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Contraception kerfuffle to distract us from higher grocery bills?

Last night, I attended a meet-up organized through Ace of Spades for its readers and conservative bloggers in the heart of Obama country, Santa Monica. And once again, I introduced myself as a GayPatriot blogger and received a far warmer welcome than I do when I introduce myself as conservative at gay gatherings.

I had the good fortune to talk to Joy McCann who now blogs at Conservative Commune. Last week, she weighed in on the contraception kerfuffle, offering an opinion effectively identical to my own, “I don’t think the state should pay for it, or mandate it, or force others to pay for it, either directly or indirectly. Nor should the state discourage it.

Democrats sure do want to make it appear that Republicans want to prohibit it.  And with a generous assist from the legacy media, Rick Santorum and, briefly, Rush Limbaugh, they’ve been pushing that dishonest notion — and raising money from it.  As William A. Jacobson put it, zeroing in on the talk show host’s language, “the use of ‘slut’ or ‘prostitute’ even in an analogy was inappropriate, as Rush has acknowledged.  It also distracted from the attack on religious freedom which is the heart of the controversy.”

That’s not the only thing it’s distracted from.  Seems the president is bending over backwards to reach out to women voters.  And women, Joy reminded me, tend to do most of the grocery shopping.  They know, what reader ChrisH and I have observed, the cost of groceries has increased significantly over the past year.

And Obama may be trying to win them back by playing to their fears about losing their right to contraception.

Republicans may have lost the public relations battle over “slut-gate,” but the contraception issue will likely fade away before November.  But, our monthly grocery bills won’t be returning to 2009 levels–even when adjusted for inflation.

Maybe the Obama campaign’s internal polls show a number of anxious women voters, wavering in their support of the incumbent.

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70 Comments

  1. And mandating that insurance companies cover contraceptives discriminates against gay men.

    ???????

    Getting birth control pills isn’t something you can just do. You need to go to a doctor, who needs to examine you, who needs to know how healthy you are, who needs to know if you have any other conditions, who needs to know the interactions between any medicine you’re taking and the the pill, who needs to make sure you understand the side effects, who needs to be able to check in with you periodically to make sure everything is going okay, and on and on and on.

    In short, taking the pill is an involved medical process that requires doctors and nurses and pharmacists, and there’s no reason that this sort of thing shouldn’t be covered under prescription drug plans solely because it (maybe) has something to do with sex.

    What that has to do with gay men is beyond me.

    Not discrimination because gay men are just as free to use contraceptives as straight women are? Then the Defense of Marriage Act is not discrimination, because gay men are just as free to marry someone of the opposite sex and obtain federal marriage benefits as straight women are.

    Of all the many stupid, worthless, and embarrassing arguments against gay marriage, this is one of the worst. That’s all.

    Comment by Levi — March 5, 2012 @ 9:47 pm - March 5, 2012

  2. Levi claims that I am obligated to pay for a woman’s contraception because “reproductive freedom is a basic human right.” Yet, he will not explain why that woman may not be forced to buy me a gun, which is one of my basic human rights (and unlike “reproductive freedom” is actually written into the Constitution).

    If you think that owning a gun is a more fundamental human right than a woman have self-determination over her own reproductive cycle, than you’re an idiot. You belong in the Dark Ages.

    Comment by Levi — March 5, 2012 @ 9:50 pm - March 5, 2012

  3. If you think that owning a gun is a more fundamental human right than a woman have self-determination over her own reproductive cycle

    Yes, because the only way a woman can have self-determination over her reproductive cycle is by the government forcing insurance companies to cover contraception. (/sarcasm)

    Comment by Rattlesnake — March 5, 2012 @ 10:22 pm - March 5, 2012

  4. if you think that owning a gun is a more fundamental human right than a woman have self-determination over her own reproductive cycle

    Levi:

    1) Can a woman have self-determination over her own reproductive cycle without any contraceptives whatsoever?

    2) Are some women too immature, or stupid, or unreliable to have self-determination over their own reproductive cycles which makes it necessary for the government to implant them with birth control?

    3) If birth control is a more fundamental human right than owning a gun, should the government at least provide gun owners with free ammunition?(If the government mandates contraception, why not ammunition?)

    4) What is the compelling state interest in having the government mandate “free” contraception in health insurance programs?

    5) Do you favor imposed birth control on the Amish as an enlightened solution to their religious doxology?

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 5, 2012 @ 10:38 pm - March 5, 2012

  5. I don’t think the Government is obligated to provide us with any material thing, so I don’t have to defend my position. It’s the “health care is a right” crowd that has to justify why the Government must provide for one right but not another.

