Phil Robertson claimed 110 million Americans have STIs, he mis-quoted a CDC report, ignored the fact CPAC is anti-healthcare reform, and blamed it on hippies (obviously).NOTE: If you don’t know who Phil Robertson is, don’t be confused. He isn’t actually a hippie, he just looks exactly like one.
“It’s the revenge of the Hippies. Sex, drugs, and Rock & Roll have come back to haunts us.” – Phil Robertson (…Because it sure isn’t fighting against contraception, sexual education, and health care reform…)
The CDC Report V the Phil Robertson Speech
At a 2015 CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) event Phil Robertson said, “110 million Americans now have a sexually transmitted Illness.”
He misquoted an actual statistic from a 2013 CDC report. The CDC report points out these are “instances of infections” and not a number of people with STIs. So the number of Americans living with STIs is actually lower than the instances of STIs. We know this because we can open up this 3 page 2013 CDC report PDF and look for ourselves.
Here is what the report says:
- 20 million instances of new infections in 2008
- 110 million total infections in 2008
- $16 billion in total medical costs 2010 dollars
- These are instances of STIs. So one person could have more than one.
- HPV alone accounts for 14 million of the 20 million a year.
- While most of these STIs will not cause harm, some have the potential to cause serious health problems, especially if not diagnosed and treated early.
CDC STI Screening Recommendations
Here is what the CDC recommends… And why it’s good screenings are covered at no out-of-pocket costs under the PPACA.
Because STIs are preventable, significant reductions in new infections are not only possible, they are urgently needed. Prevention can minimize the negative, long-term consequences of STIs and also reduce healthcare costs.
The high incidence and overall prevalence of STIs in the general population suggests that many Americans are at substantial risk of exposure to STIs, underscoring the need for STI prevention.
Abstaining from sex, reducing the number of sexual partners, and consistently and correctly using condoms are all effective STI prevention strategies. Safe, effective vaccines are also available to prevent HBV and some types of HPV that cause disease and cancer. And for all individuals who are sexually active – particularly young people – STI screening and prompt treatment (if infected) are critical to protect a person’s health and prevent transmission to others.
- All adults and adolescents should be tested at least once for HIV.
- Annual chlamydia screening for all sexually active women age 25 and under, as well as older women with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners.
- Yearly gonorrhea screening for at-risk sexually active women (e.g., those with new or multiple sex partners, and women who live in communities with a high burden of disease).
- Syphilis, HIV, chlamydia, and hepatitis B screening for all pregnant women, and gonorrhea screening for at-risk pregnant women at the first prenatal visit, to protect the health of mothers and their infants.
- Trichomoniasis screening should be conducted at least annually for all HIV-infected women.
- Screening at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV for all sexually active gay men, bisexual men, and other men who have sex with men (MSM).
- MSM who have multiple or anonymous partners should be screened more frequently for STIs (e.g., at 3 to 6 month intervals).
- In addition, MSM who have sex in conjunction with illicit drug use (particularly methamphetamine use) or whose sex partners participate in these activities should be screened more frequently.
This is Why We Need Health Care Reform
Whether it’s 20 million new STIs a year costing $16 billion, or whether it’s 110 million instances of STIs, or whether it’s a bunch of hippies strung out on Rock and Roll spreading HPV, the conclusion of any good spiritual human should be the same: We need to fix this.
And that is exactly what the Affordable Care Act does. And it’s exactly what repealing the ACA like everyone a CPAC wants to do doesn’t.
The Affordable Care Act aims to accomplish near universal coverage through it’s 1000 pages of legislation over time. That includes:
- Subsidies to ensure that all Americans can afford coverage.
- Free preventive services to ensure all Americans can afford essential preventive measures.
- Regulation to ensure that out-of-pocket costs remain “affordable”.
- Funding for women’s services.
- Funding for STI prevention and testing.
- Essentially everything that is needed to improve our healthcare system and fight preventive disease.
So yes Mr. Duck Dynasty. We agree, instances of STIs are very scary and real. But perhaps instead of telling young Americans to opt-out of ObamaCare, taking subsidies away from low-and-middle class Americans, and blocking reforms that help women… We continue to pass legislation that helps the poor and heals the sick.
Want more fact-checkin’ on CPAC and Phil Robertson? Check out politifact.com.