The Birth Control Manipulation

By “Libertarian James” – Contributor –

A few days ago, democrats tried to pass a law that would overturn Burwell V. Hobby Lobby by forcing employers to cover birth control.  Does anyone else see the problem?  The Supreme Court just ruled that this very principle is unconstitutional.  Do the democrats really not understand how our system of government works?  I’m certain some don’t, but the real reason this bill was proposed—even though democrats knew it wouldn’t get anywhere—was to agitate their supporters in what has become a massive manipulation surrounding “the pill.”

First, let’s look at birth control coverage before obamacare.  The myth laid out by progressives goes something like this: before the contraceptive mandate, no insurance companies covered birth control pills, even for treating medical conditions, but they all covered Viagra.  I know you’ll be shocked to hear it, but the progressives lied.  Since 2000, an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rule made it illegal for employers who provided prescription coverage to exclude birth control.  There were plenty of insurance plans that covered birth control, although they were more expensive than plans that didn’t cover it.  Plans that include more, cost more.  So if you wanted birth control covered, that was an option, although a silly one when you consider a one-month supply of the pill costs $5 at Wal-Mart.

Now what about those women who need a more expensive name brand prescription for a legitimate medical reason?  Guess what?  That was covered too.  Insurance companies generally require what’s called a prior authorization if you’re going to buy a medication that costs a lot more than a cheaper alternative.  It’s not a huge deal—your doctor just has to send the insurance company a note saying that you need the more expensive medication for a genuine medical reason.  This isn’t unique to birth control; prior authorization is needed for many name brand prescriptions when there is a generic version available.

As for Viagra—no, not all insurance plans cover Viagra.  The ones that do, cost more.

Now I’m certainly not endorsing the state of the healthcare and insurance industries pre-obamacare, but facts are facts.  You could purchase a prescription plan that covered birth control pills, and if an employer offered a prescription plan it had to include birth control.  So what actually changed?  The obamacare mandate forces every plan to cover birth control AND there can be no patient co-pay.  This brings us to our next deception: “free” birth control is actually more expensive.

For most women, a one-month supply of birth control could be purchased without insurance for $5.  Yet progressives lead us to believe that the price is so overwhelming we need government to step in and make it “free.”  Well, the price just got overwhelming…thanks obamacare.  There is no such thing as free lunch.  Someone has to pay for that birth control, and now we’re all paying more.  First, it’s built into the price of premiums.  That’s just one reason premiums have increased so dramatically under obamacare.  And before someone reading tries to claim that premiums were increasing before, remember that they were increasing around 2% per year.  Since obamacare they’ve shot up closer to 10%-12%, and it looks like another big increase for next year.

We’re also on the hook for the approximately $2 trillion in debt caused by obamacare.  When you give someone a subsidy, someone else has to pay for it.  In this case, young people are going to be repaying the massive debt for years to come via taxes.

Finally, the price of the pill itself is going to go up.  When you make something “free” in the minds of the people, they will consume more.  You can certainly imagine the scenario where a woman, who isn’t seeing anyone, decides to go on birth control just incase—after all, it’s free.  Econ 101—increase the demand for something, and the price goes up.  To compound this, sellers know that the consumer isn’t paying for it and therefore isn’t price sensitive.  They also know that insurance companies have no choice but to pay for it—it’s the law.  Guess what that does to prices?

I’ll be the first one to tell you that the healthcare and health insurance industries have been a mess for a long time.  When it comes to birth control, however, the contraceptive mandate has made things even worse.  Looking at the facts, birth control was readily and cheaply available before, and by law employers had to offer it with their prescription plans.  There were plenty of plans covering the pill that people could choose from.  Now, we’re all stuck with higher prices.  All of this so politicians could manipulate women into voting for them.  If women should be mad at anyone, it’s the so-called progressives who obviously have no problem lying to exploit their gender.

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One thought on “The Birth Control Manipulation

  • July 23, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    The problem is with the idea of obtaining your health insurance through your employer. Which came about because employers could obtain group policies for less cost than their workers could obtain individual policies. In practice the worker actually pays most of the cost of the employer’s group policy in the form of lower wages. There is the additional situation that the employer can deduct the cost of the group policy from their taxes as a “business expense” like wages or any other “benefit” they wish to provide their employees.

    There is no reason why other agencies than employers could offer these group policies to those interested in paying for them. Or the government could offer a personal tax deduction for purchasing insurance which would make the cost to the individual much the same as if it was provided by an employer.

    The fact that the US started out with a system of health insurance through employer group policies only occurred because of a decision made during World War Two that due to wage and price controls, employers could not offer higher wages, but could offer “benefits” instead. Otherwise it is likely that we would not be using this system of paying for health care today…

    The problem seems to be related to certain “reproductive services” and the objection by some religious groups regarding these issues. Which could be solved by allowing those who wish to purchase insurance for these services from other sources than their employer’s health plan.

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