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.”
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.