The Obama-HHS Diktat On Contraceptive Coverage: Non-Religious Arguments Against It

The government has decided that citizens who agree to work for other citizens must be given “free” coverage for contraceptives and drugs for auto-abortions. The “free” is a misnomer. Actually, the government has decided by fiat—there was no vote, no public deliberation, no input from the citizenry—that employers must pay for their employees’ birth control. Further, employers cannot ask anything for this largess; they are not allowed to require anything from their employees for this mandated “gift.”Gillibrand

In short, the government has decided that being an employer carries with it the obligation to pay for birth control to its employees. In other words, the Obama administration have discovered in the Constitution that it is the duty of employers to fund the reproductive choices of their employees. That is, Mr Obama has discovered the right to “morning after” and pregnancy-prevention pills, but only for those citizens who happen to work for someone. Employers themselves do not have this previously hidden (but always there, after all) “right.”

The strategy, then, for a poor woman who realized that she stayed out too late and woke up in the wrong bed is not to fret, but to instead ask for a job. The moment she is hired she can hold out her hand and demand cash for an abortifacient from her new employer. Sort of a reverse transaction, if you understand me. And the employer has to pay because he is an employer. The moral for the woman is: make sure you have your resume in order before slapping on the lipstick.

The principle is just as clear for the employer: don’t hire the woman.

But that would be an unexpected consequence, wouldn’t it? The reduction in the rate of hiring women of child-bearing years in order to save unnecessary costs? Not to worry: this can’t be because the modern Theory of Government insists that unintended consequences are impossible.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, unfortunately from New York, is livid that those who oppose this newly discovered right have had the temerity to question the government. In justifying the new right she said, “The power to decide whether or not to use contraception lies with a woman, not her boss. What is more intrusive than trying to allow an employer to make medical decisions for someone who works for them?”

The old way was that citizens had to take care of their own reproductive selves. If they wanted kids, they had them. If they didn’t want kids, they took care not to have them. This was called “choice.” Yet as Gillibrand has shown, that word has a new Orwellian spin. The woman now makes the “choice” of forcing her boss to pay for her contraception. Her boss has no say in the matter, not only in whether to pay for this “choice”, but in what the woman does with her contraceptive gift.

But let’s answer Gillibrand’s supposedly rhetorical question. I’ll tell her exactly what’s more intrusive: forcing employers to pay for what is none of their business—and giving them nothing in return. If a woman employee wants to do something with her body when she’s not on the clock, then she should be liable for her decisions, not her employer.

Time for unintended consequence number two from this new diktat: the deleterious increase into Us and Them. Most citizens are not employers, but all citizens have to negotiate life’s road. Through this new mandate, we are teaching, yet again, the majority of citizens to not look to family, to not look to their church or community, especially to not look to themselves, but to look to Them to fix their problems. People are routinely taught to ask the Government or the Rich (the overlap of individuals in these two sets is nearly complete) to take care of them, to tell them what to do.

And They will: tell them what to do, that is. We are creating, in the words of Kenneth Minogue, a servile class who who expect to be taken care of simply because they exist. In exchange for this cradle-to-grave caring, the servile must only follow simple rules. This works for now because most of these rules are made to extract wealth from the Rich who are not yet aligned with the Government (this reduces competition and increases the purse), and because, at first anyway, many of “rules” are actually loosenings of older cultural restrictions.

Yet the time is coming when these rules will be onerous even to the servile: eat this, don’t drink that, bring your kids here, teach them only this, do not travel without authorization, and on and on and on. Our lesson: there is no such thing as a free pill.

Update The One, apparently forgetting there is such a thing as Congress, has decided to “compromise” and force insurance companies to pay for contraceptives instead of employers. Every argument above is in force: just replace “employers” with “insurers.” So much for the idea of insurance as risk management.

Dear lefty reader: doesn’t it concern you, even a little, that the president has co-opted powers once belonging to Congress? You like it now, perhaps, because this president is dictating rules which you find reasonable. But imagine, say, George Bush—or Richard Nixon!—doing the same.

