Friday, January 27, 2012

Free Birth Control!!! (Whether you want it or not)

Conversation between Federal Government and citizen.
Maybe I should use a different finger to make my point
Well hello there subject citizen! I’m here to help you. From now on all of your birth control pills are gonna be free!! No co-pays or deductibles. Isn’t that special? You can thank me later.
What’s that friend? You say you don’t need or use birth control pills? Hmm. Well that’s no problem because future HIV screenings, breast pumps, sterilization procedures, domestic violence counseling and screening, well-woman tests, and STD counseling are gonna be free!!! Isn’t that wonderful? Aren't you just quivering with joy and gratitude? I know I would be. 

Oh. You say you’re an XY human being and not an XX human being. Well see I’m afraid these benefits apply only to people with XX chromosomes.  You XY's will just have to continue to pay on your own for gender specific issues. I think that’s fair. Since I’m the Federal government, what I say goes. I got your equal protection right here pal.


Ehh. Speak up sonny it’s hard to hear you with my head in the clouds. Oh, you say you have firm and deeply felt religious, financial or moral objections to paying for other people’s birth control? I thought we went over this before. That’s just too bad partner. Life is not fair. I think it’s a good idea. You will just have to violate your religious objections. What’s the big deal anyway?  So your premiums rise so that other people can have “free” birth control? It’s “free” to them isn’t it? And that’s a heck of a selling point, you must admit.

Yes I know that virtually all plans already provide birth control, 99% of women who have had sex have used at least one contraceptive method, impoverished women are covered by Medicaid and most teen mothers said lack of access to birth control was not a problem. I read that new study which showed that higher income women (who were presumably paying co-pays for their birth control) had much lower rates of unplanned pregnancies than poor women (who were often covered by Medicaid)  So? Shouldn't you be ecstatic to pay more so that they can pay less? Stop mumbling about the inefficiency of subsidizing something someone was already doing.

Oh cut out that blubbering. So you have diabetes or colon cancer or prostate cancer or black lung or heart disease or optic neuritis or MS or Parkinson's or high cholesterol or obesity or any number of other LIFE THREATENING conditions. Tell it to someone who cares. You will still have to pay out of pocket for office visits and co-pays for medications related to preventing or treating those conditions. Those diseases either disproportionately impact men or impact men and women equally. I certainly can’t preen as the great savior of women’s health if I’m trying to reduce costs for both genders now can I sport? Any of this getting through to you kid?

Yes, that's right, everyone has the absolute individual right to use or not use birth control as they see fit. I'm glad you're finally seeing the light there buddy. I knew this would get through your thick skull eventually!! We agree on something. Finally!!

I want YOU to pay for birth control

Eh. No. Just because everyone has the individual right to use or not use birth control as they see fit doesn't mean that you have the individual right to pick a plan that doesn't include birth control OR that you have the individual right not to pay for other people's birth control. They have the right to choose; you have the duty to pay for their choices. What are you some sort of nutty libertarian? How dare you express preference as to what goods and services you want to buy with your own money. You say you have nothing against anyone using birth control you just don't want them to reach into your pocket to pay for it? Stop oppressing me with logic. The same people who smugly shout if you don't like abortion don't have one also say if you don't need birth control pay for mine anyway. And that makes all the sense in the world to me. Yes it sure does. No I won't explain how.

Say you'll sue? Yeah, so what I just lost in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC where I tried to argue that there was no ministerial exception to federal employment laws. That's a completely different case. I don't see any issue with church and state coming together as long as the state gets to tell the church what to do. And I do so love telling churches what to do. I know I said if you liked your health plan you could keep it but you know I said a lot of things. And stop whining about the Amish or Christian Scientists getting religious exemptions. I like them. You, I don't like.

So you say you might drop insurance coverage or close up shop rather than pay for coverage that violates your deeply held ethical, religious, philosophical or moral beliefs? Well that is a road you don't want to travel down my friend. If you're smart you'll get with the program. I have this handy dandy new indefinite detention law that I can't wait to try out. Go ahead. I dare you. I double dare you. I double DOG dare you.
QUESTIONS
1) Do you think the new HHS policy is a good thing? If so why?
2) If people who object decide to pay fines or drop coverage what should the Federal government do?
3) Is this a threat to religious freedom and/or freedom of conscience?
4) Do you recognize the "double DOG dare" reference?

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