Will put it back soon.
It's the pressure from folks who support Planned Parenthood-- not Planned Parenthood per se, or any other recipient of free stuff necessarily-- that brought the pain to Komen. I would assume that a lot of Komen's donations came from this crowd, otherwise they probably wouldn't have caved like a homemade souffle.
But yeah, it's politically easier to giveth than to taketh away in a democracy-- Karl Marx was right about that, more or less.
skymutt: accept no substitutes!
expansion of those women's rights? :) I can imagine a march of a Million women, angry at yet another one of their rights being abrogated. The right to no copays on contraception of course.
"To discuss evil in a manner implying neutrality, is to sanction it." AR
...that the issue does not move the needle for me, so I wasn't out on the streets carrying signs in protest or anything like that. I do not think that contraception necessarily has to be covered by insurance-- it it was not covered, people would just have to budget for it like everything else. No big disaster. People still buy toothpaste even though it is not covered by insurance.
But I suspect it is probably cheaper in the long run for society to just go ahead and cover contraception rather than bear the cost of abortions or unwanted children, so I support coverage, all else equal. There are certain freebies that it makes sense to take away, but I don't see much to be gained by being stingy here.
There's a lot of "stuff" all wrapped up in this contraception brouhaha. First, the idea that religious institutions "must pay" for things they don't believe in. I'm putting "must pay" in quotes, as it's not exactly clear who is paying; Obama was quoted as saying that the institution won't be paying, the insurance company will, which to me was a bigger WTF? than the original idea, but whatever. We all pay for things we don't like. This religious objection argument is being way overused in a lot of areas of civil life. I don't know how to fix that but I think we should. Second, the idea that the federal government should decide what kinds of free stuff a health insurance plan should offer. It's been a while since I've had to fork out that cash every month (which must be paid whether one is getting any or not, remember, since ladies must be prepared well in advance of any "maybe" and birth control only functions when constantly taken). But it's a significant expense for many women, and as I recall, my medical plan doesn't cover birth control AT ALL because it's not medication needed for an illness. I think many plans were heading that way. What's significant? How does $85 to $100 a month sound. Do you gentlemen have to spend that kind of cash for condoms every month even when you're not getting laid? Have a little sympathy ;-) I'd be satisfied if plans were required to cover it and people had to pay the normal copay or whatever their prescription drug benefit was. It shows a certain ignorance of how insurance companies work to not acknowledge that some form of underwriting analysis has to be undertaken and costs shifted elsewhere if something is mandated to be "free". There's not been a valid argument why this particular medication should be free of any co-pay. My high blood pressure medication isn't, and if I don't take it I could indeed cost the insurance company a lot of money. So, I don't buy into the burning necessity of it being free instead of just mandating it be covered.Then there's the idea that legislation can be "waived" for certain groups. Don't like provisions 5, 14, and 27? OK, here, let me grant you a waiver. What happened to equality under the law?And finally, the feminine reaction to all this. Any objective male understands women's different position and status in society. It's not that "free shit" is now a right, it's that this issue is perceived to be another flavor of the (overwhelmingly male) government's attempt to regulate our bodies. It provokes a strong reaction. So, you get that on top of the normal tendency of people liking the idea of free stuff. I mean, who doesn't like free stuff? Like the banks and the recent mortgage relief act, as another example ;-)And your Planned Parenthood jab was unfair. Funny, but unfair. That was just normal wrangling between two giant corporations about their specific relationship and its associated monetary exchanges. That it happened to occur over this issue is just a variable. [edited to fix a typo]
whether or not you get laid is worse than a gym membership that nags you with guilt for not going enough.
PF, I believe you implicitly made a strong argument for single-payer healthcare. Legally mandating religious entities to cover / request exemptions for / opt out of / get a third party to cover / pretty common health services = huge beaurocratic mess. Standardization, which is working so poorly with education right now, has huge value in health services. The Big Bad Federal Government sets the standard of basic care based on large-scale analysis, taxes the population accordingly and focuses on quality and efficiency rather than these needlessly complicated sideshows that hurt patients and only benefit political operatives.
As for the immediate issue, well, there's a reason I'm a lapsed Catholic. The church hierarchy needs to, how should I put this... go F themselves. If they were in any way competent in leading their flock, their parishoners wouldn't even want birth control. As for people of other faiths using their services, if the church wants to provide any care at all, let alone use public money to do so, they're in Caesar's realm. Cover the damn pills; you're not forcing anyone to take them.
I think I make an argument for change. Whether that's single payer or a complete overhaul of the current system or something in between, something has to change. Surely for something as complicated as the modern healthcare delivery system, we can and indeed must come up with more than two solutions to a given problem.If I sound grumpy, it's because the semi-annual rate change notice just arrived. And, before you tout all the new healthcare benefits, recall that existing plans are grandfathered, and one has to change plans (at whatever the premiums for those new plans are) for the majority of the new benefits to take effect.The current rate for two generally healthy, married adults, who have no more medical issues than average for a couple of (shuddup) 50 year-olds, and who rarely visit the doctor? How does twice my mortgage payment sound?And, appropos to the discussion at hand, those same birth control pills cost me less than $3 a month (total, not insured/copay stuff, just regular retail price, which is how things were done then). In current dollars, that was about like $10 today. Do you think they inflate drug prices much? Healthcare is broken.
all the time in the debate over energy sources. I don't buy it completely. Sure it's possible that some solutions work better than others under different circumstances. But it's also possible, even likely, that a single solution works better than all the others. Despite the complexity of healthcare, ultimately people just want to be covered for the treatment they need. Inserting beaurocratic layers and religious preferences into the mix isn't going to make anyone healthier.
