The war against women
by Maggie Mahar (The author of Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much (Harper/Collins 2006), Mahar also served as the co-writer of the documentary, Money-Driven Medicine (2009), directed by Andrew Fredericks and produced by Alex Gibney.
Before she began writing about health care, Mahar was a financial journalist and wrote for Barron’s, Time Inc., The New York Times and other publications. (Her first book, Bull: A History of the Boom and Bust 1982-2003 (Harper Collins, 2003) was recommended by Warren Buffet in Berkshire Hathaway’s annual report.)
As the Republicans Take Tampa, Consider What a GOP Victory Would Mean for Women’s Health
For decades, Republicans have opposed abortion. This, we know, and so it comes as no surprise that Mitt Romney, the Party’s presidential candidate, has called “Roe vs. Wade“ one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history.”
But what some call the “war against women” is escalating. This year, the Republican platform calls for a constitutional amendment that would make abortion illegal.
In 1976, the GOP blueprint acknowledged that “the question of abortion is one of the most difficult and controversial of our time,” and the Party called for “a continuance of the public dialogue on abortion,” which it called a “moral and personal issue.” Just eight years ago, the preamble to the Republican platform declared: “we respect and accept that members of our party have deeply held and sometimes differing views.” But today, there is no such language in a platform that calls for “a human life amendment to the Constitution,” and declares that “abortion is detrimental to women’s health and well-being.”
Meanwhile Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Ohio all have passed legislation outlawing abortion after 20 weeks, even though, as the Center for American Progress’ Emillie Openchowski points out “complications are sometimes discovered after this point in a pregnancy that could cause serious harm to the woman. In those states, a woman would be forced to continue the pregnancy, no matter the risk to her health.” This is frightening.
While Republicans parade women across their Tampa stage– and avoid talking about what they have quietly embedded in the Party platform–it seems a good time to consider what a Republican victory would mean for women’s health.
Turning Back the Clock: Contraception
Susan Faludi’s Pulitzer-prize winning 1991 book, Backlash, is subtitled: “The Undeclared War Against American Women.” Twenty-one years later, it seems the war is out in the open . As a recent New York Times editorial observes: “Having won on abortion, social conservatives are turning to birth control.”
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) promises women access to contraception without co-pays, an idea which enjoys widespread popular support–at least among women. Nationwide 80% of women voters support the idea, according to a June survey by Hart Research Associates. An earlier Hart poll revealed that 77% of Catholic women and 72% Republican women approved of free birth control. By contrast, just sixty percent of all men embrace the proposal. Still, that’s a majority.
Who, then, actually opposes making birth control available to all women, regardless of income?
The extreme conservatives who now run the Republican Party have made their feelings clear. In February, House Speaker John Boehner, stood on the House floor, and promised to overturn any rule requiring employers to pay for birth control for their workers:
“It must not stand and it will not stand,” delcared Boehner, who believes that bosses who object to birth control should not be forced to cover contraception. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, along with Senators Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; Marco Rubio;, R-Fla.; and John Thune,quickly joined in, arguing that this provision is a threat to religious freedom.
The right-wingers who now control the GOP seem to view contraception as a “women’s issue” that should be decided by men. Thus, at a House Oversight Committee hearing, House Republicans convened a panel on denying access to birth control coverage with five men– and no women.
As for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in a Fox interview just last Sunday, he said: “of course women have a right to use contraception”– if they can afford it.
In March Romney told a Town Hall meeting that if “a woman wants access to free birth control” she “should vote for the other guy,” adding, “there are a lot of things that we have in our society that we may like,” but that government should not be paying for.” This suggests that “the Pill” is a luxury, like a $75 blouse.
Romney also has endorsed the “Blunt amendment” that would let any employer drop health insurance coverage for contraception and other health services on religious or moral grounds.
Here we are not just talking about Catholic colleges and hospitals. President Obama is making special provisions to accommodate their concerns. But the Republican “Blunt amendment” would go further, to include private companies such as Hercules Industries, a Denver-based heating and air conditioning company.
Co-owner Andy Newland objects to birth control, and in July, the company obtained an injunction from a federal court, allowing it to delay complying with the law until three months after the case is decided.
The Cost of Contraception
According to Fox News’ Greg Gutfield, “Anybody can afford birth control.” In July, he asked his audience, “How much more affordable can you make it? . . I mean, do we–should we start up like a ‘buy the pill’ campaign? Like ‘feed the children’ where we make sure we all adopt one woman and pay for her pills?”
