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BIRTH CONTROL: Be tolerant of my rights

Letter by Todd Ward, Tacoma on March 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm with 18 Comments »
March 6, 2012 2:27 pm

I have been following the debate over mandating both contraception and abortion coverage in health insurance policies. I find it appalling that the conversation is being framed as “women’s rights.”

No one is suggesting that abortion or contraception is to be criminalized or taken away; this is about who pays for the service.

No one is encouraging the restriction of abortion or contraception so there is no denial of a “right” (even though there is no evidence that either of these is a “right” under our constitution). Are we to extrapolate from this line of thinking that we are to pay for condoms as well? Asking me to pay for any of these is an affront to my Christian beliefs.

So, you are, in essence stating that the your preference to have me pay for your lifestyle choice is more important than my constitutional right to freedom of religion? There is no equivalency in these issues.

Leave a comment Comments → 18
  1. I don’t like paying for other men’s Viagra. Shouldn’t we have a Viagra opt-out insurance plan? And shouldn’t we have an insurance plan that lets vegans opt out of paying for treatment for heart attacks and other illnesses caused by eating fatty meat and animal products? Why not have everyone be able to tailor their own insurance to their own lifestyle? Why not have a religiious exemption for those who think diabetis is punishment from God for gluttony?

    I ask those questions knowing there is a simple answer – economics of scale.

    One of the findings for much of health reform is that if we had one basic health care plan that paid for the most used and necessary procedures and medications, our nation would save a tremendous amount of money in administrative costs. People will be able to compare apples to apples in selecting insurance companies instead of the “airline ticket” add-ons and baggage fees and iother kinds of ciosts you have to pay when you ask for tailor-made insurance plans.

    Indeed, in states that have mandated basic coverage laws, even those that include contraception, health care costs go down. When the Republicans and Democrats both passed laws adding contraception to federal employees insurance and Medicaid, costs did not go up even though a provision in the law said that providers could receive extra payment if they showed their costs went up. None could, and some showed their costs went down.

    Some providers say that providing a different policy that does not include contraception will cost about $17 per person per month that will be spread out to all insurance payers. So all of us insurance payers will be paying for someone else’s religiious beliefs.

  2. Pacman33 says:

    The letter writer submits –
    “So, you are, in essence stating that the your preference to have me pay for your lifestyle choice is more important than my constitutional right to freedom of religion? There is no equivalency in these issues.”

    This is the reality in today’s differences between the right and the left. Radical leftists would discard American’s First Amendment Rights for some contrived, feckless right to “Free Contraception”.

  3. You have got it absolutely correct Todd! Now, if we can just get everyone to see things the way you and I do that would be great!

    Great letter Todd!!! Thank you!!!

  4. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Tuddo, your argument is, not surprisingly, specious since you are completely avoiding the distinction between being forced to provide something to which one objects as a matter of conscience, and being forced to pay for meds or procedures as a part of your insurance bundle. Downright silly stuff, really.

    I don’t like having to pay premiums that help cover the cost of sex reassignment surgery, or elective abortions, or any sort of elective treatment. But I don’t necessarily object to them as a matter of conscience, just as you are likely not the one being forced to provide the insurance that covers Viagra.

    Then there’s this from factcheck:

    Is the Obama administration correct when it claims its contraception mandate will be “cost neutral” for insurance companies? Or are the critics right when they say Catholic institutions will pay a hidden cost in the form of higher premiums when their insurers are required to give “free” contraceptives to their female employees?

