Friday, March 23, 2007

An example of how a conservative budget cut will create more of what conservatives say they are against

Conservatives should be happy.

Their fiscal solutions help create more social problems, which later create more budgetary problems they can rail against, so they can be happy because they always have something to complain about.

For example, there is a story out today about how because of a bill the GOP Congress passed in 2005 ostensibly to reduce the deficit (you know, the one they created with trillions in tax cuts), the price that college students will pay for birth control pills will double or triple to in excess of hundreds of dollars per year (for comparison, when I was in college I once paid $20 per month to live in a non-air conditioned converted boxcar during the summer, in desert heat-- and for many students their standard of living has not improved much since then.)

(AP) -- Millions of college students are suddenly facing sharply higher prices for birth control, prompting concerns among health officials that some will shift to less preferred contraceptives or stop using them altogether.

Prices for oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, are doubling and tripling at student health centers, the result of a complex change in the Medicaid rebate law that essentially ends an incentive for drug companies to provide deep discounts to colleges.

"It's a tremendous problem for our students because not every student has a platinum card," said Hugh Jessop, executive director of the health center at Indiana University....

At some schools women could see prices rise several hundred dollars per year.

About 39 percent of undergraduate women use oral contraceptives, according to an estimate by the American College Health Association based on survey data.

Many students could shift to generics but experts said they might still pay twice the previous rate.

Let's focus on what will happen. I'm not going to split hairs about numbers or who else might do what (though I suspect that the number of students who will therefore and only for this reason abstain from sex, which is what conservatives would probably want, is neglible.) While I suspect the following 'some' would be quite a large number, I'll just say, 'some' since any conservative who wanted to dispute it would have to argue the negation of 'some' (which is 'none') and would be in obvious denial as to the consequences of their 2005 budget cut that is now taking effect.

Here is what will happen to SOME of these adult college students: some of them will certainly quit taking the birth control pills due to the increased cost, and some of those will have unwanted pregnancies.

Some of those pregnancies will result in abortions. This will give conservatives cause to celebrate, because the number of abortions (largely due to sex education and contraception) is down 25% since the early 1990's. When these college women start having abortions maybe that trend will reverse itself and then conservatives will have something more to complain about.

Some of those who do not have abortions, will keep their child. Some of them will give up on their dreams of earning a degree, and instead of becoming an educated and likely productive member of society, will join the oversupply of low skill, non-college educated workers competing for a shrinking supply of low-wage jobs. The later children of those women will have a much worse standard of living growing up than the later children of them would be if they were born to a professional, college eduated mother. And some of them will end up on public assistance-- which I guess will please future conservatives very much (else why are they passing bills like this) because then they will have a whole new generation of 'welfare queens' they can complain about.

Yup, conservatism breeds the fuel for more conservatism. What a deal.

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