Bosses and Birth Control

I recently found myself in the ladies room of a large international consulting firm that operates in 49 countries. On the bathroom stall was a glossy flyer outlining the five things employees need to do to protect themselves from germs and viruses that can cause illness...and obviously cause employees to take sick days. When you employ 150,000 people worldwide, a few sick days per employee costs millions of dollars in lost productivity. It makes sense to me that a large employer is willing to spend money to keep its employees healthy (and hard-working).

So, naturally, it baffles me that another large employer has gone to court rather than cover a prescription medicine that prevents employees from taking months and months off from work.

That employer is Union Pacific Railroad, which last month received a favorable U.S. Court of Appeals response to a class-action lawsuit filed by its female employees. The court ruled that the railroad can exclude birth control pills from its female employees' prescription health insurance coverage. (See the New York Times on March 17, Court Says Health Coverage May Bar Birth-Control Pills) I am not a lawyer, so I'm totally out of my depth here. But bear with me. Simplifying what I'm sure are complex legal issues, bottom line is that excluding birth-control pill coverage is okay because the policy does not discriminate by employee gender (Union Pacific doesn't cover any birth control, whether used by men or women -- 50,000 of whom work for the railroad).

Union Pacific's health plan does cover Viagra and Rogaine. And birth control pills aren't just used to prevent conception -- doctors do prescribe it for other reasons, such as preventing debilitating PMS symptoms. Go figure.

According to the New York Times article, a lower court found in favor of the women in 2005 and ordered Union Pacific to cover all prescription contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration. But after last month's ruling, the company could now stop reimbursing all unionized female employees' prescriptions for birth control. A spokesman for the company says Union Pacific does not plan to cease coverage, which makes me wonder why the company appealed the lower court decision in the first place.

The fundamental paradox: Hypothetically, don't employers want to encourage female employees to use birth control? After all, medical coverage for pregnancy and childbirth are expensive, and pregnancy usually leads to weeks of maternity leave and the possibility of female employees leaving the company to care for their children. The reality is that without widespread, affordable birth control, there would be very few full-time female employees over the age of 18 in the United States today. To work, most women need to be able to plan their pregnancies.

How can it be that, as a working woman, you are discriminated against when you get pregnant and have children, and now, discriminated against when you try to not get pregnant?

I just don't get it.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  April 2, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Conflicts
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Comments

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How is this discrimination "against when you try to not get pregnant?" They aren't saying you can't use the pill. They are just saying they won't pay for it?

Note, I think it's stupid they won't pay for it but that's not the question being asked.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 7:06 AM

I'm not sure it's discrimination against trying NOT to get pregnant -- it's just a bad policy, but sadly, they are not alone. I'm surprised the court of appeals agreed with the railroad.

Posted by: writing mommy | April 2, 2007 7:26 AM

I don't think it is discrimination but it sure is bad policy. I am not sure why they think it is a good idea to have unwanted pregnancies. It is not just a women's issue because if the wife is covered by her husband's insurance and gets pregnant, he will have to take some extra time as well. It is just stupid in this day and age, people would refuse to pay for the pill. It actually prevents time spent away from work and reduces health care costs in the long run.

Posted by: foamgnome | April 2, 2007 7:31 AM

It's OK. have all the sex you want and not worry. Does this sound ok?

This is not a discrimination issue. It a moral one made by the company. But the company caught a lot of flack so they backed off. The PC cops win another one.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 7:49 AM

But why is the company trying to enforce its morality on its workers? What if the company said all workers had to be muslim or they couldn't have health insurance? Would that be ok with you? What if they said that pain relief in all forms is immoral and denied coverage for surgery anesthesia? or for blood transfusions?

As pointed out above, birth control pills are also used for other reasons than to prevent pregnancy. The reason is between you and your doctor; it's really none of your employer's business. It's amazing to me that the american public would be against a whole class of medication being excluded from coverage. Why is the company making these medical decisions for the individual? And once they start excluding common things, what else will they exclude? Maybe they'll exclude labor and delivery coverage under the premise that it is immoral for pregnant women to have jobs.

Posted by: m | April 2, 2007 7:58 AM

There is a another issue here that may explain this all. This is the fact that the employees are unionized. If you understand a bit about labor law, you know that ALL issues are negotiable and subject to the contract. I would think that the company does not want a legal precedent involving some issue that can be negotiated.

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 8:06 AM

"This is not a discrimination issue. It a moral one made by the company. But the company caught a lot of flack so they backed off. The PC cops win another one."

This guy has to be kidding. It's 2007 not 1955. Consenting adults having sex happens. You may think it's "immoral" and that is your right, but it's not your right to impose your view on me or anyone else in America. What is immoral are people like you allowing companies to discriminate like this (and it is discrimination, only women take OCPs and need them to prevent preganancy among other conditions), to advocate for "abstinence education, and to continue to advocate views that lead to unwanted pregnancies.

I can't wait for a new and enlightened administration so we can stop this nonsense.

Posted by: anon today (the original) | April 2, 2007 8:13 AM

m,

Religion and sex are two different things. Don't combine the two.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 8:19 AM

Presumably their insurance covers pregnancy visits, treatments, etc, as well as coverage for children. Of course, all of these cost more than BC pills, shots, implants, whatever.

Pregnancy coverages are discriminatory, since obviously men don't get pregnant. Do they intend to take this issue to court as well (even if they have no intentions to not cover pregnancies as they do BC now)?

This is silly; why take it to court if they've got not intentions to change their coverage? It's also cheaper for them to cover BC medication than it would be for pregnancy coverage due to women getting pregnant that normally wouldn't.

Posted by: John L | April 2, 2007 8:21 AM

A link to the court's opinion(s) is better then a link to a newspaper article.....

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 8:22 AM

anon today (the original),

"This guy has to be kidding. It's 2007 not 1955. Consenting adults having sex happens."

Sure it happens, but you want the company to take responsibility for it.

If you want to have it, have it on your own time at your own expense.

As for the company paying for the prescription for other reasons, I see no reason why the company should hold back something that is related to medical well being. This would be wrong.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 8:23 AM

My health insurance doesn't cover suntan lotion. I suppose the company I work for wants me to get skin cancer and die.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 2, 2007 8:28 AM

http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/tmp/061706.html

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 8:29 AM

"Sure it happens, but you want the company to take responsibility for it."

Hair loss and not being able to get it up happens to, but that's okay because when it happens to men, it is a medical issue that needs attention.

Excuse me while I go vomit. Did I stumble onto the 1950s blog.

Posted by: scarry | April 2, 2007 8:34 AM

a quick read of the ruling shows that the employer does not discriminate because it does not cover either male or female methods of BC. It does cover the pill for other medical conditions such as irregular menses.

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 8:34 AM

I see no reason why the company should hold back something that is related to medical well being.

Rogaine is covered as "medical well-being"?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 8:37 AM

Father of 4, come on! Have you ever had a doctor write you a 'scrip for suntan lotion? Don't be silly. This is a serious issue. Everyone says how birth control only leads to rampant sexual behaviour, but you know what no birth control does? It leads to over population, more people on welfare, and kids being born into situations that they have no right being in.

Not only that, but as a few previous posters pointed out, birth control such as the pill, the patch, the ring, etc, are not just used to prevent pregnancy. They're also used to regulate hormones, help cut back on the sometimes debilitating nature of menstral cramps, etc.

This company says they didn't want to pay for birth control for anyone (i.e. men, either) - how stupid is that? When was the last time that trojans were covered by your health insurance, anyway??? This IS discrimination - and it's awful.

Posted by: dlm79 | April 2, 2007 8:38 AM

IS there a male birth control pill?

Posted by: scarry | April 2, 2007 8:38 AM

Just looked this up... apparently British scientists have come up with a male birth control pill. Hadn't passed a clinical trial as of Nov, which is when the article I'm reading was written.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15937201/

Posted by: dlm79 | April 2, 2007 8:43 AM

"IS there a male birth control pill?"

A casectomy is somewhat permanent, but close. Andno, I don't feel discriminated against because it isn't part of my health coverage.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 2, 2007 8:48 AM

scarry,

Not every company pays for Rogaine.

Now your making this a sexist issue. Look at it for what it is. If you have sex, you can take responsibility for it.

But don't worry. This government will pay for you to raise it so you will still be able to get your free ride.

As for the suntan lotion comment by FO4, I expected better from you.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 8:51 AM

off topic/future topic?

As the acceptance and rejection letters come out from America's colleges and universities the NYT ran an article where the issue of balance is highlighted. The high pressure teenage experience of academics, arts, athletics and volunteering to build the best resume possible for America's elite name arena for higher education doesnt have any sense of balance. With colleges seeking students who take on the "most rigorous" academic track doesnt the burnout from 4 AP's, varsity whatever and the spring musical result in all work and no play and make ivy league Jack/Jill a total basket case - - with no sense of balance?

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/01/education/01girls.html

Posted by: Fo3 | April 2, 2007 8:59 AM

When birth control pills are as inexpensive as condoms, and available over-the-counter, then they shouldn't be covered by medical insurance.

Until then, they should be. Hell of a lot less expensive than pregnancy and childbirth. Less risk of losing an employee too.

It strikes me as being a pragmatic and practical thing to cover.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 9:00 AM

F03,

Not to stray off topic, but if you want ivy league, you have to WORK hard for it. Plain and simple.

Posted by: Mike C | April 2, 2007 9:02 AM

"Not to stray off topic, but if you want ivy league, you have to WORK hard for it. Plain and simple."

Or know somebody who will buy your way in.

Posted by: to Mike C | April 2, 2007 9:07 AM

Posted by: to Mike C,

Agreed!!

Posted by: Mike C | April 2, 2007 9:09 AM

Read the court opinion! The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 does not require that bc pills be covered under health insurance. The PDA requires that the sexes are treated equally in medical coverage. This employer had decided not to cover any medical procedure or medicine that prevents pregnancy. No coverage is given for a vasectomy as well as the pill.

The court ruling is in accordance with the law. The business decision of the company is another matter.

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 9:11 AM

"As the acceptance and rejection letters come out from America's colleges and universities the NYT ran an article where the issue of balance is highlighted. The high pressure teenage experience of academics, arts, athletics and volunteering to build the best resume possible for America's elite name arena for higher education doesnt have any sense of balance. With colleges seeking students who take on the "most rigorous" academic track doesnt the burnout from 4 AP's, varsity whatever and the spring musical result in all work and no play and make ivy league Jack/Jill a total basket case - - with no sense of balance?"

The cream will rise to the top.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 9:13 AM

I'm going to believe "anon for the day" that there is some other legal maneuvering going on.

I really didn't understand about this when I saw it in the paper, and now that it's come out that they DO cover them I'm more confused.

So I think it's a lawyer thing.

From an insurance company view I'd think they'd want to cover pills because they are more effective, and save the evil insurers more costs down the road, but I'm not sure they're always that far-sighted.

Posted by: RoseG | April 2, 2007 9:14 AM


I'm not all that familiar with the protections available to employers in situations like these...but it is concerning when it becomes widely considered to be "ok" to allow the coverage or not of certain drugs due to "morality." This is the employer butting into a individual's life in a way that doesn't make much sense and would make most people uncomfortable *if* applied to them.
What if a company said they would not cover Valtrex due to it being a herpes medication, or they would not cover medication for HIV if HIV had been contracted through sexual contact or drug use, or they would not cover medications for high cholesterol if a person's BMI was over a certain level etc, etc.... The list could go on and on.
Certainly if such a thing were legal it should be made upfront clear to a person before being hired that there are "moral" limits to the prescription drug coverage offered by the company.
My personal opinion is that safe, afordable, and available birth control helps prevent many more expensive situations from occuring...and outside of those who think contraception itself is immoral...most people don't think there is anything wrong with having sex as much as you want with your spouse...and lots of married people use BC pills.

Posted by: Bethesda, MD | April 2, 2007 9:16 AM

to the legal folks - would this also make it legal to deny coverage related to the costs of pregnancy / birth (or is the hospital lumped in a way that scripts are not)...

Posted by: Question | April 2, 2007 9:18 AM

RoseG,

Yes, sometimes the law does not make much sense on the surface.

I will point out that through the collective bargaining process, the inclusion of BC pills can be negotiated into the contract.

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 9:19 AM

I wonder if the same company will cover HPV vaccinations for its young female employees as health concern... or if it's even *negotiable* like Rogaine & ED meds.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 9:20 AM

How is it immoral for me to have sex using birth control with my husband of 15 years?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 9:21 AM

"From an insurance company view I'd think they'd want to cover pills because they are more effective, and save the evil insurers more costs down the road, but I'm not sure they're always that far-sighted."

