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07 July 2014 @ 06:05 pm
The whole Hobby Lobby thing  
This feels really weird from this side of the pond, because we are usually so used to feeling great about our socialist public health care systems when we hear about the poor USA citizens and how a medical bill can ruin a family.

But concerning contraception? No insurance pays for it here. I don't know about all nations in Europe, but in Austria, Germany and Finnland it's not covered. Of course the reason for it is not religious grounds, but more the sentiment that healthcare is a basic right that everyone is entitled too. But since contraceptives are not necessary to stay healthy (if they are, in cases of cramps or other reproductive health issues they are covered and most gynecologist will write you something so that you will get them for free this way) they are not covered, neither is in vitro fertilization.

I don't even find it so horrible, although I do find the reasoning of the US supreme completely icky. The religious feelings of the employer trump the ones of the women, who are working for them? It's sick. If they had argued that the pill is not a health requirement and consequently a luxury everybody should pay for themselves, ok. But this? Supertwisted.
Chani φfrenchani on July 7th, 2014 04:13 pm (UTC)
Contraception is covered by the Sécurité Sociale here in France, and so is abortion.
flake_sakeflake_sake on July 7th, 2014 04:17 pm (UTC)
Here not, unless there is a connection to your health. An abortion would be covered, if the pregnancy is dangerous for some reason.

Are non-hormonal methods also covered?
Chani φfrenchani on July 7th, 2014 04:24 pm (UTC)
Yes they are.

It's a matter of equality for us. Making something legal isn't enough when people are too poor to get it.
flake_sakeflake_sake on July 7th, 2014 04:46 pm (UTC)
That's true. Unfortunately, Austria is not that advanced yet.

Here, such a thing as a right for contraception doesn't exist.

Is in vitro fertilization also covered? And how about other non-mandatory medical procedures?

Edited at 2014-07-07 04:48 pm (UTC)
Chani φfrenchani on July 7th, 2014 05:00 pm (UTC)
Yes FIV is covered under certain regulations like you must be married, less than 43 years old, and la Securité Sociale only covers for 4 tries.
flake_sakeflake_sake on July 7th, 2014 05:03 pm (UTC)
This also goes for same sex couples?

I wish I could say Austria is on the way there, but I feel like we are more stumbling backwards where health care is concerned. Fewer and fewer things are covered. E.g. glasses are almost exclusively to be paid privately now.
Chani φfrenchani on July 7th, 2014 05:07 pm (UTC)
No, a new family bill was promised in 2012, but some catholic lobbies protested and the governement backpedaled. It's still banned for lesbian couples or single women...
flake_sakeflake_sake on July 7th, 2014 05:08 pm (UTC)
But I guess, it wont be for long unless the conservatives make it back into power?
Chani φfrenchani on July 7th, 2014 05:15 pm (UTC)
I don't know.

It's possible. The so-said socialist government may try to use that to make people forget that they embraced neoliberalism and actually rule like the right (all the right dreamed about, they made it true!)...
flake_sakeflake_sake on July 7th, 2014 05:18 pm (UTC)
Yep, Hollande doesn't sound to great.
Is there a third alternative (on the left I mean)?

Because with Sarkozy being arrested, he is not likely to make a comeback? Or will he finally turn into Berlusconi (and return like a zombie)?
Chani φfrenchani on July 7th, 2014 05:26 pm (UTC)
Sarkozy has always been Berlusconi-like so anything is possible. He is under investigation but not arrested and he still has "fans" (I know unbelievable!). I would love to see him in jail!

Unfortunately, for many people who feel deserted by the parties that have ruled France in the last three decades, the third alternative seems to be Marine Le Pen who is a very efficient demagogue. It's scary.

The future is not bright.

IMO we should change our constitution and get rid of this republican monarchy...
flake_sakeflake_sake on July 7th, 2014 05:51 pm (UTC)
Yep, in Austria the far right is also on the rise. Although they are still the same laughable jerks as always and I laughed so hard when they didn't manage to form a European party.

I had totally called that. Nationalists make for bad international allies.
gillogillo on July 7th, 2014 05:06 pm (UTC)
In Britain prescription contraceptives have been free of charge since the seventies. I assume it was and is considered a public health issues. Fewer unwanted babies equal lower costs in the long term.
flake_sakeflake_sake on July 7th, 2014 05:09 pm (UTC)
Makes sense.

Unfortunately they never saw it that way in Austria.
Barbrahirah on July 7th, 2014 05:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's the rationale for doing it in the US - it's way cheaper to cover contraceptives than it is to cover pregnancy and 18 years of childhood ailments. If I were an insurance company I'd be handing them out for free on the street corner.
flake_sakeflake_sake on July 7th, 2014 05:52 pm (UTC)
I agree, unfortunately they never had that much sense here. And they are so worried that we will produce too few new tax payers that they don't want to make it easy.
Beer Good: Sugarshockbeer_good_foamy on July 7th, 2014 05:55 pm (UTC)
Over here it's very heavily discounted below a certain age - 25 or 26, I think - though they recently raised the prices and narrowed the selection of discounted alternatives a lot. (Fiscally conservative government.) There's a price list here you should be able to make sense of with Google translate.

Abortions are covered by the ordinary healthcare system, so typically you just pay an administrative fee (about €10-€30 depending on the province).

Youth clinics are free, and also usually hand out condoms for free.
flake_sakeflake_sake on July 7th, 2014 05:58 pm (UTC)
No such luck here. You get contraception usually, because the doctors prescribe it for cramps or other bogus stuff.

Abortions are only offered in very few hospitals and cost around 400 Euro. It's still pretty crappy here and our social system is getting worse instead of better.
Beer Goodbeer_good_foamy on July 7th, 2014 06:09 pm (UTC)
Our local We're Not Racist But party, who look set to split the parliament majority in the upcoming election, just launched a campaign to restrict legal abortions last week. So it looks like that debate will get here too, even though the right to abortion has been fairly uncontested for the last 40 years or so. Sigh.
flake_sakeflake_sake on July 7th, 2014 06:15 pm (UTC)
Crap, I guess our moron party will get the same idea, not that the conservatives are not already bringing it every few years.

But the right for abortion has also been pretty uncontested here ever since we got it. But strictly payed out of ones own pocket. I guess, since a child costs more than an abortion, they figure that women will somehow make it happen...
Lisashipperx on July 7th, 2014 06:08 pm (UTC)
There's a great deal of hypocrisy in insurance covering viagra and testosterone but not birth control. Male sexuality isn't a 'luxury' apparently.

That and there's also the fact that most of the insurance we're talking about it job-related. It's part of the compensation for work, so it's not exactly 'free', it's part of our salary.
flake_sakeflake_sake on July 7th, 2014 06:20 pm (UTC)
Viagra is not usually covered here either. Same as for the pill you have to find some medical excuse (like depression due to impotence) to get it on prescription.

The argumentation in the US is totally crazy. I mean, it was something else if the insurance company said, we do not cover this. You could go to another company. But the employer? That is just totally insane.

Is there any word on how they deal with people who get prescribed the pill for medical reasons?