Update Just heard The One’s comments on this, featuring, “Women deserve this kind of free coverage…” If you don’t see the moral and economic problem with that, then please don’t vote next cycle.

Update Mr Obama yesterday said, in supposed favor of his new diktat, “No woman’s health should depend on who she is or where she works of how much money she makes.” He repeated the F-word: free, I mean. Women are special class of citizens? Well, long-time readers who were here when we discussed the reasons for not implementing Obamacare will recall that what is happening now was predicted. Stand by for further intrusions of liberty.

Comments

The Obama-HHS Diktat On Contraceptive Coverage: Non-Religious Arguments Against It — 38 Comments

  1. The government has decided that citizens who agree to work for other citizens must be given “free” coverage for contraceptives and drugs for auto-abortions.

    The employer is under no obligation to provide medical insurance. The contraceptive requirement is only for those employers that provide coverage. One possible outcome is that employers that object to covering contraceptives will stop providing medical insurance, pay the penalty and “dump” their employees into the Obamacare plan.

    Background on dumping health care here.

    Next we’ll hear that auto insurers must provide theft coverage in all policies and that everyone must pay the same rate because it’s not their fault that they live in a high crime neighborhood. And if their car is stolen, the insurance company must provide a new one. It’s only fair.

  2. This is a great leap forward in the Progressive Long March.

    The state forces us to throw as much of our money and rights into the public pot as it can coerce out of us. Thus collectivized, our private property and individual rights are no longer our own, but subject to the capricious rule of the state.

    They suborn people and business with “free” money (confiscated from us) until we are all part of the collective. The state increases, we decrease. Mission accomplished.

  3. Do you have a link to the background to this story? I can make no sense at all of Senator Gillibrand’s remarks at all and there’s always a chance a larger context will clarify them.

    (btw I am not the ‘Rich’ who are co-terminous with government, just somebody whose wife calls him “Rich”, perhaps in the hope of nominative determinism).

  4. Briggs, your entertaining writing style has been garbled by a more-than-usual bit of editorial mixing up. Here’s some, admittedly minor, problems & suggested editorial changes or references that elaborate on the points made:

    QUOTE: “The old way was that citizens had to take care of their own reproductive selves. If they wanted kids, they had them. If they didn’t want kids, they took care not to have them. This was called “choice.””

    ISSUE: Technically only the ‘wanting’ leading to a decision constititues a “choice.” The bit about ‘taking care not to have them’ reflects personaly accountability & self-discipline in lieu of hedonistic self-indulgence. Although one can argue that taking action to enforce one’s self-discipline is also part of the “choice”…that post-choice action is so significant in & of itself that it warrants its own mention–especially as it cuts to the [or a] core of the issue.

    At the end of the essay this is briefly touched on & concluded, partly, with the observation that the rules for livinig in society are essentially being “dumbed down” [latter is my term].

    That that is an issue unto itself warrants special discussion in much greater depth than appropriate for this blog’s format…and one can read about just that in another enlighteningn essay at: http://www.libertymind.com/index.php?page_id=291

    There are a few more along similar themes where that came from at: http://www.libertymind.com/index.php?page_id=285

    …all of which complement the above essay quite nicely.

  5. Why the employer? Why contraception?

    Let’s try some variations:

    “The power to decide whether or not to use contraception lies with a woman, not her next-door neighbour. What is more intrusive than trying to allow a neighbour to make medical decisions for her?”

    “The power to decide whether or not to use class-A drugs lies with a woman, not her boss. What is more intrusive than trying to allow an employer to make narcotics decisions for someone who works for them?”

    “The power to decide whether or not to use prostitutes lies with a man, not his boss. What is more intrusive than trying to allow an employer to make sexual decisions for someone who works for them?”

    Hmm. But wait, maybe next-door neighbours really should be responsible for supplying each other with contraception, class-A drugs and prostitutes.

