Friday, February 10, 2012

Obama vs The Bishops

Obama's latest gambit, putting the contraception imperative onto health insurance companies instead of Catholic employers, is interesting.  My take is that it necessarily starts the removal of responsibility for health insurance from employers altogether.  What if I choose not to cover Lipitor, cancer surgery or blood transfusions for my employees because I feel it's unethical?  Too many side effects, not efficacious, goes against God's laws, etc... and strong arguments can be made for or against almost any therapy.

The "slippery slope" (and I usually hate that term), if there is any such thing, is that we may all be heading for a govt supplied single-payer like Medicare, or at least we are slouching toward a single "payment" system with the employer out of the picture and insurance regulators in control like all other types of insurance. And is that a bad thing?

We already have mandated provision of care by physicians and hospitals thru EMTALA statutes and I hear nothing from the conservatives to repeal those laws (except from Ron Paul).  If we all want to compel doctors to provide care, and we obviously do, then we should also compel patients to pay for it. After that it's just discussing the details about what is covered-- and I guarantee that birth control is more medically efficacious and cost effective than 98% of all other drugs and therapies on the market...and besides, 98% of Catholics are using artificial birth control anyway.

TBogg gives some advice to the Catholic clerics:

It would be in the Catholic Bishops best interests to claim victory and go home since this takes them out out of the equation, allowing them to do what they do best: pretending that they don’t know that their flock is already telling the Vatican to pound sand by using birth control. 

Alternatively, the churchmen could go to bat for the insurance companies, which seems far afield from their calling and it would be pretty unseemly after all.  Obama may be playing eleventy-dimensional chess with the Bishops... and it's their move.

(h/t @gooddoc01)


antipundit said...

He seems to be pretty skilled at the eleventy-dimensional chess...

antipundit said...