Gutfield is, of course, wrong about the cost. In recent years, birth control has become extremely expensive for low-income women, even if they are insured. Co-payments for pills typically range between $15 and $50 per month, and for other contraceptive devices, such as IUDs, co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses can reach into the hundreds of dollars.
“Since the average American woman wants to have two children,” Planned Parenthood points out, “she‘ll spend approximately five years pregnant, postpartum, or trying to have children, but 30 years trying to prevent pregnancy. That can add up to thousands of dollars spent on prescription birth control.”
Little wonder that, according to a recent survey, more than one-third of American women voters have struggled with the cost of prescription birth control at some point in their lives, and, as a result, have used birth control inconsistently. Planned Parenthood reports that “this number rises dramatically among younger women, with more than half (55 percent) mentioning a time when they could not afford to use birth control consistently.”
Thus, “In the U.S., half of all pregnancies are unintended.” Inevitably, a great many uniplanned pregnancies end in abortion. “If we are serious about reducing the unacceptably high rate of unintended pregnancies in this country, we need to get at the root cause and take practical steps to increase access to affordable birth control,” Planned Parenthood observes.
Without the Affordable Care Act– What Women Would Lose
The GOP platform states that a Republican President would use his waiver authority “on his first day in office” to halt progress in carrying out the Affordable Care Act. Romney has pledged to repeal health reform during his first 100 days in the White House.
This means that insurers selling policies in the individual market would be able to continue charging a women at least 30 percent more than they would charge a man for exactly the same policy–even if the coverage did not include maternity benefits.
Women also would lose free access to a list of preventive services that the ACA requires that insurers offer without co-pays, and without applying deductibles.
For women, the essential preventive services include: free screening for cervical and breast cancer; breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; well-women visits, prenatal care, screening and counseling for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV; screening for gestational diabetes; and screening and counseling for domestic partner violence.
Planned Parenthood and Title X
Mitt Romney has pledged that he will “get rid of” Planned Parenthood, an organization that operates nearly 800 health centers throughout the United States, offering sexual and reproductive health care for the nearly three million women and men who visit these centers each years. While helping women avoid unintended pregnancies, Planned Parenthood also provides roughly 770,000 Pap tests and nearly 750,000 breast exams annually, along with more than four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections. At sometime in their lives, one in five American women have found help at Planned Parenthood.
During his Sunday interview on Fox, Mitt Romney reiterated his desire to defund the organization, arguing that taxpayer dollars should not fund abortion.
Here is the truth: abortion constitutes only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services and abortion is covered by private funds. Federal dollars are not used.
Mitt Romney’s fiscal plan also proposes eliminating Title X—the main federal family-planning program supported by President Nixon and then-Congressman George Bush Sr. at its creation in 1970. Title X does not pay for abortions, but it prevents abortions and unintended pregnancies by the hundreds of thousands each year. It also pays for cancer screening and some abstinence counseling for teenagers.
In Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry already has rejected Title X money, assuring that countless poor women in his state will be denied access to all reproductive health care, from birth-control pills to Pap smears.
Misogyny: The Elephant in the Room
That both Bush and Nixon supported Title X serves as a reminder of how much the Republican party has changed. As New York Magazine’s Frank Rich points out in a marvelous piece titled “Stag Party”: “For much of its history, misogyny was not the style of the party of Lincoln. For most of the twentieth century, the GOP was ahead of the curve in bestowing women’s rights
Today, many Americans under 40 have no idea how different the GOP (not the mention the country as a whole) was 25 or 30 years ago.
Rich takes us back, reminding us that Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater (who in 1964 was considered ultra-conservative) was married to a woman who had been “inspired by birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger.” Thus, Peggy Goldwater “would help build one of the nation’s largest Planned Parenthood affiliates.”
Barry Goldwater favored abortion rights. “‘I think the average woman feels, My God, that’s my business,’ and that’s the way we should keep it,” he said late in his career.
Rich goes on to reveal that “Prescott Bush, the Connecticut senator who sired a presidential dynasty, was another Sanger enthusiast and treasurer for the first national Planned Parenthood fund-raising campaign. His son, George when a congressman in the sixties, was an ardent birth-control advocate and the principal Republican author of the trailblazing Family Planning Act of 1970. ”
“Capitol Hill colleagues jokingly nicknamed him ‘Rubbers.’”
