Random Thoughts on the HHS Rule

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So much has been written about the HHS rule and its “compromise” that I hardly think I have much to add to the conversation.  Nevertheless, there are a few points that I think have been missing form the debate, even in Catholic circles.  Allow me to take a brief moment to give a relatively disconnected trio of issues that just may help to spark some more conversation.

1. Religious Liberty is an Individual Freedom.

It seems to me that the focus of the national Catholic conversation has been on the Obama administration’s violation of the freedom of religion by forcing Catholic institutions such as hospitals and universities to provide employees with contraceptives and sterilizations, a practice that is in clear contradiction to the teachings of our faith.  While this is certainly deplorable and the most overt violation of the First Amendment, what has been relatively missing from the dialog is that religious liberty is not merely a liberty granted to religious organizations.  First and foremost, religious liberty is an individual liberty.  Each and every citizen of our nation is guaranteed under the Constitution the freedom to practice one’s religion both publicly and privately and to not be coerced into violating our consciences by acting in a way contradictory to the tenants of one’s faith.

Thus, the HHS rule is not simply a violation against specifically religious organizations.  It is also a violation of the religious liberty of the individual business owner, Catholic or otherwise.  As a Catholic, the owner of a private business cannot, under the Constitution, be compelled by the government to pay for “medical” services that violate his or her faith, including contraceptives and sterilizations.  This applies not only to those companies that have a religious mission, such as EWTN or the Knights of Columbus, but also to the owner of a chain of restaurants, a manufacturing form, or an publishing company.  Further, it also applies to the faithful Catholic owner of a medical insurance company.  Forcing the insurance company to provide coverage for these services despite religious beliefs, is a clear violation of the protection guaranteed under the First Amendment.

My fear is simple.  If the conversation focusses exclusively on those organizations for which Bishops have direct involvement, we may very well see further “compromise” between the Obama administration and the USCCB, but tens of thousands of other Catholic business owners will be lost in the shuffle.  In fact, I will go so far as to say that even if the HHS does a complete 180 on the current issue, i.e. incorporating Catholic hospitals and universities in the exemption clause without the bogus compromise that forces the insurance companies to cover the costs and services … even then, the fight is not over.  Because even then there will be thousands of businesses who are not included in the exemption clause because business activities have no specifically religious purpose.  Yet these owners too have the right to practice their religion, and hence should not and cannot be compelled to act in a way contrary to their faith.

That being said, there is admittedly a certain advantage in focussing on overtly Catholic organizations like hospitals and universities.  First, they are the most obvious cases of government intrusion in the religious sphere.  Second, they have high profile leaders, i.e. the episcopacy, that will be forced to take a stand.  Yet still, we should not for a minute think that the battle ends with these organizations.  Each and every one of us is entitled to religious liberty as an American citizen, and forcing a Catholic (or other religious) business owners to pay for plans that include contraception and sterilization is very much a violation of this liberty.  The problem is compounded, of course, if the business is a medical insurance company.

2.  There is a Silver Lining.

The felix culpa effect never ceases to amaze me.  God can bring good out of the most heinous evils, the case and point being the crucifixion.  The silver lining to the current HHS tragedy is the unified effort of the Catholic Episcopacy.  While the thought that the Obama administration feels that it can abuse its power in this manner terrifies me, the response by the Bishops has given me great cause for joy.  When the Bishop’s letter was read from the pulpit two weeks ago, the congregation applauded.  It is a powerful moment for the Church.

Our Church, after all, thrives on persecution.  It is precisely in the midst of being “kept down” that we can rise up against tyranny.  Such is the lesson of the Cross.  There is a quote from 2010 that has been circulating recently, in which Cardinal George of Chicago says, “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.”  Whether or not the Cardinal is prophetic remains to be seen, but such an “exaggeration” may not be so exaggerated after all.

In light of this, I would encourage those whose Bishop was one of the hundreds that wrote a letter and had it read to send a note of gratitude.  Yes, it was a coordinated effort, but it was the coordination that made it so powerful and effective.  While Friday’s “compromise” is manipulative and nothing really close to a compromise, it seems clear that even this minimal response would not have happened had it not been for the organized outcry.

3.  “Health Care” is Being Redefined.

