Remember how I was just saying that breastfeeding wasn’t health care? Well, I just remembered that I can pay for a boob job with my health savings account, so never mind. If a saline implant is health care, so is a breast pump. I don’t care what you use it for.
You know what threw me off (aside from the fact that I’ve been really out of it all day)? The people who are advocating that breastfeeding supplies be counted as health care expenses went for the grand, it’s-for-the-children argument instead of the straightforward, it’s-my-breasts-stupid argument. That just hit one of my frayed nerves because as much as I like the breastfeeding, I really dislike the practice of guilting women into it. And when people start claiming that society can save money with breastfeeding because it makes people less likely to get cancer later in life, they lose me completely. (Sometimes forever.)
So yes, by all means, let’s tell the IRS that a breast pump is a legitimate health care expense. Maybe not the bottles or the freezer bags because you can’t use those on your breasts, but definitely the breast pumps. And I can’t imagine why something like lanolin cream wouldn’t count as a health care item. Does diaper rash ointment count as a health care item? (Is diaper rash not a health problem? Are sore nipples not a health problem?) Nursing pads I don’t know about. Do maxi pads and tampons count as health care items? Incontinence pads must. Or must they? I don’t know how the stingy the IRS is. It seems like a year’s worth of incontinence pads would add up quicker than a single breast pump, but then so does a single boob job. (That’s single boob-job, not single-boob job. Although there is such a thing as a single-boob job, I don’t imagine you get much of a discount for only doing one. Anyway.)
I’m reminded of the old controversy about insurance companies not covering birth control pills. Mine always did. Well, the one insurance company I had during the six months I took birth control pills did. Anyway, people were all indignant because the insurance companies would cover Viagra but not birth control pills. Viagra is certainly a legitimate health care expense, but I don’t see why birth control pills wouldn’t be as well. (I’ve heard the argument that Viagra fixes something that’s broken whereas birth control takes something that’s working just fine and makes it not work the way it’s supposed to, but that’s dumb. It’s dumb enough, actually, that I don’t feel the need to go into greater detail than “it’s dumb.”) I’m imagining that for the purposes of the health savings account, birth control pills would count as a health care expense. The question is whether or not other contraceptives count as health care expenses, and if so, which ones? Can you count your condoms as health care items? I mean, they prevent diseases in addition to pregnancy, so why not? I’m just asking because I don’t know. (I wasn’t inclined to sift through the tax code earlier and I’m still not.)
What other items can you think of that should be counted as health care items? I’m being perfectly serious, incidentally–not trying to be cute or satirical or anything sneaky like that. I’m just back to wanting to screw the IRS, so let’s do this thing. Let’s do it right!