  6. “What is more intrusive than trying to allow an employer to make medical decisions for someone who works for them?”
    Umm… how about a Senator or government bureaucrat or federal judge, just for starters? Hey, you asked.

  7. The twisted logic being espoused in this is unsettling.

    Consider Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who has just the other day said of this: “It’s very important that bosses not be able to tell employees what medicines they can and cannot take,” Gillibrand said in an interview with WNYC.

    The debate is NOT even remotely about bosses saying what medicines an employee can or can’t take–its about what medicince the boss is being accountable for financing.

    That’s a distinction with a very big difference.

    Framing the issue as Gillibrand has is essentially lying about it.

    That would be bad enough except for the apparent fact that Gillebrand & that ilk actually believe their statements. Namely, that if a person has a “right” (in this case to contraception, abortion, etc.) not only do they have that right, they also have the “right” to have someone else provide it for them. Another distinction with a big difference.

    The observation made above:

    “We are creating, in the words of Kenneth Minogue, a servile class who who expect to be taken care of simply because they exist. In exchange for this cradle-to-grave caring, the servile must only follow simple rules…”

    … is actually understating the problem our Congress/this Administration is imposing–not only does the servile class have to follow simple rules, the ‘other class’ must respond to fianance their wants unreservedly — irregardless if the servile class can finance them or not.

    We’re seeing legislation that effectively turns ostensible adults into whiny spoiled children to be taken care of by an all-powerful parent-government that demands no culpability or accountability from its children. To accomplish this it is effectively holding the real adults hostage while abiding by a sort of floating morality (i.e. reinterpreting or ignoring Constitional limitations capriciously). This real-world plot is much like a Hollywood plot of those comedy/horror movies in which the children take thier parents hostage or otherwise exploit them to finance parties, etc.

  8. And then we have the question of why we call this “insurance.”

    Insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment.
    (Wikipedia)

    Purchase of birth control means (pills, IUDs, morning after, abortion) is contingent only on the desire (a wish to obtain, not to long for or crave) of the individual to make said purchase. It involves no contingent or uncertain loss. Using medical insurance to pay for contraception is like using car insurance to pay for an oil change.

    Like many government programs, cost played no part in the decision. As insurance is required to cover more “stuff” the cost of providing insurance goes up. And that cost is shared by all insured whether or not they have individually decided to use insurance provided birth control means.

    Some argue that providing “free” birth control reduces the number of live births and therefore reduces long term health care costs. So does forced sterilization and rationing intensive care.

    And finally, provision of employer sponsored health care insurance is a negotiation between the employer and the employee. If the folks in Washington got out into the real world, they would see that there exist employers providing health care both better and less costly than Congress and the President dare impose on us.

  9. We can blame this on ideology, but let’s face it: only the economically illiterate believe in the ability of early-twentieth-century peasant economics (communism and its derivatives) to achieve some kind of utopia. Centralized state control of our lives must be “sold” based on contradictions, simply because it does not withstand rational analysis.

    No, only fools believe this is ideologically motivated. It’s nothing more than corruption writ large — naked lust for power and forcible appropriation (and misappropriation) of wealth, disguised in the sheep’s clothing of “rights” and “compassion” and “choice”.

    There is not yet any way we can trust mere humans with the vast amounts of money and wealth that we have vested (improperly) in our centralized government. The “Founding Fathers” foresaw this, and tried to frame a constitution that would prevent exactly what we see today. Over the past 80 or so years, this country has foolishly ignored their wisdom and has slid down the slope of believing in a “benevolent dictatorship”, seduced by the siren song of “democracy”. Corruption has so thoroughly infused our institutions that I believe there is little chance of rescue. They are going to crash.

    I take consolation in Schumpeter’s vision of “creative destruction” — perhaps slightly misapplied in this context, but compelling nonetheless.

  10. I am so so so SORRY that men simply can’t experience first-hand the health benefits of birth control pills.

    I have a pretty good idea of why young poor women want a job, and I don’t know the effect of contraceptive coverage on the hiring rate of them. However, I find the paragraph about poor young women condescending.

