Health Care Reform

April 28, 2012 § 1 Comment

This article is timely for the recent House of Representatives Bill that has just passed the House.  It calls for the extension of low federal student loan interest rates to stay the same.  This sounds great, right?  We are students, so this helps us, or at least anyone who has federal student loans.  However, the funds the House wants to cut in order to fund the extension comes from a fund that helps with preventative care for women.  It helps fund breast and cervical cancer screenings, HIV screenings, and children’s immunizations.  And the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, Republican from Ohio, says that these are “slush funds”.  This shows how little women’s health is valued in the political arena.  If the funds were for testicular or colon cancer, which affects men mostly, would we even be considering these budget cuts for preventative care?

I had an interesting argument with a male friend the other day after we talked about the exorbitant costs for women’s healthcare.  He said something to the effect of, well women have children and that costs a lot of money, so why shouldn’t they pay more?  My argument was that the most common way a child is conceived is by the intercourse of a man and a woman, so why shouldn’t the cost be shared between both people?  I told him that if he had a mother, a sister, or a wife/partner, wouldn’t he want them to have access to birth control, cancer screenings, and pre and post natal healthcare?  He said he had never thought of it that way because everyone in his family always had healthcare, but yes, or course that’s what he would want for women.  I think in order to have the things DeLorey points out in her essay as essential to women’s health, we have to get people to think about issues that are outside of their realities or comfort zones.  Had I never had that conversation, he may have gone on thinking that it wasn’t a matter of concern for him, because all the women in his family are covered.  But women’s health is important to everyone, it just takes some people more convincing than others to understand this point of view.

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