Sometimes, the aren't so far-sighted. Case in point. I have seasonal allergies. I have to options:

1) Go to my allergist. Pay $15 co-pay (insurance pays unknown amount to doctor). I get a prescription for 90 days of Allegra. I use my mail-order pharmacy and get the 90-day supply of generic for $10. Result: I pay $25, insurance pays ?? And each refill is only $10.

2) I go to CVS and purchase CVS-brand generic of Claratin. CVS.com has a 20-tablet box for $11.98. I need 4 1/2 boxes for 90 days. Result: I pay $53.91

So, which will I do? And which will cost the insurance company more money? Very short-sighted.

Note, I went to Costco over the weekend and bought a 300-count bottle of the generic Claratin for $11.96. So, the point is moot but you can see how those that don't have Costco memberships or comparison shop would end up costing the insurance company money.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 9:22 AM


to the legal folks - would this also make it legal to deny coverage related to the costs of pregnancy / birth (or is the hospital lumped in a way that scripts are not)...

Posted by: Question | April 2, 2007 09:18 AM

Many courts have ruled a long time ago that pregnancy is to be covered under the same terms and condition as any other illness provided for under any health policy offered by the employer.

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 9:23 AM

Well, if certain laws were changed (ie, your company gets a tax deduction for ins. Premiums but individuals do not) then perhaps healtth insurance could be portable and your employer would not have the opportunity to disallow certain meds/ treatments from your health ins and people would no longer be tied to their jobs b/c of health ins coverage.

Just another point of view.

Posted by: atlmom | April 2, 2007 9:24 AM

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 09:21 AM,

"How is it immoral for me to have sex using birth control with my husband of 15 years?"

It's not immoral at all. What is immoral is getting your company to pay for it.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 9:26 AM

From the EEOC on the PDA

"Any health insurance provided by an employer must cover expenses for pregnancy related conditions on the same basis as costs for other medical conditions. Health insurance for expenses arising from abortion is not required, except where the life of the mother is endangered.

Pregnancy related expenses should be reimbursed exactly as those incurred for other medical conditions, whether payment is on a fixed basis or a percentage of reasonable and customary charge basis.

The amounts payable by the insurance provider can be limited only to the same extent as costs for other conditions. No additional, increased or larger deductible can be imposed.

Employers must provide the same level of health benefits for spouses of male employees as they do for spouses of female employees"

http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-preg.html

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 9:28 AM

anon for today,

Thanks for posting that.

As the law states, The key word is "Pregnancy", not the act there of.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 9:33 AM

shut up John Q

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 9:33 AM

"1) Go to my allergist. Pay $15 co-pay (insurance pays unknown amount to doctor). I get a prescription for 90 days of Allegra. I use my mail-order pharmacy and get the 90-day supply of generic for $10. Result: I pay $25, insurance pays ?? And each refill is only $10.

2) I go to CVS and purchase CVS-brand generic of Claratin. CVS.com has a 20-tablet box for $11.98. I need 4 1/2 boxes for 90 days. Result: I pay $53.91

So, which will I do? And which will cost the insurance company more money? Very short-sighted."

This is not necessarily short-sighted on the part of the insurance company. When my daughter was young, she also took Claritin. It was prescription-only at that time and was covered the same as Allegra. At some point, Claritin was approved as an OTC medication. It was the change in classification of Claritin as OTC that causes it to be non-covered and more expensive to those with health insurance benefits. To those with no coverage, Claritin OTC is much cheaper than paying the full doctor charges plus the full cost of a prescription.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 9:35 AM

It's not immoral at all. What is immoral is getting your company to pay for it.

Which goes back to the point that BC pills are also prescribed for other reasons in addition to preventing pregnancy. What do the employers care--if they cover it for cramps (or the prevention thereof), it seems to me that the pregnancy prevention is a BONUS.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 9:36 AM

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 09:33 AM,

I will when you stop whining.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 9:36 AM

shut up John Q

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 09:33 AM
***********************************
Be civil 9:33!

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 9:37 AM

"To those with no coverage, Claritin OTC is much cheaper than paying the full doctor charges plus the full cost of a prescription."

True. But for those with coverage, it would be cheaper for the insurance company to provide OTC meds at the same end-user cost as similar prescription meds. It would be cheaper for them (versus the visit the doctor route) and would be same cost for me. It would be a net win situtation for all.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 9:38 AM


To John Q,

If you don't think it's immoral to *use* birth control, then why do you think it's immoral to expect/want your company to cover birth control pills and vasectomies? Couldn't this fall under the catagory of "preventative," medicine? Many people take medication to prevent getting ill, and pregnancy is treated as a medical condition. I don't understand why a person would think it was immoral for their employer to cover BC, unless they thought BC itself was immoral.

Posted by: Bethesda, MD | April 2, 2007 9:39 AM

Now that we have established what the "LAW" says, maybe we can move on to some ideas as to what can be done in place of it.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 9:40 AM

Bethesda, MD,

I don't think it is immoral to use birth control. Use it all you want. I sure do.

Just pay for it yourself.

In the beginning. this company did. NOT ME

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 9:43 AM


"Now that we have established what the "LAW" says, maybe we can move on to some ideas as to what can be done in place of it."
*******************************************

Three things:

1) the plaintiff can appeal to the Supreme Court

2) The union can include this in the next negotiations

3) The women involved can obtain employer paid pills for regulation of their periods.

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 9:43 AM

I don't see how this is discrimination. I'm sure they have plenty of male workers whose wives are also covered under this insurance as part of a family plan.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 9:48 AM

In the case of individuals who are not represented by a union, a ground swell of complaints can change the policy of the employer.

Most group policies are what is called "self funded" with the insurance company being an administrative agent only. The coverages and the formulary can be changed at the request of the employing company.

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 9:48 AM

Posted by: Posted by: | April 2, 2007 09:43 AM
Bethesda, MD,

I don't think it is immoral to use birth control. Use it all you want. I sure do.

Just pay for it yourself.

In the beginning. this company did. NOT ME
*******************************************

But you still have not explained why you think a person should pay for it him/herself instead of the health insurance provided by a person's employer. You aren't advocating that employers shouldn't offer health insurance, you are saying they shouldn't cover BC. What are your reasons for feeling that way? What is it about BC specifically that you think makes it immoral/uneccesary for a company to cover?

Posted by: Bethesda, MD | April 2, 2007 9:54 AM

"How is it immoral for me to have sex using birth control with my husband of 15 years?"

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 09:21 AM

I don't know the intent of the original comment, but there is a movement to eliminate birth control from company plans because some very unenlightened and Taliban-like fundamentalists see ANY birth control as either abortion (which some forms sort of are) or interfering with the will of God. Also, if a woman uses birth control, the story goes, she's FAR more likely to have sex outside of marriage because there are no consequences.

I'm not sure how many generations it will take to eliminate these very, very sexist views, but don't think they don't exist.

And they're veiled in comments like "immoral."

Of course, the original poster might have meant something very different. Too bad he/she didn't communicate effectively.

Posted by: Erika | April 2, 2007 9:54 AM

Claritin and Allegra are in the same drug class but are not the same drug. For some people, Claritin is not effective or ceases to be effective, so to get relief it may be necessary to see the doctor to get the prescription. Just sayin'.

Posted by: Marian | April 2, 2007 9:54 AM

Also, if a woman uses birth control, the story goes, she's FAR more likely to have sex outside of marriage because there are no consequences.

Presumably these same health plans pay for treatment of STDs, regardless of whether contracted outside or within marriage, though.

Posted by: To Erika | April 2, 2007 9:57 AM

While the decision to not cover BC under their insurance may be legal, it certainly doesn't make much sense why they felt it necessary to take it to the courts if they had already decided to continue covering the pill.

It's not for moral reasons; otherwise, they would not cover it for non-pregnancy, medically related reasons (since those women could also be having --gasp-- sex without having to worry about pregnancies
--gasp--). Plus, they have said they intend to keep covering it.

I'm wondering if their bean counters are reluctant to find themselves in a situation where they would be forced to cover vasectomies and some of the other, more expensive female BC methods, and they just didn't want to go down that path.

Posted by: John L | April 2, 2007 10:00 AM

Bethesda, MD,

I most certainly did explain. If you want to have "sex", take responsibility for it. Sex is not a medical condition (although my wife may say different about me :) ).

I DON"T THINK IT'S IMMORAL. THE COMPANY DID. Then they turned on their heels when the PC cops put pressure on them. They gave into pressure.

Why should a company sponsor you having sex? It's not a medical condition.

For the record, I am all for BC and I am all for BC (pills)if it can treat a medical condition.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:02 AM

From the Union Pacific Website:

Union Employees

Union employee benefits plans are determined through collective bargaining agreements and are unique to each respective union and operating area.
*******************************************

I wonder if this is more a failure of the union stewards to negotiate this benefit?

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 10:05 AM

Maybe the union stewards are males with SAHWs?

Posted by: To anon for today | April 2, 2007 10:08 AM

Does anyone know how collective bargaining agreements work. The majority of the union agrees to it.

The failure, if there was one would be on everybody on both sides of the table.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 10:09 AM

Maybe the union stewards are males with SAHWs?

Posted by: To anon for today | April 2, 2007 10:08 AM
*******************************************

Maybe so.

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 10:09 AM

I'm not going to read all of the comments, but it absolutely is sex-based discrimination. I'm absolutely shocked at a "favorable" ruling, but I need to read the ruling to see exactly what it says. Under Title VII, employers can not discriminate on the basis of sex in the benefits they provide (including health coverage). Excluding prescription birth control has the effect of excluding a prescription that ONLY women can take. If an employer takes an adverse action that affects solely one gender, then it is sex-based discrimination. The only logical argument I can see the employer making is that the group of people who AREN'T affected by the measure include both men and women who aren't taking prescription birth control, therefore it isn't discrimination. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

Posted by: PLS | April 2, 2007 10:17 AM

More and more cases like these are cropping up. Pharmacists at Wal-Mart and other places who refuse to fill BC presciptions based on personal beliefs. It's scary. We're going to get to a place one day where it's a crime for a woman to menstruate at all. Wasting an egg will be just as bad as murder to some.

Logic would tell me that a company would at least offer to cover some of the cost of BC, whether the need for it is to prevent pregnancy or alleviate hormonal issues/cramps, either way, it is helping ensure that time off from work and lost productivity due to these issues is kept at a minimum.

It does appear that personal beliefs come into play, varying greatly from one insurance company to the next. When my husband got his vasectomy under our former plan, his procedure was fully covered, no co-pay. The only out of pocket expenses were the co-pay for the consultation as well as the meds for after the procedure.

Now, under a different plan (and working for a Catholic organization), NO BC of any sort is covered, period. On the flip side, fertility treatments are also not covered. At least both sides of the spectrum are treated equally in that regard. Although I do find it surprising that the organization would not be willing to cover fertility treatments. Or could someone enlighten me on the Catholic stance that if conception occurs via fertility treatments, is that really God's will?

Posted by: JRS | April 2, 2007 10:17 AM

Don't SAHWs use birth control?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:19 AM

I question whether the company's decision to not cover BC is really a moral decision. I kinda doubt it. I think they are just looking at the bottom line, and have determined it's cheaper not to cover it. Let's face it. Most women who want to use birth control but don't have insurance coverage will just pay for it out of pocket. The fact that the company does not cover it does not mean that it's female workers will all end up pregnant as a result of the company's refusal to cover BC. So this decision is not really costing the company much. On the contrary, it is saving the company some money.

I do think it's discriminatory, but I don't think that it has anything to do with morality.

Posted by: Emily | April 2, 2007 10:20 AM

Catholic Church believes in conception only via untrammeled sexual intercourse.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:20 AM

Catholic Church believes in conception only via untrammeled sexual intercourse.

With the exception, of course, of Jesus' conception. I find that incredibly ironic.

Posted by: Emily | April 2, 2007 10:21 AM

http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/tmp/061706.html

Read the court case.

Posted by: To PLS | April 2, 2007 10:22 AM

PLS,

Maybe you should read some of the comments AND the law. It IS NOT discriminating.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 10:22 AM

I've been on the pill for several years. I've been on different brands and used different pharmacies. I've never been charged more than $20 per pack. That isn't even enough to meet my deductible over the course of a year.

The point? Choose your battles. If I were negotiating a union contract, I'd be more worried about overtime, pension, and safety conditions.

Posted by: catmommy | April 2, 2007 10:23 AM

emily -- that was a miracle -- just because you don't believe it doesn't give you the right to diminish it

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:25 AM

http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/tmp/061706.html

Read the court case.

Posted by: To PLS | April 2, 2007 10:22 AM

Tell Emily to read it too. She still thinks it's discriminating.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 10:25 AM

And just for once, let's keep religion out of this.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 10:26 AM

Everything you say is true, for now. BUT, it was just on the news that BC pill are going way up in price soon.

