When they say it’s not the money…
…it’s the money.
The role of money in the continuation of circumcision
If you want to see what motivates a doctor to circumcise perfectly healthy baby boys … just look in his driveway.
“I have some good friends who are obstetricians outside the military, and they look at a foreskin and almost see a $125 price tag on it. Each one is that much money. Heck, if you do 10 a week, that’s over $1,000 a week, and they don’t take that much time.”
– Dr.Thomas Wiswell
quoted in the Boston Globe
June 22, 1987
Infant circumcision in the US is largely covered by health insurance. It declined rapidly in the UK after the National Health Service was set up in 1947, and doctors delivering babies were no longer able to charge extra for doing it.
A study by Leibowitz et al. showed that the circumcision rate falls where it is not covered by Medicaid:
Predicted neonatal male circumcision rates as a function of Medicaid coverage of circumcision and the percentage of male newborns in hospital for whom Medicaid is their primary payer: Nationwide Inpatient Sample, 2004.
The International Coalition for Genital Integrity’s
Medicaid Project has prepared a report
outlining the true costs of circumcision.
The International Coalition for Genital Integrity’s Medicaid Project surveyed all US states in 1999, and was able to account for 181,292 circumcisions costing a total of $20,255,217. According to HCIA-Sachs, Medicaid funded a total of 310,403 circumcisions, implying a total cost to the US taxpayer approaching $35,000,000.
Intactivists commonly claim that greedy doctors promote infant circumcision for purely financial reasons. There is clear evidence for this. The same survey found that where Medicaid paid more than $US60, circumcision was nearly twice as likely as where it paid less than $US50….