My final point has been mentioned by several others, but it warrants reiteration.  There is a not-so-subtle redefinition of “health care” in this whole debate.  There is a certain amount of irony that under the president’s health care bill and the accompanying HHS ruling, I will not be able to receive Tylenol or toothpaste for free, but women will be able to receive birth control and abortifacients for free.  Tylenol is a drug that actually tries to cure something that is “wrong” with the body, and toothpaste is authentically “preventative” in terms of dental health problems.  Yet birth control and abortifacients have little to do with the health of the body.  In fact, they are often used for reproductive systems that are otherwise heathy.  They are designed to take a perfectly healthy and well-functioning bodily system and stop it from functioning how it should.  Since when did fertility and pregnancy become a disease?  Since when is birth control more “preventative” than toothpaste and abortifacients more of a “cure” than Tylenol.

Whether we agree or disagree on the morality of birth control is not the relevant question here, nor is whether or not we agree or disagree on the “right” of a woman to take these drugs.  The Catholic Church has always been clear on this, but it seems to me that there is something else at issue here.  Even for those who condone the consumption of these drug, it is a rather large leap to insist that someone else pays for it.

Let me give an analogy.  I believe firmly in the right to bear arms.  However, I do not believe the the government should provide a gun to every citizen who wants one.  Moreover, I don’t believe that my business owner should be forced to provide each of its employees with a gun.  Yet this is precisely what is happening with the HHS rule.  Even if an individual thinks they should have the right to use oral contraceptives, how does that translate to insisting that the government forcing employers and insurance companies to pay for it?  The only answer is to misclassify the contraceptives as “health care.”

I have two clarifications before I sign off, mostly to ensure that I am not misunderstood.  First, I understand quite clearly that oral contraceptives are occasionally prescribed for reasons not having to do with birth control.  This is emphatically not what I am talking about, and such an issue requires a separate conversation.  For my own part, I am of the firm belief that non-contraceptive methods such as NaPro technology have had far more positive results at a cost that is a fraction of many of the contraceptive techniques in dealing with serious medical issues.  Yet again, this is another topic for another time, and is not my intent here.  However, the media has successfully and unfortunately recast the debate in this light, causing a decent amount of public confusion over the issue.  (In a way it reminds me of a person who believes in abortion on demand up until the cutting of the umbilical cord who insists of focussing the debate on the “hard” cases of rape and incest.  In the HHS debate we have people who believe that the government can force employers to cover contraceptive for every purpose but insist of focussing just on those cases where they are not being prescribed for contraceptive purposes.  It is both misleading and disingenuous.)

Second, I am in no way claiming that an individual does have the right to use contraceptives (for reasons of birth control), less so abortifacients.  For my own part, given the objective immorality of such acts, such a “right” would be in direct contradiction of the natural law in which we were created.  My point was only that even if one believes in the right to birth control, it still doesn’t mean that employers or insurance companies should be forced to provide it anymore than they should be forced to provide their employees with firearms.

The main point is simple: birth control is not health care because fertility is not a disease.

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  1. “My fear is simple. If the conversation focusses exclusively on those organizations for which Bishops have direct involvement, we may very well see further “compromise” between the Obama administration and the USCCB, but tens of thousands of other Catholic business owners will be lost in the shuffle”

    This is my fear as well.

  2. What about an employer forcing their religious beliefs onto their employees? My daughter is a nurse and works at a catholic hospital. She is not Catholic and feels birth control should be a woman’s decision. The woman has the right to decide when she wants to start a family. She was surprised when she found out that birth control was not part of the insurance program. She has been buying it on her own, and it is not cheap. What about those who can not afford to purchase birth control? Viagra is covered under the insurance program, and that is health care? Don’t think so. I’m not surprised that the article and comments here are all by men. It is not your body and you should not make the decision for women who want to use birth control.

  3. Your daughter is a nurse, an educated woman, and did not know the stance of the Catholic Church on contraception before she hired on to a Catholic hospital? Hello! As to your daughter’s desire not to present you with more grandchildren, I would suggest she either get a new job that will supply her with “free” contraceptives, or she simply pay for it out of her own pocket. As a nurse I would imagine she is earning between 50-70k a year and the contraceptives should cost your daugher between $15-50 a month, assuming she is using birth control pills. I think religious liberty is somewhat more important than the fact that your daughter has to cough up the cost of eating out at a restaurant once a month to make certain that there are fewer people around the table when you eat together at Thanksgiving.

  4. Mary,

    A woman has no more right to contracept than a man has a right to commit fornication. No one has a right to do evil, and there is only one standard for determining good and evil – God’s.

