More Nonsense from the “Reality-Based Community”
Eric Luedtke patted himself on the back for his ingenuity in parroting Planned Parenthood’s specious “gotcha” ad against John McCain.
Of course it’s ridiculous that insurance companies cover viagra but not birth control. But, no, the Senator is stumped.
Of course this is complete nonsense. From factcheck.org:
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Planned Parenthood is running a TV ad showing John McCain painfully groping for an answer to a reporter’s question: “It’s unfair that health insurance companies cover Viagra but not birth control. Do you have an opinion on that?”
McCain had good reason to be flustered. The premise of the reporter’s question is a myth. We couldn’t find any data that show a disparity between health insurance companies that cover Viagra and those that cover birth control. The full range of contraceptives, in fact, are covered by more than 86 percent of private insurance plans written for employers.
The ad implies there is a significant disparity between the number of insurance plans that cover Viagra and those that cover birth control. But that’s not the case. A 2004 report by the nonpartisan Guttmacher Institute found that in 2002, 86 percent of the plans that insurance companies typically wrote for employers covered the full range of approved reversible contraceptive methods (birth control pills, hormone injections, implants, IUDs and diaphragms), and only 2 percent covered no methods at all. The worry that Viagra, but not birth control, is being included in health care plans is out-of-date, according to Adam Sonfield, who coauthored the report. He says that when Viagra initially became available and insurers began to cover it, “there was concern that this was the case and that insurance companies really were covering erectile dysfunction drugs but were not covering contraception.” This concern, he says, helped spur efforts to get contraception coverage mandated in 27 states, and contraceptive coverage rates shot up as a result. Sonfield’s study, which asked insurance companies about employer-sponsored plans, found that coverage of contraceptive methods had tripled from 1993 to 2002.
This is nothing new, Planned Parenthood has a vested interest in perpetuating myths.