Even Richard Nixon, that much misunderstood liberal Republican, favored the Equal Rights Amendment and in 1972 signed the Equal Employment Opportunity Act to strengthen the policing of workplace discrimination.”
But Nixon was nothing if not a study in anguished contradictions. “At the tail end of the Nixon presidency,” Rich notes, “the GOP started backing away from its traditional beneficence on women’s issues.” In a telling shift, “Nixon vetoed a bipartisan bill enabling child care for the millions of mothers then rapidly joining the workforce.”
Looking back, the timing makes sense. Both Watergate and Nixon’s “enemies’ list” foreshadowed the deepening parenoia that would lead to a purge with the Republican party itself.
Granted, it would be two decades before the GOP’s “Big Tent” collapsed. The liberal and moderate Republicans who I had admired in the 1970s and 1980s (Nelson Rockefeller, Lowell Weicker, and Charles Mathias, to name a few) would disappear. But it was not until the 1990 that the long knives came out, and moderates began to be sliced out of the party. Some gave up and retired.
Why did Nixon kill the childcare bill? Rich explains: “His veto was accompanied by a jarring statement that child care would threaten American families by encouraging women to work,” The inspiration for this unexpected reactionary broadside came . . . from political strategists eager to exploit the growing backlash against the sixties feminist movement.”
Backlash–As Male “Influence and Power” Declines
What we are seeing in the GOP today is a continuation of the pay-back that Susan Faludi described in her 1991 book, Backlash.
Conservatives like to claim that “The War Against Women” is a metaphor manufactured by Democrats as they prepared for the 2012 election. This simply is not true. Long ago, women such as Faludi saw that herd of elephants coming our way.
In fact, as Rich points out, in 1996 “Tanya Melich, the daughter of a state senator in ultraconservative Utah” who grew up “to be a stalwart New York Republican and a 1992 Bush convention delegate, wrote a book titled The Republican War Against Women. “These days,” he writes, “her eyewitness account of her party’s transformation seems more pertinent and prescient than ever.”
The anger that Republicans direct toward women that can be traced to the “women’s movement” of the 1960s. Men feared that women would take their jobs. Husbands were threatened; once their wives had some financial independence, they might decide to strike out on their own. Fathers realized that the “Pill” would give their daughters sexual freedom: marriage could become a choice, not a necessity.
Worst of all, as women gained power, both in the workplace and in government, this could mean that men would find themselves having to answer to the likes of Elizabeth Warren. (In 2009, when Warren, who is now running to recapture Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat for the Democrats, questioned Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner about 13 billion dollars Goldman Sachs got out the back door of AIG –“Do you know where the money went?” — her tough, probing questions made jaws drop– including Geithner’s. Geithner would later express opposition to her possible nomination to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.)
In Backlash, Faludi quotes Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab, two political scientists who have explored the “politics of backlash”: “The reaction” is driven by “groups which are declining in a felt sense of importance, influence and power,” they explain, “Unlike classic conservatives” Faludi adds, “these ‘pseudo conservatives,’ as Theodore Adorno dubbed them…are not so much defending a prevailing order as resurrecting an outmoded or imagined one.”
She also quotes the historian Richard Hofstadter: “‘America has largely been taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion.’”
In other words, they are afraid, and when people are “on the run,” some turn mean.
Conservative white men know that the demographics are against them. Before long, they will be outnumbered, and in future years, more and more African Americans, Latinos, Asians and women of all races will be in positions of power.
Let me be clear: I am not talking about majority of white men. My husband, his brother, my son, his father (my ex-husband), and a great many men who I know either personally or professionally do not fit this mold.
But, without question, some white conservative men saw Barack Obama’s election in 2008 as a sign that the country “was being taken away from them.” To Mitch McConnell, Obama’s re-election would constitute what Hofstadter terms “the final destructive act of subversion.”
In a sense, those who feared the rise of feminism in the 1960s were right. The women’s movement would never be snuffed out. Instead, it became part of our culture. Today many fewer women call themselves “feminists.” The vast majority of younger women simply assume that they have a right to work, to assume positions of power in the larger world, to control what happens to their bodies. This is the legacy of the Sixties.
