That's just one of the reasons why the Obama administration's new no-cost birth control regulations are so important for women's health. Making prescription birth control available without a copay will help millions of women prevent unintended pregnancy and thereby reduce the need for abortion.

A new study from The Guttmacher Institute shows why it's crucial that all women have access to birth control.

According to the study, unintended pregnancy among low-income women has increased considerably--even while it's continued to decrease among higher income women.

The report concludes that a lack of access to reproductive-health care is a key contributing factor to this disparity.

It's further evidence that no-cost birth control can't come a moment too soon.

Got questions about no-cost birth control? We've got answers.

Enhanced by Zemanta

When you hear the words "pro-choice," you probably think about protecting a woman's right to choose safe, legal abortion, and improving access to birth control.

But being pro-choice also means protecting a woman's right to choose to become pregnant. Sometimes this isn't as easy as it might seem. Here's one woman's story that illustrates why:

She was a working mom in West Seattle, Washington, and was using an intrauterine device (IUD) as a method of birth control. Her insurance company, Regence BlueShield, had covered the implantation of the IUD.

But when she wanted her IUD removed so that she could get pregnant again, Regence refused to cover the procedure. According to the insurance company, removing the IUD wasn't "medically necessary." But it most certainly was necessary for conceiving a second child.

Fortunately, this was one woman who wouldn't take the insurance company's "no" for an answer. She filed a complaint with the state insurance commissioner --and won.

Regence had to reimburse the woman--with interest--the cost of having her IUD removed. Not only that, but the insurance commissioner found nearly one thousand other women whose similar claims had also been illegally denied. Regence had to reimburse them too, and pay an additional $100,000 in fines.

This was possible because Washington state has a contraceptive-equity law, meaning that insurance companies must cover prescription contraception to the same extent as other medications. In Washington and 27 other states, covering birth control is required.

Unfortunately, there are 22 states where denying such coverage is still perfectly legal.

That's one reason why the health-reform law signed by President Obama is so important. Beginning next year, all newly-issued insurance plans throughout the country will cover the full range of FDA-approved contraception without an additional copay. (Got questions? We've got answers.)

This means that women from Alaska to Alabama will have the same right that women in Washington now have. They'll be able to choose the birth-control method that's right for them--and choose to plan a pregnancy when they want to.

As for that woman in West Seattle: not only did she win her fight with the insurance company, she's now also the mother of a six-month-old baby girl.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Lowdown on No-Cost Birth Control

|

We're all super excited that, starting next year, newly issued insurance plans will cover the full range of FDA-approved contraception without a copay. Ninety-eight percent of American women use birth control at some point in their lives, and the new no-cost birth control regulation is a big win for women's health.

A lot of people have been asking some great questions about what no-cost birth-control means. We've put together a handy FAQ page to try and answer some of them.

What does "no-cost birth control" mean? How would it work? 

"No-cost" means that women can get their prescriptions for birth control filled without a copay. 

Under the health-care law, the cost of contraception will be included as part of your premium--meaning no more out-of-pocket payments. 

How will no-cost birth control help women? 

Improving women's access to birth control is positive in many ways. 

A woman who can plan when to have a family is able to participate in society more fully. Allowing women to plan and space their pregnancies contributes to healthy childbearing. And ultimately, fewer unintended pregnancies can reduce the need for abortion. 

No-cost birth control is especially important for women who cannot afford prescription contraception or a deductible. 

 Wait. Isn't birth control easy to get already? 

Currently, one in three women struggles with the cost of birth control. 

Additionally, even though 98 percent of women use contraception at some point in their lives, there are still 22 states that don't require insurance companies to cover prescription birth control. 

Requiring newly issued plans to cover birth control at no cost will help ensure that women are able to access comprehensive preventive care. 

When does no-cost birth control go into effect? 

Newly issued insurance plans beginning on or after August 1, 2012 must cover all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives at no cost. Newly issued plans created before August 2012 have one full plan year to comply with the new law. 

I don't have health insurance or qualify for Medicaid. How will no-cost birth control help me? 

The health-reform law signed by President Obama, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, puts our nation on the path to universal health-care coverage.  

Under the law, Americans who do not qualify for Medicaid and do not receive health insurance through their employers will be able to purchase affordable health coverage in health-insurance exchanges beginning in 2014. Individuals who have incomes below 400 percent of the federal poverty level (about $43,000 for an individual or $88,000 for a family of four) will qualify for a subsidy to help pay premium costs. Even individuals who do not qualify for a subsidy will be able to find affordable health plans within the exchange. 

