Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Contraception and Health Care Costs

There is a report that concludes that making contraception more available reduces overall health care costs to society, and thus satisfies the tenets of "fiscal conservatism". According to the article at The Atlantic:
Every dollar that our society spends on preventing unintended pregnancies produces us "savings of between two and six dollars," according to a new report from the Brookings Institution. The savings come from averting health care, child care, and other costs associated with unplanned pregnancies. That's a rate of return of 100% to 500%, making it one of the safest and most profitable investments anywhere. 
"Unintended pregnancies are disproportionately concentrated among women who are unmarried, teenaged, and poor," the report finds. Those are all groups of people who could probably use help affording contraception. If you happen to dislike the idea of your money going to help poor, unmarried, or teenage women, consider the fact that you will not just get your money back, you'll at least double it and at most quintuple. You'll enjoy this profit in the form of lower health care costs and lower taxes.
The article goes on to note:
When Texas cut $73 million from state family planning services, the increase in unplanned pregnancies ended up costing $230 million in additional Medicaid burdens, according to the nonpartisan state Legislative Budget Board.  
So, contraceptive use helps women keep control of their reproductive decisions, reduces the number of abortions, increases health overall in society, and saves money. This makes sense to me!

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