Controversy surrounds new health guidelines for women - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Controversy surrounds new health guidelines for women

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - There's some controversy surrounding sweeping new guidelines aimed to help women stop health problems before they start.

Beginning in January of 2013, all private health insurance plans will be required to cover women's preventive services without a co-pay or deductible. Some critics say the new guidelines may not be as good as they appear.

"The theory behind it is good, however it will do nothing except increase healthcare costs," said Dr. Arnold Wharton.

Wharton says he's all for helping women prevent health problems, but he says mandating it is going to be costly.

"Because there's nothing free," he said. "It will be paid for by the insurance companies and therefore the insurance companies will have to pay a separate cost by increasing your premiums."

Some supporters say insurance premiums won't be affected because they'll save money on expensive, unplanned pregnancies. Supporter Raquel Martinez says even if the cost of premiums does rise, in the long run it's worth it.

"If it has to, it has to you know. To prevent all these pregnancies, okay, especially women that can't afford it. I think it'd be a good thing.

Monsignor Joseph Strickland with the Diocese of Tyler doesn't support the measure.

"In some ways I think it can be argued that it's the government setting moral standards that our very different from our moral standards and it begins to interfere with the whole freedom of religion," said Strickland.

Others like Cheri Pickett are on the fence, unsure of the affects until the guidelines are implemented.

I look from it from both sides of the street. I'm not real decisive about it; I'm not real comfortable about it," said Pickett.

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