So, apparently, the administration wants all employers, including, say, Catholic charity hospitals, to cover the cost of contraceptives, birth control devices etc for their employees.
In the process of searching for a public statement on this issue, I was able to find a video of Mr. President shooting marshmallows. Awwww! He's so cute when that expression of wonder and amazement takes over his face!
Ms. Muñoz writes:
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans will cover women’s preventive services, including contraception, without charging a co-pay or deductible beginning in August, 2012. This new law will save money for millions of Americans. But more importantly, it will ensure Americans nationwide get the high-quality care they need to stay healthy. Under this policy, women who want contraception will have access to it through their insurance without paying a co-pay or deductible. But no one will be forced to buy or use contraception.
Oh, boy! Am I glad
… no one will be forced to buy or use contraception. Like, seriously, dude?!
If you are one of the seemingly dwindling number of those of us who knows anything at all about insurance and are not scared of basic arithmetic you are already shocked. See, you don't need to bring in any appeal to anything holy to understand why such a mandate imposed by government is incompatible with the idea of insurance.
What is insurance?
Insurance is about large losses that occur with some probability that can at least be inferred. Let's say, every year, 100 out of a million people in a country are diagnosed with a disease that costs $1,000,000 to cure. So, we can say the probability that a randomly picked person is going to be diagnosed in a particular year is 100 / 1,000,000 = 0.01%. The expected cost of treating all of them is $100,000,000. The financial burden of being diagnosed by this illness might be devastating to a given individual.
Given the choice, between paying, say, $500 annually for an insurance policy covering all the costs of treatment if one is diagnosed during the year versus having a 99.99% chance of not having to shell out any money and a 0.01% chance of financial disaster, most people would choose to incur the $500 cost of the policy. (To be sure, that kind of premium would indeed enable the insurance company to cover the payout in almost all states of the world, and, more often than not, they would make out like bandits.)
That's what insurance is: You give up a small amount with certainty in return for the assurance that the big loss with small probability hits, someone else foots the bill.
Now, the administration already is hacking away at the insurance market with the whole
preexisting conditions dogma: It only makes sense to sell insurance to someone before that person is hit with a loss. Why would anyone give someone $1,000,000 in return for $500?! But, that was one of the first steps the Shoveler and his pals took to destroy the health insurance market.
Coming back to our contraceptives … First, note that contraceptive use is not a random event.
It's a choice.
When an insurance plan is required to cover contraceptive use, that means paying for something which some people use with 100% probability on a continuous basis due to their choices.
When someone else pays for something that you choose to buy for certain, that is not insurance.
This is just as stupid as requiring auto insurance to pay for the gas people put in their cars. The only effect of that would be to force people who use less than average amount of gas to pay for those who use more than the average amount.
That's a subsidy, not insurance.
Here is where the founding principles of the United States of America come in.
The per person cost of such "coverage" will be the average amount spent on contraceptives by the plan enrollees plus a portion of the administrative costs of the plan.
People who do not use contraceptives will pay for the contraceptive use of others who do.
OK, this is no different than the gas case, you might say,
what makes this about religious freedom, any more than the government requiring me to pay for someone else's gas consumption.
A lot of people of a variety of religions believe some or all forms of birth control are against their fundamental values. Under the administration's rules, all people who obtain health care insurance coverage through their employers are going to be forced to subsidize the contraceptive use of others. That is, people will be forced to pay for others to be able to do something against their religious beliefs.
While right now, most of the reaction is coming from Catholic organizations, make no mistake about it, if such a policy is allowed to stand, even with an itty-bitty exemption for religious organizations, the rights of everyone will have been violently violated.