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Fine, but what’s it got to do with insurance?
“Some 99% of women in the U.S. who are or have been sexually active at some point in their lives have used birth control, including 98% of Catholic women, according to the Guttmacher Institute.”
Fine, but what’s it got to do with—oh never mind. I’ll answer myself: It’s got nothing to do with insurance.
Insurance arose as a way for individuals to pool their risk of some low-probability/high-cost misfortune befalling them. It shouldn’t be necessary to point this out, but coming of child-bearing age and choosing to use contraception is not an insurable event. It’s a volitional act. It may have good consequences for the person taking the action and society at large, but it is still a volitional act. It makes no sense to talk about insuring against the eventuality that a particular person will use contraception. Strictly speaking, contraception has nothing to do with insurance.
Unfortunately, we don’t speak strictly about health insurance. One reason we don’t is the tax code. Since World War II compensation for labor in the form of employment-based health insurance does not count as taxable income. (Money spent independently on health insurance does count.) The tax code thus creates perverse incentives to 1) depend on one’s employer for medical insurance, 2) shift income from liquid cash to restricted insurance benefits, and 3) define uninsurable events as insurable. Would someone care to explain how well-baby care can be insurable?
So we have taxation to thank for yet another feature of the modern world: the corruption of language. In the medical realm insurance no long means insurance.
Instead it’s a game by which we get other people to pay for stuff. Well, that’s not quite accurate. It’s actually a game in which we pretend that other people pay for stuff. Look, contraception, mammograms, colonoscopies, and well-baby care are not free. (See my “There’s No Such Thing as a Free Mammogram.”) They require labor and resources for which the owners wish—not unreasonably—to be compensated. Someone has to pay. If employers are compelled nominally to pay for the coverage, does anyone seriously doubt that employees will actually pay through lower cash wages? Employers are not charities. So even without a copayment, we all know deep down that we as workers pay for the coverage. (Which by the way is likely to be more expensive than the services would be in a freed market, since insurance companies will charge overhead and more for their trouble. Also subsidized demand raises prices.) Nevertheless, the truth is so obscured that people can pretend they’re getting something for free.
So the government-generated system treats us like children, and alas most of us seem happy to be treated that way.
Under pressure, the Obama administration was expected to announce a “compromise” under which exempt Catholic employers would not have to pay for contraception coverage. Instead, insurance companies would provide the coverage directly to employees. Since under Health and Human Services rules, this coverage must be free, the Obama administration is in effect directing insurers to eat the cost. But insurers are profit-making companies, not charities, so we may expect them to pass the cost to someone else. But to whom? There’s only one possibility: nonexempt employers, which means in fact employees of nonexempt companies. So the grand compromise shifts the cost from a small minority of employees to the vast majority — all in the name of religious freedom. All workers in nonexempt companies and institutions will take a pay cut.
Sheldon Richman is editor of The Freeman, where this article originally appeared.
Sheldon Richman is executive editor of The Libertarian Institute and chairman of the board of trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society. He blogs at Free Association and has authored several books including, most recently, America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited.
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Capitalism works to:
1. Disestablish people from the land and make hunting and
gathering illegal with privation property laws favoring
2. Once they're starving, get them to work in your office or factory.
3. Whitewash it with "free enterprise" rhetoric.
The one thing I'm sure many of us wish is that your father had been sterile.report spam
The one thing I'm sure many of us wish is that your father had been sterile . . .
. . . or that he'd been in the mood for anal that night, though the end result likely would have been the same.report spam
Never did see an American Indian Holocaust, and ensuing occupation of the Land, they didn't like.report spam
So much win. +100.report spam
He should have just fixed the damn cable like she asked.report spam
and they can't counter a simple refutation of totalitarian crapitalismreport spam
When mommy bought you your studded butt plug and your computer, did she explain that she was able to acquire them because of capitalism? Are you now ashamed you use a computer? Don't you think you should throw it away?report spam
the first artificial satellite
Nyet. Sputnik is omelet I break 20,000,000 eggs for.report spam
90,000,000 eggs. Stalin is a piker compared to the genocide of capitalist efficiency.report spam
Those 19th Century capitalist, Rockefeller, Morgan, Chase, Custard . . . .report spam
Re: White Imbecile,
This is a goddamned lie. You certainly have not traveled much out of your mommy's basement.
