Monday, August 01, 2011

Here comes the slippery slope

"WASHINGTON – Health insurance plans must cover birth control as preventive care for women, with no copays, the Obama administration said Monday in a decision with far-reaching implications for health care as well as social mores.

The requirement is part of a broad expansion of coverage for women's preventive care under President Barack Obama's health care law. Also to be covered without copays are breast pumps for nursing mothers, an annual "well-woman" physical, screening for the virus that causes cervical cancer and for diabetes during pregnancy, counseling on domestic violence, and other services."

We will first stipulate that having some of these services made more available to women will most likely result in a net benefit for both them as well as society in general.

That's not the point.  

Lots of things would be of great use to people if the government were to force private companies to give them away for free - cars, computers, you name it.  That doesn't happen, of course, because the Constitution does not give the .gov that redistributive power.  Similarly, nowhere in that document is a provision giving the Feds the authority to force people to buy products (such as health coverage) they may not wish to own or the ability to tell those firms which of their wares they must give away instead of charge for, as we hope the Supreme Court will eventually point out.

We predict that this is just the first in a long series of coverage mandates, and that sly Washington bureaucrats will slowly and patiently deem more and more items to be vital and necessary over time until everything is eventually provided gratis.  And then we'll be Great Britain, where operations for such things as cataracts, hip replacements and tonsillitis are now deemed to be "non-urgent" and thus denied until the patient basically can no longer see, walk or swallow.

Of course, there really is no free ride, as the first article notes:

"Although the new women's preventive services will be free of any additional charge to patients, somebody will have to pay."

Dig deep, peasant.


Grace R said...

You and I are going to VEHEMENTLY disagree on this topic. Access to basic healthcare services is something I believe in to the core.

How many abortions and unwanted babies have been born because of a lack of access to birth control? How many women are locked into cycles of poverty because they do not have real control over their reproduction? Think of how much money could be saved on welfare and other social service programs by simply covering basic birth control. An ounce of prevention...

Providing basic health care is not as difficult or as expensive as Fox News would have you believe. And you know what, I'd much rather have my tax dollars going to pay for programs that save lives than to cover continued corporate bailouts and tax exemptions. Without state sponsored healthcare, I would either be on my deathbed or in bankruptcy. How is our current system ethical, moral, right, or fair? I have yet to hear anyone from the right come up with a viable alternative.

I think some of your logic is flawed. No one is telling these companies to "give away" birth control products. These companies make HUGE profits off their customers through premiums, deductibles, etc. The law is saying that insurance companies can't refuse to provide access to a medication. As you know, there are other applications for birth control, other than as contraception. Oh yeah, and they're not that expensive. I can't speak for the rest of the country, but here in WA I can get a month supply for less that $20.

As for the other facets of women's health care: promoting breast feeding, pap smears, etc. It's more cost effective for the insurance companies to cover that, than to continue to have women not getting care, and ultimately costing MORE in healthcare costs than a simple preventative screening.

But let's address some of the real underlying issues: namely sexism and control over women. Would anybody really argue about this point if we were talking about covering Viagra or heart meds or diabetes care?

This is SUCH a complex issue, that I believe it's unfair to simply categorize it as a waste of $$ and taking away our liberties. We're talking about human beings and saving lives on a real level.

Some things are about more than dollars and cents.

Bike Bubba said...

Greg, if federally funded birth control prevents abortions and unwanted births, please explain to me why there are still over 1 million abortions annually, and the rate of unwed births has skyrocketed since LBJ started pushing birth control in welfare programs.

Reality is that it's not birth control that prevents out of wedlock births, but rather self control.

Regarding Dear Leader's act, I was under the impression that Article 1 gave legislative power to Congress. Unless that's been changed while I wasn't looking, I think it's time to remove him from office.