The two things I really hate about the ACA are its needless complexity (there had to be a better way to get Nelson and Lieberman's votes) and how it annoys both the health insurance providers and consumers without really damaging the former or helping the latter.
I hope you at least have a small mortgage :)
Couple of points to consider.First, whenever one is approaching a complex issue, the first question is "what problem are you trying to fix?" If you don't define the problem, you cannot understand it, much less design a set of solutions to address it. I think healthcare as an issue consists of several sets of problems, each of which can be tackled. There are no lack of systems for us to study, either; as we are fond of saying, we're the only one without nationalized healthcare, and surely the other existing systems differ from one another, do they not? (Canada vs England vs Switzerland vs France vs Norway vs Japan etc.). Understanding how each differs in its approach and apparent success to a given healthcare problem might shed some light on the options available to the US. Or are you saying that there is only one "good" system and all the rest of those nations have crap systems?Second, I don't think the issue is "people just want to be covered." I would guess you've never had a serious "covered treatment" handled by the medical system. Just having insurance will not keep you from financial ruin, nor will it ensure you get the treatment you need at a price you can afford. I think that will become self-evident as we move forward with that monster of a bill. Sure, people will have insurance, and pay ungodly amounts for it, but when they are truly ill, they will quickly discover the joys of paying off tens of thousands of dollars in uncovered expenses. It may not seem to affect *you* personally, because you might have great insurance through a large employer, but even those types of plans are disappearing and will continue to do so. I'm not blaming ACA, by the way. I'm blaming the apparent lack of creativity and intelligence of our leadership. And no, I have a normal non-California type mortgage ;-) Welcome to your future. Unless, of course, you plan to remain a wage slave to the mega-corporations that will soon be the only entities able to provide reasonable insurance premiums to their employees thru their unique ability to self-insure.
I live in Canada (family/GF in the US) And was/kind of sort of am still a Federal employee (we got privatized by those jackass Harper conservatives) in terms of benefits. If I dived really deep into homeopathy and experimental treatments for ailments I don't have, I could probably rack up a few thousand a year in medical bills. And no, I haven't had a serious condition.
Maybe this colours (see what I did there?) my perception in that I want more people to have a relatively worry-free healthcare situation. Also note that I'm most certainly a net contributor to the healthcare system and am happy to pay for others' services, especially when they're delivered efficiently. Am I supposed to resent chain-smoking welfare recipients? Begrudge hospital janitors their decent salaries and benefits?
You're not the only one who'se pointed out that having insurance does not prevent financial ruin to me. But severe underinsurance, too, is a feature of the American system. I don't presume to know which of the nationalized systems would work best in the US; it's just that they would all work better. Just pick one.
Good to see you coming and speaking :) So does that mean you full endorsed everything PF said? Heh
Well, as far as general thrust and tone are concerned, I generally agree.
So have you been paying attention to the "campaign" and the neanderthal choice our media is trying to plunk down on us? :) I know you are a Santorum man, but...
Both Italian and from PA!
Right now I am stressing out over Michigan and hoping Romney can pull it out. It's gonna be a stressful day.
See how easy that was! Took no time at all ;-) Participation is easy, especially at the glacial pace of this blog.
Well, I figured there was something worth checking out based on your comment on FB. Faint curiosity won the day! :-)
I really don't like FB, and thus am almost never on it. The whole social networking thing does not appeal to me.
It's useful for keeping up with far flung friends and family, but only moderately so. I'm playing with the other features (the "likes" mostly) to see if it's a decent news aggregater. So far, it works pretty well for local stuff---the city, my council district, the culturemap reporter, my subdivision, the Texans, and local community center all are using it. I've found out a few things that way that I would have missed otherwise. I've got feeds from Daily Kos, RedState, Volokh, RCP, and those are a mixed bag. I deleted most of my acquaintances that tended to post "I'm going to the store now" kinds of things. That helped a lot ;-)
except that it is nice to have seen the faces of people like yourself that I have not met in person.
though not necessarily my face ;)
Once you start doling out freebies and then decide that you want to be more selective in who you give them too, howls of protest are inevitable.
But Komen's a charity, not a Soros or a Koch. Their fundraisers imply their focus is on curing the disease, not preventing contraception or abortions. They screwed up badly and are paying a deserved price for it.
As for the BC coverage mandate in the ACA, this silly controversy arose both because the law itself kind of sucks and because the right wants a wedge issue and doesn't care whose access they trample in order to get it. If providing free or nearly free birth control is good social policy, the government should just provide it itself and let women chose whether or not to use it.As for catholic hospitals, the minute they recieve a public dime, they surrender their right to religious capriciousness as to how they spend it.
See how easy that is to solve when you define the problem in specific terms: If providing free or nearly free birth control is good social policy,
the government should just provide it itself and let women chose whether
or not to use it.This has the added benefit of not screwing around with the existing healthcare market model. It does not require any existing business to change.
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