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In the article, Monea & Thomas (2011) explore the correlation between unintended pregnancies and cost to taxpayers. Almost 50 percent of pregnancies in the US are unintended, which are likely to represent a considerable cost to the taxpayers. The authors assume that the public savings arising from the prevention of unintended pregnancies are due to the cost savings associated with fully financing the unwanted pregnancy. According to Monea & Thomas (2011), preventing unintended pregnancy is a vital opportunity that the public can deploy to increase savings in the wake of the present fiscal deficits. As a result, the implementation of cost effective policies with the aim of preventing unintended pregnancies are considered timely and sensible.
Taxpayer expenditure on unwanted pregnancy was obtained by multiplying the incidence of unintended pregnancy outcomes that were publicly funded during 2011 by average per-incident costs. Taxpayer expenditure included costs associated with abortion, need for infant healthcare, births and fetal losses. On the other hand, the pubic savings were measured by estimating the cost savings associated with preventing unwanted pregnancy (Monea & Thomas, 2011). The assumption is that preventing an unwanted pregnancy saves the full cost associated with funding the pregnancy. Similar variables for cost saving were used in the analysis including costs associated with abortion, infant healthcare costs, birth and fetal losses. The results of the study indicated that the annual costs of unintended pregnancy care were $9.6 billion, $11.3 billion and $ 12.6 billion for lower bound, mean and upper bound estimates. The corresponding savings that would relieve taxpayer costs due to preventing unintended pregnancy were $4.7 billion, $5.6 billion and $6.2 billion (Monea & Thomas, 2011). The average estimate of taxpayer cost for a publicly funded unintended pregnancy was found to be $9000. It is apparent from the study that preventing an unwanted pregnancy can save taxpayers approximately half of the amount. Monea & Thomas (2011) concluded that policy makers could use effective policies for preventing unwanted pregnancies as a strategy for increasing public savings during these times of fiscal deficits.
The logical structure and content of the article is precise and clearly outlined. The article makes use of data gathered from previous studies and government records to estimate the cost savings associated with the prevention of unwanted pregnancies. The conclusion reached by the authors is based on factual calculations, which implies that there were minimal instances of researcher bias, when conducting the study. The clarity of the article implies that the intended audience can understand the content. This is because the cost savings associated with preventing an unwanted pregnancy are obtained by simply computing the difference between the costs associated with publicly funding an unintended pregnancy and the savings accrued from preventing such pregnancies. This methodology makes use of a simple assumption for the average reader to understand. The conclusion in the article is based on factual evidence backed up with computations from reliable sources of data. The study could have been improved by exploring other costs of unintended pregnancies in the society, such as social impacts and how they serve to increase public expenditure. This would provide an accurate picture of the costs of unintended pregnancies beyond fiscal impacts on public healthcare expenditure.
This article explored an interesting topic, especially with the increase in public healthcare expenditure. The article can be used as one of the policy responses that can be used in reducing public healthcare expenditure. The limitation of the article is that, it did not make use of recent data; instead, it used data from the FY 2001. The results could have been more accurate, if recent data were observed in the analysis. In order to enhance better reading, the authors could have used graphical representations such as graphs and charts to compare data. The authors tacked the issue in an appropriate manner.
- Can effective policies prevent unintended pregnancies in order to increase public savings?
- Do unintended pregnancies increase public healthcare spending?
- Is the public savings from preventing unintended pregnancies less than the public costs of unintended pregnancies?