    “The power to decide whether or not to use contraception lies with a woman, not her boss. What is more intrusive than trying to allow an employer to make medical decisions for someone who works for them?”

    I also don’t understand why the contraception coverage implies that my boss/employer is making medical decisions for me. Do I lose my free will because of the coverage?

    Ah, Senator Kirsten Gellibrand must be using some form of birth control because her Cadillac insurance coverage (the courtesy of taxpayers) covers the cost, and it’s decided by the government that she has to use it.

    I have health insurance, whether to seek doctors’ help is still up to me.

    …forcing employers to pay for what is none of their business—and giving them nothing in return.

    Nothing in return? Hmmm… why are Google and SAS wonderful places to work for? Would it be they provide great benefits to their employees? Darn, Google and SAS are stupid for doing so because they get nothing in return.

  11. “The White House” is changing it’s stance ” … White House officials just told reporters during a conference call,” according to NPR.
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/02/10/146690660/white-house-to-detail-changes-to-controversial-contraception-rule?ft=1&f=1001

    NPR quotes a New York Times article …

    Seeking to rein in a runaway political furor over birth control and religious liberty, [the adminsitration] is set to announce a possible compromise on Friday that is meant to calm ire from the right about a new administration rule that would require health insurance plans — including those offered by Roman Catholic hospitals, universities and charities — to offer free birth control to female employees.

    … ire from the right …
    I don’t think that this is a right/left partisan issue. Except for the New York Times.

  12. @JH: I claim wondrous health benefits from bourbon and cigars (don’t, here, fall into the trap of saying that those are bad for me and thus they are distinguished from birth control pills, which are associated with an increased risk of cancer). Would you like to pay for them for me? Aren’t you infringing on my “choice” by refusing to pay?

    Don’t forget that the cost of paying for someone else’s benefits is always borne by people who don’t use those benefits. This is why “free” contraception (or anything else, for that matter, especially when it is not an outcome of a risk faced by all members of the risk pool) is a perversion of the concept of “insurance”.

    Here’s an idea: Why don’t all those who want free contraception and abortion pool their money and buy it for each other? Why force people who don’t want or need those things to pay for them?

  13. Religious medical practioners believed for years (until Queen Victoria) that women should not receive pain medication, or even medical attention, during childbirth because of God’s punishment of Eve. Should doctors now be barred from enforcing this belief? I argue yes. Should employers pay for health plans that cover analgesia during childbirth? Obviously. But technically it goes against fundamentalist Christian beliefs.

    By all means, argue from a moral standpoint that contraception/abortion are morally wrong, if that is your opinion. But do not create a false dichotomy between contrete social issues and abstract rights. This misdirected focus goes a long way in explaining why the United States has glaringly high infant mortality rate and a maternal death rate that actually increased under Bush II. Strawman arguments put forth above about about “forced sterilization” underscore the lack of compassion in this train of thought.

    Unintending pregnancies are have tremendous consequence for peoples lives, and for our society as a whole. They are not a side issue here.

  14. JH: Health Coverage, in this context, is a form of compensation negotiated between an employer and employee. The employer can choose what to provide and what not to provide including no coverage at all. The employee can choose to accept the employer’s terms or move on.

    What we have here is the government unilaterally telling the employer what he must and must not do. The employer can acquiese or close or leave the country or do some smoke and mirrors contract workers deception. This is not a proper role for the government of a free country.

    What if the federal government ruled that all businesses must be open, fully staffed and operational on Saturday?

  15. I think you all miss the point. Obama and the Left want to kill babies. Actually, they want to kill off a goodly proportion of the world’s population, and babies are just a subset of their intended victims.

    The urge to mass murder is age-old, instinctive even. But we moderns have taken it to a new level. Mass genocide, murder by starvation, and world war have become commonplace over the last 100 years. Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, etc. were just the leaders — their murderous schemes required group participation — and they found followers aplenty happy to oblige with unending bloodlust.

