Contraceptive Equity Act Promises 'Free' Vasectomies and Emergency Contraception In Maryland

The new state law expands on Obamacare's controversial contraception mandate.


Sarah Mirk/Flickr

A proposal in Maryland would expand on the Affordable Care Act's controversial contraception mandate by requiring Maryland health insurance plans to offer not just regular birth control but also emergency contraception and male sterilization at no up-front cost to those covered. The legislation, called the Contraceptive Equity Act, passed both the state Senate and General Assembly earlier this spring and is expected to be signed into law by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan Tuesday. 

"This legislation provides for the most comprehensive coverage of contraception in the country," according to a statement from Planned Parenthood of Maryland.

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans must cover at least one kind of contraception in each of 18 categories. The Maryland measure says all contraceptive options approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—including emergency contraception acquired without a prescription and vasectomies—must be available without a co-payment to those covered by Maryland health insurance plans.

The law will take effect January 1, 2018, and apply to all health-insurance companies regulated by the state of Maryland, including CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, which represents 2.1 million customers, and Evergreen Health. In addtion to mandating coverage of all contraceptive options, it will allow women to obtain up to six months worth of birth control at one time and require insurers to cover long-acting contraceptives such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and the Depo-Provera shot without a preauthorization process. 

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  1. Is sex an equity act yet?

    1. +1 actors’ union

  2. I can think of a lot of dudes for whom i’d be willing to subsidize sterilization, whether they want it or not.

      1. Not you, though. Do you have any idea how much it would cost me to design, let alone build, a laser capable of slicing through the vasa deferentia of the Doomcock?

        1. Just go to subbasement fifteen. Look for the door labelled “superweapons”. We already have the components for an anti-moon laser, you should be able to repurpose them.

          1. Sure, that would vasectomize Warty, but what you gonna use as a backstop? If you think messican immigration is bad, just wait till you drill a hole to New Zealand or something and we get flooded with kiwis.

            1. Not my department.

              Try “Contingencies”, they might have a plan for that.

            2. and we get flooded with kiwis.

              Yes, please!

              1. Too male, too much ink, probably has a funny accent, no thank you.

                1. I don’t mind, and I suspect Tonio might not, either. VETO!

                2. Plus he looks like some kind of mud person half-breed. No thanks. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

                  1. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

                    By importing Kiwis!

                    1. (although I am having a really hard time finding Kiwi men on Google who are not manscaped to within an inch of their lives)

                    2. You’re failing Marketing 101 “Know your audience”.

                    3. Marketing, schmarketing. We’ve already determined that the super laser will flood the U.S. with Kiwis. You all might as well prepare yourselves.

                    4. You might be disappointed to find out there are only four million of them. If all of New Zealand came to the US, we wouldn’t notice.

                    5. Kristen would.

          2. I looked there already, but McAfee got to ’em first. On the Rental Purpose line in the checkout log he just wrote “FUCK BELIZE.” What do you think that’s about?

            1. *sigh*

              Someone failed to file the proper notices of use then. Also, you may want to avoid certain english speaking areas along the carribean coast.

              1. Damn, and just when my jaguar veal operation outside Belmopan was starting to turn a profit.

    1. It’s cheaper to convince them that the PUA stuff works. That’s effectively consigning them to non-reproductive status.

      1. I don’t think anyone is worried about Longtorso genes getting passed on.

        1. Didn’t he already clone himself? Or is ‘Suki’ just the name he gave to the crusty sock he keeps under his mattress?

          1. Suki was the sock, whose crustiness will be the entirety of Johnny’s genetic legacy, praise Jebus.

          2. At first I was like, did Longtorso create a Crusty Juggler sockpuppet? Then I realized you were being literal. Ewww, Hugh.

            1. Johnny masturbates every night into a sock that is taped to the front of his anime body pillow, it is known.

  3. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans must cover at least one kind of contraception in each of 18 categories.

    *Eighteen* categories? I had no idea. Is “morning-after vasectomy” one of them?

    1. Too late to be of use Rich.

      1. “If it prevents just one life ….”

  4. I don’t think an IUD is the best article image for the headline.

      1. -1 B==o

        1. I guess it should be more like B=\ \=o.

      2. The unkindest cut of all.

        1. The first cut is the deepest

  5. Hoogaaaaaaan!

    Also, rule one of politicking: make sure laws you pass take effect far enough in the future that the public will have forgotten about them when they finally kick in.

  6. One step closer to Suicide Parlors!

    1. I was thinking “one step closer to ‘free’ abortions”.

      1. Well, abortions are the most effective kind of birth control. Or maybe second after hysterectomy.

      2. Ahh, but you see there’s no such thing as a “free abortion”….

        ….. because every pregnancy not aborted by Taxpayer funds? would necessarily be seen to term*, and consequently become a lifelong ward of the permanent and immutable welfare state.

