Massachusetts State Senator Scott Brown Takes Aim at Infertility by Sponsoring Anti-Family Legislation
(Waltham, MA – January 11, 2010): RESOLVE of the Bay State, the leading infertility support, education and advocacy organization for Massachusetts residents, opposes legislation recently introduced by State Senator Scott Brown that would allow the Massachusetts Health Care Connector board to overturn the landmark 22-year-old Massachusetts Infertility Mandate, as well as Massachusetts’ other mandated insurance benefits. It also would put a moratorium on all new mandates.
“Scott Brown is reviving long-settled myths about ‘expensive’ infertility coverage, rather than finding comprehensive solutions to controlling health care costs,” says Rebecca Lubens, executive director of RESOLVE of the Bay State. “It makes no sense to take aim at the one in six people in the Commonwealth who suffer from the medical condition of infertility, and who just want to have babies, by suggesting that an appointed board should rescind a pro-family mandate that was resoundingly approved by our duly elected legislators.” Even removing all 26 mandated benefits, which have a net impact on premiums only in the 3-4% range (Division of Health Care Finance and Policy), would be a one-time fix with no long-term impact on the rising cost of premiums and would devastatingly financially impact the millions of Massachusetts residents who need and use these mandates.
Pro-Family Legislation Promotes a Strong Economy
Massachusetts spearheaded the enactment of the nation’s first mandated infertility coverage in 1987, which is considered the gold standard for the thirteen other states that have passed similar statutes. RESOLVE of the Bay State conservatively estimates that at least 60,000 children have been born as the result of the law’s passage. The newly created families have pumped billions of dollars into the state based on estimates that it costs $250,000 to raise a child until the age of 18. Families are the lifeblood of strong economies while mandated infertility insurance benefits only cost $2.68 per month per member according to the Commonwealth’s Division of Health Care Finance and Policy study.
Insurance for Infertility Avoids High-Cost Bad Medicine
Numerous studies have demonstrated how mandated infertility insurance coverage saves money for the health care system by avoiding unnecessary procedures like tubal surgery or treatments that could result in higher order multiple births. Recent Yale University research presented at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine annual meeting concluded that the rate of multiple births is lower in mandated states since patients and doctors do not have the financial pressure to take risks, such as transferring too many embryos during in vitro fertilization. Yale’s work confirmed the outcomes of an earlier groundbreaking study conducted by Dr. Mark Hornstein of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Scott Brown: Anti Mom and Babies, Pro Insurance Companies
“If Senator Brown has his way, children like mine will not be born in the future. I never would have been able to afford infertility treatment without insurance coverage, “ explains Davina Fankhauser, chair of RESOLVE’s advocacy committee and mother of three-year-old daughter Bella and one year-old son Brennan. “Infertility is not a lifestyle whim and treatment is not optional for us. It was the only way I could build my family biologically. We are disheartened that Senator Brown is a proponent of easing regulations on insurance companies while increasing economic hardships for consumers. I don’t understand why he wants to retract one of the Commonwealth’s most important familyfriendly laws and, financially burden men and women of reproductive age.”
About RESOLVE of the Bay State
RESOLVE of the Bay State is a non-profit, consumer-based infertility support organization that provides compassionate and informed help to people experiencing infertility. RESOLVE of the Bay State offers a variety of programs and services focusing on infertility, adoption, and donor conception. More information on RESOLVE of the Bay State can be found at www.resolveofthebaystate.org.
January 11, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erin Lasker, Executive Director