Posted by: To catmommy | April 2, 2007 10:27 AM

I worked for AlliedSignal (now Honeywell) right out of college. I was on birth control pills not for birth control but rather to prevent ovarian cysts. At the time (I have no idea what Honeywell's past or current policy is) AlliedSignal did not cover any form of birth control regardless of its purpose. Why? When asked, the CEO said that he didn't think god intended us to use it. This was a man making millions of dollars a year; he was obviously quite cabable of supporting his SAH wife and 10 kids. Hmmm.

I never did understand what his religious beliefs had to do with my not wanting to die from a cyst rupturing. At any rate, I paid for the meds out of my own pocket for the time I worked there.

Posted by: 21117 | April 2, 2007 10:27 AM

I'm sorry I didn't communicate effectively, but if the company does not want to cover my birth control because birth control is immoral (as oppossed to covering Rogaine, which is not medically necessary but apparently 'moral') then they are arguing that my husband and I are immoral because we are having sex without the intent of procreation. Now, if they are arguing that we should pay for sex ourselves and it isn't their responsibility, then I find it illogical to pay for erectile disfunction drugs or Rogaine, or acne medication for that matter as they are not necessary. I don't think either of these points are of major disagreement today. In the end, it seems that people here who argue that companies shouldn't pay for my husband and I to have sex are only consistent if they are equally outraged at prescription coverage of ED drugs and the like. Personally, I wouldn't recommend an in-depth analysis of which prescription drugs are 'necessary' primarily because it's fairly subjective and should be left to the discretion of the physician and their patient. Particularly when using the term morality, which is subjective to an individual's religious and cultural beliefs. If you don't think a drug is moral, no one is forcing you to use it.

As an aside, since technically both parts of a couple would be pregnant, I don't particularly see this as discrimination against just women.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:28 AM

And just for once, let's keep religion out of this.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 10:26 AM


Why? Religion doesn't stay out of it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:28 AM

Doesn't in vitro fertilization result in a number of "unused" embryos being destroyed. I would assume that the Catholic church does not approve of this and could look on it as destruction of human life. This might explain why fertility treatments would not be covered just as BC is not covered by a catholic employer.

Posted by: a thought... | April 2, 2007 10:28 AM

Is anyone else having problems posting?

Posted by: scarry | April 2, 2007 10:30 AM

"emily -- that was a miracle -- just because you don't believe it doesn't give you the right to diminish it"

Actually, my not believing it does completely diminish it, for me at least. The fact that you do believe it does not give you the right to impose it on me.

Posted by: Emily | April 2, 2007 10:32 AM

I went on the pill fairly young because of debilitating pain when I ovulate. More recently I have been having horrible migraines that were obviously hormonally related. Switching pills has been a godsend.

Is it g-d's will that I be in pain and unable to work or take care of my family several days a month?

Posted by: anon | April 2, 2007 10:32 AM

Honestly, this issue boils down to more than gender or legal issues. It's based on some people's moral beliefs and their feelings that they SHOULD TELL US WHAT TO DO WITH OUR BODIES, even though we don't prescribe to their beliefs. Honestly, live and let live. Get out of my bedroom.

Posted by: Nutty Mama | April 2, 2007 10:32 AM

"Also, if a woman uses birth control, the story goes, she's FAR more likely to have sex outside of marriage because there are no consequences."

1. As the story goes? Do you have numbers on that?

2. Aren't men more likely to have sex with a woman who is on birth control? Aren't men responsible for the consequences?

3. I can certainly think of a few consequences outside of pregnancy - STDs, emotional - but adequate sex education is clearly out of the concept of the chat today.

4. Seems awfully 1950s here.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:33 AM

Does any employer health plan cover legal abortion?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:34 AM

Actually, my not believing it does completely diminish it, for me at least. The fact that you do believe it does not give you the right to impose it on me.

+++

Actually, the fact that you raised the point -- really, completely out of the context of this discussion -- seemed to be you imposing your disbelief on the rest of us. You have a problem with the church, fine. Another topic, another day, another forum.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:35 AM

that they SHOULD TELL US WHAT TO DO WITH OUR BODIES, even though we don't prescribe to their beliefs. Honestly, live and let live. Get out of my bedroom.

Does UP send spies to check up on you? UP is NOT telling its employee that they cannot use BC.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:39 AM

AlliedSignal decision was a board controlled one, not a CEO one.

If you all want to talk religion, go to the WP religion blog.
The issue at hand is should a company pay a group insurance price for something that is not considered a medical requirement.

The same question applies to smokers. Should companies pay a higher group insurance rates to cover smokers? Maybe they could cover a carton a week.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 10:39 AM

Actually, in judaism married couples are obligated to have sex-not necessarily to procreate, but because it is important to the relationship. So for couples who acnt conceive, they are still obligated (not so I believe int the catholic church where sex is looked upon as only for having babies). So where does that lie (lay)?

Not necessarily on topic, but sorta.

Also, what if the ceo says that he/she does not believe in mental health issues and does not want to cover drugs like zoloft? Or your therapy bills? Where does it end?

Posted by: anon | April 2, 2007 10:43 AM

"Actually, the fact that you raised the point -- really, completely out of the context of this discussion -- seemed to be you imposing your disbelief on the rest of us. You have a problem with the church, fine. Another topic, another day, another forum."

No, I did not raise it out the context of the discussion. I responded to a remark that the church believes in conception only via untrammelled sexual intercouse. This belief is obviously inconistent with the church's belief that Jesus was the son of a virgin mother. The remark was totally within the context of the original remark, which I did not raise.

And this segues well into the discussion of birth control, morality, and insurance converage as well. Apparently some groups and companies are making decisions not to cover birth control because it conflicts with their religious/moral beliefs. And many of these religious/moral beliefs are rooted in the idea that sex somehow degrades women, or that it is immoral and should be controlled. The Virgin Mary, of course, is the exception because she did not actually have sex. What misogyny!! And in the end, these beliefs discriminate against women, because they are the ones who carry the stigma, not the men (because they can't get pregnant). I agree with Nutty Mama -- stay out of my bedroom and keep your morals to yourself.

Posted by: Emily | April 2, 2007 10:43 AM

Another topic, another day, another forum.

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 10:35 AM


Maybe a good On Balance topic would be how non-believing parents decide what to do about their children's religious and philosophical upbringing. Even an atheist realizes that the Bible, Torah and Koran are major literary and political touchstones of world culture.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:44 AM

'stay out of my bedroom and keep your morals to yourself.'

By not covering BC, they are staying out of your bedroom - they are letting you decide for yourself.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:45 AM

The same question applies to smokers. Should companies pay a higher group insurance rates to cover smokers? Maybe they could cover a carton a week.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 10:39 AM


Smoking has absolutely NO REDEEMING HEALTH BENEFIT. BC pills do (not only for contraception but also menstrual cycle management).

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:46 AM

"Does any employer health plan cover legal abortion?"

Most states have laws protecting employers and insurance carriers from having to cover abortions, other than to save the life of the mother. Not aware of any plans that do cover this.

Posted by: catmommy | April 2, 2007 10:47 AM

they did that discussion about religion and teaching it over on the Parenting blog the other week....

Posted by: to anon 10:44 | April 2, 2007 10:47 AM

For what it's worth, I think "the story" is bogus and as several of you have pointed out, it doesn't deal with the disease consequences (both for the individual and the insurance company). My point is that I've frequently been told that that is one of the reasons that birth control is immoral.

Men are still not held to the same standard of fidelity as women, and frequently, when men are unfaithful, their excuse is that they were lured by seductresses.

I moved from the mostly unenlightened South, to the somewhat more enlightened North.

And a response to April 2, 2007 10:28 AM with regard to "since technically both parts of a couple would be pregnant, I don't particularly see this as discrimination against just women." Men don't get pregnant. Men aren't expected to stay home to raise the kids (though certainly some do.) Men aren't passed over for promotion because they have kids. Men aren't passed over for hire because they're likely to have kids. Men aren't paid less because their wives are expected to pay for the family. Etc, etc.

Posted by: Erika | April 2, 2007 10:48 AM

I moved from the mostly unenlightened South, to the somewhat more enlightened North.

maybe u should moved to the totally enlightend france

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:52 AM

OK, now that I've actually read the case and not based my opinion on Leslie's blog, I'll change my tune.

To quote from the case -
"While the plans provide benefits for services such as routine physical exams, tetanus shots and drug and alcohol treatments, they exclude coverage of allergy serum, immunization agents, biological sera and drugs that treat
infertility. They also exclude both male and female contraceptive methods,
prescription and non-prescription, when used for the sole purpose of contraception.
Union Pacific only covers contraception when medically necessary for a non-
contraceptive purpose such as regulating menstrual cycles, treating skin problems or
avoiding serious health risks associated with pregnancy."

This is a very different picture than was painted in the blog posting above, and I agree with the 8th Cir. that there's no case for sex-based discrimination here.

Posted by: PLS | April 2, 2007 10:52 AM

To john q:

Actually, many companies are starting to require that employees who smoke pay the higher premiums for their insurance.

And emily, I think you are correct. You may or may not have a problem with the church-but the other blogger has no idea from what you wrote. You just said that you don't believe int the miracle.

Posted by: atlmom | April 2, 2007 10:53 AM

Men aren't passed over for hire because they're likely to have kids.

In fact, quite the opposite. Wife and kids are often seen as an asset.

Posted by: To Erika | April 2, 2007 10:53 AM

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 10:46 AM

"Smoking has absolutely NO REDEEMING HEALTH BENEFIT. BC pills do (not only for contraception but also menstrual cycle management)"

Your splitting hairs. There are other medications that are covered by insurance that assist in "menstrual cycle management".
So there are alternatives to BC for MCM.

And drug dependency is not a medical condition? Last time I checked it was.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 10:53 AM

okay Emily, Jesus and Mary are so relevant to the birth control discussion. What's that sound I hear? An axe being ground?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:57 AM

PLS,

If you ever doubted that newspaper writers select facts that bolster their arguments while saying that they write completely neutral facts, here is a good case for the opposite view.

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 10:58 AM

What other medications assist in menstrual cycle management? I'm asking an honest question, because I hate taking the pill and would love another option.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:59 AM

And emily, I think you are correct. You may or may not have a problem with the church-but the other blogger has no idea from what you wrote. You just said that you don't believe int the miracle.

Okay, I promise to drop it after this -- there was no reason to raise the issue of the Immaculate Conception -- Emily was off-topic soapboxing.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 10:59 AM

And drug dependency is not a medical condition?

I was referring to someone's *brilliant* suggestion that health plans *provide* cigarettes.

Posted by: To John Q | April 2, 2007 11:00 AM

I am not conceding that I was off topic, but even if I was, so what? We go off topic all the time.

Posted by: Emily | April 2, 2007 11:00 AM

atlmom,

"Actually, many companies are starting to require that employees who smoke pay the higher premiums for their insurance"

As they should. I agree with this.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 11:00 AM

Overweight should also pay extra insurance premiums?
Drinkers?
Speeders?

Posted by: Dc lurker | April 2, 2007 11:03 AM

Posted by: To John Q | April 2, 2007 11:00 AM,

"I was referring to someone's *brilliant* suggestion that health plans *provide* cigarettes"

Actually that was the point. It's a stupid idea to support smokers. Smoking is actually a pleasure. So is sex and birth control.

See my point?

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 11:04 AM

Dc lurker,

He11 yes they should!!

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 11:05 AM

If you equate sex with smoking, I'm sure glad not to be your partner.

Posted by: To John Q | April 2, 2007 11:06 AM

Hey John Q, you haven't answered the poster's question on other medication for cycle management. I think we'd all benefit from your medical insight.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:06 AM

As a point of order, I have written UP to ask about this policy.

If I do recieve a response, I will post it here.

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 11:07 AM

To john q: I was not disputing that they should, only pointing out that they are. Typically they are also paying for their employees to quit smoking as well. Long term this should save the co. Money since there would not be as much lung cancer or emphysema to cover.

Posted by: atlmom | April 2, 2007 11:08 AM

"I've been on the pill for several years. I've been on different brands and used different pharmacies. I've never been charged more than $20 per pack. That isn't even enough to meet my deductible over the course of a year."

I want to know what magical pills you are on! Mine are $50 every four weeks. (My Rx plan would cover them; I chose not to enroll in it.)

"Does any employer health plan cover legal abortion?"

I'm under the impression that mine does (BCBS Maryland). Of course, it also covers hypnotherapy, acupuncture and acupressure, IVF, and adoption costs. I LOVE my plan--too bad I'm quitting in July!

Which reminds me--I'll be using the campus health plan while in law school, and it's a Jesuit campus. Anyone have any idea if I'll be able to get BC from the campus docs or if I'll have to go elsewhere?

Posted by: Mona | April 2, 2007 11:08 AM

If you equate sex with smoking, I'm sure glad not to be your partner.

