McCAIN FUNDS VIAGRA BUT NOT BIRTH CONTROL

Aug 5, 2008 at 2:49 pm Leave a comment

McCain has repeatedly voted against covering birth control like other prescription medicines. This essentially means McCain would rather have Viagra and other erection, baby-making pills be more affordable than birth control.

The Nation Blogger Katha Pollitt reports that in early June, McCain yet again voted against a bill that would have required health insurance companies to cover birth control if they covered any type of prescription medications at all, such as Viagra. When asked about it, McCain said that he didn’t know enough about the issue and that he couldn’t even remember casting the vote because he’s cast hundreds of votes in his lifetime (You can watch his response on YouTube).

His answer is ridiculous for numerous reasons. First, casting hundreds of votes doesn’t excuse any Congress member from being ill-informed about an issue that he or she will vote on and therefore impact, in this case thousands, of Americans. Second, birth control isn’t just about sex and pregnancy but also about serious health issues that can involve serious health risks to women.  And finally, McCain has voted against allowing coverage of birth control every time, which is decades now.

The availability and affordability of birth control is also about women’s rights and when medicines like Viagra are covered it also becomes an issue of equal rights.  Additionally, birth control can help tackle problems like unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and population control in areas where families can not afford children. Half a million women die during childbirth every year, according to the United Nations.

Of course, that has less to do with McCain’s vote for the US health care system, but the domestic issue is just as important. Perhaps Pollitt puts it best when she wrote in her blog,  “This is not a trivial issue. There’s the basic unfairness of not covering these essential, even life-saving drugs and devices, so fundamental to women’s health and well-being, and the added insult of denying coverage while men are lavished with cut-rate erections.”

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