Friday, August 31, 2007

Chipped away...

"A seemingly innocuous deficit reduction law has caused the price of birth control to skyrocket, and students are the ones paying the price. "

This is a quote from a Dartmouth college student who received a rude awakening in the process of refilling her birth-control prescription. Evidently, a little-known piece of the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act has resulted in the loss of federally subsidized birth control for students. Basically the breakdown goes something like this:

Before the Deficit Reduction Act went into effect, drug companies sold certain prescription drugs at large discounts to colleges and other health care providers for a multitude of reasons. The drug companies didn’t have to calculate the discounts into the rebates they paid to states to participate in Medicaid. But now the drug companies have to pay more to the states to participate in Medicaid if they continue to sell drugs to colleges at a discount, thus reducing their incentive to sell discounted drugs (including birth control) to colleges—which means that, in the end, students are the ones who make up the difference.
According to the Associated Press, this almost immediately impacted the cost of birth control and raised health concerns for college students.
Anyone who has ever attended college knows that it is not an easy task, nor a cheap one (for the vast majority of us anyway). Contending with increased costs associated with making intelligent decisions regarding reproduction while in school shouldn't be an added burden for students already strapped for every nickel they can find.

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