    BTW, no sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman. This applies to both sexes. No adultery. No fornication. No homosexual intercourse. None. Zero. And if a man gets a woman pregnant, then he is obligated to support woman and child for the next 18 years and nine months.

    Furthermore, neither woman nor man is a mindless baboon to be given over to the lust of the flesh. God gave us brains, and He expects and requires that we use them. Saying “I am so scientific and logical and rational”, and then surrendering to the lust of the flesh, contracepting and aborting with complete abandon is exactly the same as acting like a wild animal without responsibility or accountability. If I don’t want a baby, then I ought to refrain from the titillation of my genitals. The same applies to you and everyone else. God made His Law equal for everyone, and that, my friend, is true equality because it demands personal responsibility and accountability. Contraception is the abdication of responsibility and the evasion of accountability. And abortion is murder most foul indeed.

  5. Post Script: it is very disturbing when a mother thinks her daughter has the right to contraception, and that that right ought to be paid for by the Catholic Church or its institutions through insurance premiums. Here is what Pope Paul VI said would happen as a result of our contraceptive mentality in Humanae Vitae, section 17:

    (a) Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

    (b) Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone.

    This exact thing is happening now. The Obama government is doing item (b) above, and the consequences of item (a) were shown to us in full force when able bodied men escaped from that Italian cruise ship which recently crashed, abandoning women and children to their fate. Why should I help you as a woman who declares herself equal in function to a man?

    That a mother’s daughter would embrace such a contraceptive mentality is cause for grave concern. Much prayer and fasting are needed because sadly, a majority of Catholic women of child-bearing years think exactly this way.

    I shouldn’t quote Robert Heinlein, but I shall (and no, I don’t necessarily agree with his “universal morality”, but his point is well taken):

    All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplus age, excrescence, adornment, luxury or folly which can–and must–be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a “perfect society” on any foundation other than “women and children first!” is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly–and no doubt will keep on trying.

  6. Oh how I wish I could “Like” Don’s comment a hundred times. 🙂

    Perhaps Mary should reread Jake’s post where he ably dismisses the notion that birth control is health care.

  7. Mary, as Don points out, birth control is not that expensive. And as a woman, I find it tiresome in the extreme when women play that whiny “you’re all mean men, you don’t understand!” card. (Also, may I point out that you seem to have missed all the comments written here by women.) Your daughter is an adult – she has the choice to work at or not work at a Catholic hospital (nice of you to spit on the organization that employs her), she has the choice of having or not having sex, and if she wants to use BC, it’s not like the stuff is rare or unaffordable and as a nurse, she certainly understands the medical pros and cons of each method. It’s not like Fr. Flynn or Sr. Margaret are going to follow her to the drugstore and physically prevent her from buying it.

    She’s a big girl – she can pay for her own fun (or – here’s an idea- how about her sex partner chipping in, if she’s so strapped for cash and such a godawful manager of her own money she can’t afford $20 for pills every month). Demanding that BC be paid for by others, and particularly by others who have a religious objection to it is childish. But then, that is what many Americans have become circa 2012 – entitled little brats who want everything for “free.” And you’re “oppressing” them if you don’t want to pay their way, just as a 3 year old feels oppressed when Daddy doesn’t buy him the Snickers bar in the grocery store line.

    It’s people like Mary who make me despair for the future of this country. Quite honestly, I wish all of these whiners could be sent to live in Saudi Arabia for a month or so, so they would get a taste of what real religious oppression feels like.

  8. “birth control is not health care because fertility is not a disease.”

    Succinctly put and well said. Same argument applies to abortion.

    As to the Silver Lining, no doubt push has come to shove and since Jesus did not come to bring peace but a sword, it is long past time for the Church Militant to don her armor and advance as Christians soldiers ought.

  9. Mary,
    Viagara is covered because it addresses very real physiological disfunctions. Don’t you care about the women who benefit from its use? And if you’re going to insult the men who post here why don’t you point out the real chauvinists. You know, the ones who only want to see an end to the slaughter of male babies (roughly 50%) in the womb. What’s that? Can’t find any? Didn’t think so.

  10. Mary, how about a reversal in the women/men scenario? On Thurs., I had network problems with my printer and needed one copy to be edited. A lifelong friend retired from NYC and has settled back nearby. He is also vehemently ‘pro-choice’ and anti-Church (bunch of old men … one of which he has a;so become). I called and asked him to print the attachment to my email which I needed by 6:30 meet. He called back and said, among other hurtful, opinionated things, that he wouldn’t waste the ink. I finally figured out an answer to all who wondered about why he wasn’t my ‘the boy next door’. Protecting a belief system vs imposing an ideology for free contraception and a chance to bully liberty. Your problems could be more serious.