YOu don't want smoking hot sex?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:09 AM

I've gone to two Catholic universities (undergrad and one grad) and neither provided any form of birth control - condoms, pill or anything.

In their defense, when I snarkily asked about erectile disfunction drugs, they said they do not provide for those either. Here's for some consistency, even if I didn't agree.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:12 AM

If you equate sex with smoking, I'm sure glad not to be your partner.

YOu don't want smoking hot sex?

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 11:09 AM


I just don't want you to smoke if you're going to be around me. Otherwise, it's YOUR loss!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:13 AM

Are you kidding? You can forget about BC from Jesuit organizations. Didn;t this come up during the review of the compensation package?

Posted by: To Mona | April 2, 2007 11:13 AM

Does any employer health plan cover legal abortion?

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 10:34 AM

Of course, it's called a D&C.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:16 AM

And I've taken drugs for "management" of my ovarian pains/cysts. Made the pain worse than before.

*and* medical reasoning for being on the pill-it decreases risk for breast cancer.

Posted by: atlmom | April 2, 2007 11:17 AM

If you really want to start splitting hairs, sex isn't just about pleasure. There are a lot of health benefits to sex.

Posted by: catmommy | April 2, 2007 11:18 AM

Just a note...if your company is abiding by such arcane ideas as not covering birth control and money is a factor in finding a solution, don't forget about Planned Parenthood. They offer several different options for birth control all of which are under $40/month. Basic pills are about $22, less if you buy them several months at a time. Plus, they'll be sure you get the exams you need to be sure you're healthy also. Bad company policy should never be an excuse for a woman not to take care of herself and her reproductive organs!

Posted by: Public Service Announcement | April 2, 2007 11:19 AM

"Does any employer health plan cover legal abortion?

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 10:34 AM

Of course, it's called a D&C."

That's fraud. If you find a physician to sign those papers, he/she should lose their medical license.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:20 AM

there are many employees who cannot afford to purchase birth control without the benefit of a negotiated rate, in the same way that they cannot afford glasses without the benefit of a negotiated rate, and cannot afford bad-cholesterol-lowering medication without the benefit of a negotiated rate. Birth control is nothing more than one more arrow in the quiverfull of arrows that allow employees to manage their health. No medication is immoral or moral.

Back to Leslie's point, it seems supremely silly for employers to decline to include birth control in a company plan in light of the additional time off and competing priorities of employees and their spouses when pregnancy occurs

Posted by: the other anon for today | April 2, 2007 11:21 AM

"Union Pacific only covers contraception when medically necessary for a non-
contraceptive purpose such as regulating menstrual cycles, treating skin problems or
avoiding serious health risks associated with pregnancy."

So, does that mean they would cover condoms in the case of a married couple and one has HIV and the other does not?

Also, in some cases "serious health risks" will arise in even routine pregnancies, unannounced or without warning, especially as women (and to a lesser extent men) age. Wouldn't BC then be a prudent coverage to avoid more expensive action later on? Of course, children are more expensive than BC anyway yet that argument doesn't apparently bother them either.

Posted by: John L | April 2, 2007 11:22 AM


To Posted by: | April 2, 2007 10:02 AM

No, sex is not a medical condition. Pregnancy *is* a medical condition, though. BC pills could reasonably be seen as preventative medicine. Health insurance isn't about a company "sponsoring" behavior. If a company covers smoking cessation drugs like zoloft, are they "sponsoring" smoking? If they cover a hepititis b vaccine are they "sponsoring" unsafe sex? If they cover a cholesterol drug are they "sponsoring" unhealthy living. This is just a strange way to look at health insurance. I understand that there are people who believe birth control is immoral, and their arguments for not covering BC do follow, even if I don't agree with them. If you think BC is fine, then the argument that because the company allows the health insurance company to cover BC means they are "sponsoring" sex is silly.

Posted by: Bethesda, MD | April 2, 2007 11:23 AM

"Overweight should also pay extra insurance premiums?
Drinkers?
Speeders?"

As I see it, yes, generally speaking, they should. Well, speeders sort of do, in a way, through their car insurance, since they're more likely to get stopped by the cops, and get the speeding in their records which are handfully used by the insurance companies to jack up the price (I shoould know... I'm the unwitting victim of a speeder husband responsible for our higher premiums).

Drinkers and overweight people... it may be a difficult thing to tackle, but how much do you want to bet that, at least the overweight population, would be a little more inclined to lose the excess weight if they knew their weight is treated as a pre-existing condition that requires them to pay higher insurance costs?(I know I would).

All is relative, I guess.

Posted by: Poolesville, MD | April 2, 2007 11:24 AM

Abortions disguised as D&Cs with a valid medical reason happen all the time. ALL THE TIME. And they will continue to happen especially with the neo-cons pushing back.

Posted by: Chiclet | April 2, 2007 11:26 AM

If you equate sex with smoking, I'm sure glad not to be your partner.

YOu don't want smoking hot sex?
Posted by: | April 2, 2007 11:09 AM

I just don't want you to smoke if you're going to be around me. Otherwise, it's YOUR loss!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 11:13 AM

Ah, my feeble attempt at humor has gone up in..uhmmmm... smoke!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:26 AM

"but how much do you want to bet that, at least the overweight population, would be a little more inclined to lose the excess weight if they knew their weight is treated as a pre-existing condition that requires them to pay higher insurance costs?(I know I would)."

Good question, but I don't think it would make much of a difference, especially with the folks who are seriously overweight. They are already told that they could die early, develop cancer, develop heart disease, diabetes, etc. Apparently, knowing this does not miraculously cause them to lose the weight, so what makes you think that paying higher premiums would work? I also think that there are a lot of conditions out there that are caused by unhealthy living, and that it would be unfair to target the obese, who already deal with a lot of societal discrimination. Losing weight is not easy.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:29 AM

I took birth control pills because I had cysts on my ovaries. Keep your morals off my body.

Posted by: becky58a | April 2, 2007 11:30 AM

"Abortions disguised as D&Cs with a valid medical reason happen all the time. ALL THE TIME. And they will continue to happen especially with the neo-cons pushing back."

I disagree that this happens all the time. And, I base it on personal experience.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:31 AM

"If you really want to start splitting hairs, sex isn't just about pleasure. There are a lot of health benefits to sex."

Right, men who have sex 3-4 times per week live longer then men who have sex 1 time per week.

Probably because they have all that sex to look forward to...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:32 AM

catmommy,

Now your splitting hairs. Chinese monks live for 115 years without sex, so don't even talk about the health benefits of it.

The medical benefits are 90% mental and 10% physical.

Altmom,

"Typically they are also paying for their employees to quit smoking as well".
The key word is "quit" and insurance doesn't cover it all.

Besides, if you quit sex and ask your company to pay for it, you'll be looking for another job.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:33 AM

I think the insurance coverage should include fully paid gym memberships for overweight people. If you think that BC should be considered preventive medicine, why not gym membership?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:33 AM

Also, if employers and insurance companies are forced to pay for every little thing, nobody will have any health coverage. Period. Everyone will be bankrupt.

Posted by: catmommy | April 2, 2007 11:35 AM

It's okay if you disagree. I know personally of four women including a family member who've had this experience.

Posted by: Chiclet | April 2, 2007 11:36 AM

"Good question, but I don't think it would make much of a difference, especially with the folks who are seriously overweight. They are already told that they could die early, develop cancer, develop heart disease, diabetes, etc. Apparently, knowing this does not miraculously cause them to lose the weight, so what makes you think that paying higher premiums would work? I also think that there are a lot of conditions out there that are caused by unhealthy living, and that it would be unfair to target the obese, who already deal with a lot of societal discrimination. Losing weight is not easy."

You're absolutely right, but it would be an incentive for those of us who are not yet considered obese or even fully overweight, but have been inching their way dangerously up the scale to work harder to avoid having to pay the extra price. So I guess what I'm saying here is that it would be a deterrent that would hopefully lead some people to work harder on staying at a healthy weight. I know losing weight is not easy, but given the right incentive (and some people ARE motivated by money) at least a portion of the population will be pushed to pay more attention to preventable ways of managing their health (i.e., by managing their weight).


Posted by: Poolesville, MD | April 2, 2007 11:37 AM

I think people who demand companies to pay for BC are imposing their morals on a company that was around a lot longer than they were.

And you don't have to work for them if you don't want to. Right? There are a lot of companies to choose from.

Why can't they decide what they are comfortable putting their money into??

Posted by: Lou | April 2, 2007 11:39 AM

Definitely don't want to drag us back into a religious discussion, just want to correct the common misuse of the term immaculate conception.

The Immaculate Conception is a Roman Catholic dogma that asserts that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was preserved by God from the stain of original sin at the time of *her own* conception. Specifically, the dogma says she was not afflicted by the lack of sanctifying grace that afflicts mankind, but was instead filled with grace by God, and furthermore lived a life completely free from sin.
It is commonly confused with the doctrine of the incarnation and virgin birth, though the two deal with separate subjects.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:40 AM

"Catholic Church believes in conception only via untrammeled sexual intercourse."

That explains the Popes who had bastard children.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:42 AM

"Does any employer health plan cover legal abortion?

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 10:34 AM

Of course, it's called a D&C."

That's fraud. If you find a physician to sign those papers, he/she should lose their medical license.

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 11:20 AM

what mularkey. It's not fraud to say you had a procedure that -- duh - you had. The form identifies the procedure. The box is checked.

Fraud is not something to assert lightly.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:43 AM

You don't choose to have irregular menstrual cycles, or extreme pain, cysts on ovaries. These are things that should be covered under normal insurance premiums.

If you choose to smoke, overeat or otherwise be unhealthy that is a choice and should be covered under higher premiums or non coverage. As should birth control for non medical reasons.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 11:43 AM

To Lou: I think the disucssion was not about who you work for, but about the change in terms after you start working for them. In a lot of places, these just is not any one else to work for. They just don't have the volume of jobs in DC/Philly/NY/Boston, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, or LA

To several:
Actually the studies were of prostrate issues related to sex. 2X weekly was optimal, 3-4X weekly showed no noticiable prostrate improvement, but there may be other benefits.

Your mileage may vary.

Posted by: Various | April 2, 2007 11:47 AM

I just had a D&C at age 50 and the gyn requested a pregnancy test before performing the procedure. I would think that there is a place in the medical records stating whether or not a woman is pregnant prior to the D&C.

If the pregancy test was positive, I would have needed a transfer to the psych ward. Do you think the insurance would have covered that?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:49 AM

"The medical benefits are 90% mental and 10% physical."

I disagree with this assertion on scientific grounds. Additionally, it makes little difference whether the benefits are mental or physical, because most health coverage covers mental disorders as well as physical.

Not to mention the non-medical benefits! Nobody wants to be near someone who is cranky because they aren't getting any, or whose mind has turned to mush for the same reason!

Posted by: catmommy | April 2, 2007 11:49 AM

John Q are you the pope?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:50 AM

"That's fraud. If you find a physician to sign those papers, he/she should lose their medical license.

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 11:20 AM

what mularkey. It's not fraud to say you had a procedure that -- duh - you had. The form identifies the procedure. The box is checked."

It's fraud if the only reason for the D&C was to abort the fetus, and the physician says that the reason was due to medical necessity.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:52 AM

Uh, last time I checked prostate only had one "r" not two...

LOL! Reminds me of Roger Rabbit, mistaking PROBATE for PROSTATE.

:-)

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:54 AM

OK, catmommy made a funny. She is in the club.

But I still stand by what I said before.

Sex is a pleasure that a company will not pay for, directly or indirectly.

When sex, or the lack there of becomes a medical condition companies will support it.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 11:54 AM

The internet acronyms
"LOL" = Laughing Out Loud
and
"LMAO" = Laughing My Ass Off
have been printed a total of 447 times on the Onbalance blog.
The acronyms only appear 137 times for the entire year of 2006.

Our most tickled bloggers are as follows:

9 Laura
11 Megan
11 momof4
16 catlady
19 foamgnome
34 Megan's Neighbor
35 NC lawyer
49
54 Chris

Posted by: Blog Stats | April 2, 2007 11:55 AM

And frankly I don't want an insurance company telling me what brad of condoms to wear.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 11:55 AM

To those discussing the use of birth control for non-contraceptive reasons, it appears that UP does actually cover that.

From the Circuit Court Ruling on the case:

"Union Pacific only covers contraception when medically necessary for a non-contraceptive purpose such as regulating menstrual cycles, treating skin problems or avoiding serious health risks associated with pregnancy."

(I think more problematic than this situation are the pharmacists who won't dispense birth control at all, as it violates their religious beliefs - maybe a topic for another day, Leslie? It's another pitfall to finding balance for sure.)

Posted by: Chasmosaur | April 2, 2007 11:56 AM

Don't you just love Blog Stats. He/she knows everything. I think HE/SHE is the pope.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 11:57 AM

Chasmosaur gets the Research Award!!

