Many of the "absurd" things on the list are things which insurance companies typically cover, for reasons I will point out in a moment. The absurdity lies not there, but in banning the very useful and popular catastrophic-only policies (which even leftist journalists who used to work for MSNBC support because they are desirable for anyone who is reasonably healthy and at all fiscally responsible).
Some of the "absurd" items actually are, because they are not covering a contingency, but a choice. The main effect of the contraceptive mandate is to raise the cost of policies by the cost of contraceptives plus the administrative overhead generated by the need to process additional claims for their purchase.
On the other hand, other items on the list have been commonly covered by health insurance policies because there is a sound actuarial reason for covering them: encouraging people to buy them cuts estimated cost of claims paid overall (smoking cessation programs and immunizations being notable examples).
Had they wanted the law to actually work, they would have consulted actuaries and would have defined the "Bronze" plan to be more or less a catastrophic-only policy plus coverage for an annual physical with some minor attendant lab work, and those items of the sort on the "absurd" list in the article which actuarially would pay for themselves in reduced claims at the catastrophic level, and allowed employers to offer the same.
This whole plan is designed for call in sick for any and all screenings, just like in the army... and government will make sure it will not deliver or delay.