Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Fair Compromise?

The Obama administration seems to think it has a winning formula in its ill-handled contraception fiasco. Having previously refused to exempt religiously-affiliated organizations from providing contraception through their insurance programs, Obama claims to have accommodated these organizations with a new ruling. The new compromise purportedly exempts religiously-affiliated organizations, but not their insurance providers. Specifically, these institutions no longer need to provide healthcare plans that contradict their beliefs; however, the insurance provider is required to offer supplemental riders, free-of-charge, to any insured policyholders who want to have these services.

The "compromise" is, bluntly, asinine and economic nonsense. It is a political dressing-up of the same program, meant to confuse opponents through a veil of economic subterfuge. The Wall Street Journal outlined the argument well:
...[Y]ou almost have to admire the absurdity of the new plan President Obama floated yesterday: The government will now write a rule that says the best things in life are "free," including contraception. Thus a political mandate will be compounded by an uneconomic one—in other words, behold the soul of ObamaCare.
Insurance companies won't be making donations. Drug makers will still charge for the pill. Doctors will still bill for reproductive treatment. The reality, as with all mandated benefits, is that these costs will be borne eventually via higher premiums. The balloon may be squeezed differently over time, and insurers may amortize the cost differently over time, but eventually prices will find an equilibrium. Notre Dame will still pay for birth control, even if it is nominally carried by a third-party corporation.
Fortunately, many opponents of this ruling have not been duped by President Obama's and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius's twisted logic. They correctly stand firm against the attempted gross encroachment into the private lives of individuals. GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum summed it up best, "It’s not about contraception.... It’s about economic liberty."

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