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 11:59 AM

The wife and I don't need birth control since my wife only likes anal.

Posted by: BackDoorMan | April 2, 2007 12:01 PM

The D&C thing:

FYI - sometimes they *are* used in a therapeutic manner. It's a little TMI to go into here, but my mother had to have one in her late 40's. This was as menopause was starting and nearly 20 years after a tubal ligation. It was in no way an abortion, but a necessary therapy to deal with a medical issue she was having.

Yes, they are frequently/usually associated with abortions, but not always. Hence why they are sometimes covered by insurance companies.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | April 2, 2007 12:01 PM


To Posted by: | April 2, 2007 11:33 AM

Ugh, this line of reasoning is really hard for me to understand. First of all, many companies *do* pay for or offer discounts on gym memberships. A gym membership isn't a prescription drug. BC is more analogous to other medications that prevent expensive medical conditions. i.e. cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes medications all prevent more expensive medical conditions. Smoking cessation drugs help prevent lung cancer, weight loss drugs/methods (like stomach bands) help prevent medical conditions that result from obesity, and BC helps prevent pregnancy. What is wrong with that? The whole idea that if your employer covers BC they are "sponsoring" sex...what, is that icky to you or something? All sex is "immoral?" We are all adults. We could all find blame in each other if we work hard enough..."you're fat and it's your fault I don't want to pay for your meds," "you smoked and it's your fault, I don't want to pay for your cancer," "you're having sex and that's your choice, I don't want to pay for your birth control." These arguments are so weird and shortsighted. Health insurance should be as devoid of these judgements as possible...unless you work for an employer that is very up front about their "moral" views, and is within the law, then you still have not provided a compelling reason *why* an employer would not offer health insurance that covers BC.

Posted by: Bethesda, MD | April 2, 2007 12:02 PM

BackDoorMan

"The wife and I don't need birth control since my wife only likes anal."

Me, too! Small world!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 12:05 PM

Abortions are covered by some insurance companies. They don't legally have to, but many do. I don't know the statistics. But it certainly is cheaper for them than paying for pregnancy, labor and delivery.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 12:05 PM

Where I work the gym is free!!!
The gym is funded and ran by the parent company. How cool is that?

Posted by: Frank | April 2, 2007 12:05 PM

It's fraud if the only reason for the D&C was to abort the fetus, and the physician says that the reason was due to medical necessity.


Posted by: | April 2, 2007 11:52 AM

since you're still committed to improperly accusing physicians of fraud, medical necessity includes life and health of the mother, and the mental health of the mother is a component of "health".

To recap: D&Cs have been going on for a good long time and are recommended for a variety of medical conditions. There's no fraud involved if a physician makes accurate representations to the insurance company on the applicable claim form. Forms vary by company. Stop confusing your politics with laws relating to civil and/or criminal fraud.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 12:07 PM


Yikes, all this D&C talk is kinda strange. One of the most common reasons to have one is after a missed miscarriage.

Good lord people are weird! Have we all examined our own lives with as much careful scrutiny and as critical an eye as we examine one another?

Posted by: Bethesda, MD | April 2, 2007 12:10 PM

Chasmosaur gets the Research Award!!

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 11:59 AM
*******************************************

Hey John Q, What about me who posted the link to the court ruling and then this

"a quick read of the ruling shows that the employer does not discriminate because it does not cover either male or female methods of BC. It does cover the pill for other medical conditions such as irregular menses."

Back at 8:34 a.m.

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 12:22 PM

Bethesda, MD,

"Have we all examined our own lives with as much careful scrutiny and as critical an eye as we examine one another?"

That would make too much sense for the average "I want everything my way, on my terms" American.

Posted by: I see you | April 2, 2007 12:23 PM

OK, let's try again

"It's fraud if the only reason for the D&C was to abort the fetus, and the physician says that the reason was due to medical necessity.


Posted by: | April 2, 2007 11:52 AM

since you're still committed to improperly accusing physicians of fraud, medical necessity includes life and health of the mother, and the mental health of the mother is a component of "health"."

I am not saying that D&Cs are unethical, or only done for abortions. I am saying that if it is done ONLY to abort the fetus and the dr certifies it is medically necessary, then it is fraud. Nowhere did I mention mental health or other medical necessity.

And you don't know my politics - I actually am in favor of legal abortion. But I still think if a doctor is performing an abortion and lies about it being medically necessary, then it is fraud.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 12:26 PM

anon for today,

You always get that award. We have to come up with a new one for you.

How about the "Commenter's Award" for having comments that make the most sense?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 12:30 PM

How about the "Commenter's Award" for having comments that make the most sense?

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 12:30 PM
*****************************************

Well thank you. I am actually a frequent commenter but I don't want to be snared in that dreaded Blogs Stats net.

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 12:35 PM

"But I still think if a doctor is performing an abortion and lies about it being medically necessary, then it is fraud."

And yet, this is what some doctors are reduced to in our current environment. And frankly, I say more power to them. It's a woman's choice, not the neo-cons.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 12:39 PM

The 12:39 post was from me.

Posted by: Chiclet | April 2, 2007 12:40 PM

How about the "Commenter's Award" for having comments that make the most sense?

That would be Laura.

Posted by: Blog Stats | April 2, 2007 12:43 PM

Can there be multiple awards?

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 12:44 PM

so no one has hurt feelings!

Posted by: Awards for All... | April 2, 2007 12:46 PM

And yet, this is what some doctors are reduced to in our current environment. And frankly, I say more power to them. It's a woman's choice, not the neo-cons.

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 12:39 PM

I did not realize that abortion had been declared illegal in this country.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 12:46 PM

It is a woman's choice to have an abortion or not. As far as I know, it is still legal in this country.

But lying about the procedure is medical insurance fraud. If you don't have medical insurance to pay for a legal medical procedure, you are expected to pay for it yourself, not lie about the procedure. The fraud is in the lie, not in the procedure itself.

Posted by: to Chiclet | April 2, 2007 12:48 PM

I was referring to the stigma of getting an abortion. It is much easier to say "I had a D&C" than "I had an abortion". And it is illegal for you to get an abortion in some cases (# of weeks).

Posted by: Chiclet | April 2, 2007 12:48 PM

"It is much easier to say "I had a D&C" than "I had an abortion". "

Why say anything? It's nobody's business. Even a note to an employer can be non-revealing. Ms XXX was under my care and unable to work signed by M.D.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 12:51 PM

"Can there be multiple awards?"

Yes!! Yours can be the most shiny.

How would blog stats know who the poster is that makes to most sense?

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 1:09 PM

We would have to vote for the most sensible poster.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 1:11 PM

If your against the insurance company supporting your right to have sex because it should be your responsibility, are you also against covering viagara? Isn't it your responsibility to buy your own viagara pills?

Posted by: foamgnome | April 2, 2007 1:12 PM

"Are you kidding? You can forget about BC from Jesuit organizations. Didn;t this come up during the review of the compensation package?"

That's what I was afraid of. And the finaid package hasn't come yet. Oh well; the campus redeems itself in other ways, and I guess that's what Walgreen's is for.

Someone educate me! I thought D&C was the term naturally given to a surgical abortion? I thought D&E only referred to late-term abortions. I wouldn't know, mine was medical...

Posted by: Mona | April 2, 2007 1:12 PM

D & C means dusting and cleaning

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 1:14 PM

foamgnome,

"If your against the insurance company supporting your right to have sex because it should be your responsibility, are you also against covering viagara? Isn't it your responsibility to buy your own viagara pills?"

That is a dysfunction. Not even close to what we are talking about

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 1:15 PM

It is a woman's choice to have an abortion or not. As far as I know, it is still legal in this country.

But lying about the procedure is medical insurance fraud. If you don't have medical insurance to pay for a legal medical procedure, you are expected to pay for it yourself, not lie about the procedure. The fraud is in the lie, not in the procedure itself.

Posted by: to Chiclet | April 2, 2007 12:48 P

THERE'S NO LIE. An abortion can be medically necessary, people.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 1:16 PM

During campus tours of both Seton Hall and Georgetown, another parent asked about campus health services. The tour guide readily volunteered this information. But that is understandable, because these are religious organizations following church policy.

Since we were going to pay them for an education, and they are now paying your salary or wages, then I would expect no difference in their policies.

Posted by: To Mona | April 2, 2007 1:19 PM

D&C is the same procedure used as some abortions, but it can also be used in the case of a miscarriage, or to "clean you out" after you had a miscarriage or even given birth.

And Chiclet - abortions are never illegal.

Posted by: Lou | April 2, 2007 1:20 PM

A possible way around...it's not "birth-control" it's "hormone therapy". I need my hormone therapy for a myriad of reasons, and my employer shouldn't pry into whether it's for pregnancy prevention or some other reason...

Posted by: Rita | April 2, 2007 1:30 PM

Cultural Tidbit of the Day

Original Verse by Fred

I walked down to the Bay
With no noise of civilization in my ears
Only the crickets and frogs speaking to me
The moon was playing peek-a-boo with the clouds
The wind gently wrapped around my legs, a subtle coolness to it
The waves were lapping the shore in a lyrical song
And I realized once again
Greater forces than mankind exist

Posted by: Fred | April 2, 2007 1:34 PM

"Abortions are never illegal."

Lou, you appear to not understand how the law works. Abortions are illegal if not conducted in accordance with applicable state law, which may include mandatory waiting periods, mandatory provision of photos, etc. Perhaps you meant to say that, at this time and in accordance with applicable federal law, no state prohibits abortions prohibited for all women, under all circumstances. Many states have enacted limitations or restrictions on whom, and under what circumstances, may receive an abortion.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 1:36 PM

there are limits on the use of motor vehicles also. should the use of vehicles be totally unfettered?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 1:39 PM

Rita,

You know the health care industry is as powerful and the oil industry, right? Telling them or not telling them is not going to change their minds. They will find out what you are using it for unless your DR is not totally forthcoming and that crosses the line into the illegal.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 1:41 PM

And, of course, there are some states where there is only one medical facility still providing abortions; is it North or South Dakota?

Either Dakota is a mighty big state to travel across; probably not affordable for some low income women needing an abortion, which would make getting one an impossibility for them, at least.

Posted by: John L | April 2, 2007 1:42 PM

It's not a blow-up doll. It's a medical device used to prevent prostate cancer.

I'm checking my policy right now...

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 2, 2007 1:43 PM

"THERE'S NO LIE. An abortion can be medically necessary, people"

Can anyone READ? If there is no medical necessity and an abortion is done and the physician said it was a D&C done for medical necessity (when it was really done for abortion), then it is a lie.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 1:44 PM

in the vast majority of cases, it is possible for a women not to become pregnant. it is called self control.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 1:44 PM

this certainly was a useful, balance-related blog topic. Not.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 1:46 PM

Off-Topic: I hate the new home page. Can't find anything. Ick.

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 1:47 PM

I understand there are state regulations, but overall, in this country, abortions are legal up until the moment of birth.

Peachy!

Posted by: Lou | April 2, 2007 1:48 PM

You have to use the drop down buttons, Anon to Today.

Posted by: anon for today | April 2, 2007 1:49 PM

The biggest shame is that so many people in this country have no health insurance at all and have bigger health concerns than whether or not their BC is covered.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 1:50 PM

The right to life begins at conception and ends at birth.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 1:51 PM

You know the health care industry is as powerful and the oil industry, right?

Yes, we are evil and greedy bastar** in the oil business.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 1:57 PM

Interesting how those who are anon today are not be called cowards and gutless per usual....

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 1:58 PM

foamgnome,

"If your against the insurance company supporting your right to have sex because it should be your responsibility, are you also against covering viagara? Isn't it your responsibility to buy your own viagara pills?"

That is a dysfunction. Not even close to what we are talking about

This is so funny! WHen a man has an issue it is a dysfunction. Sex is not needed remember.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 2:06 PM

"Drinkers and overweight people... it may be a difficult thing to tackle, but how much do you want to bet that, at least the overweight population, would be a little more inclined to lose the excess weight if they knew their weight is treated as a pre-existing condition that requires them to pay higher insurance costs?(I know I would)."

Many insurance companies deny coverage to individuals with BMIs over a certain level.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 2:14 PM

"Sex is not needed remember."

Yeah, and according to my dental coverage, one would think that having a cavity filled is a cosmetic issue too.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 2, 2007 2:18 PM

And let us now forget about those "cosmetic" root canals.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 2:18 PM

Or my wisdom teeth as a "pre-existing condition"! What crooks!


Last I checked, I was born with them in there....

Posted by: Cate | April 2, 2007 2:21 PM

Is pregnancy a pre-existing condition? We already have the eggs - have since birth. Oh wait - that would make it congenital and therefore covered.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 2:22 PM

I think an egg needs to be fertilized before you are considered pregnant. So it is not preexisting condition.

