Weekly Standard: Less Liberty, Higher Costs

Feb 23, 2012
Originally published on February 23, 2012 6:40 am

Jeffrey H. Anderson is a writer for The Weekly Standard.

The Obama administration's recent decree — that, under Obamacare, Americans would no longer be free to offer or to choose new health plans that don't include complimentary coverage of birth control, morning-after pills and the abortion drug ella — would likely lead a great many people to switch to much costlier birth control, according to a new piece published by Kaiser Health News.

In addition to banning people who want to choose cheaper plans from doing so and requiring many people to offer such plans or enroll in them against their moral convictions, two inevitable results would transpire from this decree: Income would be redistributed, as Americans who don't use these preferred products would have the costs transferred to them for those who do; and overall American health costs would rise. Less freedom, politicized medicine, and higher costs — that pretty much sums up this decree as well as Obamacare as a whole.

The Kaiser piece, entitled "Insurance Coverage Might Steer Women to Costlier — But More Effective — Birth Control," says,

"In the heated debate over [the Obamacare decree], no one has talked much about what methods are available to women who want to prevent pregnancy and how their choices might change if cost were removed from the equation....

"With prices ranging from about $1 for a condom to more than $800 for an intrauterine device (IUD), some...women, maybe a lot of them, might switch methods if they could afford to.

"That's exactly what many women's health advocates hope....

"These longer-acting methods, however, carry a hefty upfront price tag of between $500 and $1,000 for the device itself and its insertion....

"In 2007, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis began to enroll 10,000 women in that region, offering them free contraceptives of any type for three years....

"Seventy-five percent chose IUDs or implants, a much higher proportion than the 5.5 percent in the general population."

Fortunately, the Obama administration has decided that Americans as a whole won't mind picking up the tab for this.

For all of the talk about Rick Santorum, it's clear that it's really the Obama administration that's obsessed with birth control. And it's also clear that the remedy for that obsession is repeal.

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