One day the GOP will figure out how to frame the discussion of Obamacare’s contraception mandate in terms of religious and other freedom — or so I hope. The Democrats and the left are talking about “women’s right to no-cost contraception”, and they are not doing American women any service.
Contraception mandate infringes on our freedoms. The Catholic church is one example of an organization that objects to being forced to cover the cost of birth control. But an employer concerned about potential negative effects of long-term use of the Pill, has no way of choosing a plan that does not cover this particular method.
Contraception mandates offer no choices to health care consumers. Not all women of childbearing age are interested in purchasing contraception. Many Catholic or Ultra-Orthodox Jewish women are not, and neither are lesbians. Where are the discounted plans for them?
Nearly every time I turn on the radio, I hear a fire-breathing feminist going on and on about women’s rights. But artificial birth control is not a right; it’s a good provided to us by the health care industry. The pharmaceutical companies are not about to take it away from us; what’s at stakes is who will cover the cost.
Unfortunately, some of us women get so greedy when we hear promises of free birth control, that we stop thinking. A prudent woman will think it through. There is no such thing as “no-cost contraception” because the Pill, condoms and IUDs all have cost. Who is paying for it and how?
The government loaded up our insurance policies with all sorts of mandatory coverage requirements. These requirements drive up the premiums and leave a growing number of Americans without private health insurance, which is pretty scary for us mothers. Catastrophic coverage with high deductibles makes the most sense for women of childbearing age. We can pay for our birth control out of pocket — which would amount to — oh nos! — tens of dollars a month. Witness the table:
|Method||Effectiveness||Cost Per Year|
|Birth Control Pills||95 percent||$160 to $600|
|Birth Control Patch||95 percent||$160 to $600|
|Cervical Cap||77 to 83 percent||$35 to $60|
|Fertility-Awareness||75 to 88 percent||Free|
|IUDs||99 percent||$100 (varies)|
|Shot (Depo-Provera)||99 percent||$220 to $460|
|Sterilization||99 percent||$30 to $200 (varies)|
|Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing)||95 percent||$160 to $600|
|Vaginal Sponge||68 to 84 percent||$500|
Ready to sell out for $10-$50?
UPDATE: Professor Jacobson writes that he (and Glenn Reynolds and Hot Air) were pointing out for quite a while now that the Democrats are framing contraception as a new culture war issue, something that I missed.
Nobody is taking away our family planning at this time; the markets are supplying American women with ever-increasing number of options. However, I am opposed to giving the monopoly (or near-monopoly) on contraception distribution to a single agency, namely the government. In such system , politically-connected patent holders of a particular method of birth control will be in a position to lobby the government to push their product at the expense of other methods.
UPDATE: many thanks to Professor Jacobson for the post of the day link!