The Violence against Women Act
Women also take it for granted that they have a right to protection against the rage that sometimes threatens them–and their children– in their own homes.
Nevertheless, this year, House Republicans felt free to block renewal and expansion of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a 20 -year-old law that offers shelter and counseling to women who have been beaten or sexually assaulted by spouses or partners.
In the past, renewal was not even in question. But today, “Some conservative groups view the Violence Against Women Act as “a slush fund for feminist causes that harms men unfairly and encourages the dissolution of marriages,” the New York Times reported .
Last week, I wrote about how and why Republicans were able to block the VAWA on HealthInsurance.Org. Conseratives claim that Democrats “politicized” the issue by turning it into a fight over illegal immigrants, Gays and Lesbians. I do not buy that argument. Nor did all seven Republican women in the Senate. They voted to renew the bill.
That post also explains why it is so important that, in November, women–and men who like women–come out to vote. The turnout, not just in the Presidential contest, but in many Congressional races, will determine who takes over Washington.
Before going to the polls, check out this piece Healthinsurance.org, showing how your elected representatives havevoted on heatlh care reform. Those votes will help you measure where they stand on protecting women’s health.
cross posted with Healthbeat blog
I love Maggie Mahar but I have to agree with the GOP (rare) on abortion:
Roe v. Wade imposed a constitutional “consensus test” on legislative restrictions on abortion: “… Texas may not, just by adopting one theory of life, override the rights of the pregnant woman that are at stake.”
Roe forbade legislatures to adopt arguably compelling interests to override the fundamental right to constitutional privacy – upfront — upending the rule that substantive controversies are for legislatures to decide in so many words.
For a substantive smokescreen Roe foisted a slew of unlikely substantive theories on when life begins – most theological except for viability and quickening (quickening!).
The Roe majority needed not impose its own debatable view why preborn lives should not outweigh fundamental privacy – it simply barred states (and Congress) from imposing debatable views why life should!
Citing the supposed Jewish Orthodox view that life begins at birth — the court majority could claim “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins” – not at four weeks overdue, but no trouble resolving the question at twelve weeks early arrival.
An undebatable theory of life of when full human life has begun: the medical consensus – spotlighting an undebatable compelling interest in life one week below that (fixed – not floating) line (not birth), going down to whatever gestation point the legislature thinks is compelling — where no court opinion to the contrary could cook up a theory to contradict.
I understand that our prochoice friends want to go all Robert Bork/Edwin Meese-strict constructionists on the sole issue of prenatal personhood. If they thought about it they would see that our founding fathers were too busy killing Native Americans and enslaving African families to think (or care) about preborn babies – which should make thinking prochoice want to support a constitutional amendment recognizing any fetus whose humanity is undebatable to be a legal person.
When future medical advances allow fetuses to be removed temporarily from the womb and returned to complete gestation, will courts permit one class of fetuses “slave” and another “free?” A personhood amendment recognizing undebatable prenatal humanity should be undebatable. It might even energize the courts to take action first.
But you do realize also the breadth and the scale of changes that result?
I am not a women and neither would I tell a women what to do in this case. However, neither should another person tell the other what they should do and impose their beliefs and will upon them. If the person causes no harm upon society or danger onto themselves, we are not bound to impose our will upon them. They are free as individuals.
Roe vs Wade may not be perfect; but, I do not see how going backwards and letting a bunch of ignorant men impose their wills upon women will correct the issue if such ever needed correcting. Even now in the smoke and mirrors of politics when efforts are made to assist in correcting the situation, we have men and women who would deny family planning or birth control to those who are most in need of it.
If you must oppose, read kharris’s comment here on Ryan’s comment on conception: “the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life. (Ryan)” http://www.angrybearblog.com/2012/09/ryan-opinion-on-rape-and-abortion.html kharris, she makes a lot of sense in her comments.
If we are talking strictly the abortion issue there are tens of millions of possible (or in late abortions, certainly) human lives in the scale. Having a fundamental type religion — RC — I am forced to take what to too many seem like “little abstractions” like possible human life seriously — the main motivational difference between normal, everyday(as opposed to dedicated advocates) prolife and prochoice, if you ask me.
Hey; I want to massively rearrange everything else in the country too: every last injustice you read about in the financial or progressive pages stem from the rotten core of today’s America (you know what I am going to say), complete deunionization leading to complete loss of political as well as economic power for the everyday person.
