From now on, "preventive care" doesn't just mean yearly check-ups and cholesterol tests-- it now includes birth control, the Department of Health and Human Services announced today.
Under Obamacare, all insurance plans must provide "first dollar coverage"-- that is coverage without copays or additional fees-- for preventive care services, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently advised the government to include birth control as one of these services. As I reported for The Spectator last week, this recommendation includes not only traditional hormonal birth control pills, but also the "Plan B pill" and the abortion-inducing pill ella.
Moreover, claims that ubiquitous birth control will lower abortion rates and discourage unwed pregnancies are dubious at best, given that the vast majority of women who have abortions after failing to use contraception do not cite lack of access to contraception as their reason for non-use. The same goes for unwed mothers.
Despite this, though, the government has decided to take the IOM's advice, establishing earlier today that, as of next August, all health insurance plans will be required to cover "well-woman" doctor visits, gestational diabetes screening, sexually transmitted disease screening, breast-feeding equipment, various forms of counseling, and, of course, birth control.
The only ones with a partial exemption from the new policy are religious organizations that provide insurance to their employees. Such organizations will be allowed to choose whether to cover birth control.
Everyone who does not work for one of these organizations, however, will be required by law to purchase health insurance that covers birth control. And all taxpayers, regardless of religious creed, will cut a check to fund this coverage every April 15th.