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1.2.05

Not A Post For The Boys...

First, my review is scheduled for Thursday. No idea as to the time. If you never hear from me again, know why. The plastic knife can do damage, you know...


Second, whiny men can now have their sexual performance drugs covered by Medicare.

Let me stand on a soapbox for a moment (like you were going to stop me anyway). Two people, one male and one female, walk into a pharmacy. The man, wanting to perk up his sex life, grabs Viagra. The woman, wanting to avoid pregnancy, picks up her birth control. Flash to the register: the man lays his co-pay of $5 on the counter and walks out content with life. The woman lays $5 down, and is told that her insurance does not cover the cost of prescription contraception and that she must pay the expense herself out of pocket. (For the guys, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, one of the most popular pills, runs about $80 per month, though others may run around $30 I believe.)

Women are largely forced to deal with contraception. First, if something were to occur, it affect them a lot more than it affects the guy. More importantly, however, other than sterilization, I do not believe that the FDA has yet approved any prescription birth control for men. Most typical forms of birth control are intended for a woman's use only, such as oral contraceptives, contraceptive injections, diaphragms, and cervical caps, intrauterine devices, and hormonal implants. Accordingly, the result is paying for prescription contraceptives lies primarily with women.

When Viagra initially come out, it wasn't covered by insurance. So we see that all the pissy men went and filed lawsuits demanding coverage. Viola! Judges, the legislature, and health care individuals determined that Viagara should be covered. (The individuals making these decisions were mostly male, and probably mostly using Viagara...ok, that was uncalled for.) Conversely, after fifty years of birth control, it still is not covered by the majority of employers (including, by the way, the federal government). Viagra now demonstrates the inequities of health insurance coverage.

The federal government's own actions place the burden of birth control solely on women. This disparity arguably constitutes sex discrimination against women (a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964). While universal health care is occassionally debated, no one wants to discuss the inequalities of health care itself. AND, if my health care plans does not cover the same "necessities" as men's health care plans (and I maintain my birth control is a lot more necessary than Bob Dole's orgasms), then why should my health insurance cost just as much?

Moreover, birth control is not solely to avoid getting pregnant. A fair number (though admittedly not a majority) are on birth control because it regulates their cramps, excessive bleeding, or other symptoms associated with their period. In fact, if they were not on birth control, the would miss work a day or two a month (a strain on the workforce) or they would have to go to the doctor more often to deal with problems (which is then covered by insurance, and so the insurance companies will actually pay more).

A thought proviking line from
the following article:
"Every public dollar spent on contraceptive services prevents $4 in public expenditures on unwanted or unplanned pregnancies. Every dose of Viagra subsidized by private or governmental insurers saves men from sexual frustration and - drumroll, please - the embarrassment of hearing their wives and girlfriends say, "That's OK, honey, it happens to every guy, once in a while."

While this is humerous, it does underscore the problem: why does (and should) men's ego take priority over unwanted pregnancy, a woman's health, affects to the workforce, and changing a women's life completely should she conceive? (please, no pro/anti choice/abortion responses here).

And how exactly is Viagra "medically necessary?" And it will cost $500 billion over a decade?? I can think of a LOT better things to spend the money on.

13 Comments:

  • At 4:16 PM, Blogger Steppie said…

    This could be taken care of if we could only get an equal rights amendment for women passed by (the male-dominated) congress. This just proves that men don't think with anything else than their itty bitty teeny tiny little penis. I bet the next thing that gets covered is penal enlargements and breast augmentation. It's a wonder breast reduction is covered.

    Well said, Stephanie!

     
  • At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    With the advent of privatised social security, privatised medicare, everything else privatised that the Conservatives want, and pharmacy's discriminating against certain medicines at their discretion, you can kiss equality in health insurance gone. Those stupid fat white rich men aren't going to be happy until women are back in the homemaker stereotype...prior to voting rights of course.

    "This is coming from a man who's in love with a feminist."

    ~De Nihilo

     
  • At 9:46 AM, Blogger Scarlett said…

    Until ALL women stand up for their rights and stop believeing in subserviant status, men will always be the forerunners.