  11. Intrinsic to this discussion is the question whether or not universal health care is a right. The USCCB, in a letter dated 1/26/11, was supportive of government health care and lauded the Obama Administration’s efforts for comprehensive health care reform. They failed to recognize that where life is arbitrarily taken away, as is done every day through abortion; all other rights are in jeopardy. In the Declaration of Independence, life is listed as the first of the rights Our Founding Fathers believed unalienable. This is because they understood that one cannot pursue happiness if one does not have liberty. Yet, to possess liberty one must first have life. Thus, life is the RIGHT upon which all other rights are contingent. The USCCB should be neither aghast nor surprised if an Administration that disregards the sacredness of life would also disregard the right of people to adhere to the principles of their conscience. The USCCB supported the government’s attempt to take more power over the lives of men than God Himself takes in this life. God permits men to exercise their free will. The Health Care Law makes government equivalent to God Almighty. The law is designed to give to government unprecedented jurisdiction over the lives of individual persons and makes the government omnipotent without respect to a person’s free will. Jesus Christ mandated the Catholic Church to perform corporal works of mercy, not government. To this end, in my opinion, the USCCB has failed Christ, His flock, and their mission to serve the poor.

  12. “Old goat?” Don, you make it sound like you’re in assisted living! One would think you personally witnessed the Gettysburg Address, the way you talk! That can’t make your good missus feel like a spring chicken! You’re not that much older than me and we’re not that darned ancient yet! Of course, my definition of “ancient” has changed since I was 12, when I thought of my 25 year old teacher as an old fellow. Since I turned 40, old is now “15 years older than whatever my current age is.” Not that I am going to tell anybody what my current age is….;-)

  13. Mary and Mary’s daughter need to grow up and get off of their “gimme” mentality. What a pair they are! Next they will want the Church to fund Planned Parenthood – if they don’t already.

  14. Covering Viagra or covering BC – what’s the diff? Look, sexual intercourse has 2 purposes – 1. procreation, and 2. pleasure. If you are using BC, by definition you are only having sex for pleasure. That’s wonderful and good, but why should the RC church or ANYBODY else, for that matter, pay for your fun? Chemo, yes. Major surgery, yes. But Viagra? BC? What’s next? What is the next “freebie” we have an inalienable right to? Boob jobs? Penile implants? Botox to get rid of the crow’s feet?

    I work for a Catholic healthcare system. That doesn’t necessarily make me an expert on healthcare costs (I do not work in billing or reimbursement) but I do understand that one reason costs have exploded is because insurance has expanded from being something used to cover major expenses and now covers routine “wellness” exams, Pap smears and so forth. As P.J. O’Rourke once said, “If you think healthcare is expensive now, just wait until it’s free.”

  15. “Don, you make it sound like you’re in assisted living!”

    I think my secretary and my wife Donna think on some days that I am already in it, and they are rendering the assistance! 🙂

    As for witnessing the Gettysburg address, I missed that. I was actually born in 1796, taught that whippersnapper Abe Lincoln how to prepare writs, saved the Union by not enlisting in the Union army, taught Theodore Roosevelt dirty fighting, slept through both of Wilson’s inaugural addresses, ended a brilliant political career when I challenged the wheel chair bound FDR to a footrace, served in World War II as fifth assistant briefcase holder to Douglas MacArthur, forgot to vote for Wendell Wilkie in 48, didn’t like Ike, thought that Nixon was more photogenic than Kennedy, got into a fist fight with Barry Goldwater over a parking space, ran the White House “Carpenters” under Nixon, voted for Billy Carter, instead of Jimmy, appointed Secretary of Historical Oddities under Reagan, got George Bush senior to wear a Ross Perot mask to a Skull and Bones reunion, lost a fortune in Whitewater, and then got into blogging. 🙂

    As long as we can laugh at ourselves, none of us are too old, even me!

  16. Don, I laughed so hard at your post I think I pulled a muscle! That was terrific, thanks!

    I am quite glum and depressed these days, as I watch my beloved country embrace dependency and decadence. Again, this is why I have become quite the sports fan in middle age – it’s pure escapism. Don, your post reminds me that humor is always a welcome relief and release, even in dark times.