Posted by: foamgnome | April 2, 2007 2:24 PM

FG,
The same could be said then for breast cancer as some women have the gene that predisposes them to it. Some think that there is cancer lurking inside all of us - just waiting for the right time to come out.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 2:26 PM

Exactly--I'm still scratching my head over the wisdom teeth debacle. Looking back, it's kind of amusing. But I'd still rather have my $1500... (4 impacted, plus anesthesia costs)

Posted by: Cate | April 2, 2007 2:29 PM

If they start considering pre existing conditions to be equal to genes they carry, then we are all in trouble. My guess is most if not all of us have something genetic that would predispose us to health problems.

Posted by: foamgnome | April 2, 2007 2:35 PM

When I was a kid there was this TV commercial advertising Flintstone vitamins. They were for "kids who don't eat right".

Back then, I thought there were pills for people who couldn't chew properly...

Nevermind, I'm just stalling. Must. go. to. gym.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 2, 2007 2:39 PM

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 02:06 PM,

A broken member and birth control are very different. A broken member is not only birth control it the sign of an underlining problem that causes it.

Just like BC pills for menstruation regulation the blue pill is used to treat a problem, not a lifestyle.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 2:43 PM

here I thought John Q was done for the day. sigh.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 2:45 PM

Actually, the number of times that ED is an indication of circulatory problems is growing. So, rather than giving out the blue pill for a symptom, it would be wiser to treat the likelier cause. Being sedentary and getting fat.

Stop eating so much. Get off your @ss!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 2:45 PM

Two dwarfs go into a bar, where they pick up two prostitutes and take them to their separate hotel rooms.

The first dwarf, however, is unable to get an erection. His depression is made worse by the fact that, from the next room, he hears his little friend shouting out cries of "Here I come again ...ONE, TWO, THREE...UUH!" all night long.

In the morning, the second dwarf asks the first, "How did it go?" The first mutters, "It was so embarrassing. I simply couldn't get a hard on."

The second dwarf shook his head. "You think that's embarrassing?"

"I couldn't even get on the friggin' bed

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 2:48 PM

Interesting how those who are anon today are not be called cowards and gutless per usual....

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 01:58 PM

You find it difficult to distinguish between anonymous posts that attack other posters with name-calling and accusations and anonymous posts that are neutral? that's what's interesting.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 2:51 PM

To go back to catmommy and Mona's comments about cost ... it seems to me that like a lot medications BC is manufactured by a relatively small number of companies and alot of it comes down to the deals health insurance companies negotiate with drug companies. The one I take went up about $5 per month and now insurance company places it in highest copay class such that they pay about 50 cents of my cost. They used to cover about 1/3 of the cost. My GYN indicated he'd seen the same thing happen across the board by several major insurance companies for all products made by this company. Annoying considering all I need out of insurance is my annual exam and coverage for BC...

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | April 2, 2007 2:58 PM

Funny, I always equated ED with being the equivalent of God saying, "You! Out of the gene pool!"

Posted by: Bedrock | April 2, 2007 3:03 PM

here I thought John Q was done for the day. sigh.

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 02:45 PM

John Q is never done

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 3:03 PM

Just like BC pills for menstruation regulation the blue pill is used to treat a problem, not a lifestyle.

No, you don't need sex in order to live. The little blue pill is a lifestyle choice, and if BC isn't covered, it shouldn't be either.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 3:05 PM

Do you need hair on the top of your head to live?
PS guys - women don't take off points for baldness but the combovers and plugs gotta go.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 3:06 PM

You're absolutely right, but it would be an incentive for those of us who are not yet considered obese or even fully overweight, but have been inching their way dangerously up the scale to work harder to avoid having to pay the extra price.

But you know you are getting too heavy, your clothes don't fit, the seat belts are getting snugger, the doctors are clucking. Isn't that incentive enough?

What about when your kids start nagging you? Don't you want to live long enough to see them grow up? Admittedly there are NO guarantees, but not putting on the pounds, or working harder to shed them is a reward in itself.

Posted by: 2 Poolesville | April 2, 2007 3:07 PM

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 03:05 PM,

Too bad blog stats can't count how many times you have been a moron today.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 3:07 PM

Too bad blog stats can't count how many times you have been a moron today.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 03:07 PM

For suggesting that celibacy is an option? If it's good enough for the Pope, why isn't it good enough for you? Celibate people do tend to live long, healthy lives. Go check out the monastaries and nunneries around the world.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 3:11 PM

7 times.

Posted by: Blog Stats | April 2, 2007 3:11 PM

8 times.

Posted by: Blog Stats | April 2, 2007 3:12 PM

I see more than 8 "unsigned" posts. How are you coming up with these numbers, Blog Stats?

Posted by: MdMother | April 2, 2007 3:14 PM

For suggesting that celibacy is an option? If it's good enough for the Pope, why isn't it good enough for you? Celibate people do tend to live long, healthy lives. Go check out the monasteries and nunneries around the world.

That is not what I was suggesting at all, but you can't read so I forgive you. I'm the one who said keep religion out of this.

Thanks Blog Stats

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 3:14 PM

John Q, when you begin to feel the need to toss 3rd grade insults around at strangers on a blog, maybe it's time to consider conversing with actual people.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 3:14 PM

Same person posting anonymously.

Posted by: Blog Stats | April 2, 2007 3:15 PM

Who is insulting who? Dude you need help.

Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 3:16 PM

Same person posting anonymously.

Posted by: Blog Stats | April 2, 2007 03:15 PM

How in the world could you know this? Anonymous means unknown. There can be any number of people posting with using a moniker.

Posted by: Suzy Q | April 2, 2007 3:23 PM

I meant to say, "without using a moniker".

Posted by: Suzy Q | April 2, 2007 3:23 PM

In defense of John Q (not that he needs it ;)

Women can have sex whether or not they use BC. Men with ED cannot have sex without the blue pill. Yes, they can live without sex but there is a difference between a pill that fixes something that is broken and another pill that is used to prevent a possible consequence of sex.

For the record, I am female and don't believe in automatic man bashing or automatic "it's discrimination" when something affects women negatively.

Posted by: tillie | April 2, 2007 3:29 PM

The term "moron" has appeared 69 times on this blog, including 21 from blank or anonymous posters. The most frequent poster that has used this term is Alex. Mom (5 times). Leslie has used it once.

Someone other than me has decided to use my name "Blog Stats". My last post was at 12:43.

I only posts facts!

Posted by: Blog stats | April 2, 2007 3:33 PM

" Being sedentary and getting fat.

Stop eating so much. Get off your @ss!"

Re: being overweight

I don't believe anyone under 40 should be allowed to comment on weight issues. Many people are surprised at how much your body can betray you after that magic age. I couldn't gain weight if I tried in my 20's, but since I hit 40, it's all been downhill.

Posted by: tillie | April 2, 2007 3:33 PM

New topic:

Exciting plans for spring break, passover or easter?

Posted by: atlmom | April 2, 2007 3:35 PM

Re: being overweight

I don't believe anyone under 40 should be allowed to comment on weight issues. Many people are surprised at how much your body can betray you after that magic age. I couldn't gain weight if I tried in my 20's, but since I hit 40, it's all been downhill.

I agree with the person who posted it, and I'm 59. I'm a size 4.

Posted by: RN | April 2, 2007 3:39 PM

don't drag the Pope into this -- it will give Emily reason to get back on her anti-faith soapbox

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 3:46 PM

Exciting plans for spring break, passover or easter

Not exciting at all - the kids get a break but I still have to work. I will get up earlier than usual to get home a little earlier. My teenager is home alone this week. I'll be checking in by phone several times per day.

Posted by: tillie | April 2, 2007 3:47 PM

NOthing exciting for spring break. Still have to work. DD is off from school and will go to day care for full days. We will all be off Friday-Sunday. Just usual Easter stuff for us, dinner, church, baskets and egg hunts.

Posted by: foamgnome | April 2, 2007 3:53 PM

Interesting how those who are anon today are not be called cowards and gutless per usual....

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 01:58 PM

I think because most of the regulars as defined by Blog Stats have been absent. So there is no gratuitous flaming going on.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 4:10 PM

I only posts facts!

Posted by: Blog stats | April 2, 2007 03:33 PM

the real question is why do you post these facts?

Posted by: to blog stats | April 2, 2007 4:21 PM

I think because most of the regulars as defined by Blog Stats have been absent. So there is no gratuitous flaming going on.

There is also not a lot of personal banter back and forth. More staying on topic than there has been in quite some time.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 4:22 PM

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 03:05 PM,

Too bad blog stats can't count how many times you have been a moron today.
Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 03:07 PM

Who is insulting who? Dude you need help.
Posted by: John Q | April 2, 2007 03:16 PM

I am not a brain surgeon, but it's more than fair to characterize your 3:07 post directed toward anon at 3:05 as an insult. Bad memory, John?

Posted by: to John Q | April 2, 2007 4:23 PM

I like the Blog Stats.

Posted by: tillie | April 2, 2007 4:23 PM

Today is also the fewest number of comments in many a moon. It isn't a matter of staying on topic because there has been no discussion, no learning, no anything.

big yawn

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 4:28 PM


I agree with the person who posted it, and I'm 59. I'm a size 4.

Posted by: RN | April 2, 2007 03:39 PM

Sure you are. and blonde and smart. and beautiful. and an absolutely phenomenal mother. We all describe ourselves that way online.

Your husband is good looking.

and your children are above average, too.

Posted by: love those uniforms | April 2, 2007 4:29 PM

I like your stats too. Hopefully, some of the regular posters will become just a little bit embarrassed at monopolizing a blog while saying so very little and realize they need to find another hobby other than posting 50+ times a day.

Posted by: to blog stats | April 2, 2007 4:35 PM

I think because most of the regulars as defined by Blog Stats have been absent. So there is no gratuitous flaming going on.

There is also not a lot of personal banter back and forth. More staying on topic than there has been in quite some time.

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 04:22 PM

dullest blog in months

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 4:37 PM

I like your stats too. Hopefully, some of the regular posters will become just a little bit embarrassed at monopolizing a blog while saying so very little and realize they need to find another hobby other than posting 50+ times a day.

Posted by: to blog stats | April 2, 2007 04:35 PM

well, to blog stats, your submission is a fine example of saying so very little and nothing on point. I hope you intend to pick up the slack with more substance in the future.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 4:43 PM

I like your stats too. Hopefully, some of the regular posters will become just a little bit embarrassed at monopolizing a blog while saying so very little and realize they need to find another hobby other than posting 50+ times a day.

Posted by: to blog stats | April 2, 2007 04:35 PM

Yup anon or no name posted over 10,000 times!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 4:43 PM

Those of us "regulars" had quite the celebration after the announcement of the Top Ten. Champagne, pate, caviar - sorry you all missed it.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 4:46 PM

Yep...we missed it...we were out living life.

Posted by: not a regular | April 2, 2007 4:49 PM

klb-celebration down here was coincident with a friend's birthday party. Never mix Cherry cosmo with wheat beer. stupid, very stupid.

Posted by: dotted | April 2, 2007 4:49 PM

pls recap today's post by name and then compare to the top 40!

Posted by: to blog stats | April 2, 2007 4:50 PM

Hey KLB - Wondering if this will post. Were the regulars kicked off for the day?

Posted by: CMAC | April 2, 2007 4:51 PM

Yep...we missed it...we were out living life.

Posted by: not a regular | April 2, 2007 04:49 PM

Is that what you call watching American Idol reruns on a sunny day?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 4:53 PM

ahhh...the exquisite irony seen in 'not a regular's post.

the pollen count is so high I've been practically confined indoors....dern yellow pine pollen everywhere!

Posted by: dotted | April 2, 2007 4:56 PM

cmac, I can only speak for myself, but the topic and John Q's, blog stats, and anon for today's dominance didn't offer much aggregate info relating either to balance or to humor. Plus, some Mondays are more Monday like than others.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 2, 2007 4:56 PM

"Hopefully, some of the regular posters will become just a little bit embarrassed at monopolizing a blog while saying so very little and realize they need to find another hobby other than posting 50+ times a day."

Ugh, then the blog would be as boring as it is today. The only thing lamer than people who post 50 times a day is the people who chastise them for it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 4:56 PM

MN, some Mondays are indeed more Monday than others. I love it.

Posted by: dotted | April 2, 2007 4:57 PM

"some of the regular posters will become just a little bit embarrassed at monopolizing a blog while saying so very little and realize they need to find another hobby other than posting 50+ times a day."

Why do I need to find another hobby? I'm not embarrassed by hitting the submit button on a random blog. You take this place way to seriously if you think otherwise.

