So far much of the HHS debacle has been focused on the Catholic church and contraception along with people on both sides of the political divide believing that this is an assault on religious freedom.
Beyond the violation of religious liberty concerns there are some more mundane ones.
Though how we got here in the first place is simply because of Obamacare. Even if a religious exemption is returned concerning the mandate, this law is still intrusive. Every employer should have the right to choose or not choose a health care plan. If they choose a health care plan then they should had every right to choose how extensive it is as to what is covered. Employer supplied health care can in no way be seen a right. Access to basic quality health care is a universal human right and their are many prudential avenues in regards to his. Employers historically first started offering health care coverage as an incentive to draw people in the jobs market. The repercussions is that it is one more thing that people don’t realize the full cost of since they only pay some portion of it. If individuals instead got payed more and had to shop on the market for their own healthcare plan, this would have had the tendencies to drive down costs as their would be a limit to what people would pay out of their own pockets. For example LASIK surgery is relatively inexpensive and prices have come down due to the fact that it is not normally covered by insurance plans.
The biggest problem is that we are having the Federal Government dictating to both health care insurers and employers. This is just simply insane. Even without the moral concerns about the HHS mandate, people should be very upset about the government involvement. Though should we be surprised that a government which regulates the flow of our toilets and what kind of lightbulbs we can buy is going to intrude into every part of our lives? I wish it was indeed a nanny state since at least nannies can be fired.
Part of the debate is also indicative about how little people understand economics and the umbrella of “free” seems to mean about anything. Insurance companies are not benevolent organizations that increase coverage without increasing costs. Medical insurance rates like life insurance rates are based on factors that the majority of insurers will not be drawing expenses from their plans. Contraception itself is not healthcare and those who use contraceptives use it on a continuing basis and thus there are constant costs involved in covering them. Health insurance providers don’t have access to some cheaper version of contraceptives and coverage has a tendency to keep costs the same or to increase them. So “free” contraceptive coverages means everybody pays more, but individuals are reducing personal costs by making others pay for their use. Though this is a scruple that too many have no problem with. Add in also paying for the elective surgery of mutilation, otherwise known as sterilization, and you have increased insurance costs.
It is also ironic that talking point about so many people using contraception and yet they can not see the economic effect of so many people hitting on their health plans for it.
Legislatures apparently have a thirst for irony that can’t be slaked which is apparent by the naming of bills such as Obamacare being known as the “Affordable Care Act”. Raising costs for everyone of course makes things more affordable.
A government that is going to dictate to employers is of course also going to dictate to religious institutions since for them it is always the goal that matters and not the means. The Obama administrations specifically wanted to have contraception covered, including sterilization and so-called Plan B, so they found a way. The Constitution and of course religious liberty be damned.
I wonder what might also be the side effects of this. The government claims average cost of $600 per female contraceptive user. So will insurance companies demand women use Depo-Provera shots as a cost reducer? Or will there be increased pressure for sterilization that despite the initial costs might be cheaper than contraceptives during a normal lifetime of use? I can think of the example of Oregon refusing to pay for someone’s medicine, but willing to provide suicide medication. Maybe private insurers could not get away with this, but big government wants to take this over anyway and they would have no such qualms.