        Ergo, by this magic-trick of assumption-injected faux-logic, abortions are a money-saving measure! and therefore must be supported by anyone who desires ‘small(er) government’.

        1. Abortions are a money saving measure. Which is why people should be happy to pay for their own damn abortions.

          1. Abortions are a money saving measure. Which is why people should be happy to pay for their own damn abortions.

            Yes, *one’s own* money. The best kind of money. Which is basically why i suggested the assumption that people would necessarily choose to carry babies to term sans subsidy is idiotic.

            I think the argument that has been made here in the past is that “Govt-subsidized nuking of ‘other people’s babies’ saves taxpayer money, and should therefore be supported”

            I personally think its one of the absolute worst arguments ever been made in this mag. Few things strike me as more horrifically un-libertarian than Govt-directed ‘population control’

            1. Yes, government has no business encouraging any kind of reproductive choices, one way or the other.

      3. Personally, I can’t wait to blame obstructionist republicans once a wave of unintended pregnancies from government cheese-quality vasectomies hits our shores.

      4. “I was thinking “one step closer to ‘free’ abortions”.”


      5. Free abortions for some, tiny American flags for others!

        1. I feel like that is really unequal, financially speaking. Shouldn’t it be more like “Coat hangers for some, tiny American flags for others!”

          1. Did you miss the part where the abortions are FREE?!?

            1. Yes, but considering that an abortion costs a heck of a lot more than a tiny American flag, the recipients of the flags are getting shafted.

              1. No, no, no. The abortions are free. I mentioned this.

      1. I was trying to be a tad more-literary than Futurama

        1. Sorry for being so unserfistermercated.

        2. a tad more-literary than Futurama

          Well, I never!

          1. [monocle falls into cocktail glass]

            1. [shakes head in disapproval, while closing leather-bound copy of Human Action, with the bookmark conspicuously placed towards the end of the book]

            2. What a clever impersonation of a stupid, poor person.

    2. The nothinghead movement is growing by leaps and bounds.

  7. I think we should subsidize putting cellphones in pockets.

    1. Do obamaphone recipients have pockets?

      1. Well, they don’t have belt clips.

  8. Given the cost to insurance of birth, you think that they’d already offer all this stuff. Oh well… better use force to get it done. [hitches up statist pants]

    1. I’ve wondered about that. Seems like covering BC would be something insurance companies would want to do to save money.

      1. Maternity coverage was always a rider before the ACA and was priced in just like dental, i.e. you’re going to pay for it, just in installments.

      2. Should be free to offer it or not offer it depending on whether the customer wants the coverage and is willing to pay for it.

        1. Should be free to do whatever they think is best.

    2. Mine does. Enthusiastically.

  9. Are you single tonight? A lot of beautiful girls waiting for you to
    The best adult dating site!

    1. Shouldn’t have gotten that free castration.

      1. -1 Origen of Alexandria

      2. -1 Zheng He

      3. -1 Peter Abelard

        1. -1 Marshall Applewhite

  10. This always seems ridiculous. Birth control is one medical thing that really is optional and close to a luxury good. Of all the things one might want to require insurance to cover for no out of pocket cost, is seems like BC should be pretty low on the list. Is it really more important to have easy, low cost access to BC than to antibiotics or blood pressure medication, for example? I suppose that makes me some kind of misogynist or something.

    1. “Birth control is one medical thing that really is optional and close to a luxury good”

      You’re saying having sex without getting pregnant is a luxury? Why do you want poor people to remain celibate, bigot!?!?*

      *I’ve actually heard this argument from progressives

      “I suppose that makes me some kind of misogynist or something.”

      In this case they’re covering male contraception, too. You’ll still get called a misogynist, it’ll just make even less sense than it has historically.

      1. “You’ll still get called a misogynist, it’ll just make even less sense than it has historically.”

        It doesn’t. It’s perfectly in line with “birth control is not a woman’s job”. Same for paid parental leave for men.

      2. “Having sex without getting pregnant is a luxury?”

        Science does not love fucking

        1. Ha. NERDS

          1. Speaking of which, should insurance cover one’s dorky glasses and MTG habit if it prevents them from getting laid?

      3. Buttsex is free. Or do they have to cover lube if that is your method of avoiding pregnancy?

        1. Sodomy is anti-God, Zeb, and I’m appalled you would even suggest such depravity

        2. Buttsex is definiely not free. Sounds like you’ve never been in a long term relationship.

          1. Well, you’d be wrong about that.

            I didn’t realize I’m only supposed to talk about sex from the male perspective. I was trying to say it was free to couples as a means of avoiding pregnancy. Interpersonal economies are a different issue.