On the other hand, if my idea of a good day was when the participants on a random blog were limited to those I like or with whom I agree, then I'd be embarrassed.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 2, 2007 5:05 PM

MN - Amen.
There just wasn't much for me to say about today's topic. Some of us don't post simply for the sake of posting (shocker).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 5:12 PM

dotted,
Never mix anything else with wheat beer dear! Cherry cosmo sounds interesting - do tell how it is made?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 5:16 PM

Andrew Card, W's former chief of staff is on the board of directors and holds stock options in Union Pacific.

"The two appellate judges who ruled in favor of Union Pacific, Raymond W. Gruender III and Pasco M. Bowman II, were both appointed by Republican presidents, Judge Gruender by President Bush, and Judge Bowman by President Ronald Reagan."
--NY Times

It's a good time to be a corporation in America--maybe less so an employee.

Posted by: Marian | April 2, 2007 5:20 PM

GO GATORS!

Okay, has nothing to do with the topic; it's simply where I went to school : )

Posted by: single western mom | April 2, 2007 5:23 PM

Hmmm, thought I'd check in on how things developed but I'm not sure that was such a good idea!

Personally I'm amused by all the hoopla about who posts too much or too little - it's not a zero-sum game! Today apparently a lot of regulars were not around and there just weren't as many posts - it's not like there all these people just waiting to get a word in edgewise that are somehow blocked out. But whatever, now I'm only contributing to the drivel...

"It looks like somebody has a case of the Mondays!"

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 5:23 PM

Whoops - this is what happens when I wait too long to check the blog - nobody is paying attention anymore.
I personally am kindof disappointed to see companies argue against covering birth control. While I agree with the premise that it's not companies' "responsibility", I think it's really foolish to say things like "well, if you can't control yourself, you'll get pregnant!" as if a baby is something people deserve to be punished with for being irresponsible. Birth control coverage for all women (and men, if the male pill ever catches on) goes such a long way in preventing unwanted/unplanned pregnancies and their associated costs that I think the overall long-term value outweighs the shorter cost/risk analysis individual companies might be basing their decision on (and no, I don't know anything about the insurance industry).

I second the request for a cherry cosmo recipe!

Posted by: TakomaMom | April 2, 2007 5:25 PM

Maybe we can do an adult beverage recipe exchange for the rest of the afternoon?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 5:27 PM

"in the vast majority of cases, it is possible for a women not to become pregnant. it is called self control.

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 01:44 PM"

I have two problems with this comment.

First, even the most self-controlled woman can be betrayed by her body. How was I to know that one of my ovaries had gone haywire and was randomly spitting out eggs all month, resulting in a very unintended pregnancy from having sex with my husband on what should have been a very "safe" day to do so? My OB/GYN ended up having to remove that ovary entirely (after my daughter was born) because it was diseased and I had him do a tubal to protect me from my remaining ovary. Three kids was enough for me and my husband, thank you very much :-)

Secondly, why must only women exercise self-control to avoid pregnancy? Don't men play a part in creating a pregnancy? Doesn't a man who unintentionally gets a woman pregnant also lack self-control? It takes two to tango . . .

Posted by: MP | April 2, 2007 5:32 PM

KLB, now that would be an excellent use of the limited blog resources!

I've previously posted the recipe for my favorite, the Moscow Mule, but here it is again in case anyone missed it:

Fill a tumbler with ice
pour 1 shot of vodka
a "splash" of lime juice - fresh squeezed is best, Nellie & Joes Key Lime Juice is also fantastic
fill it up with ginger beer - we usually get Reeds Extra Strong (with 28 grams of real ginger!)


Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 5:33 PM

TakomaMom,

It is sad that companies often base their decisions on what will show up on the next quarterly filing. I suppose that retention of women employees might not be a big priority for Union Pacific from a financial standpoint either. Is my memory correct that out of 50,000 employees, only 1500 are women? I'll have to go back to the court document--I think that's where I saw that number.

Sadly, it's still too cold for a wheat beer here in the northeast. I'll have to stick with red wine for a bit.

Posted by: Marian | April 2, 2007 5:36 PM

Megan,
That sound delish. Reminiscent of the Dark and Stormy from Bermuda - Black Seal Rum and ginger beer!

One of my favorites is a slight change from the cape codder (official family drink for holidays): vodka, cran juice, OJ and a splash of seltzer water over ice.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 5:37 PM

I have always thought of wheat beer as winter drink as it is so heavy. One thing I learned is if boyfriend has too many sleep in the other room as it gets stinky.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 5:38 PM

there would have been more postings today if my earlier two had been posted. Am I being censored by the WP?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 5:41 PM

KLB, I used to like Seabreezes a lot--a cape codder with grapefruit juice. Adding seltzer is a great idea--if it ever gets warm here!

I had a great drink a long time ago with pineapple juice, chambord, and vodka. It sounds awfully sweet to me now--it must have had something else in it. Sound familiar to anyone?

Posted by: Marian | April 2, 2007 5:41 PM

Same thing happened to me earlier.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 5:42 PM

TakomaMom and Marian,

I agree with you about the financial incentives (I think the numbers are 150,000 employees and 50,000 women). To me it's another reason why it doesn't make sense to have our healthcare linked to and controlled by our employers. The competition between interests is too strong - companies will legitimately pursue their own interests which will inevitably diverge from the employees interests and the public interest. I believe the CEO of Walmart has made similar comments on his blog, if memory serves - who knew I'd ever agree with him!

KLB - I love dark and stormies! Yum!

Rum and coconut water (the liquid inside a fresh coconut) is also great.

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 5:42 PM

I have no real idea what was in that cherry cosmo. A 'friend' ordered it for me...a friend! cherry vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice is my guess. The Grill has all these infused vodkas. I generally stay away from them but my friend ordered me one without me knowing/agreeing. It was delicious but painful later on.

wheat beer isn't heavy at all! Blue Moon with a slice of lemon is great! It hits the spot for me.

Posted by: dotted | April 2, 2007 5:45 PM

Marian,
Is this is?

The French Martini was created by the Chambord liqueur company for a world wide promotion. It seems to have worked, and the cocktail is now quite popular. This is what liqueur and spirit companies need to do when creating cocktails. Most spirit companies just take the name of their product and apply it to a long list of classic cocktails. That's just so boring and unimaginative. But is Chambord's case, they created a popular cocktail that is original and tied to the product. This is good marketing.

French Martini

2 oz Vodka
½ oz Chambord
2 ½ oz Pineapple Juice

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 5:45 PM

dotted,
The flavored vodkas are great if mixed well - a mandarin orange vodka with tonic and a peel of the orange is oh so refreshing.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 5:47 PM

Hefe weizen is traditionally a summer beer in Germany. Kristall weizen is usually served with lemon. There are probably more darker wheat beers, but I haven't tried those. I was thinking of the ones with lemon.

Of course, except for the occasional heat waves, does it usually get very hot in Germany?

Posted by: Marian | April 2, 2007 5:48 PM

klb- sounds great! But I'd be hurting later on....I'm more of a "meat and potatos" bar chick. Beer, white wine, champagne...red wine is out as it stains my teeth (unless I'm willing to carry a tooth brush and use it after each glass) besides it way too warm already...

We've had the ac on for 4 days now for coolness and to keep the pollen out.

Posted by: dotted | April 2, 2007 5:50 PM

Marian,
The Hefe weizen with a lemon is what I was thinking of. Good but way too filling for me.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 5:51 PM

"Birth control coverage for all women (and men, if the male pill ever catches on) goes such a long way in preventing unwanted/unplanned pregnancies and their associated costs that I think the overall long-term value outweighs the shorter cost/risk analysis individual companies might be basing their decision on."

I agree, TakomaMom! Excellent comment. I can't remember exactly the statistics of how many births per year in the U.S. are due to unwanted pregnancies, but it's high.

Covering birth control for women (and men) seems prudent and logical given the long-range perspective, not to mention the rate of planned versus unplanned pregnancies here in the U.S. To specifically exclude BC coverage from insurance plans makes one wonder whether the reasoning is based on actual cost-containment/risk analysis (often factual, logical infomation in the form of numbers, ie: dollars and cents), or something more along the lines of a fuzzy, subjective moral judgement.

Posted by: So. Virginia | April 2, 2007 5:51 PM

sounds like klb and I won't be sharing drinks.....boo hoo (or is it hurray for the no sharing?)

Posted by: dotted | April 2, 2007 5:52 PM

dotted, I am right with you there with the champagne! My favorite any season. How about margaritas? Can you hang with those? Some people don't like champagne as they say it gives them a headache. Never have that problem (unless I have more than a bottle - ahaha).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 5:54 PM

That French Martini must be it. Now I have to get a bottle of Chambord to try it. I wonder if a kind of alchemy keeps it from being sticky sweet.

That reminds me of another cocktail I've always wanted to try--The French 75. Have you ever had one?

Boy, you'd think it were Friday. We're starting early this week ;-)

_________________
This Champagne cocktail is named after the French 75-millimeter gun used in World War I. It was first made with absinthe, Calvados and gin. This version with Champagne may have first been served at Harry's New York Bar in Paris.
INGREDIENTS:
6 Tablespoons gin
1/4 cup Cointreau
1-1/4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 thin strips of lemon peel
1 bottle chilled Champagne (brut)
PREPARATION:
Stir the gin, Cointreau and lemon juice together. Divide it among 6 champagne flutes. Fill the flutes with Champagne and garnish with a lemon strip.

Posted by: Marian | April 2, 2007 5:55 PM

klb- No problem with margaritas or champagne ever! I'm there!

I had an earlier post just now that wasn't posted...on topic even.

Posted by: dotted | April 2, 2007 5:59 PM

single western mom, good luck this evening! you now have enough drink recipes to make it through the game with a smile on your face, no matter the outcome.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 2, 2007 5:59 PM

Marian,
That looks really good too. I thought a champagne cocktail was bitters, sugar cube and champagne.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:01 PM

Dotted and KLB, you guys should come over to our place (Oh wait, KLB don't you live with me somewhere?) because my husband makes the most fantastic margaritas ever. They are so good, and sooooo strong. None of this fake sugary drink mix crap, we're talking the real thing. I cannot tell you how many drunken nights we had while he was perfecting his recipe - oof!

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 6:02 PM

All this talk made me go upstairs and make myself the cranberry, orange, vodka and seltzer water drink. Sometimes you need it when watching the news :-(

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:03 PM

Megan, I forget who I live with - aren't you with MN? Maybe I have a tent there in the backyard.
After champagne, margaritas are my favorite.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:04 PM

Aw, KLB, at least you're not really drinking alone - you'll always have us! I'm at work and bored to tears with what I'm doing for at least another hour - oooh, maybe the work wouldn't seem so boring with some white wine (no champagne or good mixers hanging around...)

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 6:05 PM

There are a few things about this conversation that really upset me.

The first one is that some posters are saying it would be okay for companies to provide BC for non-pregnancy/sexual related issues, such as acne, PMS, or cramps. And how, exactly would your company be able to determine this without seriously invading your privacy? If this became the rule, I think you'd find a lot more women claiming to have PMS or severe menstrual cramps, not fewer company-sanctioned prescriptions of BC.

The other thing that really upsets me about this conversation is that nearly everyone is looking at this issue through the lens of a large corporation, and not through the lens of their own individual existence. "Of course these companies should cover BC," this group says, "because then they will save costs on pre-natal care, abortion services, etc., not to mention potential lost work days!" Why aren't we standing up for ourselves as individuals who have serious personal needs, and framing our arguments through that channel? Why do we have to frame this argument from the perspective of the corporation? Do you think it will be more effective that way, and doesn't that make you sad, too, that in order to get what we need, we need to present it as being good for corporations?

And for people who think it's immoral for women to demand that their employers pay for BC: The church won't help those who are in no position to have a baby, the government is failing to provide for the health of the American people more and more, and unfortunately, most Americans must cling to the very thing that damages us most: the corporation. Like a mom who beats her child and then lovingly apologizes for it, corporations are destroying our sense of trust and humanity, and perpetuating a chain of depravity, yet they are also our most accessible source of health care, income (to pay for all those material goods they tell us we need), and group socialization.


free-market privatized America is a scary place to grow up.

Posted by: scout | April 2, 2007 6:07 PM

So. Virginia,
"actual cost-containment/risk analysis"

Maybe they can't figure out the numbers. They KNOW how many prescriptions of BCPs are paid for. They KNOW the number of pregnancies they pay for. What they don't know is how many of the pregnancies they WOULDN'T be paying for if they weren't paying for the BCPs. I don't think I explained it correctly but do you get what I am trying to say?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:07 PM

Megan
I'll always have you guys for sure - thanks. Much needed and appreciated these days.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:09 PM

I'll save my calorie allotment for homemade ice cream :-)

Posted by: catlady | April 2, 2007 6:09 PM

Hey everybody - catlady is the designated driver!

