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Avoiding Stupak II

By Dylan Matthews

It took the Stupak and Nelson amendments to happen, but it seems that reproductive rights groups are getting serious about lobbying around health-care reform. Regulators are currently determining what counts as "additional preventive care and screenings" for women, which a Barbara Mikulski amendment in the health-care reform bill requires insurers provide for free. Planned Parenthood was concerned that birth control would not fall under that rubric, and so got to work:

With little fanfare, Planned Parenthood has begun laying the groundwork for a birth control campaign that will ramp up in coming months. On The Pill Is Personal, a website launched in May to celebrate the pill’s 50th anniversary, the group is soliciting stories from birth control users. “In the coming weeks,” the site tells visitors, “federal officials will consider measures that will dramatically increase access. Share your story or comments about how the pill changed your life and how it can change others.” The women’s stories may soon be used to lobby federal agencies on birth control’s importance.

Obviously, this is an easier fight than securing abortion coverage. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is (predictably) opposing mandated coverage, but opposition to birth control is enough of a fringe position, and its non-contraceptive medical use is common enough, that it's hard to see opponents prevailing. Still, the speed and vigor with which Planned Parenthood responded to this is encouraging. Abortion rights groups seemed to be caught unaware when the Stupak amendment initially passed the House, and while some organizing occurred afterward, the damage was done. It should have served as a warning against future complacency, one Planned Parenthood at least seems to be heeding.

--Dylan Matthews is a student at Harvard and a researcher at The Washington Post.

By Washington Post editor  |  June 1, 2010; 10:25 AM ET
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Under Health Care Reform, Medical insurance is a must, but you can easily find medical insurance for you under $40

Posted by: talbertjo13 | June 1, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Under Health Care Reform, Medical insurance is a must, but you can easily find medical insurance for you under $40

Posted by: talbertjo13 | June 1, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

taking away the moral aspect of it this just makes economic sense. The costs of pregnancy and its potential complications are much less than the cost of the pill. That's why insurers have been covering it for years.

I just hope that in the end this and other preventative measure are the ones covered under the preventative care benefit and the scope doesn't get out of control (as has happened before). Keep the guidelines strict otherwise costs will get out of control and they will have no one to blame but themselves.

oh and talbertjo13,

those plans are crap.

Posted by: visionbrkr | June 1, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

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