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Barack Obama's contraception mandate, revisited

By Scott Tibbs, May 3, 2012

When Barack Obama ordered all employers to provide coverage for contraception to their employees with only the narrowest of exceptions, he set of a firestorm of criticism. Obama then issued a "compromise" that would require the insurance companies to provide contraceptive coverage.

This has resulted in the Left being completely schizophrenic about the issue. On one hand, Leftists argue that parachurch organizations (hospitals, universities, etc.) should be required to "play by the same rules" as everyone else and should not be allowed to "force their beliefs" on employees. On the other hand, Leftists argue that it is insurance companies, not the parachurch organizations, that would be required to cover the cost.

This is a joke.

So instead of paying for the coverage directly, parachurch organizations must instead purchase insurance plans that cover contraception. It is a distinction without a difference. It is not a "compromise" when parachurch organizations are funneling money through a middleman for contraceptive coverage or paying for contraception directly. Furthermore, if you believe insurance companies will not find a way to pass the cost to their customers, you are willfully ignorant.

The argument that religious employers should not be allowed to "force their views" on employees by not covering contraception is laughable. Employers do not have the authority to prevent anyone from using buying or using contraception, or even know that the employee is doing so. They are not forcing anything on anyone. The Left's silly premise is basically this: "If you don't pay for what I want, you are forcing your views on me." That this argument is not immediately dismissed shows just how deep this nation's entitlement mentality goes.

Finally, health insurance benefits are not "exactly like wages" as some would argue. That argument is ridiculous on its face. For one thing, they can only be spent on health-related things, not food or clothing. The only time health care benefits resemble wages at all is with a medical savings account, which is protected from taxes and can be spent as the employee chooses. No employer is going to make any attempt to stop an employee from using that money to buy a month's supply of birth control for $9.00 at Wal-Mart - nor would they even know about it.

People know what the benefits are for a specific employer before they take a job. If the benefits are not acceptable, the employee is free to decline the offer and seek another job elsewhere. A woman who is hired by a parachurch organization should not expect to force that organization to pay for contraception against their beliefs. No rights are being denied - she can always, you know, pay for it herself.