First They Come for Your Insurance Coverage. Is Your Bank Account Next?


The Hobby Lobby case going before the Supreme Court will hopefully shed new light on what, to my mind, might be one of the most disturbing avenues of attack opened by the anti-choice movement: laying claim to women’s wallets along with their uteruses. The most disturbing thing about this new movement is that it seems not to be firing up people on the left in the same way as red tape attacks shutting down abortion clinics seems to do. But in a way, it’s really just as bad, because the religious right is experimenting with legal avenues to establish the “right” to control women’s private finances, and there’s a strong possibility that they are going to get away with it.

At stake right now are insurance plans. Brick by brick, anti-choicers are trying to create the illusion that it’s perfectly reasonable for strangers who disagree with your private religious views regarding contraception and abortion to determine for you what kind of coverage you can buy. The attack is two-fold: On the contraception front, corporations and other employers are claiming that they should be the decider and not their employees on what kind of coverage the employees’ insurance plans cover, even though those plans belong to the employee and not the employer, since the employee earned the insurance coverage just as surely as she earned her paycheck. On the abortion front, anti-choicers are claiming, successfully in 23 states now, that insurance companies should be banned from selling policies that include abortion coverage, on the grounds that the woman who uses that coverage is pulling from a pool that everyone has paid into, and, well, there’s a bit of magical thinking that justifies believing your premium is “tainted” if a dollar that you paid into the pool ends up being paid to an abortion provider.

It’s an argument that assumes if money has ever passed through the pocket of an anti-choicer, they get to retain control over it no matter who else legally has control of it now. This is not how transfer of control of funds works with anything else, as I explain in this week’s podcast. If I give you anything, it belongs to you and not me. But anti-choicers are arguing that when it comes to reproductive health coverage, that rule should be suspended. If they pay an insurance company, then they should retain control over the money that belongs to the insurance company, even when the insurance company is offering a service to another person, who also purchased coverage.

By the same logic, if an anti-choicer shops at a pharmacy, that pharmacy should not be able to sell birth control pills. After all, a pharmacy may take an anti-choicer’s money and provide, say, heart medication. And then they may take the money they made that day and buy some more drugs to sell, including birth control pills. That bundle of money will have the dollars in it that the anti-choicer used to buy heart medication. Are we going to see anti-choicers start claiming that pharmacies should be banned from selling contraception because, as with insurance, anti-choicers have a special privilege to continue to control dollars even after they relinquished control over them? I expect that we will. Maybe not with pharmacies, but if insurance coverage is subject to this logic, as they do with all other things, anti-choicers will start casting around for a way to expand the scope of control, specifically control over women.

Right now, the focus is on insurance companies, for one reason only: Obamacare. The repeated media discourse around what health insurance is and does has given anti-choicers a unique opportunity to inject their ideas about how they deserve to control what women do with their own private finances. Right-wing lies about how the new health-care law is “socialized” medicine has confused enough people that they think we’re debating how tax money is spent and not private insurance plans. An opportunity to increase the scope of control has presented itself, and they are taking it to the limit.

And they could very well get away with it. After all, they’ve had smashing success in the past with the nonsense claim that anti-choicers retain a special right to control money after it’s been relinquished to another party, via taxes. The public defense of laws like the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal money from being spent on abortion, has never been that legislators get to determine what the government does and doesn’t spend money on, using their constitutional power to write budgets, even though that’s the legal mechanism that makes it work. The argument is always forwarded in public by the right as this: Because anti-choicers pay taxes, they get to retain control over that money. Never mind that the government has all sorts of programs that various groups don’t like. Anti-choicers have successfully secured in the public mind that they, unlike everyone else, have a special right to retain control over money after they’ve relinquished it.

That’s why we should be very afraid that they will get away with expanding that nonsense argument to insurance companies. Once the claim has been established that an anti-choicer retains control over a dollar after he’s given it to someone else—whether a private entity like an insurance company or a public entity like the government—there’s no reason not to expand it to other institutions. Like pharmacies. Or, and this is where I really start to worry, banks.

After all, banks work on the exact same principle as insurance companies. You give them a certain amount of money and it’s not like they put it in a little vault with your name on it. They put it into a pool that everyone pays into and invest it. Your bank account is just what they agree they owe you if you pull it out, just as your benefits are what the insurance company agrees to pay out in exchange for your premiums. Indeed, your insurance plan is much like your bank account: you pay in, you have a little number so they keep track what you’re owed, and you can withdraw what you’re owed from a common pool at certain times based on a prior agreement. And, of course, your deposit is guaranteed even if the bank loses money on their investments because of insurance.

