11.7.08

"But apparently you've voted against..." - reporter

"I don't know what I voted." - McCain

I worked at a Catholic hospital outpatient pharmacy for years, and, let me preface by saying I loved working there. It was one of my favorite jobs of all time. I didn't get paid a whole lot, but I was respected by my boss, the professional building docs, and my coworkers; I LOVED working with the nuns; and I loved calling Dr. Dudas directly using a different voice every time just to see how long it took him to figure out it was me (winner: "Andy Martin," excessive ear wax, 7 minutes 32 seconds). One of the many perques of my job.

One of the things that I had a hard time coming to terms with was the fact that our insurance did not cover birth control, but I decided it was understandable - it was a Catholic hospital, after all.

But it DID cover fertility meds and Viagra. That was a hypocrisy I found seriously hard to stomach, and I did complain to the Top Nun about it. She had no answer for me other than a stern "that is the way it is" look. Not having attended Catholic school, that look was pretty ineffective. The next move she made was to look up drugs on the new computer kiosk in the pharmacy waiting room (we'd put it there so patients could look up their medications and note their interactions and side effects), then order to have it removed when she found Ortho Novum in there after 45 minutes of searching. THAT was more than a little ridiculous.

Anyway, my point....I had one...AH! Yes. If an insurance company is going to cover Viagra and fertility meds, it must cover birth control too. Again, I understand that some pharmacies, those located in Catholic hospital professional buildings, for example, are simply not going to carry birth control. We had enough trouble forcing ER docs to write scripts for the Morning After pill for rape victims EVEN THOUGH IT IS THE LAW to offer rape victims access to a preventative. Most hospitals simply offer the dose of pills directly, but Catholic hospitals are allowed to write scripts so the victim can get the pills at a non-Catholic pharmacy that carries them. We can force them to write scripts if the woman wants the pill, we CANNOT force them to carry it in their pharmacy, and though that may be an inconvenience, it is accepted. I have brought several morning after pill scripts to nearby pharmacies, shelled out $70 bucks for the tablets (this was back in the early '90s), then brought them back to survivors who had been slapped with a prescription at a Catholic hospital in lieu of the two tablets most other hospitals have at hand. My favorite was the lecture. O...M...G. I could tell you stories...This one time, the ER doctor refused to hand over a script without giving this woman a lecture about the evils of "abortion"...I tried to be patient and respectful, but kicked him the hell out and demanded another doctor be sent in when the pain in my arm from the woman digging her nails into it got to be too much. Turns out he was the one who was lacking in respect. This woman was sitting in a sterile, flourescent-tubing-lit ER cube in a nothing but an ER gown 45 minutes after having been raped, and this guy's telling her God wants her to have a baby. W.T.F.

Man, did I digress on that one. Let's just say, women are seriously precious to me. Their choices are precious to me. They should have all of the options available at their disposal - THAT is precious to me. I respect what decisions a woman makes about her own body. If her choices differ from mine, well, then, mine differ from hers. I've sat quietly by as women refused the pills. I had one guy refuse them, too. That poor flustered nurse...!

But I should not have to pay insurance premiums for Viagra and fertility meds when birth control is not covered. *stamps foot!* It's not fair to be sure,

but it's not right, either. It's an absolute hypocrisy. "If you don't want to get pregnant, you're gonna have to pay. On average, birth control pills cost $50-$60 a month. But if you wanna get pregnant!??! Well, it's about time!!! Let's see, what do we try first...Man, do you have options! And your insurance covers them all!"

In 2003, McCain voted against forcing insurance companies that cover Viagra to cover prescription birth control. But he claims he "doesn't remember." I certainly do NOT trust a senator who "doesn't remember" what he voted for . Or maybe he's getting old and forgetful? I don't think so. But if that were the case, I'd trust him even less.

Long story short, no matter how many ferrets McCain tries to give me, he won't be getting my vote.

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