The Conquest of the New World
David E. Stannard
Oxford University Press, 1992
the 100 million deaths, White Imbecile? That guy?
"He estimates that 100 million native people were killed"
Yeah, I can "estimate" figures that I can pull out of my ass just like Davy there pulled his from his ass. It is still a lie.report spam
Re: White Imbecile,
This is what happens when you rely on a simple Google search, White Imbecile. 10 to 1 you didn't even read that book. Stannard simply assumes that the 95% wipe out is correct and from there proceeds to estimate 145 million dead native Americans, without realizing that most Mexicans (just to begin with) are of native American ascent directly, as well as almost all Guatemalans, all Salvadoreans, many Hondurans, almost all Bolivians, most Peruvians, etc. etc. There is NO way that you can have those populations with "95%" of their ancestors being wiped out. Stannard simply happens to be an anti-Western ideologue, and you're still an imbecile who would cry like a little wussy girl if having to fend for yourself in your beloved "original affluent society."
Waa waa waa!report spam
Yeah, except, of course, that the American Indians were wiped out by the European colonial powers, England and Spain; the US didn't even exist at the time. Furthermore, almost all of them were killed by European diseases, not guns. And many of the European political structures and dynasties that were responsible for the "American holocaust" still exist in Europe. For the past two centuries, the US has been trying to clean up after the messes the Europeans created in the Americas and elsewhere.report spam
Neither were any before Telstar, so what?report spam
Sputnik was a propeganda investment made by the Soviets at the cost of the Soviet people. Arguably, the space race only happened because the Soviets needed to COMPETE with the Americans or risk having their top down economic ideals challenged and defeated by a free market society. And no, I dont think America in that era was a totally free market, but it in comparison to the Soviet Union, it was practically a libertarian utopia.report spam
oh my god, libertarians need to get off the internet!report spam
Commercial development of the internet was illegal for almost twenty years, OMG, get the fuck out of the way and STAY out of the way/report spam
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Re: White Imbecile,
You would cry like the little wussy girl you are either way, honey. Just at the sight of one of your broken fingernails, hunting for earthworms.
Waa waa waa!report spam
again and again and again and again and againreport spam
like a little wussy girl at the sight of crows leaving with your meager crumbs, White Imbecile.report spam
Exactly bassackwards, dummy. The whitewash is the lie told by socialists that a free lunch is forthcoming, any day now, just you wait, it won't be long now...If people want prosperity, how are they gonna get it without lots of hard and smart work?report spam
On the one hand, fuck the catholics.. on the other, fuck obamacare...
I guess, at the end of the day, I really don't give a shit.
On that note... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wS5xOZ7Rq8report spam
On the one hand, fuck the catholics.. on the other, fuck obamacare...
To me, this one's a no-brainer: the Catholics don't have the wherewithal to force their values on all of us, whereas Obama and his minions do. So I'm with the papists on this one.report spam
Universal Pollution is ok.
Universal birth defects are ok.
Universal asthma is ok.
Universal health care for the victims of Koch oil fumes, not ok.report spam
The poor lad might be an idiot, but he's certainly not white.report spam
That's the joke. *Snicker*.report spam
"What's this got to do with insurance?"
Believe me Marv, it's a comprehensive policy...report spam
So whats that called when someone is forced to provide services to another without compensation?report spam
The draftreport spam
Where the elite get big-government Land enTITLEments that restrict the free movement of Non-state people.report spam
The best argument that capitalism blows that I've seen is that nobody has tried to make a TV sitcom about a developmentally retarded Gambol Liberation Front superhero in a turd-colored leotard calling himself 'White Injun'. It's such a fucking great idea.report spam
I think you've found the perfect PR angle for gutting the 13th Amendment: Express it in terms of "rights": One group "A" is granted an entitlement to have their cotton picked by another group "B", say 20% of each member of group B's time. So group A then rotates 1/5 of the members of group B in one day at a time to pick cotton.