    We’ve found plenty of evidence. But it’s often conflicting — and ultimately inconclusive. Some leading examples:

    – The administration cites Hawaii’s birth-control mandate, which a study said “did not appear” to increase health insurance premiums. Interestingly, the same study also showed an increase in the number of pregnancies after contraception coverage was required.
    – The administration cites a 1995 study that found significant savings from contraception. The study also said insurance company costs are likely to increase if coverage is simply provided to people who would otherwise buy birth control.
    – When Pennsylvania considered a birth-control mandate, an independent state agency concluded that “the amount of possible savings relative to the cost of the legislation is unclear.”
    – Connecticut also could not conclude whether private insurance plans saved enough from reduced pregnancy costs to cover the added expenses of providing coverage under that state’s mandate.
    – A Texas study estimated that covering contraception would not produce enough savings to cover the added cost. It reasoned that, in most cases, women would get contraceptives on their own even if not covered by insurance.
    – Premiums did not increase when the Federal Employee Health Benefit System was required to cover contraceptives. Some of the 300 plans in the system covered contraception prior to the mandate.
    – A recent survey of 15 insurance companies said six of them expected costs to rise while another three believed the mandate would be cost neutral. None predicted a net cost savings by reducing unintended pregnancies.

    http://www.factcheck.org/2012/02/cloudy-contraception-costs/

    Conflicting? I’d say their evidence shoots big holes in your and 0bama’s claims.

  5. philichi says:

    Tuddo, so President Obama is ordering Catholic groups to pay for coverage that they believe is evil. This is all for economics. Huh, Is that from the same silly minds that brought us the $800 billion stimulus plan, cash for clunkers and and the recovery summer?

    I think that I am done with leftist economics. I hope that our next president knows that economies of scale, like Tuddo is trying to describe will come by maximizing efficiencies not requiring that the Catholic church pay to kill babies.

  6. Well, there’s old philichi “A day late and a dollar short” as usual. Actually, this time philichi is almost a full month out of date. Read this article from February 10th to bring yourself current with the rest of the class okay phil?

    The Obama Compromise:

    “The new compromise is that religious employers themselves will have no responsibility to either pay for this coverage or to communicate with employees about it; instead, those burdens will shift to insurance companies, at no additional cost to consumers.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/10/obama-birth-control-compromise-defuses-religion-issue.html

    Let me translate the big word for you phil. This means President Obama is NOT “ordering Catholic groups to pay for coverage that they believe is evil.” You see, that’s what it means by “compromise”.

  7. muckibr, actually I disagree with the Obama compromise and thinks it sinks us all into businesses who ahve any moral objection to anything being able to deprive workers of benefits.

    I grew up in the South during a time when people had religious objections to blacks integrating into white society. I heard the religious reasons every Sunday, so please don';t say there weren’t strongly held religious beliefs.

    If an employer doing bjusiness in the public secgtor can claim religious reasons for ignoring any alw they feel tramples on thjeir religious beliefs, I think lour society is bheaded for chaos.

    In the past, the exemptions only were given to the religious part of the organization, the churches did not have to follow civil laws when it pertained to employment of religious teachers, priests and pastors and other religious workers. They did not have to follow any health code or other regulation if it was part of the religious services.

    However, if they had a business open to the public and the goods and services were not religious, then they couldn’t claim an exemption.

    This is how it has been for over 150 years until Obama agreed to let hotels and restaurants and gift shops refuse to comply with regulations.

    Vox, I do provide insurance for my employees. It is very easy to start a church in the USA. All you have to do is call yourself one. I could change my two businesses into church-owned businesses just like that and declare that my beliefs were such I did not have to do a lot of things that are usually regulated. So your thinking my response was “specious” isn’t so specious when you look at the intrusion of employer’s religious beliefs into the workplace and public arena.

    If I believe in faith healing only why can’t I have religious objections to all medical care for my employees and ignore the entire insurance business? It would save me a lot of money.

  8. Pacman33 says:

    It’s an accounting gimmick or a fig leaf. It’s not a compromise, except to daily beasts(?) and naive, part-time Christians/Catholics.

    Obama’s “compromise” is a distinction without a difference–an accounting gimmick that will still leave religious institutions footing the bill for services they find morally objectionable. Obama’s “compromise” doesn’t even pretend to provide an out for self-insured religious institutions, which total about 3/4 of them.

