05.21.12

Unintended consequence of employer provided health care

Posted in , Society at 17:33 by RjZ

Have you been reading how various state and federal legislatures are trying various strategies to limit access to birth control? Missouri, for example, recently voted that employers shouldn’t be forced to offer insurance that covers birth control (or abortions) if their religious convictions oppose such activities. Check out that article, but read the comments too.

Folks are pretty angry that conservative legislators are waging a war on every other religion and women are the casualties. According to the article Rep. Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo says “This is about sending a message to the federal government that we don’t like things rammed down our throat,” which is interesting, because, most people reading this think that’s exactly what they’re doing: forcing others to tolerate an essentially Christian notion of when and how birth control should be used.

I don’t see this as a volley in the so-called war on Christianity, but rather a response to big government ideals and how conservatives see those manifest in Obama-care. It’s a bizarre response, because it seems to insert government into yet another private decision, but, to be fair, the claim is that employers aren’t required to do something (even if it’s fair) and not that they’re being subjected to an increased burden. Employees remain free to gain insurance in some other way that covers their needs.

The real problem here, is our horrible system of employer provided health care. Companies with moral convictions shouldn’t be obligated to offer health care that is abhorrent to them; and the rest of us should feel free to condemn their antiquated beliefs and stop patronizing them or working for them. Unfortunately, freeing employers up to pick and choose which health care requirements they will meet and which ones they don’t like results in people with very scattered coverage, because they have no where affordable they can turn.

Imagine, if instead of trying to fix the existing system of employer provided health-care (which Obama-Care settled upon as a solution) we actually cut the employers out of the picture completely. Such unintended consequences as these silly bills wouldn’t even be on the table and personal choice might be available for all.

2 Comments »

  1. LauraLA said,

    July 3, 2012 at 21:29

    Ugh, don’t get me started on the topic of “Obama-care”. Too late, I’m in. When it first became a news sound bite I wanted to read the original wording of the proposed legislation. Try as I might I was unable to download it. Rumors swirled that it was hundreds of pages, then 3,000 pages and even as much as 7,000+ pages. It was fascinating that so many people had something to say about a document they had never read. Pundits of every stripe were busy spinning individual points culled from said document. Were people even aware that they would not be voting on it?

    Now it has been reviewed by the Supreme Court. I still have not read it. I’m still wondering how will we create the massive beauracracy to oversee this? Where is the money coming from? How can it be enforced?

    This has bit of a parallel to the Colorado FasTrack covered in another blog post. It is bound to be way more expensive than claimed. It may not necessarily work. It is a nice idea if there was universal health care for all but it this just another administration buying votes by offering “a chicken in every pot?”

  2. LauraLA said,

    July 4, 2012 at 12:28

    Sorry if my first response was a bit off topic. It’s a bit of a knee-jerk reaction whenever the words “Obama care” are mentioned.

    To the main point: Government Involvement in Reproductive Issues

    1. Birth control. In general I doubt that cost is the main factor preventing people from obtaining birth control. It is unlikely that having birth control available via Employer Sponsored health care will cause a sudden rush to the pharmacy for the pill since these persons are presumably employed and thus receiving a salary to pay for said birth control already if they choose to do so. People who do not use it probably don’t do so because they are a. ignorant; b. ashamed/embarrassed to buy birth control; c. not “planning” to have sex which taking the pill would imply d. an option I haven’t thought of.

    2. It is foolish to include such a hot button item like birth control in a comprehensive federal health care plan since the end results will likely be inconsequential even if it comes to pass.

    3. Offering insurance should be a choice made by employers, including the type of insurance. Choosing birth control should be a choice made by individuals. The government should allow the people the freedom to make these decisions.

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