Will “We” Really Be Paying Sandra Fluke’s Healthcare Insurance Premiums?*

Highlights from the transcript of Rush Limbaugh’s uber-viral Wednesday diatribe against Sandra Fluke (in case y’all missed it):

What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps. (interruption) The johns? We would be the johns? No! We’re not the johns. (interruption) Yeah, that’s right. Pimp’s not the right word. Okay, so she’s not a slut. She’s “round heeled.” I take it back.

And:

Well, I guess now we know why Bill Clinton went to Georgetown and why Hillary went to Wellesley. Well, all the sex going on at Georgetown. Sandra Fluke. So much sex going on, they can’t afford birth control pills. She said that to Nancy Pelosi yesterday. Pelosi probably said, “Have you heard what Botox costs? I can relate!” 

And:

So, Miss Fluke, and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives . . . we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

Expressions of disgust by, well, everyone have flooded the news media and the general web.  But, to my knowledge, no one’s asked why Limbaugh thinks “we” will be paying for Fluke’s, or other Catholic university students’, contraceptives.  Or (presumably) why he thinks “we” will be paying for the contraceptives of employees covered under employer-provided healthcare insurance, whether at Catholic universities, hospitals and charities, or elsewhere. 

The government doesn’t pay student medical insurance premiums; the students do.  Nor does the government pay the medical insurance premiums of employees at any of the other employers who will be obligated under the ACA to provide minimum healthcare benefits; the employer and the employee together do.  That, of course, is what’s caused all the controversy about whether it violates freedom-of-religion guarantees of the government to require that the healthcare insurance that Catholic universities hospitals and charities provide their employees include contraception.  If the government were paying these premiums, this controversy wouldn’t exist.

So Limbaugh’s statement directed at Sandra Fluke was vile, but it wasn’t just about Fluke and other students at Catholic colleges.  It targeted all women whose healthcare insurance, via premiums, covers contraception.  Limbaugh called them all sluts and prostitutes, and wants them to post videotapes of the sex lives in exchange for their school’s or employer’s, and their own, payments of premiums.

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*UPDATE: Limbaugh has now issued what he characterizes as an apology to Fluke for calling her a “slut” and a “prostate,” saying that the words were ill-advised and that he didn’t intend them as directed personally at her.  Earlier today, Fluke had said she’s considering suing him for libel.

The Washington Post article about Limbaugh’s statement quotes him as saying, yesterday:

Amazingly, when there is the slightest bit of opposition to this new welfare entitlement being created, then all of a sudden we hate women. 

According to the Post, his statement today, a rambling press release, says:

I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities.  What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?

So even as late as this evening when he released the statement, he’s claiming that taxpayerswould be paying the part of employee and student healthcare premiums that cover contraceptives.  And that taxpayers pay for running pants, shorts and tank tops for employees and students who jog, but don’t pay for the Nikes and Reeboks. 

Weird. 

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ALSO SEE:  “Insurance and Birth Control” and “Rush Limbaugh Says Tax Money Pays For Students’ and Employees’ Jogging Pants As A Welfare Entitlement,” above, posted today respectively by Jazzbumpa and me.

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