If one account-holder gets to say how all the other accounts are used at an insurance company, then what’s to stop them from trying the same stunt with banks? It’s hard to imagine how that would work, since banks don’t ask you what you’re using it for when you withdraw cash. But banks pay your debts for you, as insurance companies do, in ways beyond just giving you cash you can walk over to the person you want to give money to. They honor checks. They have credit and debit cards. It would be very easy for banks to refuse transactions for abortion or contraception. After all, Obamacare is just a bunch of federal regulations on insurance companies. Banks are also subject to a bunch of federal regulations—and their money is backed by insurance—creating the same sense of justification that anti-choicers have when interfering with insurance coverage.

If nothing else, it’s easy to imagine anti-choicers pressuring legislators to force banks not to hold accounts for abortion providers.

If a common pool means that your insurance plan is controlled by an anti-choicer, then it’s a quick leap to make the same argument about banks. That may seem ludicrous now, but it was ludicrous just a few years ago to imagine that employers would try to opt out of federal labor law based on “religion.” Yet that’s exactly what the Hobby Lobby case going in front of the Supreme Court is about. If that door opens, it’s not a leap to fear banks are next. After all, we are talking about fanatics who spend all day every day seeking for new ways to gain control over women’s lives. Bank accounts are going to be attractive prey, and now they’re building up the legal argument to gain control over them.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Follow Amanda Marcotte on Twitter: @amandamarcotte

To schedule an interview with Amanda Marcotte please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • marshmallow

    Love the podcast Amanda!

  • Teflon Expat

    If no one is dying, abortion is not health care.

    • http://flewellyn.livejournal.com Flewellyn

      Health care is anything which is provided to help the patient’s health. Not just lifesaving medicine.

      • Teflon Expat

        Pregnancy is an illness?

        • AZDem9933

          If I’m pregnant and don’t want to be, it is. My body, not yours.

          • Teflon Expat

            So defensive. My my. Then of course, you’ve got your non-medically necessary elective procedure covered. Or would you prefer others help ya out?

          • goatini

            So treating a broken leg is a “non-medically necessary elective procedure”?

          • Teflon Expat

            Setting a broken leg per the unavoidable accident is medical therapy

          • marshmallow

            As is abortion. Medical therapy.

          • Teflon Expat

            Like a nose job?

          • marshmallow

            If you want to be taken seriously don’t use stupid arguments.

          • Teflon Expat

            Um, like Marcotte’s broken arm comparison?

          • marshmallow

            Pregnancy is dangerous. This is a well known fact. And a broken arm is 100% avoidable if you don’t ever do anything. If you cross the street and break the arm its your fault and could have been avoided, right? Learn to logic, cupcake.

          • Teflon Expat

            Sex is not an accident. muffin

          • marshmallow

            Unwanted pregnancy is. Just like the broken arm

          • Teflon Expat

            Wanted sex is?

          • marshmallow

            Address jerrad’s point. We are all very patient.

          • HeilMary1

            Are you the last Shaker on earth? — the Shakers practiced total abstinence to the death of their own sex-hating cult.

          • lady_black

            Aren’t you a little mixed up here? This isn’t about “sex.” This is about pregnancy. An expensive, dangerous and unwanted condition.

          • cjvg

            Sex is not treated by birth control or abortion, pregnancy is.
            Why the inordinate hyper focus on a condition that is not in question?!

          • HeilMary1

            Ever hear of rape, jerk?

          • Jennifer Starr

            Sex takes two, Teffy. And you still haven’t addressed the question of rape.

          • Ella Warnock

            Nope, it’s just a fact of life and no longer necessarily tied to procreation. Inconvenient for your ilk, I suppose, but a reality nonetheless. I rather doubt we’ll ever return to biology = destiny. Also, I suppose, an uncomfortable reality. Too bad.

            At any rate, poor women are always the ones most affected by lack of access. Women with resources will continue to do as they please, regardless of legality. That’s the way it’s always been.

          • Shockna

            Sex != pregnancy.

          • cjvg

            pregnancy is, especially if you are actively attempting to prevent it.
            We are discussing abortion and birth control, neither are a treatment for sex, so why do you continue to harp on sex?!

          • HeilMary1

            You really think ALL straight men are eager to avoid sex with their wives FOREVER because??? — they can be like you and only have sex with girls under age ten???

          • CJ99

            If you really want a nose job theres plenty of volunteers of the 5 knuckle variety.

