SCOTUS decisions, healthcare, and a Rant
July 3, 2014
I’ve been seeing tweets about how whiners whining about the Hobby Lobby decision are stupid and then I saw: “you’re paid cash to go buy food, why can’t you also take that cash and pay for your own damn health insurance?”
And I’m even seeing PF bloggers apparently agree that these are equivalent. And it’s driving me a little crazy.
I don’t even know where to start with the ways this whole thing drives me crazy: financially, scientifically, medically, philosophically but I’m just throwing a few of them here so I can get back to work. I’ll grant this could be more polished but seriously, I need to get back to work.
1. Health insurance is vastly, VASTLY, more expensive than food. And plenty of people go without health insurance in order to pay for food. It’s a compromise that simply cannot go in the other direction. So given that you’re only paid X amount per month, one of the first things you’re going to pay for is FOOD. And shelter. And we all know that medical care is so expensive in this country that one or even two medical emergencies can bankrupt you. Food is not the same thing as healthcare.
2. You’re paid cash for your work, yes, but your health insurance is a part of your compensation package for work you do for them.
It is either offered as a competitive advantage over other employers or you’re paid more money because the smaller employers cannot afford to offer it as part of their benefits. And that’s if you’re working at a level or a place where benefits are even offered. But either way, they sure as shootin’ aren’t offering NON employees health insurance, so what the heck is with the the implication that you’re expecting free lunch? So I expect to be able to use my health insurance just like I use my cash: how-the-frak-ever way I choose.
As Greg Rucka said: Health insurance is not “free abortions” or “free contraception” or “government anything.” It is compensation. For work.
By the way, plenty of top companies ALSO tout their actual free lunch (and even dinners) as a benefit of working for them. But you have to ACTUALLY WORK FOR THEM. I should have thought that was obvious.
3. The audacity of any employer, or any layperson who is NOT my health care provider/professional, telling me what I can or cannot use in treating my medical condition because they decided it violates their personal beliefs is beyond the pale. Heck I don’t think the health care provider/professional’s personal beliefs should have any bearing on my medical care.
Where the hell do businesses get off redefining science and medicine for their employees? And why do so many people seem to think birth control is birth control is birth control and is ONLY used for birth control? Here’s a secret: It’s not.
A) One medication does NOT work just the same as any other for every single person. There’s a REASON we have to have alternatives. 20 pain medications prescribed to me do nothing but make me sicker. ONE of them makes me physically better and mentally a cracked up mess. If the 22nd medication worked for me, that’s the fricking one I’m going to use! And if an employer wanted to tell me that, well, they believe that 22nd medication is from the devil and so I should only use the 21st, I’d toast Satan while quaffing my meds and flip them off with the other hand.
That doesn’t even touch on my next point …
B) Cost. COST! I’m SOL on the point of controlling pain, I live in constant pain every day, but if there was an alternative that cost $1K a month and my employer-offered health insurance refused to cover it only because they philosophically disapproved so I should use the other cheaper and religious-belief approved options? Y’all would see Mount Vesuvius all over again.
C) Do you know what else birth control is used for? Just a few reasons it’s been prescribed to just the people I know:
To mitigate the crippling (literally crippling) effects of menstrual cycles. I’ve had more than one friend who had to be on birth control because they had passed out from the pain and the excessive blood loss.
To mitigate the crippling effects of, or even to treat, endometriosis.
To mitigate the side effects of the menstrual cycles in relation to other conditions. I had to stay on it for 3 years because that to allow me to remain mobile and productive because otherwise I’d lose weeks out of the month as it aggravated my fibro.
The day that Magic Elixer Snake Oil Ltd comes out with something that treats all of those conditions, problems, and all the other ones that birth control helps with? We’ll talk. Until then, non medical and science professionals need to take a BIG step back in declaring what exactly medications do or are.
4. This judgement offends my conservative nature to no end. I believe in small government and that the government should stay out of my bedroom, my shed, and get the hell off my lawn. I also believe in the health of the herd and I believe in health care; you want to prevent a huge financial burden on the nation due to aging and chronic preventable illnesses? You want to poor people to stop having so many babies that will need assistance? *points to healthcare* Hi, there’s a really good answer for that. I believe in personal responsibility and I believe there are times that common sense, not politics, is the answer.
And there’s not one ounce of my being that would think that my employer should have the right to hang out in my doctor’s waiting room dictating what science and medicine is or does or is acceptable according to their beliefs.
More specifically, saying that prevention of pregnancy is the same thing as aborting pregnancy doesn’t make it so and saying that any religious beliefs of ANY sort should dictate how I or any of my family or friends or fellow citizens can receive treatment based on the fact that they’re employed by someone holding those beliefs is beyond preposterous. I respect your religion, so you damn well better respect mine.
In short, this decision is poor on so many levels and sets a precedent that doesn’t bear thinking on but now we have to because the “narrow” ruling’s already being broadened from “only four” birth control methods to “for-profit employers who object to all twenty forms of birth control included in the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, not just the four methods at issue in the two cases decided on Monday.”
Lastly, I was very interested to see religious leaders speaking out against this:
Although the owners of these for-profit corporations oppose the contraceptive requirement because of their pro-life religious beliefs, the requirement they oppose will dramatically reduce abortions. Imagine a million fewer unintended pregnancies. Imagine healthier babies, moms and families. Imagine up to 800,000 fewer abortions. No matter your faith or political beliefs, our hunch is that we can all agree that fewer unplanned pregnancies and fewer abortions would be a blessing.
Julia K. Stronks, evangelical Christian and political science professor together with Jeffrey F. Peipert, a Jewish family-planning physician
The New Testament never—not one time—applies the ‘Christian’ label to a business or even a government,” he writes. “The tag is applied only to individuals. If the Bible is your ultimate guide, the only organization one might rightly term ‘Christian’ is a church. And this is only because a church in the New Testament is not a building or a business, but a collection of Christian individuals who have repented, believed on Christ, and are pursuing a life of holiness.
Jonathan Merritt, an evangelical Christian writer and blogger for the Religion News Service