This even reaches the psychological as far as I am concerned; I call it the loss of the middle class’ (not to mention the poor’s) mojo. One good example: NYCs stop-and-frisk disease. 30 years ago cops would have been ashamed to treat us that way. Guess what?: 30 years ago NYC would have been ashamed to treat the COPS like they do — pressured unrelentingly at patrolman level like they had four stars — much worse than they treat us! Read: http://nymag.com/news/features/nypd-2012-4/index1.html
You know my one-size-fits-all answer: legally mandated, sector-wide labor agreements. Until YOU progressive elite start pushing that you are wasting your lives in arguments with (Republican) morons THAT NOBODY LISTENS TO.
Start telling people what they really need — they will listen to that (they don’t understand the rest anyway).
Anyway, breadth and scale no deterrent to megalomaniacs and taxi drivers. 🙂
run and Dan:
When fetuses can be removed overnight for medical care and returned to the womb safely, prenatal personhood will take care of itself (14-20 weeks?). From there possible human life will look a lot more important — without prolife having to lift a finger. As Sandra Day O’Connor said speaking to viability being the point at which states may prohibit termination of pregnancy, Roe is “on a collision course with itself.” She also called it the “worst of the worst of American jurisprudence”. Both in her Casey opinion.
BTW, Roe did not even explain why viability should be the compelling interest line.
Most quoted liberal law professor in the land, Harvard’s Laurence Tribe, quoting a young Yale professor who was about to be elevated to president of Standford law: “Truly this mistakes a “definition for a syllogism” and offers no reason at all for what the court has held. (HLR, Vol. 87:1, p.7).
Worst of the worst — through and through — think maybe something is wrong?
Lets understand something, I could care less about religion as we have had enough divine right and the atrociousities imposed by it upon the world with the name of god stenciled neatly upon its flag. If you are from a big box church, I respect it less. If you cast the bones to foretell the future, we may have an agreement forthcoming. Religion has no basis in law and court.
The most liberal attorney? Erwin Chemerinsky and I know him well. As far as the courts and the law, people end up there because other people and states impose their will upon others. In which case, states rights do not surpass due process or the rights of the individual (unless you are black and trying to fight back. In which case cruikshank and slaughterhouse found a way to gerrymander state rights over that of the black man and the 14th amendment).
As far as courts, why would anyone risk anything in court unless you are a corporation? Anytime you go to court, you have a greater chance of losing as an individual and a citizen. I have more court time than most attorneys.
Roe vs Wade is on a collison course and will be played out amongst two groups of people. The individuals who have rights and those who wish to impose their beliefs (religious or otherwise) upon those individuals. It remains to be seen who wins.
The rest of your words are kind of off topic and worthy of another discussion.
I guess I won’t try to defend my own views… they just make both sides mad at me.
But as for the Roman Catholics, I wish they would give some thought to what Jesus meant when he said “What is that to you? Follow thou Me.” Or what Paul meant when he said “Who art thou, oh, man that judgest, seeing that thou doest the same thing?”
Morality is one thing, and if you have the time, you might try to convert “most” women to your point of view. But the law is another thing… a thing I think we should be very very reluctant to grant powers against humans in their bodies and their private lives.
No doubt the women who have abortions will go to hell and the aborted babies will ascend directly to heaven without all the pain of living in this fallen world.
It strikes me as very odd that a church which is wise enough to avoid politics in Central America, should attempt to enforce its views through politics and the blunt instrument of the law in the Land of the Free.
And no, I haven’t told you my views about abortion.
All I said was that my church makes me take seriously something called “possible” human life. To me the rest should be self-explanatory — as in possible human life should be understood as compelling enough to override fundamental privacy. Human instincts seeming somewhat blind to prental life — even certainly human — possible life only too easily gets lost in the shuffle. That’s all I’m talking about — religion making me less blind to a substantive fact; not imposing a religious dogma.
PS. There is a third party (at least possibly) involved you know. 🙂
it is so hard to understand one another.
i take seriously something called possible human life. and i get a little impatient with those who don’t. especially when they tell me it’s a “war against women.” (the only pro life people i ever actually met were women.)
but i also take seriously the horrors of people trying to force other people to do something they really, really don’t want to do.
trying desperately to avoid telling you my “personal” opinion. but there is a huge difference between thinking abortion is “wrong” and thinking we ought call in the clumsy hands of the law to punish (or “prevent”) it.
besides, the whole thing is a put up job. our rulers have just found a way to keep us at each other’s throats while they rob us… and yes, do terrible things to us in the name of one fairy tale or another.