          • HeilMary1

            By your disgusting logic, no one should ever ever eat because some people get food poisoning or suffer allergies. All activities involve risk and that’s why we pool money into insurance to cover expensive calamities that befall some people. Are you that stupid?

          • Shockna

            The accident was never unavoidable. If it was a car accident, they should have taken the bus. If it was an assault, they should have stayed home that day. If it was an accident with heavy machinery, they shouldn’t have operated it, even if it meant leaving their job (since it was 100% avoidable if they’d just left their job first).

          • lady_black

            So is abortion.

          • AZDem9933

            You’re the one whining about sexually active women getting health care.

          • cjvg

            So why is there NOT a huge outcry about the fact that (always elective) vasectomies are covered?

            Hm, let me guess, it is an elective procedure for MEN that lets them control their reproductive lives, of course that should never be restricted

          • CJ99

            What the expat fool refuses to realize is his repugnant behaviour is a form of contraception.

          • cjvg

            At least for him it is

        • goatini

          A broken leg is not an illness.

          • HeilMary1

            And ED isn’t an illness needing Viagra covered by insurance.

        • Amanda Marcotte

          Neither are broken bones, but we still set them.

          • Teflon Expat

            Abortion is 100% preventable since the enthusiastic behavior leading to it is 100% avoidable. Thus it is elective and not insurable, unless feminists say it is of course.

          • JamieHaman

            Troll. Got to stop feeding trolls.
            You know nothing about medically necessary abortions. Nothing about quality of life for a child.
            Nothing that the voices in your head don’t tell you.

          • HeilMary1

            So your male buddies agree with you that all sex is icky and should only be done for procreation?

          • lady_black

            Maybe for you it’s 100% avoidable. I can certainly see why…

          • CJ99

            Since no woman would be caught dead with you its only avoidable for you. But for human beings reality is quite different.

        • colleen2

          No. Pregnancy is ‘natural’ and the maternal mortality rate is a liberal conspiracy.

        • JamieHaman

          Speaks some one who has never had a high risk pregnancy with complications.
          Some one who has never spent a month in bed hoping the blood pressure doesn’t cause a massive stroke or heart attack.
          Some one who has never spent a month in bed hoping that the kidneys last, and the heart pumps enough blood to keep you both alive.

          When you bother to learn about maternal deaths due to pregnancy and or delivery in this country, then you will not make silly posts about pregnancy being an “illness.”

          Until you do STFU.

          • Teflon Expat

            It was a question.

          • JamieHaman

            Well, there’s your answer. Do your own research.

        • marshmallow

          Yes.

        • KristenfromMA

          I’ll go out on a limb and guess that you’re a man.

          • CJ99

            I think of him as a judgemental manchild, he pretends to be a man, has the anatomy for it but he refuses to “man up”

        • HeilMary1

          Pregnancy is a thousand diseases that gross men out. Why do you think the pedophile priest-serving Vatican imposed priest “celibacy” to free priests from “piles of dung” wives with obstetric fistula incontinence? PBS just re-ran a special on African women living as lepers because of obstetric fistulas. Get a clue, mother killer.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Pregnancy is a medical condition. It is not a state of wellness. Even relatively uncomplicated pregnancies carry risks.

        • lady_black

          An illness, no. A medical condition that is 1) expensive, 2) always a threat to life and health, 3) preventable, and 4) undesired in a lot of cases … ABSOLUTELY. Not “all” health care deals with illness. Some health care is maintaining wellness, which is a much less expensive proposition than treating illness. Pregnancy IS treated, that’s why we have obstetricians. It need not be deemed a disease to require treatment for the best outcome.

        • fiona64

          Um, yes, pregnancy is an illness. What a dumbass you are.

    • whatareuthinking

      What? Health care is only when someone’s dying?

      • BJ Survivor

        Yes, but only when that “someone” is a fertile or pregnant female.

    • MrsM

      Sure it is. Health care is more than caring for the dying, it’s about caring for those that need or want medical services.
      Abortion is a service that is provided to help a woman should she choose to not continue with her pregnancy. Pregnant women require a lot of medical care, even for routine and uncomplicated pregnancies. Would you then say that they aren’t receiving health care, as they aren’t dying?

      You don’t have to agree with abortion, you don’t have to agree with the reasons why women choose to terminate a pregnancy. You do have to allow them access to it. By denying women access to care (and abortion services are part of that care) you doom them to a forced pregnancy and birth. You force them to spend thousands more on medical care that they aren’t prepared to pay. You force them to endure financial hardships and emotional turmoil.