    Over 70 million babies have been aborted in this country alone since Roe v. Wade. That’s roughly the same number of people murdered by the above named tyrants combined.

    There are many excuses given for mass murder, such as the victims are scum, they are rotten, the earth has too many people, it’s a burden to feed the scum, it’s better to part them out to make lampshades, soap, and stem cells, it’s better to snatch their livers for transplants to the sacrosanct ruling elite, lines are too long at the donut shop as it is, etc. etc. etc. etc.

    But the real reason is never stated. The real reason for mass murder is hatred. That’s why the one religious philosophy on this planet that teaches us to love one another is routinely attacked by the mass murdering crowd.

    Loving each other is not our natural inclination. It has to be taught and even then it’s a very difficult thing to do. But it is the only solution.

    Love one another, love the babies, don’t abort them. Disband the government altogether if they can’t shed their murderous ways.

  16. KB asks, “Should employers pay for health plans that cover analgesia during childbirth?”

    Should and must are not the same thing. You’re arguing for a should. The White House has declared a must.

    If you know of a health plan that covers childbirth but not analgesia during childbirth, let us know. Clearly it hasn’t taken a law to bring pain meds into the delivery room. And those preferring “natural” childbirth are free to experience it.

  17. White House Press Release says in part …

    Under the new policy to be announced today, women will have free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where she works. The policy also ensures that if a woman works for religious employers with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide contraception coverage, but her insurance company will be required to offer contraceptive care free of charge.

    So where does the money come from for these “free of charge” drugs and services if not the employer?

  18. @KB: There is a simple solution to unintended pregnancies that doesn’t involve expropriating what someone else has rightfully earned.

    People need to be exposed to the consequences of their own actions, not someone else’s.

  19. From the White House fact sheet:

    Covering contraception saves money for insurance companies by keeping women healthy and preventing spending on other health services. For example, there was no increase in premiums when contraception was added to the Federal Employees Health Benefit System and required of non-religious employers in Hawaii. One study found that covering contraception lowered premiums by 10 percent or more.

    So … why don’t all health plans offer contraception since it is a benefit with a negative cost? Why don’t the insurance companies require it? Why don’t employers require it?

  20. Insurers may voluntarily provide free access to contraception, for the same reason they usually provide windscreen chip repair without charging any excess or altering premiums – in the long term it reduces the risk they’ll need to pay out more substantially later on.

    But this is something they could choose to do, or not – it’s not something government should compel.

  21. Spending other people’s money to do good makes you feel so righteous. Especially if you spend the evil rich people’s money.
    Seriously, they actually believe that doing good at somebody else’s expense is moral.

  22. Big Mike,

    Since I am not an employer, I am in no position to answer your question. Email Google and SAS to see if they would be willing to pay to cover the cost of your bourn and cigars. If no, ask them why they are willing to pay for the contraceptive coverage but not for the bourbon and cigars.

    Although I believe that the treatments for liver cirrhosis and lung cancer are covered under all health insurances.

    My group health insurance, mandated by my State, already covers all prescription drugs, including prescription birth control. I don’t know how it would have been if there were no such mandate, do you?

    Still, some of the arguments in this post simply don’t make any sense to me.

  23. Speed,

    What is the chance that our federal government would rule that all businesses must be open, fully staffed and operational on Saturday? So, mandating contraceptive coverage would provide a good reason for the federal government to do so? Don’t get it, perhaps I have had too much mathematics in my life.

    I am not saying that it’s right for the government to have such a mandate, but again, some of the arguments in this post are nonsense to me.

  24. Sheldon writing at Reason.com …

    Insurance arose as a way for individuals to pool their risk of some low-probability/high-cost misfortune befalling them. It shouldn’t be necessary to point this out, but coming of child-bearing age and choosing to use contraception is not an insurable event. It’s a volitional act. It may have good consequences for the person taking the action and society at large, but it is still a volitional act. It makes no sense to talk about insuring against the eventuality that a particular person will use contraception. Strictly speaking, contraception has nothing to do with insurance.