Re the contraception bit and who pays for it. Something that is required for 30 years of a lifespan by almost all (of half of) people is not something that lends itself well to being paid for by insurance.
Insurance is about the pooling of the costs of low probability but high impact events.
Assurance is about saving for (and in some cases spreading the costs of) high probability events which can have either low or high impacts.
It’s vitally important to distinguish between these two. Some things very naturally belong in one class, some in others. House fire insurance is indeed insurance. It’s a low probability event with a very high cost and risk sharing across the population is entirely sensible.
Burial insurance is not insurance. It’s assurance, a method of saving for an almost certain event.
Contraception is assurance. As above, it’s an extremely likely event. Thus using insurance to pay for it is entirely wrong. It’s a hugely expensive method of paying for it.
It really would be better to go to one of two systems. Either simply pay for it through the tax system or make people pay for it privately. Either of these solutions would be very much better than trying to pay for it through an insurance model.
BTW, there is much other health care that would be better provided in either of those two ways as well. Vaccines for example: darn near everyone has them so why use insurance to pay for them?
And yes, one of the biggest problems with US health care is this use of entirely the wrong model to finance much of it. Even single payer would be better then what you’ve currently got.
And even better than single payer would be individual health accounts with government rovided catastrophic insurance (as Brad Delong has been known to advocate).
Good Morning Tim:
“Insurance is about the pooling of the costs of low probability but high impact events.”
“Now, it’s estimated that pregnancy only occurs (according to medical websites) about 1/4 to 1/2 of the time that sperm and the egg are present together, due to a variety of reasons. This lowers the odds of pregnancy from a single sexual encounter to about 3-5%.” http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_odds_of_getting_pregnant_if_you_had_sex_only_one_time
Risk of either male or female getting colon or rectum cancer? “5.27% and 4.91%.” Again, high impact and a low probability. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerBasics/lifetime-probability-of-developing-or-dying-from-cancer
What about the risk of getting bit and ill from a West Nile Virus mosquito? “1 in 150” This is becoming more likely in Michigan.
I have mixed lifetime events with daily events and can keep going on if need be on probabilities. Getting pregnant for a single and young woman is a high impact event with a low probability for a 1time event. It is not a likely event, as you would label it. In any case, the impact of becoming pregnant falls upon the girl and the baby and we both know the poverty rate for single moms as heads of household with children. What makes it worst are many of the same people who oppose birth control also oppose Planned Parenthood and sex education in schools. I guess the stork still brings kids.
As far as the expense of insurance covering it? Tim, you are correct as insurance has passed the costs of increased pharma on to the patient in the form of higher deductibles, increased premiums, and increased company premiums. Hence runaway healthcare costs reflected in increased insurance costs at 8% yearly as opposed to Medicare’s 3% yearly. Today’s ACA puts into play greater negotiation by Medicare to drive costs down through negotiation with pharma industry. This was Obama’s pledge to the nation. It is not business as usual. I will not go into vaccines with you. If either of us had not had the advantage of low cost vaccines while we were growing up, the probability of either of us sitting here would have diminished greatly. ~40% of the population suffers from no healthcare insurance and at the same time struggles with the means to pay for healthcare on their own. The biggest problem today is primary care. I do not believe Brad Delong’s plan would cover this and it is too expensive with today’s coverage minus the PPACA.
No one ever said the PPACA was the best solution and it is not the best solution. The Party of “No”rquist opposed it each and every inch of the way in the House and the Senate even when much of it is a reflection of earlier proposals by them and similar to the MA plan. A deal was cut to placate the blue dogs in the Senate and the Senator from Aetna, Liberman. To get the PPACA; we by-passed single payer, Medicare for all, and universal coverage as it was necessary due to the opposition.
I agree with your logic pretty much.
but people are not logical, and i think that a country might look around and say, you know, if we don’t pay for the damn contraceptives we are going to end up paying for the unwanted children.
i don’t like it myself, but as i said in another context, it’s hardly the worst thing i have “had” to do.
and, as far as single payer etc goes, it turns out that our wonderful free enterprise system does not provide high enough wages to most workers for them to afford “assurance” or even insurance.
and then, if it did, you can be sure that many of them wouldn’t see the point of paying for insurance while they were still healthy. so “society” would still be looking at paying their bills or watching them die. better to force them to pay for their own insurance, and see to it that they have the wages to do so.