  17. “saved the Union by not enlisting in the Union army, taught Theodore Roosevelt dirty fighting, slept through both of Wilson’s inaugural addresses, ended a brilliant political career when I challenged the wheel chair bound FDR to a footrace, served in World War II as fifth assistant briefcase holder to Douglas MacArthur”

    OK, that right there is brilliant!! Kudos, Donald!

  18. “In a way it reminds me of a person who believes in abortion on demand up until the cutting of the umbilical cord who insists of focussing the debate on the “hard” cases of rape and incest. In the HHS debate we have people who believe that the government can force employers to cover contraceptive for every purpose but insist of focussing just on those cases where they are not being prescribed for contraceptive purposes. It is both misleading and disingenuous.” This is a matter of Justice, Divine and social Justice. In both, cases of rape and incest, there are two victims and one criminal. The woman and the innocent child she has conceived are victims and the perpetrator of the crime. To punish the innocent child conceived for the crimes of his father is an atrocity of an injustice, miscarriage of justice. I am afraid that Cardinal George may be right. Jesus Christ was martyred in the public square when He was denied His religious freedom. I appreciate the opportunity to vent and enjoy the comraderie amongst and between people of the same mind. This piece is very informative. I like the analogy of gun ownership. In my day, threads were new clothes.

  19. Great article – one more thing I would like to add. The “compromise” offered by the administration and hysterically accepted by Sr. Keehan attempts to absolve the participating organization of moral culpability by shifting responsibility to the insurer, who has to provide contraception at “no cost.” In other words, there is no active participation by the subscriber – let’s call it a Catholic university for the sake of an example – in the decision to purchase contraceptives as part of the health plan offered to the employee. Here’s the rub, though. Surely, what this really means is that the insurer offers contraceptives at no CHARGE to the insured, meaning they can’t collect a co-pay or a deductible. So they will simply increase the overall price of the bundle to cover the losses.

    “Ah,” some would object, “but contraceptive services actually cost less than coverage for pregnancy, so they won’t charge more.” I would invite the actuarials among you to weigh in, here. What we need to remember is that the insurer calculates price not for an individual, but for a population. They care about the distribution curve, not the points in the curve. In other words, what they are comparing is not cost for contraception vs cost for pregnancy and delivery for one individual, but the EXPECTED costs for the entire population. They know that (and this is a scandal, but it’s true) MOST participants would elect contraception if it were offered, but only some would get pregnant, regardless of whether it were offered or dropped (even if it were dropped, they know that many individuals will pay for their own contraception). The TOTAL expected expenditure in both scenarios is what they care about. Unlike the Democrats, insurers know that money doesn’t come from trees. The compromise plan will result in increased total cost, even if we don’t see charges specific to “women’s health coverage.” This is a classic shell game, and I expect that Sr. Keehan her organization are not falling for it. They are satisfied with the APPEARANCE of moral acceptability, because it diminishes the scrutiny on their betrayal of the Catholic faith. Either way, the insurer will be compensated for these services, and the administration’s “compromise” is forcing Catholic institutions to be complicit in the violation of their consciences.

  20. The contraceptive, sterilization, and abortificant mandate bothers me on many levels, the constitutional problems it spawns of the greatest concern. I want to address the concept of “free medication” separately though.

    The mandate is that health providers provide for “free” contraceptives and abortificants. I have a problem with characterizing the medications as “free” because the insurers will not eat those costs, they will pass them off to their customers. It is, therefore, duplicitous to state that insurers will provide any “free” services under their plans. In reality, women receiving those drugs for free will be paying more for different services under their same plans. It is, essentially, “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

    My bigger problem is that it opens the door to government mandate that more and more medications be provided for “free” and threatens to undo the pharmaceutical industry on which modern health relies.

    It is odd to choose contraceptives and abortificants if your concern is that women aren’t able to afford necessary medications. Surely, if there is a state interest in providing low-cost or free medication, the medications mandated should be those that relate to life itself: heart, diabetes, depression, etc. If the concern is “women’s health” diabetes should be pretty high on the states’ list of concerns, much higher, indeed, than contraceptives.

    But why “women’s health,” specifically; or, more to the point, why “women’s health” for women of childbearing years? Men die of heart problems in droves. Women die of diabetes-related conditions at an increasing rate. And what about Mental Health? Surely, providing depression medications is a state’s interest on par with contraceptives?

