Health care savings–at what cost?
on Jun 24, 2011
STDs/STIs Sexual Health |
A recent piece in the Huffington Post profiled a young man named Greg Hartman. While Hartman was working his way through college in Manitowoc, WI, he learned that a close friend had been infected with hepatitis C. Hartman thought about getting tested as himself, but with his restaurant job only pulling in about $150 a week, he couldn’t afford the $300 for testing. Instead, he went to the University of Wisconsin’s campus health center and applied for BadgerCare, Wisconsin’s Medicaid-funded family planning program, which reimburses low-income individuals for preventative reproductive health needs, such as STI testing and birth control. Hartman was then able to get tested for both hepatitis C and HIV, and tested positive for the former. Without affordable medical coverage like BadgerCare, Hartman notes, he wouldn’t have bothered to get tested.
But proposed changed to BadgerCare could take this resource away from men like Hartman, and possible put Wisconsin’s federal funding for family planning at risk.Suggested “cost-cutting” changes include dropping men from the program entirely and requiring parental consent for minors who wish to be on birth control. Rather than cutting costs, though, eliminating preventive services for men and providing new barriers for young women can only cost the state. The anticipated rise in STIs, unintended pregnancies, and cases of undetected and untreated cervical and breast cancer could end up costing the state far more than it would save in BadgerCare cuts.
There are other potential financial (and public health) consequences as well. Experts have warned that if this new proposed budget passes, the state of Wisconsin could lose federal family planning funds, as requesting a waiver to remove men from a Medicaid program would prompt a federal review.
It is illogical to think that cutting men from the program or requiring parental consent for birth control will decrease the rate of unplanned pregnancies and the spread of STIs. According to Teri Hyuck, President of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, BadgerCare saves Wisconsin at least $140 million each year. In a statement about the proposed changes, Huyck says, “It is greatly disturbing to me that some politicians’ personal beliefs are trumping our shared responsibility to make sure women and men have access to preventive reproductive health care, which is not only essential for their own lives, but also a cost-saver for all Wisconsin taxpayers.” Certainly the financial and public health costs of these budget cuts will far surpass any “savings” they hope to achieve.
Created: Jul 10, 2012
I sincerely appreciate this article. Not alot of people have the guts to talk logically about the herpes virus. I will come out and say it, I do have herpes, i contracted it about 2 years ago. Finding out was, as you said, far worse than acctualy having the virus. Its like having your heart ripped out of you, your mind slapped out the back of your head, both being put in a blender and being slushed. Its one of the most devastating things ive ever been through in my life, and i wish it upon no one. I vowed to God that I would speak out about this terrible virus and its taken me two years to get to this starting point. That will give you some kind of idea of the emotional explosion finding out you have this has on you. To be honest though, its not as bad as everyone thinks, once you have it, if your healthy, outbreaks happen hardly ever, i think ive had 3 in 2 years and they go away very quickly. The point im making is that the media/people are to blame for the stigma of herpes, All the hype about being dirty slut if you have it, all the jokes made about it, everything. Once you find out you have it it is definatly a disaster and wouldnt be near as bad if the hype wasnt so huge. I have to thank you Leah for your article again, it gave me some extra confidence to come out so to speak and get some of this off my chest. And I also agree that we need to over come the stereotype and take a stand against herpes jokes. People in general are superficial and judgemental these days, we need to fight against that and do our part by not being judgemental, have some empathy twoards our fellow men and women, and acctualy learn from others mistakes. Learn from mine, like Leah said, its like russian roullette these days, abstain as much as possible without blowing a gasket, or wear/use a damn condom. Even then it doesnt gauruntee anything, so my advice make sure to get to know someone before your pursue sexual relations with them. Not sure what else to say as there is no gauruntee. My best advice. So if your reading this , and you have herpes, remember its not the end of the world, life does go on but at the same time i feel your pain as i went through the emotional shock you did. If you dont have herpes, use this article as a guide to see past the BS about herpies and realize that you could be next unless your more careful, and to not judge as though you are God himself. We have no place to judge, we can only have empathy for one another and try and help eachother through the problems of this world. Thank you for your time.
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