It's not slavery, it's an individual mandate!report spam
I have the pleasure to announce that I have designed a talking
Obama doll. Phrases include:
"assume the position"
" will be required to or they will be penalized"
"Millionares and billionares and need to pay their fair share so that the poorest among us can "
"It is the right of every American to obtain for free."
At anyrate, this fuckin doll is gonna need an extra long string for some of these...report spam
Oops something happened to the inset quotes. Whatever, im not fucking retyping it. At any rate you can probably guess what words are missing from the incomplete sentences, if not, simply replay the last few Obama campaign rallies, err State of the Union addresses to find out.report spam
Any rational profit-based insurer would prefer to provide "free" birth control over costly pregnancy OB/GYN services anytime.
SoCons are getting spanked on this issue and John is a fool for denying such.report spam
You're a stupid fuck, Shriek.report spam
And you're a shitty actuarial. Which costs less? BC pills or pregnancy?report spam
What part of "Road to Serfdom" advocated forcing people to follow actuarial tables?report spam
If the purchaser of the insurance doesn't want BC pills, then all the actuarial logic goes out the window.report spam
When you access the situation, and realize that you have nothing in common with this crowd, your arguments will always be trumped since they are essentially differences in moral prerogatives albeit yours are the wrong ones, at what point do you ignore the logical conclusion that you should quit bugging us?report spam
And you're a shitty actuarial. Which costs less? BC pills or pregnancy?
As someone who worked as a health insurance underwriter, I can assure you that it is cheaper for an insurance company to NOT cover BC pills that women who do not want to get pregnant would buy anyway.
I mean, really, how many women get pregnant because they couldn't get their insurer to spring for BC pills and they thought the pills were too costly?report spam
Wut? We grrrlz r all dumb bitchez who can't do maff on our own. Babies are more expensive than birth control? Whatevs!report spam
What part of Friedman/Hayek advocated for mandating employers provide inexpensive incidentals?report spam
None, of course. But the whole system is fucked up due to Medicare/caid. 51% of the US has their health care paid for by government. BC pills are a gnat on the ass of that $700 billion beast.report spam
BC pills are a gnat on the ass of that $700 billion beast.
Then you should have no problem covering the cost for the women you purport to "love," right?report spam
Why does anyone expect insurance to cover eithe conraion or pregnancy.
Both can be planned and budgeted for and paid for out of pocket.
More evidence thaty people don't want insurance, they want someone else to pay their doctors bills.report spam
Correction:Why does anyone expect insurance to cover either contraception or pregnancy?
I've made typos before but I,ve never missed that many letters.
It's Friday, do what I do, blame it on the acid.report spam
A regular uncomplicated pregnancy can be budgeted for. But, complications of pregnancy can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Preemies, the same.
So, unless you're fairly wealthy, this is exactly the sort of thing where insurance makes sense to cover -- huge unanticipatable but rare expenses you don't have the cash reserves to pay for out of pocket.report spam
Great. I assume you're an insurer willing to buy the actual risk, right? You can't possibly be some thug with his hand out trying to sound like an actuary, can you?report spam
Not if the woman wants to get pregnant.
Ohhhh, you didn't think of that, did you? Aww, sweetheart!report spam
Who gives a shit. If thats the case, then why do we need a goddamn law? Also, there is a first ammendment issue here. Now me, personally, I dont give a flying shit through a spinning fan about the goddamn church, but they have a right to religious freedom so compelling them to do things that violates their religious beliefs, no matter how retarded they may be is still wrong. And simply making the insurance companies pay for it is equally wrong, because money is fungible. The costs will be passed on to the organization providing the care and furthermore, the religious organization will no longer be able to select a plan that does not offer this service.