Thanks to the new health-care law, health insurance will become more affordable for all Americans--whether they receive it through an employer, purchase it in the exchange, or qualify for Medicaid. All newly issued plans will cover birth control without a copay, and contraceptives are already covered at no cost by Medicaid. For more information, please go to http://www.healthcare.gov/

Why shouldn't birth control have a copay? Other medications have a copay. 

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), preventive medicine is health care people "need to stay healthy, avoid or delay the onset of disease, lead productive lives, and reduce health care costs." 

HHS followed the advice of medical experts and classified birth control as preventive medicine. 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act emphasizes preventive medicine as a way to promote Americans' health and reduce health-care costs. To that end, many forms of preventive medicine must now be made available without a copay--including flu vaccines, wellness visits, mammograms, and birth control. 

Access to birth control has been shown to reduce unintended pregnancy rates and the negative health outcomes associated with unplanned pregnancy. 

Got a question that you don't see here? Feel free to ask it in the comments section.

Enhanced by Zemanta

More Lessons on Birth Control from Bill O'Reilly

|

Poor Bill O'Reilly: he just can't help himself.

After Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius followed medical experts' advice and announced that newly issued insurance plans must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraception without a copay, the Fox News host said the new regulations wouldn't make a difference.

After all, O'Reilly said, "Many women who get pregnant are blasted out of their minds when they have sex. They're not going to use birth control anyway."

Some people might have stopped digging after getting themselves in such a hole, but not O'Reilly! He doubled down, and is now claiming that no-cost birth control will increase unemployment (our thanks to MediaMatters for catching this "lesson.")

Watch it to believe it:


The medical experts at the Institute of Medicine recommended no-cost birth control because it will help millions of women prevent unintended pregnancy, reduce the need for abortion, and lower overall health-care costs.

But Bill O'Reilly was never one to let expert opinion get in his way.

Enhanced by Zemanta

We were elated last week when Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius followed medical experts' advice and announced that newly issued insurance plans must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraception without a copay.

And we were less than surprised when right-wing politicians and commentators reacted in ways that you have to see to believe. Seriously, don't they know that 98 percent of American women use birth control at some point in their lives?

But there's still work to be done to ensure that all women have access to no-cost birth control: certain religious employers may be allowed to opt out of the new requirement.

HHS is accepting comments on this refusal provision, and we have a brief window of time to weigh in. This potential opt-out provision is the last chance for anti-contraception activists to weigh in - and you've seen them weighing in with sound and fury.

But we get to send in comments too!

It's up to us to stand up for all women who use birth control, regardless of where they work. Let HHS know that you support near-universal coverage for contraception.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sean Hannity Adds to the Anti-Birth Control Outrage

|

Last week, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius followed medical experts' advice and announced that newly issued insurance plans must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraception without a copay.

Since then, the right-wing react-o-sphere has gone into a collective tizzy over the idea of women using birth control.

Last night, Sean Hannity of Fox News got his two cents in about no-cost birth control.

Spoiler alert: he's against it.

Not only that, he doesn't "care about the scientists" who recommended including birth control as preventive medicine. Also, birth control is "not about women's health," it's a "choice to have sex"--unlike Viagra, which treats a "medical problem." Say it with me now...

You'll have to see it to believe it:

Some bold statements from a bold man.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Stephen Colbert Weighs In on No-Cost Birth Control

|

Yesterday, I gave you a round-up of right-wing reactions to the new no-cost birth control regulations.

These politicians and commentators had plenty of outrage, umbrage, and misinformation to go around, but there was one thing they didn't have: truthiness.

Fortunately, Dr. Stephen T. Colbert of The Colbert Report has filled in that blank. Here's what Dr. Colbert has to say:


Enhanced by Zemanta

Ninety-eight percent of American women use birth control at some point in their lives.

Think about that. Ninety-eight percent. There's no TV show that's watched by 98 percent of American women, no sports team that can count on 98 percent of the population as its fans. In an age of polarization, there is perhaps nothing so universally used and accepted as birth control.

This week, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that, as medical experts advised, newly issued insurance plans must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraception without a copay. In a country where one in three women finds it difficult to pay for birth control, Secretary Sebelius' decision was a victory for women's health and common sense.

The reaction from right-wing politicians and commentators? You'll have to see (or read) it to believe it.

On Monday, Rep. Steve King of Iowa spoke out against birth control on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. He called the new no-cost birth control regulations "bizarre," "Orwellian," and said that they would make us "a dying civilization":


Bill O'Reilly of Fox News doubted the importance of no-cost birth control, saying, "Many women who get pregnant are blasted out of their minds when they have sex. They're not going to use birth control anyway."


