Monday, February 13, 2012

"Dark Ages Misogyny" ... Really?

What's got Charles Johnson (the wrong-headed Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, not the right-headed anarchist Rad Geek) so worked up?

Now the GOP Wants to Permit Any Employer to Deny Contraception Coverage

What's all this "permit" and "deny" stuff?

An employer doesn't (or at least shouldn't) have to offer health insurance as a job benefit at all (he or she may choose to do so, including as part of some contract negotiation or whatever, of course).

And if an employer does offer health insurance as a job benefit, excluding this or that item from said offering isn't "denying" anyone anything, nor should any "permission" to exclude anything, nor any excuse for excluding anything, be required. As long as he's not lying about what it is he's offering, I'm free to take it, leave it, or try to negotiate something different.

There's no "right" to force someone else pay for or deliver whatever health care you might happen to want, and there never will be, no matter how many times Johnson clicks his heels and shouts "war on women's rights! ... [W]ar on contraception!"

The whole "religious exemption" thing is just a distraction. I suspect that's where you'll find most objections to covering contraception in particular, for the simple reason that most employers and insurers would rather pay for contraception, vasectomies, tubal ligations, etc. than pay for pre-natal care and delivery of a baby, then cover that baby's health care expenses as well. But the general principle extends far beyond religious objections.

Maybe my employer finds out that he or she can save $10 per employee per month by offering us policies that exclude sports injuries. Unless we have a contract specifying otherwise, why should he be mandatorily out $10 extra a month so that I can play rugby or ride bulls on the weekend?

Or maybe I've had myself snipped and my significant other has had her tubes tied. Why should we not be able to buy a policy that doesn't cover (at an extra premium cost) a bunch of services we're never going to need?

Hey, maybe ... no, not just maybe ... the details of what health insurance we buy (or don't buy), or negotiate (or not) with our employers, are none of Barack Obama's and Kathleen Sebelius's business.

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