    Disguisting. Everyday, I witness women allowing themselves to be 2nd step citizens. I wonder what it will take.

     
  • At 11:45 AM, Blogger Caren said…

    A couple years ago, I was having this exact same conversation with some female coworkers. One of them said, "It doesn't affect me, so why should I care?" I nearly fell out of my chair.

    The irony of this, she had her master's in public health & her research dealt with access to health care for women.

     
  • At 12:45 PM, Blogger Kevin said…

    Oh lord no - under no circumstances should Viagra/other ED drugs be covered by Medicare. Erections are by no means a medical necessity.

    I think the argument against government subsidized birth control is that there is a significant portion of Americans that don't think birth control is "moral", and don't want their tax dollars spent providing it to others - kind of the same argument used against government subsidized abortion. Why private insurance companies don't take advantage of the clear benefits of providing birth control, I have no idea. Aren't scum sucking corporations always looking for a way to save money?

     
  • At 12:55 PM, Blogger tadvent said…

    I can't believe it, I agree with a liberal, feminist attourney on something. I may get kicked out of the NRA for this but if Viagra is covered, so should the Pill. Especially if the $$ amount you quoted was correct.

    Being the male pig that I am (well, I don't think so, but I am conservative and I guess on this blog that makes me one by default) I would like to say that if you keep your knees shut, you don't have to worry about pregnancy.

    I also agree with a previous post. I see women every day act in a subserviant way, and I've heard several wish for the days of yester-year when they could stay home raise a family and let their man worry about the bills. For the average normal "guy" out there, this can be very confusing, half of the other species wants to take your job, the other half wants you to earn more to pay for their livelyhood.

     
  • At 2:01 PM, Blogger Curtis said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 2:03 PM, Blogger Curtis said…

    First two are for tadvent:

    1) Conversely, if you would keep your conservative penis where it ought to be there would be less of a need for birth control too. Do you see now that that argument is a logical fallacy?

    2) You should spell check before you post.

    As far as other peoples arguments about women and working:

    1) If you lose a job to a female it is probably less a result of gender bias and more a result of your lack of talent in the job. Pick a different occupation.

    2) People assume that there are a finite amount of jobs. This is simply an incorrect assumption. Employment is not a zero-sum game.

     
  • At 4:04 PM, Blogger tadvent said…

    Curtis you are right, my spelling and grammer are terrible. Sorry. I blame my 17 years of Catholic education.

    I have two daughters and my greatest wish is for them to have a sucessful, fullfiling life as they dream it to be. I will teach them that Abstinance as a teenager is a good thing. As for my conservative penis, it wan't poking around anywhere it shouldn't have been, so I never had to worry about accidents

     
  • At 10:50 PM, Blogger Ontario Emperor said…

    If the birth control pill manufacturers were to get Nancy Pelosi or some of the ex-US women's soccer players to do commercials for them (pointing out the non-birth control advantages of the pills), there might be a better public perception of the Pill.

    Also note that we might be equating apples and oranges here. Just because Medicare covers ED drugs doesn't necessarily mean that the private insurance companies will do so. (The way things are going, it's a wonder that private insurance companies cover ANYTHING.)

     
  • At 10:31 AM, Blogger Erinna said…

    tadvent, I won't argue the point that "keeping your knees shut" may be good advice for teenagers (might I add that BOYS are responsible for this too. please don't give me any "boys will be boys and it's the girl's job to say no" crap), but I don't think it's reasonable to apply the same advice to healthy, sexually active twenty and thirtysomethings...

     
  • At 12:26 AM, Blogger Medbh said…

    tadvent--a woman can have sex with her knees shut. Yeah, really, she can, truly, I have. Lots of times, actually. She could even get pregnant with her knees shut. See, it's a bit further up a woman's body where the penis(the man's sex organ) would enter the vagina(the woman's sex organ), and if he experiences an orgasm and ejaculates, then the sperm..oh, never mind, no matter how many times someone explains it to you pubbies, you'll still wind up f**king your partners knees.
    "I see subservient women every day"..in your dreams......

     
  • At 4:33 AM, Anonymous Ray said…

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