    And Rattlesnake is right. A woman’s reproductive freedom is not a “right” that obligates me or anyone else to financially support its exercise.

    Face it, Levi. You’re greedy. You’re selfish. You want someone else to pay for your stuff. i.e. A progressive.

    Comment by V the K — March 5, 2012 @ 10:42 pm - March 5, 2012

  6. Last week, she weighed in on the contraception kerfuffle, offering an opinion effectively identical to my own, “I don’t think the state should pay for it, or mandate it, or force others to pay for it, either directly or indirectly. Nor should the state discourage it.”

    You conservative types that claim to be such savvy businessmen and masters of the economy really can’t seem to tell a solid investment when you see one. The government should most assuredly pay for birth control, because the relative costs are entirely negligible in comparison to the costs associated with unplanned and unintended pregnancies. Reigning in healthcare costs is in the best interests of the federal government because it’s currently out of control, and is redirecting and squandering an enormous portion of our economic activity and productivity. Preventative medicine including contraception is one of the most efficient ways to tackle rising costs. This also justifies the government advocating things like physical exercise and healthier eating – it’s cheaper to do this stuff than it is to cut peoples’ legs off after diabetes gives them gangrene.

    Unfortunately, the dumbness of conservatism compels right-wingers to dramatically flail about whenever the government takes a common sense approach to one our many mounting problems like this, complaining about their freedoms as if Michelle Obama is somehow forcing people to eat vegetables. It is in the best interests of our society and the economy for we to have as few unintended pregnancies as possible, and with nothing but the ravings of religious lunatics who, I can’t stress this enough, believe that AIDS is a better thing than condoms, this is a policy that does nothing but good and in no way tramples on anybody’s freedoms.

    Comment by Levi — March 5, 2012 @ 11:16 pm - March 5, 2012

  7. Levi:

    1) Can a woman have self-determination over her own reproductive cycle without any contraceptives whatsoever?

    Yes, but people also like to have sex, it isn’t the 1400s anymore, and modern science has invented this great thing that gives us both sexual satisfaction and control over the reproductive cycle. There is absolutely no downside to this win/win situation unless you conjure one up out of the air because your religion insists on sexual repression.

    2) Are some women too immature, or stupid, or unreliable to have self-determination over their own reproductive cycles which makes it necessary for the government to implant them with birth control?

    ?????????

    I suppose some of them are, but why would it ever be necessary for the government to implant them with birth control? What that has to do with anything I’m sure you can’t explain.

    3) If birth control is a more fundamental human right than owning a gun, should the government at least provide gun owners with free ammunition?(If the government mandates contraception, why not ammunition?)

    What about this metaphor is so appealing to you? There are a number of ways that the government will provide you with all the bullets you want. If you become a police officer or join the military, they’ll even pay you to shoot them into other human beings on occasion.

    What these things have to do with one another is not at all clear to me. Women have been subjugated for the vast majority of human history by men, and one of the ways they’ve done that is by preventing them from controlling their own reproduction. Don’t you think they deserve the freedom to make their own choices without coercion from their narrow-minded employers who share a delusion about an imaginary, celestial dictator?

    4) What is the compelling state interest in having the government mandate “free” contraception in health insurance programs?

    The costs to the government of providing contraception to women are dwarfed by the costs to the government of providing medical care and social services to women who for whatever reason aren’t ready to have children. Additionally, women have more opportunities to seek higher education and develop their careers if they use contraception, not to mention more spending money. Undoubtedly, lots of women already do this. Also undoubtedly, many more women would if contraception was easier to obtain and more affordable. This is particularly true of lower-income women.

    5) Do you favor imposed birth control on the Amish as an enlightened solution to their religious doxology?

    Who is talking about imposing birth control on anybody? The Catholic bishops aren’t having birth control imposed on them. They don’t have to take it, they have to provide it, which I’m sorry to say is part and parcel of being an employer in this country. The government does a great deal to provide employers with a massive pool of would-be workers and customers, and part of the arrangement is that employers have to comply with certain rules that the government sets up. You guys are fond of saying that the women can just find another job, well I will offer that the Catholic employers can find another government. Why don’t they relocate to Somalia, where they can treat their employees however they want with absolutely no interference from the government at all?

    Comment by Levi — March 5, 2012 @ 11:51 pm - March 5, 2012

  8. he government should most assuredly pay for birth control, because the relative costs are entirely negligible in comparison to the costs associated with unplanned and unintended pregnancies. Reigning in healthcare costs is in the best interests of the federal government because it’s currently out of control, and is redirecting and squandering an enormous portion of our economic activity and productivity.

    All problems that could be solved by getting government out of the healthcare business entirely. If the government doesn’t have to pay for healthcare in the first place (which it shouldn’t), then it doesn’t have any interest in investing in preventative health care. And, again, the government doesn’t have to provide something (or force other people to provide it) for it to be available. You progressives can’t seem to get that through your heads. Birth control is widely available and inexpensive. And if the government does do something to reduce the rate of unintended/unwanted pregnancies, perhaps it could use its public schools to actually teach some common sense (i.e. if you can’t afford contraception, and don’t want a kid (which you shouldn’t have if you can’t afford contraception anyway), then don’t have sex. Why that is so complicated, I have no idea. But there is no reason it should be)).

    Comment by Rattlesnake — March 5, 2012 @ 11:51 pm - March 5, 2012

  9. I wish I could argue as well as Levi.

    Yeah, ND30, add THAT to your library of Obamabot links.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — March 6, 2012 @ 12:01 am - March 6, 2012

  10. Yes, because the only way a woman can have self-determination over her reproductive cycle is by the government forcing insurance companies to cover contraception.

    Women’s reproductive systems are about a thousand times more complex than a man’s, and women are much more intimately involved with the reproduction process than men. Do you really think that this deserves absolutely no special consideration? Women spend nine months carrying the baby, women are disproportionately responsible for the burden of raising children, women are susceptible to postpartum depression, women sideline their careers more frequently after they start a family, there are more single women than there are single men…. these things are all true about women, and meanwhile they are massively underrepresented in business and in government and almost invariably make less money than their male counterparts. Consider these unassailable facts and ask yourself again if it’s too much to ask of our society to provide easier access to the one form of contraception that is virtually guaranteed to be effective all the time.

    It would be one thing if the pill was some easily accessible thing that you could buy over the counter, but it’s not. It affects body chemistry and must be prescribed by a doctor. In addition to the burdens listed above, should we really be arbitrarily declaring that this prescription, unlike all other prescriptions, not be covered, even after all the things we’ve considered when it comes to women’s health?

    Make no mistake, women are the target here, not the bishops (who are all male, of course). They have no business interfering in the medical care that their female employees seek, and the government absolutely has an interest in protecting women from that interference.

    Comment by Levi — March 6, 2012 @ 12:19 am - March 6, 2012

  11. Do you really think that this deserves absolutely no special consideration?

    From the government? Yes. Without question. I would hope that whatever concerns a woman might have with her reproductive system her doctor could help her with.

    In addition to the burdens listed above, should we really be arbitrarily declaring that this prescription, unlike all other prescriptions, not be covered, even after all the things we’ve considered when it comes to women’s health?

    No one is preventing anyone from providing contraception as part of their insurance plans. Why should the government have any say in what insurance plans cover, and what insurance plans are provided by employers? That is not a legitimate government function, in my opinion, and it in fact gives the government way too much power than I think is wise.

    They have no business interfering in the medical care that their female employees seek

    Which they aren’t. Women are free to purchase contraceptives on their own, even if they work for a Catholic employer.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — March 6, 2012 @ 12:31 am - March 6, 2012

  12. All problems that could be solved by getting government out of the healthcare business entirely. If the government doesn’t have to pay for healthcare in the first place (which it shouldn’t), then it doesn’t have any interest in investing in preventative health care. And, again, the government doesn’t have to provide something (or force other people to provide it) for it to be available. You progressives can’t seem to get that through your heads. Birth control is widely available and inexpensive. And if the government does do something to reduce the rate of unintended/unwanted pregnancies, perhaps it could use its public schools to actually teach some common sense (i.e. if you can’t afford contraception, and don’t want a kid (which you shouldn’t have if you can’t afford contraception anyway), then don’t have sex. Why that is so complicated, I have no idea. But there is no reason it should be)).

    Of course, the largely privatized healthcare system in this country gobbles up an enormous chunk of the GDP every year and produces people that are sicker and weaker and fatter and shorter-lived than just about every Western European country that boasts a much less expensive and greater producing version of national healthcare. One of the most popular government programs in the US is Medicare, but you’re telling us if that were to go away tomorrow, things would start getting better, huh? You don’t see it as a problem that huge portions of the private healthcare industry are dedicated to denying coverage and dropping patients? There are governments that interfere in their country’s healthcare systems much more than ours does, so why are we the country of sick fatties who die young?

    Comment by Levi — March 6, 2012 @ 12:36 am - March 6, 2012

  13. You conservative types that claim to be such savvy businessmen and masters of the economy really can’t seem to tell a solid investment when you see one. The government should most assuredly pay for birth control, because the relative costs are entirely negligible in comparison to the costs associated with unplanned and unintended pregnancies.

    Comment by Levi — March 5, 2012 @ 11:16 pm – March 5, 2012

    Ah, but you see, Levi, according to Sandra Fluke, the costs are NOT negligible; she and her fellow rich white liberals would be filing claims for “contraception” of thousands upon thousands upon thousands of dollars a year.

    Hence the hilarious contradiction of your argument; you insist that the costs of contraception are negligible while simultaneously whining about how the thousands of dollars you spend annually on contraception is bankrupting you.

    Pick one. Either contraception is cheap or it isn’t.

    Next up:

    Preventative medicine including contraception is one of the most efficient ways to tackle rising costs.

    Comment by Levi — March 5, 2012 @ 11:16 pm – March 5, 2012

    False.

    In yet more disappointing news for Democrats pushing for health care reform, Douglas W. Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, offered a skeptical view Friday of the cost savings that could result from preventive care — an area that President Obama and congressional Democrats repeatedly had emphasized as a way health care reform would be less expensive in the long term.

    Obviously successful preventive care can make Americans healthier and save lives. But, Elmendorf wrote, it may not save money as Democrats had been arguing.

    “Although different types of preventive care have different effects on spending, the evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall,” Elmendorf wrote. “That result may seem counterintuitive.

    “For example, many observers point to cases in which a simple medical test, if given early enough, can reveal a condition that is treatable at a fraction of the cost of treating that same illness after it has progressed. In such cases, an ounce of prevention improves health and reduces spending — for that individual,” Elmendorf wrote. “But when analyzing the effects of preventive care on total spending for health care, it is important to recognize that doctors do not know beforehand which patients are going to develop costly illnesses. To avert one case of acute illness, it is usually necessary to provide preventive care to many patients, most of whom would not have suffered that illness anyway. … Researchers who have examined the effects of preventive care generally find that the added costs of widespread use of preventive services tend to exceed the savings from averted illness.”

    You repeat the lies, but the facts once again prove otherwise.

    Furthermore, Levi, if you so care about your sexual partners having contraception, pay the bill yourself.

    But you won’t do that, will you? You blabber and scream and whine and demand that the rest of us foot the bill, but you won’t reach into your own pocket and pay your own bills, will you?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 6, 2012 @ 2:01 am - March 6, 2012

  14. Nicely done, Levi.

    It is reassuring to see that you have not got a clue. I was uncertain if you had begun to develop a cogent philosophy. Your babbling shows no evidence of progress.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 6, 2012 @ 2:09 am - March 6, 2012

  15. You don’t see it as a problem that huge portions of the private healthcare industry are dedicated to denying coverage and dropping patients?

    Comment by Levi — March 6, 2012 @ 12:36 am – March 6, 2012

    Actually, Levi, what is funny is that you shit yourself over private insurance companies denying coverage, but both you and Barack Obama bragged about how Obamacare denying coverage would result in cost savings.

    Now let us make this very clear. Under our current system, you have a wide array of health plans from basic to fully loaded; you choose the coverage you want at the price you want it. If one plan doesn’t cover contraception, you can choose another that does. If you don’t like the coverage requirements for one, you can pick a different plan.

    Your heart’s desire is to force everyone onto a single government plan where there are no choices and no options, and if the government denies you, there is literally no other choice.

    Now, because you are an idiot statist, you probably are dumb enough to scream that that’s not true, that people can pay out of pocket for things that the government doesn’t cover, and that there’s nothing wrong with that.

    At which point we will simply point out that you, little statist that you are, have stated that forcing people to pay out of pocket for ANYTHING is a human rights violation — and that your logic could just as easily apply to people like Fluke who chose to attend a school where contraception coverage wasn’t offered to her.

    And finally, the ultimate in your hypocrisy.

    Who is talking about imposing birth control on anybody? The Catholic bishops aren’t having birth control imposed on them. They don’t have to take it, they have to provide it, which I’m sorry to say is part and parcel of being an employer in this country. The government does a great deal to provide employers with a massive pool of would-be workers and customers, and part of the arrangement is that employers have to comply with certain rules that the government sets up. You guys are fond of saying that the women can just find another job, well I will offer that the Catholic employers can find another government. Why don’t they relocate to Somalia, where they can treat their employees however they want with absolutely no interference from the government at all?

