Will Obamacare treat fertility as a disease? 

Among the dangers of government-controlled health care is the tendency for sound medical considerations to be subordinated to (at best) non-medical public policy considerations and (at worst) special interest lobbying. Here is an excellent example today from the morning email from National Journal:

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine makes the case for covering birth control as free preventive care under the health care law. The study, co-authored by Planned Parenthood Central Texas medical director Scott Spear, finds that the average cost of a birth covered by Medicaid was more than $12,600 in 2008, compared to $257 for a year’s worth of contraceptive coverage. The Institute of Medicine is currently considering whether to include contraceptives as free preventive care, and is expected to issue guidelines by August 1.

That Planned Parenthood, one of the nation's largest non-profit subsidy-suckling organizations, is lobbying for new sources of other people's money should come as no surprise. Every specialization from acupuncture to voodoo will be scrambling to have its peculiar services deemed "preventive" and therefore wholly funded by all insurers. There's a lot of money to be made in shifting all costs away from those who actually receive services.

More surprising, perhaps, is this sudden expectation that a system supposedly designed to make sick people well will instead force everyone who purchases insurance to subsidize 100 percent of the cost of other people's recreational sex lives. We're not just talking about forcing insurers to cover birth control, say with a co-pay. We're  talking about making insurance consumers on aggregate pay the entire cost of everyone's birth control, no matter what their income level.

Setting aside the subsidy sucklers, it makes sense that some people will make the case for this out of purely public-spirited motives -- because it might save money in Medicaid (depending, of course, on how many Medicaid patients come forward for "free lunch" birth control). But is the purpose of health care to prevent costs to government? I always thought it was to treat and prevent disease.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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