    Let us assume, for a moment, that the Administration gets exactly what it wants and all health providers have to provide contraceptives and abortificants for free. How long will it be before Congress adds other medications to the list of “free” drugs? Having the model for mandating low-cost or free pharmaceuticals, each advocacy groups will quite rightly petition for their members to receive a similar boon. Does anyone believe that HIV Advocacy will stand by and let their members remain uncovered? Will the AARP stand by and let older Americans struggle to pay for heart medication? And on and on…

    The result must be that either the government will have to step in and pay a premium to offset the losses or the pharmaceutical industry will collapse.

    Pharma will not eat the cost; indeed, they cannot.

    To my reckoning, insurers will not continue to pay full price for medications that they must provide for “free.” They will collectively squeeze Pharma for less and less costly drugs. Pharma will either have to recoup those losses from government subsidy or will have to cut back on research and development to balance their books. However flush Pharma is with cash now, those resources must fail as the income from their drugs falters.

    I assume people in power to be at least as smart as I am. Coupling their intelligence with their specific industry knowledge, I must conclude that the folks over at HHS know at least as much about the consequences of this decision as I do.

    So, what in God’s name are they thinking?

  21. Perhaps this can be the Vox Nova creed. Paraprhased of course:

    “The word “Social Justice” is God’s Word! Whosoever understands this is released from all theological conflicts. This is Social Justice: deny the American experiment and leave behind egoism and your feelings of abandonment. …Christ has come to us through radical redistribution and the egalitarian social state. …Obama has taken root in us; through his strength, through his honesty, his faith and his idealism we have found our way to paradise.”

  22. G-Veg – I wouldn’t worry about pharma collapsing. This is a shell game. Of course the manufacturer will be compensated for the drug – there simply will not be a corresponding charge to fill the medication that is transparent to the subscriber. As you rightly point out, the insurer will simply bundle this cost into the total expected program costs, and this will be reflected in the premium price. Copay’s don’t magically disappear – lower/no copays and lower deductibles always mean higher premiums. And so, as before this brilliant “compromise,” the employer will continue to pay for contraceptives, although thru indirect pricing, rather than direct charges. It’s not a compromise, and it’s not “accomodation” – it’s an illusion.

  23. Jaha Arnot – It think your analysis works for the short-term but I’m missing how it could continue as more and more drugs are added to the list of “free” or “low cost” medicines. Doesn’t your answer depend on how much money insurers lose in providing the pharmaceuticals and, so, pass on to Pharma under a government mandate?

    I’m out of my element here so I may be missing something.

  24. G-Veg – the drug manufacturer won’t lose anything, nor will the insurer, either in the short-term or the long term. They (the drug manufacturer) will simply be compensated directly by the insurer, who will not be able to charge a co-pay for the medication, and will collect thru premium pricing adjustments. There might be an issue about price elasticity in this pricing model, but I doubt it – drug pricing is already negotiated by the insurer, not by the individual consumer. The point is that costs will be fully passed on to the insured – insurance companies and drug manufacturers won’t see any negative economic impact.

  25. JA and GV – the end game: insurers will be seized, er, bankrupted, and pharaoh will control all. Best case (for them) scenario, pharaoh’s cash bundlers make billions and serve pharaoh.

    Camus: “The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants.”

  26. I am shocked to read Mary’s response and indignation that her daughter is being forced to buy contraceptives. Sheesh!!! when did fornication become acceptable in your country???? Are you people Christians at all – never mind Catholics????? And, Donald, may I ask yet again, for the tenth time: When did PREGNANCY BECOME AN ILLNESS TO BE COVERED IN MEDICAL INSURANCE????? We are all praying that your Bishops and the Faithful Catholics remain firm and refuse to bow to the Graven Image called Obama….. and thank you, Jake for reminding us that there are many, many more Catholics who are under the hammer of Obama, not just the Catholic Institutions. Once again, I urge you, my beloved American Catholics : Fight gallantly like the Martyrs of old. We are with you all the way, with Prayers and fasting. Lent is just around the corner. Let us dedicate our Penances for the victory of America and the crushing of the Culture of Death Satan who is stranding your Country cheering Obama

  27. I could not agree with you more. however, I think the legal definition of pregnancy, which written in healthcare coverage as “the same as any illness”, needs to be redefined. Thirty five years age, some insurance policies did not cover pregnancy. Eager to support pregnancy, many accepted the description of pregnancy as “the same as any illness”. Consequently that route lead into protective coverage from pregnancy. Everyone knows pregnancy is not an illness. I think we took a short cut in the 70 and 80s that has lead to this issue. Of course there are other things that have. Ontributed to this as well.

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