Madness in Madison – Birth Control in the Budget?

By YeOldeScribe ~ March 2nd, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

At, we’ve been retroactively covering a lot of the Budget Repair Bill while we get caught up on a lot of posts (and keep our readers informed about this very important issue). However, the goal of the blog has been, is, and will continue to be to give our criticism/critique of the news as it’s happening (or as soon as feasibly possible). So today, we wanted to tackle an issue as it was developing. Don’t worry, tomorrow we’ll return to our regularly scheduled commentary on news that’s two weeks old already. *sigh*

So far, we can find only one news “article” – a 72-word snippet – that reports Wis. Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget would undo a law passed by Democrats under former Gov. Jim Doyle requiring insurance companies to cover prescription birth control. We’ll continue to dig deeper as the story develops, but if it holds out to be true, we have three problems with the legislation.

First of all -  really Scott? With all the problems plaguing the state, the deep hole the government faces, and all the tough choices you have to make every day, and you pull this? Why? What possible reason do you have for this besides appeasing big business (which clearly hasn’t gotten enough breaks already under your leadership)? For all your talk about wanting to cut BadgerCare, we thought you’d be all for Wisconsinites making fewer babies. While recognizes that all forms of birth control besides abstinence aren’t 100% effective, the argument can easily be made that a decrease in access contraceptives will lead to an increase in conceptions.

Second, this is clearly just a backhand slap to Democrats. As the 1st linked article mentions, Democrats had to work for almost a decade to get that passed, and in one fell swoop, you’re just going to remove the policy? Our guess is that Walker isn’t doing this for some altruistic purposes – like we said, the only two things that make sense are that he’s punishing Democrats or rewarding insurance companies; and either option is reprehensible.

Finally, this is an egregious abuse of power on so many levels:

A) Walker is undoing something in one month that took Democrats 10 years to do.
B) Walker is essentially creating an executive order to override a decision that had to pass through the assembly, senate, and governor’s office. (Cronyism 1, Democracy 0)
C) Republicans, who are usually so quick to criticize Democrats for using the government to further their social agenda, are doing the exact same thing here.
D) This decision doesn’t belong in the budget. It has nothing to do with the budget. The state doesn’t gain or lose money based on this decision. Walker’s using the budget to further his own personal agenda (which isn’t even budget-related!) and is getting away with it.
E) We’re going to have to take a close look at the bill, but the article we linked to says Walker’s Budget Bill “repeals the state law requiring insurance companies to cover perscription birth control.” Last time we checked, Walker doesn’t have that power. just got done blasting Obama yesterday for abusing his powers in ‘repealing’ a law, and Walker goes and does the same thing a day later. Smooth.

We’ll continue to research the story and see if any new details pop up. In the meantime, we’ll also be examining the State Senate’s measure commending the Packers on winning the SuperBowl, just in case the repeal of ObamaCare was slipped in there while no one was looking. At this rate, we wouldn’t put it past Scotty-boy and his Republican cronies.

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6 Responses to Madness in Madison – Birth Control in the Budget?

  1. Andrea Frederick

    This is absolutely infuriating, completely ill-thought out, and a continuation of some sort of weird aversion to preventative medicine by the health care industry. Has it not occurred to Walker that birth control is a LOT cheaper than a baby? The only way that results in a savings for the health care company is if women don’t have babies (which as you said, if you reduce contraceptive access, the birth rate will inevitably go up to a degree), or if the companies deny access.

  2. YeOldeScribe

    Thanks for posting, Andrea! We agree on all fronts. It’s a shame when the lives and wellbeing of women and children are used for political gamesmanship. Sadly, all we can do now is get the word out about what’s happening so that in the next election cycle, we can get more progressive candidates into office instead of regressive ones!

  3. Megan Peters

    I am so disgusted by this. Oral contraceptives are the only way a woman has the right to choose when to and when not to reproduce (since we all know how much of a joke female condoms are). Leave it to Walker to throw in an outright attack on women’s freedoms. I wonder, though I’m pretty sure I know the answer, are male enhancement drugs still covered by insurance?

  4. YeOldeScribe

    Thanks for the comment, Megan! We did some digging, and as far as we can tell, those drugs are not covered (at least for teachers). Last year, WEAC fought to have them included, but they never were – it was a public relations disaster for them. As for governmental employees, we don’t know for sure, but we’ll keep digging. Thanks again for the comment, and hope you enjoy our other posts!

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