Friday, February 1, 2013
Pap Smears and Politics make awful bed fellows...
I had my first glimpse of where our health care reform is heading this morning as I was sitting having my annual gab-fest with my gynecologist. In the midst of our giddy laughter over husbands and kids she asked me how long it had been since my last irregular pap-smear (c'mon ladies, you know you talk about this with your girlfriends too). I told her that I believed it was when H.W. was in office and I still had cheek bones and shoulder blades (ahhh, the 'good ol' days). She said "Well, today is your lucky day! There are new guidelines and if you have had clear paps within ten years you no longer need an annual exam." I believed I snorted and looked at her like she had three speculums aimed at me and said something to the effect of "Who's bright idea was that? Some pencil pusher in a cubicle with no medical degree and no vagina"? She cracked up, composed herself, and professionally went on to tell me that my insurance would pay for it this year but starting next year they were going to start denying annual exams. She was gracious enough to not laugh when she said, "I will gladly do it if you want". To this I exclaimed quite passionately, "Absolutely we are doing it! Because, (1) I am not comfortable going 3 years with no exam when I know how quickly things can change in the body, and (B) I painted my toe nails AND shaved my legs for this, and it WILL NOT be in vain!
Now, correct me if I'm wrong. Was there not just a HUGE debacle over ladies demanding and getting free contraception? Contraception, if I remember correctly, is mainly used for 'FUN' extra-curricular activities. Why do I have to pay for you to 'get your freak on'? Ridiculous, but I digress... Pap smears are the opposite of fun, yet we are going to be penalized for being pro-active and taking care of ourselves. You can CHOOSE to not have sex or use alternate forms of protection. You can not, however, choose NOT to get cervical cancer. I wish it were that easy! Then I wouldn't have had to shave my legs today!
So, if I am hearing and understanding her correctly (and I am, because I asked her several times), I can get FREE birth control, via tax payers, but I WILL HAVE TO PAY OUT OF POCKET (twice, I might add, since I am already paying IN ABUNDANCE for health insurance *and taxes for your free BC pills*) to make sure I am going to be around another year to raise my kids ( who, unfortunately, will have to go through this same crap). Fabulous.
Women, and parents of future women (like Moi), BE OUTRAGED! This is going to be detrimental to women's health. Much more so than having to pay for your own birth control!