Here is an idea, if you cant afford birth control and you dont want to get pregnant, JUST STOP FUCKING.report spam
"I dont give a flying shit through a spinning fan about the goddamn church, but they have a right to religious freedom so compelling them to do things that violates their religious beliefs"
They can do whatever they want with their own money and their own people. But that's not what we are talking about here. These "Catholic" facilities are health care facilities that actually care for, and are staffed by, many non-Catholics; they receive tax exemptions and are reimbursed by different health plans. It would be an outrage to allow these institutions to impose their religious views and lifestyle choices on others with other people's money. If the Catholic church doesn't want to comply with medical standards or federal employment laws, then they should get out of these businesses altogether.report spam
1: the non-Catholics in question are aware that they are working for/patronizing an institution that is run according to Catholic ideals.
2: the fact that the Catholic institution is not paying for something that goes against their ideals is not the same as controlling their employees lives. Their employees are perfectly free to obtain BC out of pocket.report spam
"the non-Catholics in question are aware that they are working for/patronizing an institution that is run according to Catholic ideals"
They may not have a choice, since the Catholic hospital may have a natural monopoly. Furthermore, private businesses can't compete on equal footing with the Catholic institution since it receives special privileges and tax exemptions.
And if that is so, why couldn't I run an atheist hospital that refuses to hire Catholics? I mean, atheists consider Catholic reproductive policies to be immoral, and their lack of birth control and consequent unwanted pregnancie imposes high costs on the rest of us; I don't want to have to pay for those immoral choices either.
So, either liberty for everybody, or everybody needs to live under the same restrictions. But I am strongly against giving preferential treatment to Catholic institutions, and that is exactly what you want.report spam
I'm not sure where Catholic hospitals have a monopoly, but if they do, it's probably in an area that is too sparsely populated to afford a variety of options. If that were the case, it might be impossible to avoid one hospital or another having a monopoly.
Secondly, I did not call for "preferential treatment" for Catholic institutions. I don't think the insurance mandate should exist at all, let alone the mandate for BC coverage. I don't want special treatment for Catholic institutions in this regard; I want freedom of choice/freedom of conscience across the board.
Third: you are limiting the discussion to hospitals and thus obscuring that we are talking about a wider variety of institutions and businesses (schools, social welfare organizations, radio and TV stations, bookstores, newspapers/magazines, and so on) that may be affected.report spam
What R said...report spam
On what planet is this about cost? Some people don't want to offer as compensation for services rendered something they regard as evil. Vegetarians wouldn't want to give people meat as payment. PETA wouldn't want to give fur. Catholics don't want to give contraception.
It's like twenty bucks a month. Worst case scenario, the government should just grant a waiver that lets the organization pay all employees $20 extra bucks a month in cash, for them to spend as they see fit. If women choose not to spend that on contraception, well, their budget, their choice.report spam
Waivers are only for donors to Obamas reelection campaign.report spam
Cynical, you've got it all wrong! This is about womyn's reproductive rights! Reproductive rights have nothing to do with responsibility!report spam
I'm a broke ass college student & manage to pay my $9 a month for birth control. It's not like the generic stuff is filled with medical waste, geez. I don't understand the need to take pills that cost upwards of $100 a month!report spam
I've had enough of this topic. But someone please save me from this BS. AHH!report spam
Communism and Capitalism work the same way: to concentrate wealth and power to the elite.report spam
Communism and Capitalism fail the same way: too concentrated wealth and power to the elite.report spam
Is that why you're angry, Injun?report spam
Are you suggesting a THIRD way that succeeds where capitalism and communism fail? I've never heard that idea before. I'm intrigued, Do please continue.report spam
Don't encourage it.report spam
I noticed it going down the line not up it. If it changes course though, watch out!report spam
Do what I do: never read Gawker.report spam
I am a Catholic, and I think that our leadership got what they deserved on this one. The latest thing in the church now is "social justice", which basically means more government involvement in everything. But when you give the government more power, there is the risk that someone will use that power for something you don't like. During the health care debate, the church was against free abortions, but was just fine with the government forcing people to pay for someone else's health care - for the sake of "social justice." Well, guess what? This is what you get. I'm sure nobody in the church is going to get this point, though.report spam
You mean the monster I've cobbled together will refuse to obey my every command?report spam
I said something similar to this to my very Catholic Mother and she had to agree. They were enablers of this legislation that bit them in the ass.