      No other medical care gets this kind of scrutiny. We don’t expect addicts to “deal” we allow them access to programs. We allow the obese to have access to care. We don’t just tell them to “eat less and get over it”. Abortion should be no different.

      • Teflon Expat

        Abort away. Save up for it.

        • L-dan

          Kind of against the point of insurance.

          Save up for that heart attack/broken leg/cancer. That’s essentially what my premiums being paid to the insurer are *for*. Why should certain sorts of health care be carved out as separate?

        • HeilMary1

          By your Nazi logic, no accidents or diseases should ever be covered by insurance. I’ll bet you expect your STDs and ED pills to be covered by insurance, even though YOUR sex romps are completely unnecessary and probably illegal. Should a Baltimore nurse, whose c-section infection cost 5 MILLION, NEVER have had sex with her husband because pregnancies can be that expensive? Should everyone be born psychic and able to predict and avoid which normal activities can be dangerous?

    • colleen2

      Right, because women aren’t really human beings and should only be able to access medical attention when we’re dying. If we’re lucky.

      • Teflon Expat

        Ah, the ol ‘access’ buzz word. Meaning you’re asking others to contribute to the bill for the elective decision to abort.

        • Ivy Mike

          Is not choosing to carry a pregnancy to term an “elective decision?” If so, why is coverage for that apparently non-controversial, given that it’s far more expensive than contraception or abortion?

        • colleen2

          Guys like you have such a difficult time admitting that women can and do earn their own living and don’t need to be supported by abusive assholes anymore.

        • KristenfromMA

          Do you not understand how insurance coverage works?

        • HeilMary1

          You already make us pay for YOUR Viagra which could then result in your conquests needing abortions. Viagra = abortions, dead mothers, birth defects, welfare kids, STDs, pedophilia, and GOP adultery. Hypocrite, why don’t you focus on banning Viagra and male whores?

        • Jennifer Starr

          We have to pay for your playtime tablets if you can’t get it up, which is not a terminal condition either.

          • CJ99

            True but it assumes any woman (or man) would stay around him long enough to get it on. That would require him being quiet (possibly a paper bag over his head) the entire time which won’t happen since he cant shutup for 5 freakin minutes.

        • Shockna

          Welcome to all insurance.

          If I oppose prosthetic limbs for those in accidents, should I be allowed to impose upon the insurance company that they not cover prosthetics, because they’re an elective decision?

        • lady_black

          Yep!

        • CJ99

          So what are you contributing? no that air pollution you emit from your butt does NOT count!

    • marshmallow

      Pregnancy maims 1.2million women per year in the USA alone.

    • HeilMary1

      Village idiot, abortions save women from fatal multiple organ failures, flesh eating bacteria infection amputations, bladder and bowel incontinence, cancer, autoimmune diseases, you name it.

    • Jennifer Starr

      Yes, abortion definitely is health care.

    • Leo Buzalsky

      Right…so when I get a sports concussion, that treatment is not health care. I’m not dying, after all!

    • http://littlemisshaldol.tumblr.com/ LittleMissMellaril

      Is Viagra? No one is dying!

    • CJ99

      When you are not talking no1 is being stupid.

  • JamieHaman

    The Handmaiden’s Tale.
    The idea that someone else controls my body is absolutely repugnant. Once they control the abortion coverage, then the birth control coverage, then the annual physical for lady parts, THEN they will decide how many children you have, and how far apart you have them too.

    • Teflon Expat

      Is the mere unwillingness to pay into abortion coverage controlling a body? Odd that

      • JamieHaman

        Yes, because you don’t know why a woman wants or needs an abortion. You are not a doctor. You don’t know how close to financial disaster she and her family are or what it takes to get that abortion.
        That is forced pregnancy, with a forced delivery. That is definitely control of someone else’s body. That someone is not you.

        • Teflon Expat

          Consensual sex is 100% avoidable. Nothing is being forced. Nearly all abortions are lifestyle choices. Thats nice. Save up for it.

          • marshmallow

            Reproductive coercion exists. Besides, you are a fucking moron if you expect a couple to avoid sex for 30+ years of marriage if they don’t want kids

          • Teflon Expat

            Their choice. Save up for it.

          • marshmallow

            Not if coerced, no.

          • HeilMary1

            Who can afford $5,000 to $5,000,000 per childbirth EVERY YEAR? And that’s not counting the bankrupting costs of premies and birth defects.