  25. The fact that, in the USA, having decent basic health insurance for all is dependent on some funny scheme involving employers is something that most of the “civilized” world finds hard to understand. But given that it is, Speed’s references to the White House fact sheet do bring up an interesting point about whose “freedom” is at stake.

    Health insurance companies which are free to charge on a cost-plus basis have no incentive to “require” a cost-reducing preventive medicine if they are free to charge whatever the costs are without it. But If I was selling dependent coverage at a fixed rate independent of family size (as many group plans do) then I would probably be prepared to add birth control for free after negotiating the rate without it – unless of course the employer told me not to. So what may well be the case here is that the church was seeking to pay a premium for the right to *exclude* contraception from a plan which could have been cheaper with it.

    If so, then answer to Speed’s “Why don’t employers require it?” may just be “Because they would rather pay extra themselves to ensure that those employees who do want it also have to pay more in order to get it somewhere else”.

  26. Alan Cooper wrote, “Health insurance companies which are free to charge on a cost-plus basis have no incentive to “require” a cost-reducing preventive medicine if they are free to charge whatever the costs are without it.”

    Health insurance companies do not charge on a “cost-plus basis” like an electric utility or military supplier. Health insurance companies negotiate a price in competition with each other.

    Alan Cooper also wrote, ” … in the USA, having decent basic health insurance for all is dependent on some funny scheme involving employers is something that most of the “civilized” world finds hard to understand.”

    One employer has taken charge of its health plan and has managed to provide superior results at a cost below its peers. Two decades ago, Quad Graphics decided that there must be a better way and came up with one. They are now offering it to other companies. It’s interesting that in the lead up to Obamacare there has been almost no reference to this innovative and successful approach to healthcare cost containment. So much for “affordable care.”
    http://www.quadmedical.com/employer/Pages/default.aspx

  27. JH: Orthodox Jews do not work on the sabbath. If the federal government required businesses to be open and operational on Saturday they would be mandating that Orthodox Jews work on the sabbath — contrary to their religion. It wouldn’t happen.

  28. @JH,

    Were I to work for Google or any other such “progressive” company, I would be annoyed that they were taking dollars that they otherwise could have paid me in cash and buying birth control and abortions with it. What if I needed those dollars to educate my daughter and to pay for the co-pays on my wife’s cancer treatment? Or do only those employees who “opt in” to the birth-control-and-abortion coverage pay?

    Lung cancer and cirrhosis are *risks* — it’s not certain (and, in fact, it’s unlikely) that I will get either. STDs are risks of engaging in sexual activity. They are covered. Unwanted pregnancy is a consequence of stupidity (ok, you could make the case that STDs are as well). My car insurance won’t pay to replace my car if I leave it downtown, running, with the windows open and it gets stolen.

    I’m guessing you agree with the idea of all those who want others to pay for their birth control and abortions pooling their money and paying for each others’, rather than making people who need neither pay for them? After all, when I by bourbon and cigars, a large portion of the price is a tax, ostensibly there because of the supposed extra health costs imposed by smokers and drinkers. Isn’t that limiting “choice” and “freedom”? Isn’t it “discrimination”?

  29. And as for the Catholic Church — well, maybe it needs to reconsider its habit of taking vast quantities of taxpayer money to fund its charities. See “Faust”.

  30. @KB
    You need to educate yourself on the reasons of supposed high infant mortality in the US.
    The definition of infant mortality is much wider in the US and the reporting much better.

    If one was not inclined to instinctively piss on the US and when faced with an apparent conundrum like “high infant mortality” in US, one would look under the hood before spouting off.

  31. Even the most socialized health systems impose a co-pay or other form of rationing in order to control costs and reduce pointless waste. I can’t imagine what these idiots were thinking when they drafted this, it seems like a magnet for fraud. Oh Christ, and apparently the White House is claiming this isn’t going to affect premiums.

