New Debate Over Contraceptives and Women's Health

New Debate Over Contraceptives and Women's Health

Contraceptives and women’s health: Debate over new recommendations that health insurers be required to offer free birth control to women

A new report recommends that health insurance plans cover the cost of birth control. It’s the most controversial of eight recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine. The report will help the Department of Health and Human Services decide what preventive care falls under the nation’s new health care law. The recommendations include screenings for HIV, HPV and diabetes, as well as counseling for domestic violence. But the decision to include the full range of FDA approved contraceptives has sparked the most debate. Diane and her guests discuss the move to compel insurers to cover contraceptives and how it affects women’s health.


Julie Rovner

health policy correspondent for NPR, author of "Health Care Policy and Politics A-Z," and contributing editor for National Journal Daily.

Helen Alvare

law professor at George Mason University

Linda Rosenstock

chair of the Institute of Medicine’s committee for preventive services for women, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles

Judy Waxman

vice president of healthcare and reproductive rights for the National Women's Law Center

Sen. Barbara Mikulski

U.S. senator from Maryland

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