College students to have less money or more babies

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Day Care & Education

It used to be that you could have all the sex you wanted in college without breaking the bank on protecting yourself -- but today's student is faced with a decision: beer money, or baby?

Previously, drug companies sold birth-control pills and other contraceptives to college health services for cheap. The health service would then sell the drugs at a mark-up, which made them a little money; the students got the pill for $15 a month instead of $50, which made them happy; and the drug companies got to introduce their product to a younger generation -- everybody wins!

But those days are over. Now college students either have to pay full price, switch to cheaper, generic brands, or admit to their parents that they're having sex so they can get the pill via mom and dad's health insurance.

According to the Wall Street Journal, it's an unintended consequence of the government's Deficit Reduction Act, which President Bush signed into law last year.

"The legislation aimed to pare $39 billion in spending on federal programs, from subsidized student loans to Medicaid. And among the changes was one that, through an arcane set of circumstances, created a disincentive for drug makers to offer school discounts."

Seems like parents have extra incentive to let their kids know that it's ok to be on the pill. Even if you'd prefer they weren't having sex, it'd be much, much worse if that sex led to an unexpected pregnancy.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.