A female reader writes:
I saw this thread and how timely it is! Last night I went to the lady doctor (that’s my euphemism for gynecologist) for the first time in over a year, just for my annual check up.
Cost of annual check up: $0
Cost of three-month supply of birth control: $0
The feeling of getting free birth control for the first time in my life (that wasn’t a bunch of condoms): PRICELESS.
I’m still on cloud nine from it 24 hours later. It’s the little things, ya know? Those three packs, in the past, have cost me anywhere from $60 to $100. On average, $20/pack/month, for a yearly savings of at least $240! You don’t have to be ill to benefit form the ACA, healthy people are helped too. Obamacare FTW!
Obamacare changed absolutely nothing about my (employer-based) insurance coverage except for one thing: free birth control. The previous copay was in no way burdensome, but it regularly makes me appreciate the impact on the high school students I teach and how much I appreciate the law making it easier for them to graduate sans-baby. However, the numerical impact of the law doesn’t take into account the relief I get from knowing that I don’t have to worry about how getting tests done to see if a lump is benign or cancerous (benign, thankfully) will look to an insurance company if I ever do strike out on my own. Or my relief that a close friend with multiple pre-existing conditions doesn’t have to worry about coverage. Changes in healthcare affect far more than the people who show up in the statistics.
The reader who told of his PTSD and need for mental health coverage, which he is finally able to receive thanks to Obamacare, reminded me of my biggest complaint about the program.
It ought to have included dental care instead of elective contraception coverage. Some years ago, I experienced significant dental issues but possessed only medical insurance. Had I allowed my condition to deteriorate such that I could no longer eat, perhaps then medical coverage would kick-in, at great expense and after great suffering.
It baffles me still that medical, dental, and mental health are handled as separate segments in the overall health care system. Need I point out the obvious that each individual is a whole person with a single body?
Access to medical, dental, and mental health care are true human needs. Obamacare should have focused on meeting all those needs, including the mental and dental coverage that too many employers had failed to make available, instead of opting to cover the pill. Except for it palliative uses, the pill is not a form of health care.
(Photo by Yoon S. Byun/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)