Contraception has been a subject of debate lately, starting with a human and health services mandate. The big controversial question is whether the United States should have a law making contraceptives free. Should we shift the cost of contraceptives or birth control to the taxpayers so that the actual users are no longer the ones directly paying the price?” The answer is no. The cost-shifting of contraceptives to make them free is a bad idea. It is expensive and unfair. Birth control should not be free.
It does not make economic sense to make birth control or contraceptives to be free. Using insurance, the presently most preferred approach to make birth control free is not a good idea as it will raise the cost for whoever ends up catering for the price. Insurance should not cover regular expenses. Imagine car insurance covering the cost of gasoline or health insurance covering something like toothpaste or contraceptives. If such happens, such markets could be rendered less competitive, and the costs of such regular products would skyrocket. The minute contraceptives are free under insurance cover, the motivation or inceptive for drug manufacturing companies to develop more affordable versions of the drugs varnishes.
Besides, the incentive to create more convenient, safer, and nonprescriptive or male-centered birth control is also thwarted. The pro-free contraceptives argue that covering birth control for the poor population eliminates higher costs linked to unwanted pregnancy. But they fail to understand that expanding the coverage to finance birth control pills that individuals would have acquired raises the payer’s net costs. It will also permit consumers to go for more expensive forms of contraceptives or birth control without considering added cost, even as drug companies are incentivized to increase prices on even the cheapest options of the drugs they offer (Mirkinson, 2012). The pharmaceutical companies would also manufacture expensive contraceptives to exploit the lack of prince-sensitivity. Covering birth control can be cost-neutral but more expensive than when individuals cater for the costs.
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Sharing birth control cost is also unfair. Even though this might sound subjective, some questions can help establish whether sharing such expenses is fair. One fundamental question is—can most people afford birth control individually? If the answer is no, then sharing the cost is fair, but if yes, then it is unfair. But the answer to the question is yes. To start with, condoms, which is the safest birth control, is even free in some institutions or areas, some provided by the government or private charity organizations, according to the article by Charles Cooke, “My Contraceptive Haul.” In his research, Cooke found at least 309 places within 5 miles where he could get free or cheap condoms. He also noted that the Children’s Aid Society offered even some expensive forms of birth control for free for people below the federal poverty line (Cooke, 2012). As such, proposals to make contraception free for everyone mean the taxpayers would be paying birth control to everyone, including those who can afford it, which is unfair. Besides, if you are paying for contraceptives out of pocket, drug companies offer cheaper ones that almost everyone can afford.
Finally, forcing contraceptives to be free also forces individuals with moral objections to cater for the cost against their will and argument for the same. There has been a lot of debate on this, including the controversial debate between Rush Limbaugh in 2012, “…she is having so much sex she cannot afford her birth control pills” and Flukes “contraceptives cost women more than $3,000 during law school.” Rush argued that paying for someone’s sex, as suggested by Fluke, is unreasonable (Mirkinson, 2012). As such, forcing free birth control is against people like Rush Limbaugh and the rest who feel it is unfair to finance another person’s sex adventure.
So birth control pills should not be free as making them free raises actual costs and is unfair to force even those with a moral objection to paying.
Cooke, C. (2012). My Contraceptive Haul. National Review. https://www.nationalreview.com/2012/02/my-contraceptive-haul-charles-c-w-cooke/
Mirkinson, J. (2012). Rush Limbaugh: Sandra Fluke, the woman, denied right to speak at contraception hearing, a ‘slut.’ Huffington Post. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/rush-limbaugh-sandra-fluke-slut_n_1311640