Cost of Birth Control Skyrockets for Colleges, Many Clinics
A change in the Medicaid rules under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 has increased the price of birth control pills and other prescription drugs at college health centers and many clinics serving low-income women nationwide. The change, which went into effect January 1, 2007, has only been felt by students and low-income women recently because many clinics and campus health centers were able to stockpile a few months' supply of birth control pills at the previously discounted rate. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Pharmaceuticals had been able to offer a steep discount on prescription drugs, including birth control pills, to some health care providers such as college health centers and clinics serving low-income women for the past 20 years under the previous Medicaid rules. This allowed college health centers and many independent clinics serving low-income women to provide birth control at a substantial discount.
However, under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, having discounts increases the money companies must pay to participate in Medicaid. As a result, pharmaceuticals are no longer offering discounts to campus health centers and many clinics serving low-income women, and prices for birth control pills are soaring. Some 39 percent of women in college use birth control pills, according to the American College Health Association (ACHA), not only for contraception but also for health conditions such as endometriosis.
ACHA has sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services urging that the rule change be amended to allow college health centers to once again receive birth control at a nominal price. "Many students simply cannot afford increases in the costs of their contraceptive drugs in the face of sharp increases in the cost of their education," ACHA's letter said.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .