Continuing his Brit’s eye view of Obamacare, today Henry vespa looks at some of the craziness surrounding the bill…
Constitutional challenges through the courts and practical IT difficulties aside, those in opposition to Obamacare also take more, shall we say, emotive stances; not the least of which concerns contraception.
Yep. The Obama administration views birth control as an essential part of women’s healthcare and has mandated that all new health insurance policies (i.e. those issued in an Obamacare world) include provision of contraceptive measures as a preventive health service. Not surprisingly, the Catholic Church got a little miffed by this. As an employer, they pay for the policies, which means they effectively pay for the birth control and the last time anybody checked, the Vatican is still a little anti on the subject.
So, the USCCB (that’s the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to you and me) got in on the act and started objecting. The government did attempt a compromise, saying that religious employers (including, for example, Catholic-run schools and universities) would not have to pick up the tab, although Obama himself said, “…women who work at these institutions will have access to free contraceptive services, just like other women.” However, this still didn’t sit well with the bishops and so off to court we go again. A number of lawsuits are still pending and in the meantime, there’s a temporary (compromise) injunction that prevents the government from enforcing the contraception mandate against employers who have ‘religious objections’ – at least until a final decision is handed down. Hmmm… the church is above the law – who’d have thought it?
The other emotive issue is pure scaremongering but it does make for great headlines: “Death Panels!!!”
In 2009, that well-known bleeding heart woolly liberal Sarah Palin (sarcastic? just a touch, maybe) posted on Facebook about the pending Obamacare reforms. She stated that the legislation would place decisions on whether people would receive life-saving healthcare in the hands of pen-pushers, stating, “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.” Totally untrue, not going to happen, and the statement was even given a ‘Lie of the Year’ award; but it certainly got Palin some attention in the year when she was stepping down as governor of Alaska which, I guess, is the name of the game.
So, ‘Death Panels’. Pretty dystopian, right? But surely after a few articles in the National Enquirer, sandwiched between cattle mutilations and alien abductions, that’s the end of it? Sadly not. A survey of surgeons carried out by a medical journal at the end of 2013 found that 27% of respondents thought the death panels really existed. That figure rose to 40% if the surgeons were also Republicans. Scared that the person responsible for your healthcare decisions could believe such nonsense? You should be.