Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Sperm Has Better Odds...

I know you know this already, but allow me nonetheless to state the obvious with regard to the Catholic/contraception issue...

According to
; "Under the new plan announced by Obama, religiously affiliated universities and hospitals will not be forced to offer contraception coverage to their employees. Insurers will be required, however, to offer complete coverage free of charge to any women who work at such institutions."

The last sentence suggesting complete free-of-charge coverage is an insult to any thinking adult's intelligence... I.e., all of the insurers' insureds, religiously affiliated employees and otherwise, will pick up the tab (in their premiums) for the Administration's politically-critical compromise...

And I can't pass up Harry Read's statement: "I strongly support the rule announced today because in the year 2012, women should not be denied access to contraception. ... Whether women choose to use contraception should be their decision, not the decision of their employers or politicians in Washington."

Say what? Women have every right to use contraceptives... I think all drug stores carry them... The only decision their employers [should] have the right to make is whether or not to pick up the tab...

Find me an industry where rising government intrusion doesn't correlate with rising costs... Don't bother looking; a sperm of a man wearing a condom has better odds of finding an egg in a woman on the pill using an IUD...


  1. Here are two pointed rebuttals to Marty's complaint about another Obama intrusion into private health insurance (an industry with long-term record of 360 degree failure), both by NYTimes columnist Gail Collins:

    1) This is a really old story, but let me tell you anyway.

    When I was first married, my mother-in-law sat down at her kitchen table and told me about the day she went to confession and told the priest that she and her husband were using birth control. She had several young children, times were difficult

  2. Bold words Marty. That last sentence is hilarious, but true.

    An analogy: I have the right to own a gun, a Constitutional right that is, but no one is obligated to buy that gun for me.

  3. A rebuttal to RBertken's rebuttals... I'll stay focused on the very simple message of my blogpost (first emphasizing that defending Catholic dogma was in no way my intent)... The administration uses the term "free of charge" or "no out of pocket cost" when refering to the "compromise"... My basic point there (someone indeed pays) is one that seems lost on so many columnists who would favor, as does Ms. Collins, the government running "the whole healthcare plan"... My other point had to do with access... I don't believe that an individual with employer-provided medical coverage (a working person) is whom we need to worry about with regard to unwanted pregnancy... She can (and believe me, she, not wanting to get pregnant, will) pick up a few condoms or refill her prescription (at her own expense) along with the papertowels and bottled waters... Therefore insurance companies paying (again, it's really you and me) for contraception for responsible working people would not be your "win-win" scenario...

  4. The data on the cost of health-plan provided, effective contraceptive services (which are pretty expensive to the average consumer and not so simple as a routine trip to the pharmacy) show this: the insurers actually save money overall because of reduced costs for medical management of pregnancy. That is why nearly all major insurers cover contraception. And why the administration has been able to achieve their cooperation in end-running the Catholic ban.

    Trying to whittle this issue down to government's interference with the insurers' normal conduct of business is missing the whole point. The government is trying to get the NORMAL insurance package for everybody (exactly what Switzerland did with its health insurance industry back during its health care crisis in the early 90's, with remarkable success). If every employer got to pick and choose which services it would support in its health insurance plan, nothing could be achieved toward cost and quality control.

  5. Contraceptive care, within a comprehensive health insurance package, is a free lunch--see I previously read the article on the Swiss health system, which I consider quite laudatory. All developed countries, with the possible exception of Japan (which has government-dictated doctor and hospital fees), have been experiencing relentless cost increases in health care that will require adjustment of incentives, benefits, and adopted drugs and technologies.

  6. Marty, I can only guess that the insurers have not wanted the same stink that landed on Obama--perhaps not realizing that the vocal religious (and also traditional male) contingent is much less of a nuisance than the angry womens' rights groups. The state statutes requiring contraception to be covered in health plans arose from the combat between these two constituencies, with the insurers pretty much on the sidelines.

  7. Interesting... Thanks...

    Okay, one late afterthought... Sorry, but I think you'll appreciate this logic:

    Back to the "free lunch"... Beyond the empirical evidence with regard to contraception vs. un-wanted pregnancies: Wouldn't it indeed cost the insurer, given that the compromise provides that the Catholic employer will not have to "pay" for the contraceptive coverage? Which suggests, with regard to secular employers, there is indeed a specific price for that specific coverage, or they self insure (as many do) and the insurer simply acts as administrator (in which case the insurer now pays what the employer would have paid [I presume a few hundred bucks a year per user]). I.e., the insurance company cannot charge for contraceptives coverage, yet must nonetheless provide it, therefore suffering in terms of per plan profitability... And I suspect they'll effort to make that up elsewhere...

    Anyway, thanks again for your commentary... You've inspired me to think deeper about healthcare reform, and I've gained a better understanding of Switzerland's system...