    I’m guessing a lot of doctors are going to start giving out ‘free’ birth control pills (and breast exams, ‘domestic violence screening,’ etc.) to patients with every visit. Or at least billing for them.

  32. I live under socialized health care, and when the going gets rough it works really well. If you’ve got cancer, or have a heart attack, you’ll get fast and immediate care. The severly mentally ill (i.e. suicidal) can find a nice home, ‘free’ of charge, as a ward of the state. Basically anything immediately life threatening gets immediate and quality care.

    The down sides are numerous though.

    The cost is a big one. In my province, over 50% of every tax dollar goes in to health care. Since we’re talking government here, most of this money is eatten up by beuracratic costs and never see’s the inside of a hostpital.

    As Mr. L says, the system has an inherent rationing system built in. If you need to see a dermatologist, for example, you will likely wait 8 – 12 months. If you need minor surgery, you might be the victim of ‘Code Gridlock’– this means the hospital you’re in is out of beds (not physically out of beds, but do to budget constraints they only operate a certain amount). MRIs can be hard to schedule.

    There is no financial penalty keeping people from going to the doctor for every sniffle and cough, so the system tends to be overloaded; this keeps some people from going to the doctor, and makes it problematic for others who actually require attention. Finding a ‘familiy doctor’ (someone who sees you regularly) is an impossibility for many.

    The other downside is how it’s used as a hammer to mould each citizens behavior. One example would be ‘We cannot allow cigar smoking and burbon drinking because of the cost to health care’. This argument is used a lot.. The term used is ‘burden’. Behaviour X or demographic Y is a burden to the health care system.

    For little things, socialized health care is terrible. For big things it’s great. I cannot understand why the US would ever want to socialize any aspect of the ‘little’ things… big mistake America.

  33. “Well, long-time readers who were here when we discussed the reasons for not implementing Obamacare will recall that what is happening now was predicted.”

    For those of us who are new to the blog it might be helpful if you linked to your earlier posts, such as “the reasons discussed.”

    Otherwise, I love your take on this. Thanks.

  34. In the first update, Briggs wrote, “The One, apparently forgetting there is such a thing as Congress, has decided to ‘compromise’ … ”

    The White House is not calling a “compromise” for some reason.

    Under increasing pressure, the White House has offered what it’s calling an “accommodation” to religious groups on a requirement to cover birth control free of charge.
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/02/10/146693907/white-house-bends-on-birth-control-requirement-for-religious-groups#more

    Catholic Bishops are still unhappy …

    The bishops said the president’s plan will require “careful moral analysis” and may still change.

    But they made it clear that a “lack of clear protection for key stakeholders — for self-insured religious employers; for religious and secular for-profit employers; for secular non-profit employers; for religious insurers; and for individuals — is unacceptable and must be corrected. And in the case where the employee and insurer agree to add the objectionable coverage, that coverage is still provided as a part of the objecting employer’s plan, financed in the same way as the rest of the coverage offered by the objecting employer. This, too, raises serious moral concerns.”

    I take the following as evidence that the White House is playing a political game in the press rather than working to maintain constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom.

    A senior administration official told POLITICO on Saturday that the White House didn’t expect to win the support of the bishops with Friday’s updated policy. Instead, the official said, the administration was focused on achieving a balance of respecting religious beliefs and ensuring women had access to preventive services.
    (…)
    The bishops said they were first notified of the plan Friday morning, shortly before Obama’s announcement

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/72751.html
    Balance. Notified.

  35. Will, thanks for your first hand report on “socialized health care.” It’s interesting that high power, expensive care is available while care “for little things” is hard to get.

    One proposed solution is to reduce health care costs through market forces by giving individuals more responsibility for their own health — Provide high deductible insurance that will pay for catastrophic care and costly illnesses while leaving routine phophylactic care (vaccinations, checkups etc) and minor illnesses up to the patient.

    John Mackey writes about The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare.