Friday, February 10, 2012

The President's Lying About that Contraceptive Thing

Well, either he's lying or he's stupid and doesn't understand the first things about business.  In the ruling today, quoted from the White House Press fact sheet,  he said,
Under the new policy to be announced today, women will have free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where she [sic] works.  The policy also ensures that if a woman works for a religious employer with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide, pay for or refer for contraception coverage, but her insurance company will be required to directly offer her contraceptive care free of charge.
Two things here: the obvious one is that the religious employer will pay for the contraception coverage because they pay for the insurance.  There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.  Requiring the insurance company to "directly offer her contraceptive care free of charge" doesn't come without costs, and I don't care that it's $5 a month, there's a real cost that goes into a real premium that the company really pays. 

The second one is the president, or anyone in the Federal government has no right to tell the insurance company, the employer, or anyone else, what they must pay for.   They have no right to order anyone to buy anything.  Their "ruling" has just as much constitutional justification as if I came up to you and told you that you had to provide something.  


  1. Come on, GB, everyone knows that women just get pregnant unless they take the pill. That makes contraception vital preventative care. Where's your sense of fairness?

  2. Wasn't there an old joke about the first birth control pill being an aspirin - clenched between the knees?

    I kind of remember Johnny Carson talking with an actress who just had her (4th or 5th?) child. He says "did you ever figure out why that keeps happening?" and she replied, "I haven't put my finger on it".

    Hey - I'll be here all week. Be kind to your waitress and be sure to try the veal!

  3. I'm curious. How long do you suppose a dollar remains Catholic after a religious employer uses it to pay others and they use it to pay others, etc? At some point, some might rightfully regard that dollar as theirs to do with as they will--without regard to the religious views of others who once had it in their hands a transaction or two earlier.

  4. The employee can spend his or her money on anything he or she wants. In a just world, he can attempt to negotiate with the employer for more money or for non-monetary compensation, and in that same just world the employer can refuse to bargain for certain types of non-monetary compensation or refuse to offer money over a certain amount. I don't think anyone at this site is interested in barring the employee from buying contraception for herself, but neither are we interested in mandating its provision by the employer.

  5. Doug, that's not where I'm coming from. I'm not thinking of how long that money stays Catholic, I'm thinking of two things: the nature of insurance and the government's right to mandate coverage.

    Xenocles hit it perfectly: I don't think anyone at this site is interested in barring the employee from buying contraception for herself, but neither are we interested in mandating its provision by the employer. I think the government has no right to mandate the employer provide it.

  6. This current "administration" wants to totally control our lives, from (before) the cradle to grave.
    There's simply no way that the buyer of the group health plan (the Church) isn't actually paying for this. The insurance company will simply roll the cost into the premium, and make it *seem* like they're not paying by the way the contract is written.

  7. Oh, I see, you don't like the individual mandate and other aspects of the law. That's fine, but that was never really the point of any "exemption" for religious employers.

    Such an exemption would serve merely to avoid forcing such employers to take specific actions contrary to their consciences. My point is that the law never did that, since it always afforded them the option of not providing health plans and, instead, simply paying assessments (which, by the way, are substantially less than the costs of the health plans).

    Nonetheless, some continue to complain. They fret that somehow religious employers ultimately will pay for the services they oppose. They argue that if insurers (or, by the same logic, anyone, e.g., employees) pay for such services, those costs will somehow, someday be passed on to the employers in the form of demands for higher insurance premiums or higher wages. Their religious liberty, they say, requires not only that they be exempted from the law, but further that anyone to whom they pay money also be exempted and thus "free" to act according to their desires. I wonder what they would think of their theory if they knew they had some of my "atheist dollars" in their wallets that can only be used for ungodly purposes, lest I suffer the indignity of paying for things I disbelieve.

  8. SiG:
    You're still hung up on that old out-dated Constitution thingy. Be cool, man. Get with it. Join the times. Be one with the many.
    Obooma has seen the light and is showing us The Way.

  9. Out of town all day, so thanks for keeping it going funseekers.

    But back to the original thread, anyone who thinks that the insured party isn't paying for these services directly doesn't understand the insurance business. There is nothing "insurance-like" about this: insurance is a gamble wherein they bet they collect more money than they pay out and you bet you need more medical care than you could pay for with your premiums. This is a planned expense, more like overhead or other fixed costs in their office. For a simple example, they multiply the number of women who need the contraceptives by the cost of the prescription, and add that to the overhead expenses the insurance company has. That cost will be added to the bill the insured party gets. It's as if the insured church gave cash to the insurance company and they handed the same cash to the provider of the contraceptives - except the insurance company will keep a couple of dollars of it for their handling of the paperwork.

    Healthcare is a hot button issue for me, because it's the well greased, Teflon-coated, slippery slope to absolute tyranny. Everything becomes subject to government control and regulation. You think it's bad now when they just nag you about the amount of sugar, or fat, or salt, or protein or whatever you eat? Wait until they can outlaw it or tax it away because it "raises medical costs". Wait until they can outlaw any activity you want to pursue because it's too dangerous and raises the cost for the collective too much. Any required junk science can be made up to justify shutting down anything you might want to do.

  10. "You think it's bad now when they just nag you about the amount of sugar, or fat, or salt, or protein or whatever you eat? Wait until they can outlaw it or tax it away because it "raises medical costs". "

    And THAT is all there is to that argument. TANSTAAFL indeed.
    It is what the future holds when stuff like this passes that most people fail to appreciate. Its when an administration hands out "wiavers" like a king grants amnesties that I start worrying about my granddaugters future.
    Time is short, and the balls are rolling faster down that slippery slope. Will the Catholics stand ground or roll over like all the rest?