American Elephants


Obama Can’t Sweet-Talk His Way Out of This One by The Elephant's Child

President Obama created a political crisis for himself, and now has unsuccessfully attempted to wiggle out of it by offering an “accommodation” or a “compromise” that misses the whole point.  Rather than requiring religious organizations that provide group health insurance to cover sterilization, birth control and some abortion-inducing drugs, now those religious organizations will pay higher premiums to insurance companies who will provide those “free services” to employees, instead of the religious organizations offering the “free services” themselves.  If your response is “huh?” you have it right.  It is a compromise without a difference.

The accommodation doesn’t remedy the religious liberty problem at all. Aside from that, it doesn’t work. Under the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) employers can design their own “self-insured” or “self-funded” plans for their  workers and don’t need  to buy coverage from an insurance company.  So an employer  with that kind of plan has no “insurer” to provide the “free” service.  Currently 60% of workers covered by employer-sponsored plans are covered by self-funded plans.  Most universities, regardless of their religious affiliation are self-insured, like most large corporations.

Numerous people discussing this dim-witted requirement have compared it to automobile insurance.  The insurer takes care of accidents — you buy the insurance to protect you from unexpected damage to you, your car, their car, them or whatever  you ran into.  Insurance is designed to protect you from catastrophe.  It is not designed to protect you from flat tires, dead batteries, or transmission failure.  You can’t pay a little more and the insurance will fill your gas tank.  Why should insurance policies be required to pay for birth control at all? It’s not that expensive. WalMart offers a 30 day supply of birth control pills for $4. Average prices, according to Google, can run from $5 to $50.

Where is the line in the U.S. Constitution that guarantees women the right to have other people pay for their birth control pills or abortion-inducing pills? No deductible, no co-pay?

Mr. Obama offered this logic as justification for his policy:

Nearly 99 percent of all women have relied on contraception at some point in their lives — 99 percent. And yet, more than half of all women between the ages of 18 and 34 have struggled to afford it.*

*$4 at WalMart? How about this line: because these “historic new guidelines” will make sure “women have access to a full range of recommended preventive services.”

Single-payer health care has long been a goal of the far left. Not because as they claim there is a “right”, for that is clearly preposterous, to health care; but because if the government grants that as a right, then you will always vote for those who provide that free benefit, and against those who might take the”right” away.

Remember a few years back when there was a heat wave in France, and everybody was on vacation, so all the old folks in hospitals died from dehydration and lack of care?  Or what about the recent cold wave in Europe where 300 people died from the cold because the government couldn’t provide heat? You read about the mass trials for those who did not provide the free health care that was everyone’s right, didn’t you? Turns out that for the old and sick who can’t help themselves, there isn’t any right.

You will notice that the federal government keeps tacking more “nice” benefits on to what must be offered by insurance plans or their sponsors.  Those added goodies are not free. Somebody has to pay for them. The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) has hidden price controls that will hammer insurers.  The goal, they say, is to make health insurers more efficient, (consider the irony of the government improving private-sector efficiency) but will just put insurance brokers out of business.

Paying for those nice benefits costs at the other end. The government has no money of its own, so you will pay for it, or benefits to someone will be cut. In Britain’s NHS, this is how it works. Barbara Judge, age 72, was told that she needed an operation on her aortic aneurysm, and her case had been referred to a special funding panel.  She assumed it was formality, but instead she received a letter which said her local NHS trust would not pay for the treatment.  Surgeons are confident that they can save the life of this grandmother of five.  This is a fairly common procedure in the U.S. Expensive?  Is your life worth $25,000?

Scare tactics? No. This wasn’t Mrs. Judge’s decision to make.  The decision was up to the British government. That’s how it works. The goal becomes keeping costs down, not saving lives, and 72 is old — and useless?

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