Of course it doesn't change the fact that this is bullshit, not because it is war on religion but because nobody should be forced to do this.report spam
Thanks, I think that's an important observation. In fact, much of what conservatives call "socialist Europe" is, in fact, Christian Europe and the Catholic church's idea of "social justice" and social engineering.
Having said that, I don't have a problem with the Catholic church doing whatever it wants to with its own money, and doing to its priests and members whatever it wants to. But the health care facilities we are talking about here have non-Catholic staff and non-Catholic patients, and take insurance and tax funding from non-Catholics. That's why they should not be able to use these facilities to impose Catholic religious beliefs on others.
In fact, I think Obama can do what he wants, I don't see an exemption for Catholic hospitals surviving a legal challenge. As long as health care was voluntary, the Catholic church could choose to provide a limited plan. But now that it has become mandatory, there is no basis for an exemption.report spam
This is not so much about BC as it is about promoting promiscuous attitudes; for the young kids this is about molesting them with sexual/prurient subject matter.report spam
Good article Mr. Richman.report spam
So the insurers won't increase premiums for religious employers, but instead will increase premiums for the non-religious employers?
Can someone with greater economic expertise explain this to me? Why won't the insurers increase premiums on religious employers?report spam
They will, nothing has changed. Previously the mandate was that employers had to offer an insurance policy for $x that covered whatever, and also included a rider that covered free contraception for $y at no extra cost to the employee. The "compromise" (wink-wink) is that insurers have to offer the offer the employees contraception at no cost to the employees. The reality is that the insurers will simply end up charging employers $x + $y for the "revised" policy, and the employer is still paying for contraceptives for its employees. Nothing has changed from the original mandate--everyone just has to pretend it has.report spam
A fellow moron?report spam
Indeed I am, though I rarely comment there--usually too many comments to wade through and I hate repeating what someone else has already said.report spam
Yup, same. Well, good to know the hobo hunting and ValuRite tradition is alive and well in other corners of the interwebs.report spam
My car insurance doesn't cover oil changes. They are really expensive, and you have to do them. But Geico is still refusing to pay for some reason. Let's require all auto insurance to provide free oil changes. We'll save a bundle! Who's with me?report spam
And if you said your insurance ought o pay to buy you another car they'd say you're crazy but it's perfectly OK to expect insurance to pay for pregnancies.
By the way, I'm fine with paying for complications due to pregnancy. That's unexpected.
But if you're fucking there's a chance of pregnancy. So have the money to either pay for it or prevent it.report spam
By the way, I'm fine with paying for complications due to pregnancy. That's unexpected.
Oh, please. What do you think would happen if insurers tried to not cover uncomplicated pregnancies, but did cover complicated pregnancies? What incentive would you give doctors and their patients? Think through all the perverse outcomes that might cause.
That's why, because insurers must cover complications of pregnancies, logically they must also cover * less * complicated pregnancies (because EVERY pregnancy can be deemed to be complicated in some way).report spam
As someone who claims to have worked as a health insurance underwriter you don't know much about insurance. Kreel wrote "paying for COMPLICATIONS due to pregnancy", not for complicated pregnancies. The pregnancy is predictable. The complications are not. Just like in Stevo's car insurance example.
In any case, what you seem to be suggesting is that insurance companies should be forced to pay for everything so they won't be defrauded by some doctors and patients into paying for some things. Is that not blindingly stupid?report spam
That's only because the right-wing extremists in Congress wants your engine to grind to a screeching halt for lack of regular oil changes, which ought to be a human right. Myself, I'm sick of these creeps being in the pay of Big Rebuild.