Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Battle Over Trivia

I stopped by a CVS pharmacy and asked what the monthly cost would be for a typical birth control prescription if one did not have insurance, and was told it would cost $18 per month. So that’s what this massive Congressional month-long battle is over, $18 per month.

“But,” my sister argues, “there are people who really cannot afford that.”

Undoubtedly true. And if she cannot afford that then she undoubtedly cannot afford a great many other things, some of which are more important than birth control, and it is that larger issue which we should be addressing. We should be focused on making her life better so that she can afford that $18 per month, along with all of the other things which she presently cannot afford. Instead, the tiny little minds in Congress argue over whether or not we will give her that pathetic miserly $18 per month benefit and leave unaddressed the larger issues which make her life unbearable.

She probably cannot afford that $18 per month because she does not have a job, or is stuck in a job that pays less than a living wage, and we should be focused on getting her a job that allows her to afford it, rather that giving her a measly pittance for birth control and leaving her jobless or stuck in a miserable dead end job.

If she works for a religious institution, we should be asking why that institution is paying such crappy wages and insist that they pay their workers better, instead of merely insisting in effect that they raise their wages by an utterly pathetic $18 per month; and do so, by the way, for women while not doing so for men.

Don’t start arguing about uses of the same medication for medical problems other than birth control, because that is not the discussion here. The discussion is whether or not medical insurance should cover the cost of contraception. Besides which, in such a case any doctor who cannot write a letter and get that medication covered should not be practicing medicine in today’s environment. And don’t start yammering at me about Viagra, because that, too, is not part of this discussion; has nothing to do with it.

We are stepping over dollars here, stepping over hundred dollar bills, to argue over who is going to pick up a damned dime. There is just no way that this is not the wrong thing, the utterly stupid thing to be arguing about.

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