    Comment by Levi — March 5, 2012 @ 11:51 pm – March 5, 2012

    But of course, that “part and parcel of being an employer” doesn’t apply if you are of an Obama Party-approved religious group or donate sufficient dollars to the Obama Party.

    So again, Levi, you are lying. You don’t have ANY problem with employers or religious leaders “denying coverage”; your only problem is with religious leaders or beliefs you don’t like and non-donors. You fully believe in using the government to punish religious beliefs, establish various religious beliefs as governmentally privileged, and to trade government favors for kickbacks, bribes, and cash contributions.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 6, 2012 @ 2:19 am - March 6, 2012

  16. All problems that could be solved by getting government out of the healthcare business entirely.

    As a bonus, getting the Government out of health care would practically eliminate the deficit.

    You blabber and scream and whine and demand that the rest of us foot the bill, but you won’t reach into your own pocket and pay your own bills, will you?

    Yes, exactly, Dressing up selfishness in fascism and calling it “Progressivism” is the name of the game. Deny other people their freedom so that Levi, Cinesnatch, and Sandra Fluke don’t have to pay for their own lifestyles.

    Comment by V the K — March 6, 2012 @ 6:02 am - March 6, 2012

  17. A serious question for unserious people (Levi, Cinesnatch)

    If the Government can decree a company provide a product, why can’t they decree something not be provided?

    If the government can ban risky behaviour, where does it end?

    By supporting the goverment requiring an employer to provide something, you also give them the power to ban something. Levi would whine and pout and cry if the government banned employers from paying for contraception (how would he make balloon animals then?) but it would be using the exact same power that he is cheering now. It might be difficult for those without principles to understand, but if the Catholic Church makes good its promise to shutter its institutions, it won’t be the fault of the Catholics when hospitals close, children aren’t adopted and the ill die. It will be the fault of people like Levi.

    Simpler solution, get the government out of the industry. Obamacare has already destroyed smaller, more affordable plans, and simple math shows it will destroy a lot more than just health insurance.

    (Standard Disclaimer applies.)

    Comment by The Livewire — March 6, 2012 @ 8:25 am - March 6, 2012

  18. Oh, one more flaw in LEvi’s propganda.

    Medicare has a higher claim rejection rate than any major insurance company. (And a lower rate of loss due to fraud)

    So Levi, [you] don’t see it as a problem that huge portions of the private healthcare industry are Medicare industry is dedicated to denying coverage and dropping patients?

    Comment by The Livewire — March 6, 2012 @ 1:33 pm - March 6, 2012

  19. And also, I would point out my post from a few weeks ago in which I cited several studies that showed that those on “free” government insurance were in fact the greatest users of the highest-cost services, with providers being stiffed for the largest portion of costs.

    The reason why is obvious to capitalists. The only limits on demand for free anything are a) supply and b) satiation. As a result, when you hand out “free” health care, there is no reason for people to limit their usage of it, and thus utilization skyrockets.

    The seriously-evil thing about it is that it clearly demonstrates the Barack Obama-Levi fascist mindset. To them, it is evil for a private insurance company to deny coverage in the name of cost control, even though the person still has the option to purchase the health care they want themselves or switch carriers. But they are wholly and completely supportive of the government denying health care — even though you then have no option to switch providers or pay for it yourself.

    That’s the point. Fascist Levi and his friends like Cinesnatch think the government should be able to deny you health care at will. And one can only imagine how the fascist Levi and Cinesnatch would use it — such as demanding that people who vote against Obama or who publicly disagree with gay-sex marriage being denied health care coverage, just as they sicc the IRS on anyone who doesn’t obey now.

    And finally:

    You guys are fond of saying that the women can just find another job, well I will offer that the Catholic employers can find another government. Why don’t they relocate to Somalia, where they can treat their employees however they want with absolutely no interference from the government at all?

    Comment by Levi — March 5, 2012 @ 11:51 pm – March 5, 2012

    Fine. Since you, Cinesnatch, and your slut Fluke want the government to redistribute wealth, suppress religious belief, and provide unlimited health care and contraceptives to all, why don’t you move to Cuba?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 6, 2012 @ 2:26 pm - March 6, 2012

  20. […] increase felt more acutely by those who do the grocery shopping which, in heterosexual households, tends to be women.  No wonder the Obama campaign is making “an intensified effort this week to build support […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Oil prices up, President Obama down — March 12, 2012 @ 12:09 pm - March 12, 2012

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