OK, my regular readers (all one of them, so far, but I will give it time) have no doubt pigeonholed me as the typical left-leaning atheist. Time to blow that out of the water.
There was recently quite a brouhaha over the Catholic Church’s angst when they discovered that under Obamacare, any employee health insurance would have to include both contraception and abortion. Catholic churches, schools, and hospitals would have to provide these things with their health coverage. It would be illegal to offer your employees a health plan that does not include these things. And the Catholic Church is paying for it, which they claim violates their freedom of conscience.
After an eruption of outrage, Obama put forth a compromise. Rather than requiring the customer of the insurance company to pay for these mandates… let the insurance companies do it. Now this is just silly. Who do you suppose ends up paying for a company’s costs in the end? That would be, let me see now… I’m thinking, don’t distract me… the customers! Is Obama really stupid enough to think companies have bottomless pools of their own money they can spend? Or does he think we are that stupid? The Catholic Church identified the fact that this is in fact no change from the previous situation, and they are doing what they can to keep this issue stirred up.
Now Let Me Make Myself Perfectly Clear
I believe that the Catholic Church’s position on contraception and abortion is wrong. Just flat out wrong. Further, it is manifestly immoral if not criminal to try to impose a ban on either activity, as many Catholics and evangelical Christians tirelessly work to.
I am not going to go into why I think this; it’s beside the point of this post. But I want to get that out in the open right off the bat, so people do not accuse me of being anti-abortion or (worse!) anti-contraception. I am sure someone will anyway, when they read what I have to say below, but I had to try.
I will state it another way: Abortion and contraception are rights; they involve someone controlling her own life without interfering with the rights of another, and without imposing a burden on them. Attempting to prevent someone from exercising those rights is a violation of those rights.
On the other hand, you do not have the right to a free abortion. Or to free contraception. No genuine right can involve forcing someone else to spend their time, money, or effort providing you with something if they do not wish to. No “right” can be a claim on another person. Claiming that you have the right to a free abortion, means something must be taken away from someone else to collect on it. (And that assumes that there will be someone out there who can be looted. Or press-ganged. Does such a pseudo-right mean a doctor can be drafted out of retirement, if necessary?) Furthermore, even if you proclaim yourself willing to pay for the abortion, you still may not require someone to perform it even if they are unwilling to do so. (If you think about it, this is the way one treats a slave. Right?) You have to come to a voluntary agreement with the provider. A doctor should be free to refuse to perform the abortion, and third parties should be free to refuse to pay for it.
So if you are an employee, and your employer doesn’t want to pay for a health insurance policy that covers abortion or contraception… go buy it yourself.
Thus I think it’s wrong for the government to force insurers to include abortions, or contraception, in their policies. (For that matter, I oppose all other mandates on what must be in an insurance policy. Why can’t the customer and the provider decide what makes sense for them? Would you tolerate this interference in your homeowner’s policy?)
I May Vomit Before I Can Finish Saying This
So in an odd way, I am forced to side with the Catholic Church on this specific issue, not because I like them, or their silly beliefs, or their medieval view of what is OK and not OK for consenting adults to do behind closed doors, but rather because I oppose government interference in health care. Excessive government interference is in fact the reason the system we have today sucks so badly, and Obamacare, if anything, is likely to force the insurers out of business and bring on calls for a complete government takeover. I’ve heard anecdotes of 600% increases in premiums due to Obamacare, already. Government is being offered as the cure to the problems that government caused.
So yeah. Technically, the Catholic Church is right. They shouldn’t be forced to pay for abortions. They shouldn’t be forced to pay for contraception. They should go blow monkeys out their asses. (OK, I admit I put the last one in there just to make myself feel better, having to stick up for the Catholic Church.)
Brother, You Asked For It
Obamacare first came to the fore in 2009, as bills were introduced in both the US House and Senate. As soon as they were introduced, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops issued this letter, calling for the implementation of Obamacare.
Catholic Bishops, you not only asked for it, you got it hard. Furthermore, in getting it, you managed to inflict it on everyone else as well, not just yourselves. Then, after going to all this effort to make everyone’s medical decisions a political rather than a personal matter, you have the infernal gall to complain when you don’t like the political decision that was made?!?!
You did this to yourself. You did this to us. Now, Catholic Bishops, you can go rot in hell. (There. I feel so much better.)
OK, Pro-Choicers. Now You Take Heed
But as much as the pro-choice contingents may be chortling with glee at the Catholic Church’s self-administered bullet wounds, this is a warning.
Many, if not most, pro-choicers are politically “liberal” and probably think it’s just peachy-keen that the government is stepping forward to ensure health care coverage for everyone, and that that health care coverage will include abortions and contraception. I have a question for these people.
What happens if Rick Santorum, or someone like him, ends up in the Oval Office next year? Do you want to bet that the government won’t refuse to pay for abortions? Or mandate, perhaps, that insurers not cover them? What will you think when the shoe goes on the other foot? One man, in the White House, can dictate what your health insurance looks like. You fought so hard to give the man in the White House the power. Why were you so certain he’d have your best interests at heart? Why were you so certain it would always be someone who is pro-choice?
Remember HillaryCare? If that had passed, it would have been a felony to get medical care outside of the system–even entirely with your own money. What if the system won’t pay for your abortion, per a guideline put down by presidential appointees? Or your contraception? Rick Santorum and his buddies would not have to overturn Roe v. Wade to make abortion de facto illegal. And back in 1993-1994 we almost gave them the tool they could have used to do it.
Do you think Rick Santorum would hesitate, given the chance? And are you confident that the Supreme Court will always back you up on this?
Government control over health care is a double edged sword, to be wielded by whoever is in power, and there are more fundamentalist votes out there than there are atheists, humanists, etc.
Think about it.