In June, New Hampshire's Executive Council voted to cut off state funding for family-planning services at Planned Parenthood, forcing the state's six clinics to stop providing birth control.

Councillor Raymond Wieczorek expressed his feelings on women who use contraception:

If they want to have a good time, why not let them pay for it?

Not to be outdone, the commissioners of Ravalli County, Montana are threatening to reject Title-X funds, putting nearly 500 residents' access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other care at risk.

But no problem, according to Commissioner Matt Kanenwisher:

In my mind, pregnancy is not a disease state. An unplanned pregnancy doesn't make it anymore so. You can say it's a social problem, and you can argue there is a role for government to take some action in that. I don't believe that's the case.

Back in the world of "fair and balanced," Sandy Rios, vice president of Family PAC Federal and another Fox News contributor, had this to say:

Is the White House out of their mind? Does the West Wing not know what the left wing is doing? We're $14 trillion in debt and now we're going to cover birth control, breast pumps, counseling for abuse? Are we going to do pedicures and manicures as well?


Let's review what they oppose...again.

Insurance plans will cover contraception without a copay--improving women's access to family-planning services and thereby reducing the need for abortion.

As more of these anti-contraception extremists speak, I'm confident it will spur even more Americans to side with us. Do you agree?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Somehow, the prospect of women using birth control has caused a giant conniption fit among right-wing politicians and commentators. (And 98 percent of American women use contraception at some point in their lives.) 

From politicians in Montana and New Hampshire to Bill O'Reilly and his concerns over women who are "blasted out of their minds," the right wing has gone into an apoplectic rage over birth control.


Is the White House out of their mind? Does the West Wing not know what the left wing is doing? We're $14 trillion in debt and now we're going to cover birth control, breast pumps, counseling for abuse? Are we going to do pedicures and manicures as well?

Thanks to ThinkProgress for sharing Ms. Rios' comments. 


One in three American women struggles with the high cost of birth control at some point in her life, and the United States has a far higher unintended-pregnancy rate than other industrialized countries.

Making family-planning services available at no cost will help millions of women prevent unintended pregnancy and thereby reduce the need for abortion.

You'd think they'd be for that. 

But I guess not. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Birth Control Battle in Big Sky Country

|

Another state, another set of politicians trying to block women's access to birth control. 

Last month, it was New Hampshire, where a member of the state's Executive Council quipped, "If they want to have a good time, why not let them pay for it?"

Now, NARAL Pro-Choice Montana tells us that the commissioners of Ravalli County, Montana are threatening to shut down the county's family-planning clinic, which women depend on for access to birth control, cancer screenings, Pap smears, and other basic health care. 

The clinic receives federal funding through Title X, the nation's family-planning program. If the county commissioners follow through on their threat to reject these funds, the program will probably be eliminated. 

But that's not a bad thing according to Commissioner Matt Kanenwisher

In my mind, pregnancy is not a disease state. An unplanned pregnancy doesn't make it anymore so. You can say it's a social problem, and you can argue there is a role for government to take some action in that. I don't believe that's the case.

Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) doesn't share Commissioner Kanenwisher's backwards views on women's health. Yesterday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that newly issued insurance plans must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraception without a copay starting next year.  

In the meantime, the Ravalli County commissioners will meet again on Thursday to discuss whether to reject the Title X funds. 

Politicians like Commissioner Kanenwisher remind us why no-cost birth control is so important for all American women. 


Enhanced by Zemanta

Secretary Sebelius Approves No-Cost Birth Control

|

Moments ago, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that she had accepted a medical expert panel's recommendation that family planning be considered preventive health care. Now, newly issued insurance plans must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraception without a copay!

Today's decision by the Obama administration is a major step forward for American women. One in three women struggles with the high cost of birth control at some point in her life. 

That's why NARAL Pro-Choice America has been rallying grassroots support for no-cost birth control since the beginning of the year. We launched a public-education campaign in partnership with our state affiliates that reached 35 college campuses. 

In June, we unveiled a BC4ME Facebook app that more than 26,000 people have used. The app lets you find out how much you or a woman you know would save if you didn't have to pay out-of-pocket costs for prescription birth control.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, praised Secretary Sebelius' decision:

Secretary Sebelius' decision to follow a science-based recommendation will improve women's access to affordable basic health care, including contraception. Women will realize the importance of this decision every time they go to the pharmacy counter and pick up their birth control without paying a copay. Currently, one in three women finds it difficult to pay for birth control, and the United States has a far higher unintended-pregnancy rate than other industrialized countries. The vast majority of Americans supports making family-planning services available at no cost. They know this change in policy will help millions of women prevent unintended pregnancy and thereby reduce the need for abortion.

