A new bill introduced in the U.S. Congress this week would reduce the cost of birth control for college students and low-income women nationwide. Because of an error in a previous bill approved by Congress, the prices for birth control this fall quadrupled for female college students who purchase it from college clinics.
For decades drug companies made it possible for college health clinics to purchase birth control at low prices in order to pass along the savings to college students and low-income women who rely on them.
In 2005, however, Congress inadvertently passed a provision under the Deficit Reduction Act, preventing all college clinics, hundreds of safety-net health care providers, Medicaid beneficiaries and Planned Parenthood offices from purchasing birth control from drug companies at a discounted rate.
“8 per day…
4 for you.
4 for your partner.
40 each week.
Not enough? Maybe you should go to the library or I don’t know maybe you could study or even take a nap…”
This was part of my Wellness Center spiel during each first year student orientation at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Wellness Center provided free condoms for UIC students. I think we gave out more than 20,000 in 2003. Trojans, LifeStyles, and Durex were our usual fare. Handing out condoms was just a tiny part of the sexual wellness education that came out of the Wellness Center. However, our free condom program was probably the most publicized piece of our sexual wellness educational efforts.