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The ACA Contraceptive Coverage Lawsuits: The Employee’s Right to Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

Last week at a lunch with African advocates for women’s rights, we discussed pregnancy rates in Africa and the United States. Across the continents one thing remained constant—women have better outcomes when they are able to control their fertility. They enjoy greater freedom to pursue academic studies or careers, and to plan their lives as they see fit.

The ACA’s contraceptive coverage rule affords 47 million women this freedom by ensuring that they will be able to access birth control and related information through private insurance without having to worry about the cost. While many celebrate the anticipated improvements to women and children’s health, others are infuriated by the rule.

Opponents to birth control have made speeches decrying the rule, hosted conferences and brought lawsuit, after lawsuit, after lawsuit... Since the lawsuits have proved to be a publicity-gaining tool, we can anticipate many more. The arguments remain the same, though the plaintiffs change slightly. The latest of the 40+ cases against the contraceptive coverage rule reads like a Saturday Night Live sketch. Among the owners of profit-seeking companies that claim religious protections to deny comprehensive insurance to employees, one dairy man has managed to stand out as unique.

Tom Janas is a business owner without employees. While none of his three companies employs anyone, he’s thinking of buying a company and wants the court to ensure his potential employees will not be able to access full reproductive healthcare through their health insurance program. As Janas awaits the decision to his strange request, he will have time to review and adjust the details of a potential contraceptive-free health plan to his preferences. His potential employees – dairy company workers – would not be so lucky. They would be surprised to learn they have no access to contraceptive coverage at all, much less without a co-pay, which could lead to a significant increase in their family’s budget. Blue collar workers at manufacturing plants, bookstores, and countless other businesses will be in the same predicament if the lawsuits prevail.

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health care system messes

I personally don't like the health care system- in the US, lot's of people like myself don't get the care that is well deserved. I think there needs to be a brainstorming session to clear out these issues. Some universities are studying their local towns to see what really is behind the mess. For instance, those who are getting proper services have the right to complain.

MY body, not YOURS

It always amazes me, people who deny accesss to, or do not believe/don't condone womens' rights to health care. I am done having kids, and my husband got a vasectomy, so we do not need to use it anymore, but when I did, it protected me from getting pregnant(certain % that is), helped regulate my period, and made my period less painful.And then you have those activists, that yell, curse, and try and burn the Planned Parenthood's down, even though they are there to help with birth control, exams, & counseling; hell, I know of men who go there for medical assistance- BTW, it's a sad thing when other people, men or women, religious or not, try and control OUR bodies-I'm pretty sure they would not like it if I had control over theirs-

Bull Honkey

While being able to control if and when you conceive is majorly important there's another side to the story here. I have polycystic ovary syndrome and while there are other means of treating it birth control is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to do so. Those little pills keep me from getting endometrial cancer as well as fighting off quite a few other problems. People don't seem to realize that birth control isn't just an effective birth control treatment but helpful for many other things. But hey, what do they care if I can't afford that let alone the other treatment options? I could just get cancer instead.

This is why.

It's not really free. We are paying for it by pay our insurance. It is just like when you don't have to pay at the doctors office or other meds that meet the criteria or on the insurances meds list. It paid with the money you have already paid into your insurance company.

I just don't understand why

I just don't understand why the rest of us have to pay for 'free' birth control for women. If it's free from the insurance company then someone is paying for it. I am for a woman's right to access but not her right to demand it for free.

Men's health costs too

By that logic why should I pay for people who have testicular cancer or prostate problems? I'll never have those issues and you're getting that care paid by insurance. My taxes help pay for public health programs for patients who are too pour to get their kids insurance. I'm not a parent, so why is it my problem?

Bottom line is if you are paying for your own health insurance you deserve to get any medical treatments you need. And in a civilized society we help each other because it benefits us all.

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