When someone wrote into College Candy asking us to investigate the raising prices of birth control on and near college campuses across America, I was moderately shocked.
I have always had health insurance and never really thought about what the birth control options were without it. That made my birth control a whole $8 a month or so. But that’s neither here nor there. I don’t have health insurance anymore and neither do many college girls in need of birth control.
The laws have changed since the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which alters how drug makers are permitted to calculate rebates related to Medicaid. Somehow or another, this act twisted itself around to make it expensive for companies to offer schools discounts on birth control. Lame. So instead of paying $3-$10 a pack, thanks to discounts, college students are now being forced to pay $30-$50 a pack instead. Even for the cases when insurance would cover the difference, what about the girls who don’t want to involve their parents’ insurance with their birth control?
A female college student should be able to obtain reasonably priced birth control in this country without the assistance of health insurance.
Of course there are numbers of conservative folks out there who would argue that with sex comes the responsibility of motherhood, but if I may beg to differ, that is an opinion. The problems associated with unplanned pregnancy, on the other hand, are hard facts.
Who is really driving the drug companies to make specific decisions like this? Paying this much money for birth control, especially during a recession, is what I would qualify as unreasonable. Were these packs of cigarettes, not packs of helpful pills, then I’d understand. But birth control should be at the disposal of all sexually active young women in our country not yet prepared to mother.
Birth control doesn’t create a problem–it prevents one. Not offering birth control at a reasonable rate might push girls to stop using it, leaving this country with the burden of paying to care for more unwanted children.
Young women should not be punished for trying to make responsible choices and we must get up and remind the lawmakers, drug companies and universities of this fact. There is no reason men should be able to get Viagra for $8 a bottle, but women must spend 5 times that much on birth control.
Have you had this problem on your campus? How much does your birth control cost?
[Photo from Abcnews.net]