Monday, August 4, 2008

A Present From The Boys In Trenton

Nothing can kill a vacation buzz quicker than picking up your mail. Next time I'll wait a week and allow myself to be in The Zone a little longer.

In my P.O. box today was a bill for $250.00 from Quest Diagnostics for tests I didn't want yet the state of New Jersey insist that I have.

When I first visited my gynecologist after discovering that I was pregnant, he informed me that the state of New Jersey mandates that I be tested for HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhea. But I knew-- and turned out to be right-- that the pregnancy was no longer viable. Logically speaking, testing for viability should have been performed before any obligatory search for sexually transmitted diseases. But, apparently, rules are rules.

There's only one big, fat problem with this little rule. Somebody has to pay for the tests and, this time, that somebody is me.

In the year prior to the paternalistic state legislators passing the HIV screening requirement, there were no mother-to-child transmissions recorded. Out of the 115,00 state births every year, only two are on record for 2006 and seven for 2005. So where's the crisis?

Which congressman or senator got a big bag of cash from the pharmaceutical or laboratory companies for pushing this pointless piece of legislation? How else can you explain its existence?

The ACLU, NOW and other critics claim it's an invasion of privacy. Proponents claim that rates have dropped in states where testing is required.

Statistically, mandatory STD testing for a 42-year-old white woman who has been married for 20 years is the equivalent of strip searching grandma at airport security.

I want to send the bill to one of my representatives with a note that reads, "You wanted it, so you pay for it." My husband just wants me to write a check and get on with my life.

Apparently, my doctor could have informed me that refusing was an option. But then I would have been tagged and mandatory testing of the baby (which there was no baby at that point anyway) would have occurred at birth. I'm guessing he didn't want to do the paperwork... and if the state of New Jersey has a requirement that's ignored, oh boy, you can bet there's paperwork.

I would have much rather put the $250.00 towards my next Hawaiia trip. Right now I feel like I need another vacation.

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