Skip to comments.Students pinched by birth control pill costs
Posted on 01/30/2008 10:52:20 AM PST by traumer
Federal legislation has forced Cal Polys clinic to triple its prices; two senators hope to help
Cal Polys Health and Counseling Services has seen the cost of contraceptives triple in recent months, according to center Director Martin Bragg.
The higher cost, he said, is the result of 2005 federal legislation that barred university health clinics from access to lower-priced drugs.
And while the local Planned Parenthood organization has kept rates the same for its clients paying for birth control, the organization must raise money to cover rising costs to buy the drugs from suppliers, according to its spokeswoman.
Bragg said thousands of Cal Poly students seek birth control from the universitys health services center. He said he didnt have specific numbers, but he estimates a months supply of birth control pills now costs Cal Poly students about $25.
That amount isnt as much as the monthly supply of $40 to $50 for pills in other parts of the country, but its more than the $5 to $10 per month that once was standard.
Students are feeling the increased costs, he said.
Officials at Planned Parenthood say the higher prices are putting birth control out of reach for many financially strapped students, and they want Congress to make the issue a priority.
The soaring prices are the result of a quirk in a new federal law that was aimed at saving taxpayers money.
Since 1990, Congress had allowed pharmaceutical companies to of fer discounted drugs to college students and low-income people. But when Congress passed its deficit reduction bill in 2005, it included a provision that disallowed university health clinics from getting access to the lower-priced drugs.
In the past from a marketing standpoint, birth control providers found it advantageous to offer low rates for college-age women to start on their product so that when they left college they would stay with that brand, Bragg said.
In Washington, Planned Parenthood has found a sympathetic ear in Democratic Sens. Barack Obama of Illinois and and Claire McCaskill of Missouri. Theyve teamed up on a bill that would reverse the 2005 provision, hoping to bring back discounted prices to college campuses.
A similar bill is pending in the House of Representatives.
Bragg said Cal Poly officials wont have specific data about how much the higher prices have affected students use of birth control pills until this summer.
By then, he said the university hopes to participate in a state-funded program called Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment that provides family services, including birth control, for free to low-income students.
Patients at Planned Parenthood who dont qualify for Family PACT or other government services pay between $15.40 and $25 per month for birth control pills, said Christine Lyon, who spoke on behalf of San Luis Obispo Countys organization. Those costs havent gone up since the new law but the organization must pay for rising costs of pills through fundraising, Lyon said.
One of the barriers to contraception is cost, Lyon said. Were working hard to pressure Congress to keep costs affordable.
Bragg said he favors congressional intervention in reducing the cost of contraceptives to college students.
When you look at the data of the termination of pregnancies, this is money well spent, he said. The cost of terminating pregnancies or the cost of an unwanted child to society is much higher.
keeping legs crossed = FREE
Boo hoo! Try cutting back on the alcohol consumption and God forbid, try a little self control.
No $$ left for books... !
The most tragic thing about abortion is that it cost money?
The cost of an anchor babies to society is much higher
Perhaps they should spend the money on books...and hold them between their knees.
What about married students? Are they supposed to keep their legs crossed, too?
I can’t stop weeping for them.
Since you and I well know this is not about married couples (who are a vanishingly small percentage of the overall group) can we at least agree to keep the straw men stashed in the closet?
No, but why should I pay for it?
Maybe they could quit drinking or using drugs to save money for birth control pills.
If they didn’t want kids, they can always splurge for a 50 cent condom.
A simple and profound truth!
I sometimes suspect these people have no souls. The most charitable explanation I can offer is that they have deluded themselves into believing that a human embryo is only a living being if it is wanted. The idea that one can change the nature of reality solely by willpower is an ancient, and in this case, tragic form of hubris.
I brought that up because my very limited experience with the CSU health centers was as a young married woman, and I used the clinics to get birth control pills, among other things. And it wasn’t “free.” Part of the mandatory fees we paid to be students were fees for the health center, with included prescription drugs. So the students are already paying for these services, whether they use them or not.
They got married, decided they didn't want to have kids, and now can't pony up the extra $15/month for birth control?
Government MUST intervene somehow!
(No mystery how it's McCain vs. Romney for the REPUBLICAN nomination.)
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