rain
Tuesday May 26th, 2015 9:57PM

NY's Medicaid covering post-birth contraceptives

By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) -- Emboldened and incensed by the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision limiting certain contraceptive coverage in the private sector, New York health officials moved forward Thursday with a plan to provide contraceptive devices to low-income women who don't want to get pregnant soon after giving birth.<br /> <br /> The state, which this spring became one of a few covering intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants through its Medicaid program, went public encouraging health providers to ensure women get the $350 to $700 devices immediately after delivery. And they're calling on private insurers to follow their lead.<br /> <br /> "Birth control plays a vital role in helping women plan the best time to have a baby," acting state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said at a news conference at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan. "When a woman is able to plan her subsequent pregnancies, she is better able to safeguard her health and well-being, as well as that of any future children."<br /> <br /> Officials said giving women access to the devices immediately after birth, instead of at a post-delivery appointment - usually about six weeks later - would guard against a recurrence of pregnancy in the interim or a growing reluctance to having a device inserted.<br /> <br /> "A lot of women would jump at the opportunity if it was presented right away, because you're going through so much with giving birth and the delivery process," said Shanique Santana, the mother of a 17-month-old boy. "To go back a few weeks later and have something inserted, you're like, `again?'"<br /> <br /> In New York City, where about 195,000 babies are born each year, Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said 3 out of every 5 pregnancies are unplanned. She said the devices covered under the state's Medicaid program are 99 percent effective, last 3 to 10 years, can be removed anytime and do not affect the ability to get pregnant in the future.<br /> <br /> Federal funding covers 80 to 90 percent of the cost of the devices for Medicaid recipients in New York, Zucker said. The state covers the rest, he said.<br /> <br /> Dr. Laura MacIssac, of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said contraceptive devices today don't carry the risk of major side effects associated with early, largely unregulated models. She said women tend to use IUDs longer than other birth control methods because, with no pills to take and prescriptions to fill, they are the least disruptive to their lifestyles.<br /> <br /> The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights opposes the Medicaid contraceptive coverage, saying in an email Thursday that "anti-child crusaders" in the city and state health departments had declared "war on kids."<br /> <br /> "The idea that the government is now in the business of arm-twisting women not to have more children, `immediately after childbirth' is morally obnoxious and socially disturbing," Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a statement. "Given our dangerously low fertility rate, we need a pro-breeders campaign, not one that puts a cap on kids."<br /> <br /> The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, which operates the city's public hospitals and clinics, started providing free contraceptive devices for uninsured women in 2010, soon after they were deemed safe and effective.<br /> <br /> The organization's president, Dr. Ram Raju, lauded New York for expanding access to care and patients' choices in the face of religious and political debate, highlighted most recently by the Supreme Court decision exempting Hobby Lobby and other privately held companies from providing certain contraceptives based on the owners' beliefs.<br /> <br /> "We believe in letting people live their lives the way they want to live their lives," Raju said. "As we're moving forward, some parts of the country are moving backward."
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 4 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 4 months ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 4 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 4 months ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 4 months ago )
Conviction of Putin foe sets off protest in Moscow
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
6:03PM ( 4 months ago )
More Georgians signing up for health insurance
A federal report says more Georgians have selected health insurance plans through a federally facilitated marketplace.
4:16PM ( 4 months ago )
Politics
US rejects nuclear disarmament document over Israel concerns
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States on Friday blocked a global document aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons, saying Egypt and other states tried to "cynically manipulate" the process by...
9:33PM ( 4 days ago )
Obama again avoids calling 1915 Armenian killings 'genocide'
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, prompting anger and disappointment from those who have been pushing him to ful...
1:00PM ( 1 month ago )
Ex-NFL star Hernandez convicted of murder, sentenced to life
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the d...
8:54PM ( 1 month ago )
Clinton kicks off 2016 campaign online, heads next to Iowa
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton jumped back into presidential politics on Sunday, making a much-awaited announcement she will again seek the White House with a promise to serve as the "champi...
7:56PM ( 1 month ago )
Hall, White, Jefferson schools recognized nationally for use of technology
Three school districts in northeast Georgia - Hall, White, and Jefferson - have received national recognition for their use use of innovative technologies. They earned top spots in the Center for Digital Education's and the National School Boards Association's 10th annual Digital School Districts Survey.
By Staff
1:00PM ( 1 month ago )