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:11 PM

KLB, Honey, you live with Meesh and Megan in Apex, North Carolina. Silly girl. No tent. Drinks are served on a gorgeous deck, with only the sound of the trains coming through every hour to disturb you.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 2, 2007 6:12 PM

OK - I remember now. Must have had a few too many. So whose tent was I sleeping in?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:13 PM

KLB, as long as it doesn't involved Mona's ex-boyfriend or Chrissy's soon-to-be ex-husband, it's all okay.

What happens in Apex, stays in Apex.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 2, 2007 6:15 PM

KLB, I don't know but I hope he was hot!

Catlady, a calorie allotment - that's an interesting concept...personally I'm going for wine and chocolate, and possibly some very good parmesan cheese.

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 6:16 PM

Those men are safe - we know way too much about them to be even a little bit interested.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:18 PM

Megan, Wine and chocolate or champagne and chocolate? Port and chocolate?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:19 PM

Sadly, no champagne in the house, our supplies of alcohol are pitifully low right now. White wine is all I've got.

I developed an allergy to reds about 10 years ago, which I'm still very sad about.

BUT, have you ever heard of a Tim Tam Slam? That is one fantastic way to drink port.

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 6:21 PM

This?
The Tim Tam Slam (or Tim Tam straw) is the practice of drinking a beverage by sucking it through a Tim Tam, an Australian chocolate-covered biscuit. The practice is done by sucking through a Tim Tam with both ends bitten off. According to the Toxic Custard guide to Australia, this procedure is done as follows:

Prepare a cup of tea (or other hot or cold drink)
Remove the Tim Tam from the packet
Bite a small section off two diagonally opposite corners
Dip one corner into the drink
Suck on the other corner, which will mix the drink with little pieces of the biscuit
When the Tim Tam begins to fall apart in your hand, eat the whole biscuit
Obtain another Tim Tam from the packet and return to step 3

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:23 PM

between Megan and dotted, there's more red wine available for me than I ever dreamt. Me! Me! Me! More for Me!

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | April 2, 2007 6:23 PM

Yes, but use port instead of coffee or tea. Oh man, it's fantastic. Tim Tams are delicious in their own right too. One of my best friends is Australian and her brother sent us some, and oh my....that stuff is gooood.

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 6:24 PM

MN - does it always have to be about you? I heard a news report that said that pinot noir is the best red to drink for health reasons. They called it the fountain of youth. Better than other reds. I love it as that is also my new favorite wine.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:25 PM

Go neighbor, go neighbor, go, go, go neighbor!

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 6:25 PM

Megan, You have given so much of yourself today I just don't know how to thank you.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:26 PM

I've never had a champagne cocktail--sounds ok too though :-). I guess the French 75 is a version of it.

I was upstairs getting a glass of wine, red, opened a few days ago and not at it's peak. Time for a trip to the wine store!

Posted by: Marian | April 2, 2007 6:26 PM

The problem with champagne cocktail is that they charge alot for them and they go down really easily and fast. Do it at home if you are going to try it (as long as you don't waste the rest of the bottle).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:27 PM

See what happens when they praise us for being quiet? It was a dare was it not?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:28 PM

KLB, have officially joined you. White wine and parmesan cheese on my desk. Who needs dinner?

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 6:29 PM

KLB, anything for you!

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 6:31 PM

Megan, Welcome to the official on balance happy hour. What kind of white wine? Crackers with the cheese or just eat it plain? I bet it is a fine cheese.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:31 PM

Just plain, but pretty darn good. Not as good as I could get at the italian deli in New Haven, but pretty good.

The wine, however, is only so-so - I think it's a pinot grigio. I'm not very good with wines - for some reason I simply cannot remember the names and types that I like, so it's always a crapshoot. I guess that's why I usually stick to the hard stuff :)

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 6:36 PM

Megan, You lived in New Haven? I was brought up in New Britain.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:38 PM

No kidding? Yeah, I lived there for a couple years - it's a great town. I still miss it sometimes. We used to belong to a community supported farm in New Britain.

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 6:41 PM

Megan, small world isn't it?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:44 PM

Too true.

I have finished the parmesan and am moving to the dessert phase of the on balance happy hour, breaking into the easter chocolate.

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 6:46 PM

Megan,
You crack me up. I am still working on my first adult beverage. Not hungry yet but may have to break into the wasabi soy sauce roasted almonds. They are decadent and addictive.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:47 PM

LOL. I am always hungry by about 4, it's a drag. I have not finished the glass of wine yet though.

Wasabi soy sauce roasted almonds sound fantastic. Pass me some, will ya?

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 6:52 PM


I like your stats too. Hopefully, some of the regular posters will become just a little bit embarrassed at monopolizing a blog while saying so very little and realize they need to find another hobby other than posting 50+ times a day.

Posted by: to blog stats | April 2, 2007 04:35 PM

You seem to enjoy the "regulars" hobby of saying nothing. How would you know that they post 50+ time/day AND say nothing!

Posted by: to 4:35 pm | April 2, 2007 6:54 PM

How dare people say that a happy hour adult beverage conversation isn't important!

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 6:57 PM

Ha ha, I was just about to post saying that to be fair, we haven't said much of anything in the last hour. I hate to think of all the people we've kept from having meaningful conversations...

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 6:59 PM

LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL! LOL!

Hey, Blog stats, now I win!

Posted by: catlady | April 2, 2007 7:04 PM

WOW, catlady, all that ice cream really went to your head!

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 7:10 PM

Have any of you ever heard of instant messaging?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 7:10 PM

Fresh asparagus with dinner; ice cream for dessert.

Posted by: catlady | April 2, 2007 7:13 PM

AH HA, 7:10, it's so much more fun this way...

mmm...asparagus....

I'm off, y'all have a great night!

Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2007 7:18 PM

Have any of you ever heard of instant messaging?

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 07:10 PM


this is so unbelievably obnoxious.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 7:22 PM

in the vast majority of cases, it is possible for a women not to become pregnant. it is called self control.

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 01:44 PM"

I have two problems with this comment.

First, even the most self-controlled woman can be betrayed by her body. How was I to know that one of my ovaries had gone haywire and was randomly spitting out eggs all month, resulting in a very unintended pregnancy from having sex with my husband on what should have been a very "safe" day to do so? My OB/GYN ended up having to remove that ovary entirely (after my daughter was born) because it was diseased and I had him do a tubal to protect me from my remaining ovary. Three kids was enough for me and my husband, thank you very much :-)

Secondly, why must only women exercise self-control to avoid pregnancy? Don't men play a part in creating a pregnancy? Doesn't a man who unintentionally gets a woman pregnant also lack self-control? It takes two to tango . . .

Posted by: MP | April 2, 2007 05:32 PM

On your point #1
Note that I said vast majority not 100%.

On your point #2
You can talk yourself blue in the face about this theory, the reality is that outside a committed relationship, the woman bears the majority of the responsbility.

Posted by: 1:44 pm | April 2, 2007 7:24 PM

Have any of you ever heard of instant messaging?

Posted by: | April 2, 2007 07:10 PM

How do you know that we don't IM and we post just to annoy you?

Posted by: maybe a regular | April 2, 2007 7:27 PM

My point for the day (which was not posted the prior two times I wrote it earlier today) is this:

Maybe the best workplaces are those where women are too old to use BC, and men are too young to need drugs for erectile dysfunction. Saves on costs all around. The workplace would be full of moms and sons. Talk about dysfunctional!

The converse would be younger women of gestational age and men who need some "help." Daughters and dads. Oh, but wait, that's Hollywood and WDC!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 7:29 PM

"I've been on the pill for several years. I've been on different brands and used different pharmacies. I've never been charged more than $20 per pack. That isn't even enough to meet my deductible over the course of a year.

The point? Choose your battles. If I were negotiating a union contract, I'd be more worried about overtime, pension, and safety conditions."

Posted by: catmommy | April 2, 2007 10:23 AM

For you, $20 may not be much, but if your income is substantially smaller and this is a month to month expense, this could mean a LOT. Furthermore, I'm currently paying nearly $50 per month for one pack of pills. When I was covered at my former job, I could get 3 packs for around $20. Ionically, the self-payment plan I have now covers birth control, but only after I reach a specific deductable, and I still have to pay for each single pack at about $25 per month (after my deductable kicks in).Insurance makes a huge difference in terms of affordability and accessibility of contraception.
(To everyone) Think beyond your own experiences and budget. For many, having birth control covered is the difference between using prescription birth control and not using prescription birth control.

Posted by: kmscindi | April 2, 2007 7:33 PM

Hey you guys! I have hardly been able to post at all today, so sad that I didn't get to be annoying. :)

Posted by: scarry | April 2, 2007 7:34 PM

Mona,

Planned Parenthood is your friend. Go there and tell them you are a poor student. They have a sliding scale. I know, I've used them before.

I geuss I am a imoral person who thinks sex is a neccesity! :)

And it is sexist to pay for ED pills and rogaine and not pay for BC. So there!

Posted by: scarry | April 2, 2007 7:36 PM

Scarry, Welcome to the happy hour - you can have a refreshing flavored seltzer water.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | April 2, 2007 7:38 PM

"...refreshing flavored seltzer water."

Black currant (cassis) and raspberry are delightful syrups. Peach, too!

Posted by: catlady | April 2, 2007 7:42 PM

KLB, I heart you for your comment about my ex (he can be difficult); it made me crack up.

Scarry, I heart you for PP info. Trust I will be seeing them while I'm in law school! :-)

Posted by: Mona | April 2, 2007 9:04 PM

Mona -- If you're "smart" enough to have a science degree, work in a lab, and have people pay you to take the LSAT (b/c you're so smart), and hope to make gobs of money being a patent lawyer (b/c you're SO SMART) then why the heck don't you take control over your own reproductive health and pay for your own BC pills. Enough of this victimology and having the rest of us pay for your extracurricular, non married activities. GROW UP!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 11:06 PM

Pay for your own birth control! Why should the company have to pay for it? If you don't like it, don't work there? Why do some people insist on crying "discrimination" every time they can't get their way? Why doesn't the company pay for my boob job and give me a Cadillac Escalade to treat my depression?

Get a life, please! This column is one of the biggest jokes of all time. Just keep your pants on instead of trying to get other people to pay for your IMMORAL behavior. You say you don't want people to impose their morality on you - fine, why make your company pay for your immorality?

Shame on you

Posted by: Jan | April 3, 2007 1:28 AM

I'm sorry, but I don't want to hear about your birth control and your other various personal issues. TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

Keep it to yourself and stop demanding that your company pay for your private behavior. If, after all, it's a "choice" on whether and when and how you want to have sex, why should other people be forced to subsidize it?

Few other things I have read are as immature as this column.

Posted by: Nancy | April 3, 2007 1:31 AM

KEEP YOUR LAWS OFF MY BODY, but please make the taxpayers pay for my birth control and as many abortions as I want so I can have my "reproductive freedom"

Posted by: Fran | April 3, 2007 1:47 AM

"Enough of this victimology and having the rest of us pay for your extracurricular, non married activities."

Oh, I didn't know you were paying for my birth control! Wait, then what are all these $50 deductions in my checkbook?

And while you are keeping score, you may want to get your facts right. ;-)

Posted by: Mona | April 3, 2007 6:55 AM

Leslie and Washington Post,

For some reason, there is no link to post to today's Tuesday guest blog. Can you please fix?

Posted by: dotted | April 3, 2007 7:46 AM

"Leslie and Washington Post,

For some reason, there is no link to post to today's Tuesday guest blog. Can you please fix?"

I think this might be on purpose. Can you imagine the vitrol that would be spewed out if we could comment on this guest entry.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 8:12 AM

TUESDAY MORNING 8:14 AM

Just called WashPost.com to get the problemo fixed. Should be able to post comments soon.

Sorry about this.

Posted by: Leslie | April 3, 2007 8:15 AM

TUESDAY MORNING 8:14 AM

Just called WashPost.com to get the problemo fixed. Should be able to post comments soon.

Sorry about this.

Posted by: Leslie | April 3, 2007 8:15 AM

You should be sorry - for trying to get other people to pay for your promiscuity and for trying to impose your amorality on the rest of us

Posted by: Sandy | April 3, 2007 12:31 PM

You should be sorry - for trying to get other people to pay for your promiscuity and for trying to impose your amorality on the rest of us

Posted by: Sandy | April 3, 2007 12:31 PM

Married couples use birth control too, Sandy. My company pays for it. Less costly than pregnancy and childbirth.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 3, 2007 12:43 PM

Going back to the discrimination thing, could this count as an analogous situation? Say, men can get the HPV vaccine just like women, but unlike women men don't get cervical cancer, they just pass the virus to women. An insurance company could decide not to cover the vaccine for either sex, but that would still be discriminatory because the consequences effect women's health only. Just as only women get cervical cancer, only women get pregnant.

Posted by: Eleanor | April 4, 2007 5:57 AM

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