Late last week, President Barack Obama announced the approval of part of the Affordable Care Act, which requires employers to cover basic health services for employees, including means for contraception.
Under this act, insurance plans are required to cover check-ups, mammograms, immunizations and other basic services. The decision also includes the coverage of contraceptive services, namely birth control.
“Preventive care should include coverage of contraceptive services such as birth control,” Obama said, according to a press release issued by the White House.
But some have seen this clause as controversial, claiming that it alienates the rights of the individual.
“The administration has boldly ignored conscientious objections from religious organizations, and in turn sent a message that the values and beliefs of those subject to this mandate are irrelevant or inconsequential,” Pennsylvania Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Centre, said. “That simply is not the case.”
Obama touched on these concerns during his press conference last week.
“As a citizen and as a Christian, I cherish this right,” Obama said. “And that’s why we originally exempted all churches from this requirement.”
After working with churches and other religiously affiliated businesses, the decision was made to make a compromise that forces the insurance companies to cover the cost of contraceptive care rather than the employer.
Representatives from Penn State’s University Health Services said the new policy, to take effect Aug. 1, 2012, will be very helpful in treating patients, especially those between the ages of 18-34.
Nearly 99 percent of American women have relied on contraception at some point in their lives, yet more than half of all women between the ages of 18 and 34 have struggled to afford it, Obama said.
The primary patient base at UHS is women who are seeking contraception. It’s a big part of what the women’s health department does, Beth Blew, Marketing Manager at UHS said.
“Women need to take care of their health, and the fact that we’re now covering women’s protective services and health care is a good thing,” Manager at Penn State Student Health Insurance Karen Kline, said
Kline did show some concerns about the cost of the coverage, though.
“It has the potential to be expensive depending on contraception women are using," Kline said.