    Putting the obligation on the insurer and not the employer doesn’t help much if they are the same person.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/business/self-insured-complicate-health-deal.html?_r=1

  9. LornaDoone says:

    “So, you are, in essence stating that the your preference to have me pay for your lifestyle choice is more important than my constitutional right to freedom of religion?”

    No. Next time, try researching the subject before writing a letter to the editor

  10. Theefrinker says:

    Working people pay for their own insurance policies. Although if you’re suggesting, Todd, that you’d like to pay for my condoms, it would be greatly appreciated!

  11. philichi says:

    Tuddo, for many years Quakers have not served in the military and the Amish have been exempted from Social Security. We call this freedom to practice our religion. You know, the 1st amendment.
    Are you now really telling us that the 1st amendment no longer counts? Which one are we loosing next?
    Muckibr, the Obama compromise is a scam. Perhaps only you were uninformed enough to fall for it. I assure you that our nation’s 181 Catholic Bishops saw it for what it was, “a cynical slight of hand”
    My only question is does our silly Napoleonic leader and his band of merry comrads really want to battle with 70 million Catholics when he tries to hold on to his tenuous second term. How will this go over with Catholics in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, and many other swing states. Catholics mistakenly put him in office we will take him out next time.

  12. aislander says:

    There IS a difference between what we agree to as part of a buying group and what government decrees that ANY of us does–let alone a religious organization, which is specifically protected by the Constitution.

    If I want to buy a health insurance policy that covers only hangnails, I should be able to do so, and if I wish to work for an employer that provides only such insurance, I should be able to do that, too. That is what used to known as “freedom.”

    The word “right” has been thrown around a lot during this idiotic discussion, but, when I look at the list of rights enumerated in the Constitution, they all share one characteristic: NONE of them place obligations on citizens to DO anything (except, perhaps, to defend the nation and the Constitution itself).

    I don’t see how any citizen can have an intrinsic right that places an obligation on another to serve him…

  13. anders_ibsen says:

    So, what if I’m your employer, and I have a sincere religious objection to paying for your heart medication?

  14. philichi says:

    Anders_ibsen you have asked the question of the day! That is a question between you and me. Perhaps we don’t need Napolean and his band of comrads to boss us around. However, since most of the conversation is over Birth control pills at $9.00 per month perhaps our forcefull leader should have just left it out of his silly health plan.

  15. Pacman33 says:

    phillichi suggests –
    “However, since most of the conversation is over Birth control pills at $9.00 per month perhaps our forcefull leader should have just left it out of his silly health plan.”

    Perhaps 0bama wanted to change the discussion away from his failed presidency.

    $9.00? I heard somewhere it was $3000.00 over 3 or 4 years. Must have been some kind of Fluke or something.

  16. tuddo, you van believe what you like about The Obama Compromise. I believe he was sincere in making it, that it solves the problem with The Catholic Church. I trust President Obama more than I trust all of the Republican Candidates combined, with the possible exception of Ron Paul.

    I don’t know what the Catholic Bishops problem is now, but I suspect it is political chicanery in an effort to help Santorum somehow. They should not directly involve themselves in politics, because I believe the wall of separation between church and state should go both ways. Their political involvement is ultimately going to hurt and not help them.

  17. muckibr, I’m not sure whether the bishops are rooting for a particular candidate or just trying to force their flock to abide by their made-up mysogynist rules through this tactic. A majority of Catholic women do not believe the same way the church fathers do, but they do work at the hospitals and hotels and gift shops and other businesses owned by the church. So, if you can’t use the threat of eternal damnation against women, then just deprive them of insurance coverage. That’ll show ‘em.

  18. tuddo, that only if you believe The Church is refusing to pay for birth control out of some vindictiveness. I do not. I believe that The Church, as a whole, is attempting to adhere to its beliefs that birth control is as much against their core beliefs as abortion is.

    You probably believe that The Catholic Church should also pay for abortions too, right?

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