Should birth control be provided to women for free? Yes, according to a panel of Institute of Medicine advisors, who today recommended that insurance companies be required to cover birth control - with no co-pays - as a preventive service. (It recommended that other services, like domestic violence screening, STD counseling and support for breastfeeding moms be covered, too.) NPR did a nice story on the issue last night, and a just-filed Associated Press article includes the view of one particularly happy women's health advocate:
"We are one step closer to saying goodbye to an era when simply being a woman was treated as a pre-existing condition," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md, who sponsored the women's health amendment [which called for no-cost preventive care]. "We are saying hello to an era where decisions about preventive care and screenings are made by a woman and her doctor."
Previously: Another birth control revolution? New health law could provide free contraceptives to women and Women’s health groups launch campaign for no-cost prescription birth control
Photo by M.Markus