No Better Time for Plan B

I have a package of Potassium Iodide tablets in my Go Bag, and I’m happy most days not to think about either, but I feel better knowing that they’re there. For those of you unfamiliar with either, or both–Potassium Iodide protects the thyroid from radiation poisoning, and a Go Bag is an emergency preparedness kit with enough supplies for a person to survive without outside help for at least three days.

If you didn’t know, consider yourself lucky. Or blissfully ignorant. I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective. That–and what the future happens to bring to yours.

Me, I decided back in the days of the dirty bomb scares that I’d rather have a package of ominously-packaged pills in the house than to one day wish I had bought some as an invisible deadly force fried my body. Same goes for the Go Bag. I put the pills in the bag, put the bag behind the couch, and honestly, including today, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve thought about either in the past ten years.

Isn’t that how worst case scenario preparation should work? Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and try not to scare the bejesus out of yourself in the meantime. Anything less would be irresponsible when it’s a matter of life and death, right?

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No Co-Pay Birth Control is Overdue

As Sarah noted last week, the Institute of Medicine released a report that recommends, among other things, that birth control be considered preventative medicine – and rightly so. As the Atlantic Wire points out, “Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and about 40 percent of unwanted pregnancies end in abortion.”  Increased birth control access can prevent unintended pregnancies, and decrease the need for abortion. As a result, the IOM is advocating that birth control be available at no cost to women as a part of the implementation of the health care reform package.

No co-pay birth control is seriously overdue, ya’ll. NPR reports that, “98 percent of sexually active women will use contraception at some point during their reproductive years, and that cost concerns are frequently cited as a reason for inconsistent use or use of a less then optimal method.” That is because women currently pay between $15 and $50 a month in co-pays for birth control pills — which equals $180 to $600 a year! Consequently, more than one-third of all women have struggled to pay for prescription birth control at some point in their lives.

Just to clarify, the IOM recommendations will not be the equivalent of “free” birth control – the IOM recommendations simply state that birth control should be available without a co-pay price. Women will still have to pay their insurance premiums. However, as an article in Colorlines states, “the women who plunk down about $5 to $50 a month for, say, the Pill are already paying their insurance premiums. This would just lighten their financial load.” [Read more...]