To hear Democrats tell it these days, Republicans hate women because they think forcing employers to provide it violates their religious freedom, and forcing insurance companies to provide that coverage for free violates their economic freedom.
Republicans are, of course, right on both fronts. But for all the griping from the left about “reproductive rights” and “access to contraceptives,” it’s worth noting that the free market has already solved this problem.
Via Noel Sheppard, Walmart has been offering a month’s worth of contraceptive to women for as little as $9 since 2007.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Sept. 27, 2007 – Walmart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) today announced phase two of its $4 prescription program with changes that will help even more Americans deal with the high-cost of healthcare. The program – which has already saved Americans more than $610 million in its first year – has been expanded in two key ways:
More medicines covering more categories – Important prescription medicines have been added to the $4 program covering glaucoma, attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), fungal infections and acne. Fertility and prescription birth control will also be included at $9, compared to national average prices ranging from $24 to $30 per month and saving women an estimated $15 to $21 per month – $180 to $250 annually.
Other retailers, Target most notably, have matched Walmart’s prices. And since this announcement, some types of birth control is being sold by Walmart and other retailers for as low as $4/month.
Contraception, in other words, is eminently affordable. There is hardly a pressing need for mandating that it be provided by employers or insurance companies.