It seems to me that this is an ugly debate, as it touches issues that are deeply felt by everyone. When discussing issues like economics and morality, we are inherently on unstable footing, all of us. Despite our personal assurance that many individuals feel, that their faith is the one true faith, that sad truth is that nobody really knows what's on ther "other side", or even if there is an "other side".
Any debate that sets people up for desperate opposition based upon their personal sense of money & morality is a debate that can rupture friendships. So what am I doing, but telling both sides they are wrong. It's an uncomfortable position to be in, were it not for the fact that some close friends who truly understand my reasons and motivations for entering this debate telling me that these things need to be said.
Here's an excerpt from correspondence with a dear friend, who is both a wonderful woman and very much a progressive, posted here with her permission:
I work in a hospital, and provide a service that is self pay- I've noticed a glimmer of burgeoning interest of the concept of preventative health care- which the insurance companies don't like, because they want everyone in America tethered to some form of exspensive ongoing test, treatment, pill...I've had clients on the verge of having back, neck or shoulder surgery who have recovered and been able to manage their pain with lifestyle changes like exercises and diet- many people who have had joint replacement who otherwise would have suffered from diabetes or heart disease because of their limited mobility are living vital active lives. Based on my experience, trying to fund our current health care system is untenable- for instance let's say you have pretty good insurance- go to your GP because you have a stiff neck and shoulder pain and headaches...a few vicoden scripts, some harrowing trips to a orthopedist, maybe a neurologist, and several MRI's and thousands of dollars later you're on a cornucopia of drugs that further inhibit your ability to function, and there is no answer or diagnoses... our best customers in the Physical Therapy clinic are Europeans who swear by "physio therapy" because in Europe they treat the causes of structural imbalance before they turn into chronic issues only marginally treatable by surgery or drugs. It seems like the whole system is geared to allowing the un or underinsured to suffer sub-par care, while turning the insured into immobilised zombies. Part of the reason I love my job so much, is that I get to offer people affordable, sustainable relief that is outside the current paradigm of out neurotic approach to health care. So yeah, that's what everyone should be thinking about, not the paper tiger of the free birth control issue- you are totally right that it all obscures the real challenges of health care reform.That's so very well said I simply had to bring the perspective to this debate.
Also, because I'm less than completely enamored with the way comments are navigated around and shown by blogger, I'm going to include a comment made in regard to my last post on this topic, as well as my response, which I've further embellished . . .
Thanks for the comment DJ! :)I think that the problem is that Viagra has been covered by insurances for awhile and birth control is not always covered. I don't think any of it should be free but if one is going to be covered the other definitely needs to be. Seems just a little sexist. Also the cost of no birth control coverage is awfully high for everyone involved. Respectfully, DJ
The state I live in long ago mandated that birth control be covered, and I've have no quarrel with such a mandate. I should have been more clear about that in my essay. If there is a medical necessity for birth control, then I see no problem with insurance covering it.
Involving insurance in the equation simply adds an extra middle man and more cost for everybody!!!
As for the cost of no birth control coverage being too high, I think that is a false argument. For starters, condoms are cheap and effective, and they also come with the side benefit of preventing the spread of many sexual diseases. Seriously, it's not that hard to "wrap that rascal"!
More focus on condoms (as opposed to hormone based drugs) is cost effective and also is a public health boon - so once again the birth control debate is the wrong discussion at the wrong time . . .
When it comes down to insurance coverage for Viagra, I don't personally agree that it should be covered by insurance, but dragging erectile dysfunctional pills into the debate is false logic. If you have a problem with Viagra being covered by insurance, fight that, don't use it as justification for other drugs to be covered.
Furthermore . . .
"Tit for tat" arguments are false logic, it's apples and oranges in a way, and it forwards the agenda of people who wish to stress the differences between sexes, who have a stake in the so called "battle of the sexes".
I've got news for folks there too, smart people, real progressives, now realize that the gender wars were also a distraction forwarded by individuals with real agendas against the so called opposite sex. Gender isn't a polarity, it's a spectrum. There aren't two genders, as there are varied forms of gender expression, and people can change their so called "gender" today.
If you are a member of Fetlife, for instance, you already know that there are more than two available choices for gender . . .
So, for my way of thinking, any argument that's men vs women is inherently archaic, not to mention elitist. It assumes that there are only two gender roles that are available and/or appropriate. People who are progressive and educated in terms of gender roles know that limiting ourselves to only two choices for sex expression leaves huge numbers out of the conversation.
Rather than focusing on the difference between women and men, I believe we should embrace our own unique sexual individuality, just as some Eastern belief systems stress that dual nature within each of us, the yin and the yang. We are all human, and what we share is the human experience, not the male or female experience . . .