Healthcare policy refers to the government regulations and guidelines that exist to operate, finance, and shape the delivery of healthcare. Healthcare policy covers a range of health related issues including: the financing of health care, public health, preventive health care, chronic illness and disability, long-term care, and mental health.
Currently there is a debate concerning the availability of birth control coverage to American woman and religious freedom protected by the 1st Amendment. The problem is the reality that not all women take the pill to prevent unwanted pregnancies. In fact, women are often prescribed the pill for the therapeutic benefits it offers including protection against:
- bone thinning
- cysts in the breasts and ovaries
- ectopic pregnancy
- endometrial and ovarian cancers
- extremely irregular menstrual cycles
- headaches and depression associated with menstruation
- iron deficiency anemia
- pelvic inflammatory disease
- serious infection in the ovaries, tubes, and uterus
As such, the Obama administration views birth control as merely a women’s health issue. However, for some, the whole notion of birth control violates a religious belief that life begins at conception. Should employers be forced, as mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to provide a service that violates their personal religious conviction? In other words, which liberty is more important, the privacy rights of the employee or the religious freedom of the employer?