“”Now, it’s estimated that pregnancy only occurs (according to medical websites) about 1/4 to 1/2 of the time that sperm and the egg are present together, due to a variety of reasons. This lowers the odds of pregnancy from a single sexual encounter to about 3-5%.” http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_odds_of_getting_pregnant_if_you_had_sex_only_one_time
Risk of either male or female getting colon or rectum cancer? “5.27% and 4.91%.” Again, high impact and a low probability. http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerBasics/lifetime-probability-of-developing-or-dying-from-cancer“
Sunshine, seriously, if you’re going to try and compare one time event risks with lifetime risks then I seriously suggest that you go and do so elsewhere.
This isn’t my place, I’m only a visitor here. So I cannot tell you what to do. But most of the people around here that I’ve interacted with over the years are at least rational. Even as we disagree with each other.
Might I suggest that your comparisons above make you better suited for some mother blog? You know, with the other ignorant yo yos?
Just to make it absolutely clear. A 5% risk of pregnancy from one shag (actually, it varies, from zero percent at one point of the cycle to 50% at another) is simply not the same as a 5% lifetime risk of colon cancer.
Because, you know, we rather expect the laydeez to have more than one shag. Indeed we men rather hope so. And thus risks multiply, in a way that cancer of the colon’s lifetime risks do not…..
What does this mean to you???
“I have mixed lifetime events with daily events and can keep going on if need be on probabilities. Getting pregnant for a single and young woman is a high impact event with a low probability for a 1 time event. It is not a likely event, as you would label it. In any case, the impact of becoming pregnant falls upon the girl and the baby and we both know the poverty rate for single moms as heads of household with children. What makes it worst are many of the same people who oppose birth control also oppose Planned Parenthood and sex education in schools. I guess the stork still brings kids.”
I wrote this as an admission this included both daily and lifetime events. In any case, the admission is there which you failed to read. Ad hominem rebutals do nothing for you Tim or your character especially when you know little about the topic(s) in which you wish to espouse on as an expert.
while i understand your point, i think your point is beside the point.
to tell you the truth i do not calculate that my “risk” of getting colon cancer is 5% or 50%… i insure for the general risk of having a medical bill i can’t afford to pay.
i have to leave it to people smarter than me… the government?… to calculate whether i am paying too much for the “insurance.” I am sure the insurance companies would know if i was paying too little.
meanwhile, with respect to run, and just a little less respect to you, the difference between low probability high cost events, and high probability low cost “protection,” is valid from the point of view of a machine calculating costs and probabilities. it stops being very interesting when you have to deal with the consequences of how people actually behave and design social policies for dealing with that.
actually, i already said this. but you don’t hear anything except the straight lines for your jokes.
your political philosophy only “works” in an imaginary world in which everyone is both rational and well paid enough to afford both “assurance” and “insurance.” talking to you… and you are one of the more reasonable and intelligent of your ilk.. gets tiresome. it is like talking to a paranoid. all highly rational, all utterly meaningless in the real world.
Sep 22, 2012 7:09:00 AM
is my post, sorry to be so late in the game.
the most important thing to remember every abortion debate is:
MY body, NOT yours!
Secondly: Abortion is NOT murder, not in all democratic/rich countries, not even in the USA!
Thirdly: The HUGE Hyporcrisy of it all. Most of the anti-abortion crowd is ostensibly against the most harmless government intervention, but have no problems with governments’ grubby paws in my womb??
Gimme a break here.
Your focus on the predictability of the event as a factor in its inclusion into an insurance sytem doesn’t work here because your analogies are medical rather than pharmaceutical. Birth control is a drug coverage issue more so than a medical issue. Yes, they’re related. As are Lipitor and heart disease, a medical condition and a pharmaceutical treatment modality.
Following Tim’s argument we would disallow coverage for almost all heart related drugs because of their very long course of treatment. And then of course there is the analogy to Viagra, which is probably the closest to “the pill” for women. If women have to share the cost of some men’s inability to get it up, why would we not expect that the cost of preventative medicine have equal consideration as the cost of preparatory medicine?