NARAL Pro-Choice America also notes with reservation that the administration is proposing to allow certain employers to opt out of the requirements. We believe that all women should have access to contraceptive coverage.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Making the Push for No-Cost Birth Control

|

Last week, a panel of medical experts at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that health-insurance plans cover a full range of FDA-approved contraception at no cost

Now, it's up to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to decide whether to follow those recommendations and make no-cost birth control a reality.

More than 50,000 Americans have signed petitions calling on HHS to follow sound science and make no-cost contraception a benefit required by law.

I just got back from HHS headquarters, where my colleagues and I delivered these petitions to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

But anti-contraception politicians and their allies want to put their extreme politics ahead of women's health. Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, for example, said that "Many women who get pregnant are blasted out of their minds when they have sex. They're not going to use birth control anyway."

These 50,000 petitioners sent a strong message: that the American people stand by the IOM's science-based recommendations, and look forward to seeing Secretary Sebelius fulfill this promise.

Enhanced by Zemanta

What Does No-Cost Birth Control Mean for You?

|

No-cost birth control could soon become a reality for American women.

If the Department of Health and Human Services decides to implement this policy change, it will have a huge effect on ordinary people: women could save thousands of dollars over their lifetimes.

This could mean no longer having to choose between paying rent and paying off student loans. It could mean being able to afford a down payment on a home, or tuition at graduate school.

We asked some folks in our office what no-cost birth control would mean for them:

How much would you save?

Let us know what no-cost birth control would mean for you.


Happy Friday!


Marie Claire is asking its readers: "Do you think prescription birth control should be fully covered by insurance?" 




Enhanced by Zemanta

Grassroots Momentum for No-Cost Birth Control

|

Today, Blog for Choice is excited to participate in the "Birth Control: We've Got You Covered" blog carnival, hosted by the National Women's Law Center and Planned Parenthood. We're leveraging the power of the blogosphere in support of no-cost birth control.  


If the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adopts the experts' recommendation and makes no-cost contraception a benefit required by law, it will be a tremendous advance for women's health. 

Currently, nearly one in three women finds it difficult to pay for birth control.  Making family-planning services available at no cost will help millions of women prevent unintended pregnancy and thereby reduce the need for abortion.

NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation has been rallying grassroots support for no-cost birth control since the beginning of the year. In March, we launched the Birth Control for Me (BC4ME) campaign on college campuses, mobilizing students in favor of this important policy change.

Last month, we unveiled our BC4ME Facebook app, which lets you find out how much you or a woman you know would save if you didn't have to pay out-of-pocket costs for prescription birth control.

BC4ME screen shot.jpg

More than 21,300 people have found out how much they'd save if no-cost birth control became a reality. Some have shared their stories about what they'd be able to afford with those savings.

How would no-cost birth control benefit you? Use our Facebook app and share it with your friends!



Enhanced by Zemanta

Speaking Out for No-Cost Birth Control on MSNBC

|

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, went on MSNBC's NewsNation with Tamron Hall this afternoon. 

She was there to speak out in support of no-cost birth control. A panel of experts at the Institute of Medicine recommended that all health-insurance plans cover birth control.

Check out what she had to say:



Enhanced by Zemanta

Getting the Word Out on No-Cost Birth Control

|

Yesterday, a panel of experts at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that health-insurance plans cover a full range of FDA-approved contraception at no cost.

NARAL Pro-Choice America has been busy getting the word out about the panel's recommendations and how no-cost birth control would benefit women.

The Los Angeles Times, NPR, National Journal, Time, CBS News, and The Huffington Post, have all picked up on the story, and turned to NARAL Pro-Choice America for analysis. 

Predictably, the usual cast of anti-contraception characters has already voiced its opposition to no-cost birth control. 

Jeanne Monahan of the Family Research Council had this to say:

[The Department of Health and Human Services] should focus on items and services that prevent actual diseases, and not include controversial services just to placate the abortion industry.

Deirdre McQuade of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said, "Pregnancy is not a disease, and fertility is not a pathological condition to be suppressed."

Hmm, curious, considering that making family-planning services available at no cost will help millions of women prevent unintended pregnancy and thereby reduce the need for abortion.


Enhanced by Zemanta
Facebook Twitter YouTube Tumblr flickr
Donate Take Action
In Your State Share Your Story
Get email updates from NARAL Pro-Choice America:
Search the Blog
Featured Video
Most Recent Entries

 
Home