Skip to comments.Why Contraceptives Are Important
Posted on 04/05/2014 8:35:17 AM PDT by Kaslin
In a free market, no one would ever purchase insurance coverage for contraceptives, any more than they would use health insurance to pay for seatbelts or airbags in automobiles. Because of their low cost almost everybody can afford contraceptives and if price is a deterrent they are available for free from local public health authorities or from such private organizations as Planned Parenthood.
Further, how did anyone ever get the idea that people should give up their First Amendment rights when they incorporate? This issue goes far beyond the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases now before the Supreme Court. I don't think the federal government should be able to put the executives at Pfizer in jail if they distribute an article from the New England Journal of Medicine describing an off label use of a Pfizer drug. Pfizer executives should have the same free speech rights as anyone else.
But here is a more important reason this issue should be of interest to all of us: why would Congress pass a law mandating free contraceptives but leave people exposed for thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket costs if they need bypass surgery? I have been trying to explain this phenomenon to people for 30 years ever since I discovered similar anomalies in the British National Health Service.
I call it the "politics of medicine," and it illustrates why government should always play a very limited role in health care and why individual choice and competition should be given maximum reign.
Here is how I explained it in Priceless:
In a typical U.S. insurance pool about 5 percent of enrollees will spend 50 percent of the money. About 10 percent will spend 70 percent. The numbers differ a bit from group to group, but you get the idea: a small number of people spend most of our health care dollars in any given year.
Now suppose you are a Minister of Health. Can you afford to spend half of all health care dollars on 5 percent of the voters? (Even if they survive to the next election, they are probably too sick to get to the polls and vote for you anyway!) Can you afford to spend virtually nothing on the vast majority of voters just because they happen to be healthy?
The answer is clearly "no." The inevitable political pressure is to skimp on care for the sick in order to spend on benefits for the healthy. Put differently, the politics of medicine pushes decision makers to underprovide to the sick in order to overprovide to the healthy.
That is why it is easier to see a primary care physician in Britain than it is in the United States, but harder to see a specialist and much harder to access expensive technology. In the 1970s, the British invented the CAT scanner and for a while supplied half the worlds usage (probably with government subsidies). But the NHS bought very few CAT scanners for use by British patients. The British also invented renal dialysis (along with the United States), but even today Britain has one of the lowest dialysis rates in all of Europe.
Similar observations apply to Canada, where services for the relatively healthy are ubiquitous and expensive technology is scarce. PET scans, for example, can detect metabolic cancer about a year earlier than MRI scans. At last count, the United States had more than 1,000 PET scanners, while the Canadian Medicare system had only about 18!
These same political pressures can be found in the U.S. health care system:
In the U.S. Medicare program, policymakers achieve through patient cost-sharing what other countries achieve through the rationing of services: they punish the sick in order to reward the healthy. For example, although basic Medicare pays for many minor services that most seniors could easily afford to purchase out of pocket, it leaves the elderly exposed to thousands of dollars of catastrophic costs. (This is exactly the opposite of how insurance is supposed to work.)
When the federal government began regulating Medigap insurance (which fills the gaps in Medicare), Congress forced insurers to follow the same pattern. Medigap must pay small bills, but seniors can still experience thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs.
The pattern is repeated in the new Medicare prescription drug program (Part D). A "donut hole" exposes the relatively sick to significant out-of-pocket expenses for no other reason than the political desire to provide first-dollar coverage to the relatively healthy.
Consider a similar pattern in the Affordable Care Act. Every senior is entitled to a free wellness exam (of almost no medical value), while continuing to be exposed to large catastrophic costs. Younger people are required to have insurance that has a long list of preventive services with no deductible or copayment while being left exposed to more than $6,000 of catastrophic expenses in some cases.
Bottom line: when politicians choose health insurance plans, rational insurance is impossible.
This is a great article. Awesome catch, Kaslin.
“why would Congress pass a law mandating free contraceptives but leave people exposed for thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket costs if they need bypass surgery?”
It is because they want to sexualize everything (and everyone - I mean everyone - is falling for these temptations) to better control ultimately. Lead them around by the male member. Idiocracy is what we get that way.
I’m not sure that homosexuality “expression” the last 20 years didn’t come FROM the increasing open sexuality in general before that. And the cycle continues.
It is disgusting to me that I can get BC Pills without co-pay but not my chronic-illness drugs. (Not saying I shouldn’t have to pay, but if anything should be free, it should be the things that actually deal with health, not fun.) Also I find out I can get condoms tax-free. But not other OTS actual HEALTH meds I need for those same chronic conditions.
Look how they make sex things as low-cost as possible!
Liberals are disgusting. They only “free choice” they care about has always to do with sex. Sex, sex, sex.
Sick voters - those on their deathbed - are unlikely to vote at the next election. On the other hand - healthy voters will show up to vote.
On whom do want you to shower health benefits? People who will vote for you again! That makes political sense and public health insurance is going to be dictated by politics before people’s actual medical needs or the lack of them.
I'm sure most discerning freepers caught this a long time ago.
“United States had more than 1,000 PET scanners, while the Canadian Medicare system had only about 18!”
Yes, but their pets have more PET scans and CAT and MRI than the humans - because they didn’t have insurance! Many more machines for pets at the vet than for Canadian humans.
Disgusting, communism is.
Very good article
When mr goodman states that contraceptives are like seatbelts one saves people from a baby, a God created natural consequence of chosen action, the other saves people from a violent result to either chose behavior or a conflation of behaviors, a true accident, he points out the true problem with all of this:
That those, like goodman, who influence national psyche provide cover for people who insist that contraception is in any way healthy. So we never get past ‘babies are dangerous like an MVA’
Corrupt politicians create laws that increase corruption in the public sector.
On this day, there are thousands of noble and courageous Stage IV cancer patients, struggling to fulfill their Creator-endowed purpose for simply being alive, and grateful to the Creator for each day they can continue in their noble and positive struggle to contribute to their families and communities!
However, they must, instead, fight Obama's so-called "Affordable Care Act" artificial and counterfeit "rules" limiting their oncologists' preferred treatment methods, spending valuable hours on the telephone with pharmacists and insurance companies, arguing for their own and their physicians' right to be free!
In the meantime, their own government's Executive Branch sends out the Sandra Flukes and Hollywood battalions to advocate for that "Trojan Horse" by which they want to rule over the American economy, sapping out the critical dollars which might advance a cure for cancer or other deadly diseases for what? - product misidentified as a "women's health" component, in order to promote and preserve their own coercive power over a formerly free people, and their wasteful spending on behalf of special interests in order to buy the votes necessary to do so!
To the tune of "Bring Back My Bonnie To Me:
Planned Parenthood distributes cheap condoms,
they puncture each one with a pin,
'Cause they're gettin' rich on abortions,
Oh my! How the money rolls in!
Rolls in, rolls in, oh my how the money rolls in, rolls in!
Rolls in, rolls in, oh my how the money rolls in!
Insuring for contraceptives is like buying insurance for car washes.
Treat 1 cancer patient or vaccinate 5,000 kids.
Easy choice for politicians looking for votes.
So my cat with cancer receives better diagnostic care than a Canadian person would (he has had 2 MRI exams)? That is outrageous!
Health insurance should not cover basic services. It should only be for the unexpected costs--like car and house insurance.
If you are Canadian, yes.
Actually, definitely an American cat is better off than a Canadian human.
I got to tell my cats this