    2. I suppose that makes me some kind of misogynist or something.

      Government is the babies we birth together. And, yes, you are a misogynist. So am I.

      1. And, yes, you are a misogynist. So am I.

        + 1 slut walk

      2. Rhywun is such a misogynist he won’t even have sex with women

        1. Is that a case of nature or nurture?

        2. Thanks for wasting your free “birth control” on me – suckers.

        3. I was going to make a similar comment, but decided against it.

  11. “Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans must cover at least one kind of contraception in each of 18 categories. The Maryland measure says all contraceptive options approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration?including emergency contraception acquired without a prescription and vasectomies?must be available without a co-payment to those covered by Maryland health insurance plans.”

    This is insane. So they aren’t putting any sort of cost control on it? If you want the most unnecessarily expensive contraception available, they have to pay for it?

    What liberals in the US don’t seem to get about socialized medicine in the rest of the world is that *they put price controls in place.* This is because if the government is either forcing people to be covered or is covering them itself, if you let people get whatever treatments they want, the expenses will be massive. In the case of the ACA, they’re going to kill the insurance companies with this shit.

    And why would you make it illegal for them to require co-pays? It’s either going to be paid for through co-pays or premium increases, and it’s unfair to make everyone else pay for someone’s contraception through increased premiums.

    1. And why would you make it illegal for them to require co-pays?

      Because politics. It’s taking a while, but eventually people will figure out that Obamacare is about politics, not health.

      1. “Healthy politics.”

    2. So they aren’t putting any sort of cost control on it?

      The cost controls are there; ‘Approved by the USFDA’ guarantees the price won’t get so low that, when it comes to *your* sterilization, no one anywhere will suffer any risk.

  12. Make birth control OTC. Take out the doctors, the prescriptions, allow importation or re-importation of birth control at will by private actors.

    Watch the prices fall.

    Contraception is cheap. We make it a pain in the ass to get and artificially inflate the prices.

    1. We make it a pain in the ass

      You don’t need contraception for THAT. Just sayin’.

      1. Oh, yeah? Then how did Tulpa’s mom get pregnant?

        1. Because unbeknownst to the forty-six dudes who might be Tulpa’s dad, she had a cloaca. Same opening for everything, homes.

          1. You could have just said “SCIENCE!”

            1. It IS science, in a way.

          2. Mr. Lizard is Tulpa’s dad?

            1. Maybe, but whenever anyone tries to get a DNA sample he scurries under a rock.

              1. Just break off his tail.

  13. Isn’t birth control also pretty much the *opposite* of what insurance is supposed to cover?

    Most insurance covers big ticket items. The idea is that you pay a little in order to insure against big costs that may or may not occur.

    Birth control is the opposite – it’s an ongoing cost that you choose to incur and it isn’t even particularly expensive. Why should insurance be covering something that insurance programs aren’t even designed to cover?

    1. Because some idiots believe if it isn’t covered by insurance, it’s completely unavailable.

      1. +1 War on Women

    2. Stop Making Sense

    3. Because it isn’t “insurance” and never has been.

      1. Because it isn’t “insurance” and never hasn’t been since the HMO Act was passed.


  14. Holy cow man do you know how cool that is? Wow.


    1. Because Roofies aren’t included in the ACA formulary, sadly?

  16. Jesus Christ, I have no idea what that metal thingy is in that picture, but I don’t want it anywhere near my giant johnson.

    Do women put that metal thing inside them somehow?!

    As far as I’m concerned, they’re all porcelain inside. . . . except for the sugar and spice and everything nice.

    1. That is an IUD, Ken. It is God’s gift to those who fuck.

      1. An IUD?

        You mean one of those things the insurgency buries in the road and sets off with a cell phone when a APC rolls by?

        How do you take a girl’s word for something like that? You can’t see it.

        They should have something that makes a dot on their heads when it’s working, like Indian women use to tell you when coffee is ready.

        1. I once went into a girl’s freezer looking for ice cream. What I found instead was a bunch of my old condoms.

          Some girl tells me, “Don’t worry. I have an IUD”, what am I supposed to do? Ask to see it? Even after I’ve seen it, I have no idea how to tell if the damn thing is on. What if it runs out of batteries? Can I connect to it with WiFi?

          P.S. And flush your condoms. Always flush them.

          1. My thoughts and prayers are with you on account of your, uh, interesting taste in women.

        2. Maybe you shouldn’t trust that in a casual dating situation. But they are pretty great when you are in a long term relationship with someone you trust. Newer designs aren’t metal and work more nicely. And they are installed permanently (for several years) and are always on.

  17. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did


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