          • marshmallow

            I don’t know why people think that childbirth is somehow ‘free’

          • HeilMary1

            Really! Decades ago, before private for-profit insurance, childbirth hospital bills probably never exceeded a few hundred dollars. Now women pay $5,000 to $50,000 per delivery, even WITH insurance, and somewhere I read 50% of deliveries now depend on Medicaid! One woman with fertility issues would have to pay $12,000 per year to her insurance to cover an insurance-”paid” delivery! If she failed to get pregnant, that would be $12,000 wasted every year she didn’t make a claim! And yet fetal idolaters rage when low-income women abort instead or seek government aid!

          • CJ99

            If ever somebody needed a condom placed over his entire head its you.

          • Ivy Mike

            Childbirth is also 100% avoidable, and is far more expensive than the alternatives. Why don’t you seem to have a problem with insurance covering this elective choice?

            Also, what possible reason is there to BAN companies, by law, from offering coverage of abortions? Free enterprise, anyone?

          • Teflon Expat

            What ban? If an insured person does not want that coverage it seems the feminist wrath spouts…

          • Ivy Mike

            Try reading the article above. Second paragraph: “. On the abortion front, anti-choicers are claiming, successfully in 23 states now, that insurance companies should be banned from selling policies that include abortion coverage, …”

            Soooo, why are people trying to ban companies from even offering the coverage, and NOT trying to ban them from offering coverage of the far more expensive “elective decisions” of pregnancy and childbirth?

          • Jerrad Wohlleber

            Oh gee, Expat has no response to this either. Whadda surprise.

            I wonder who’s paying him to come here a poop those talking points all around. I mean, if he wasn’t a paid troll, he’d be eager to respond to our arguments, but so far he’s evaded every single one.

          • colleen2

            expat posts here because he enjoys demeaning and insulting women

          • HeilMary1

            He’s killing time waiting for the underage hookers to arrive at his favorite Bangkok bar.

          • Jennifer Starr

            He’s one of those weird MRA types who whines about the poor menz supposedly being forced to go to foreign countries to look for their underage mail-order Stepford wives.

          • CJ99

            You’d be surprise how many of them are paid lobbyists. some industries (video games being 1 of the worst offenders) are rife with them and its well documented. 2 or 3 years ago EA got busted doing it after 1 of their paid trolls got fired & went public, Sony & Microsoft are also known for doing it.

          • Jerrad Wohlleber

            And if those feminists don’t want to cover heart disease and prostate cancer, you’d think that was fine? No, I suppose that would just be another example of their “wrath.” Of course, your attempts to fuck over women have nothing to do with your wrath. Of course.

          • Teflon Expat

            Yes, that is fine.

          • Jerrad Wohlleber

            In other words, you oppose insurance all together. Let me guess: arch-libertarian who thinks the roads should be privatized.

          • marshmallow

            He is just trolling. The nick is the giveaway. He isn’t even a good troll. Usually I stick around to debate but this guy is a moron.

          • CJ99

            Theres no such thing as a good troll its an oxymoron. If trolls could come up with a coherent thought between them they’d stop being such idiots.

          • KristenfromMA

            You’re a sad little man, aren’t you?

          • CJ99

            He’s a sad little man who’s never been kissed much less laid and he thinks he can inflict the same on the rest of us.

          • HeilMary1

            I don’t want to pay for your pedophile STDs and Viagra, but that’s your insurance company’s choice.

          • CJ99

            Get some language skills, any language, doesn’t have to be english just learn it. Your bollocks is bad enough without having to parse spaghetti sentences.

          • margieR

            Not if you have been raped, Ivy Mike! You would be horrified if you knew how many rapes occur in the US on any given day. Many of those create a zygote.

          • Jerrad Wohlleber

            Sports injuries are 100% avoidable by choosing to spend your days on the couch. Therefore insurance shouldn’t cover sports injuries. Save your pennies if you want to ride a bike.

            Auto injuries are 100% avoidable by simply choosing to never leave the house at all. Obviously inappropriate for insurance to cover those. Save your money up if you want to have a life.

            We can do this all day, Expat. If you don’t think we should exempt pretty much anything but cancer (but not skin and lung cancer, which are largely avoidable if you choose to never go outside) from insurance coverage, please explain the difference.

          • Teflon Expat

            Sex is not an accident

          • Jerrad Wohlleber

            Neither is playing sports. Neither is leaving the house. Address the point or fuck off.

          • Teflon Expat

            Anger. shut down.

          • marshmallow

            Address the point

          • Jerrad Wohlleber

            I’m not angry. Now address my point. I won’t bite.

          • cjvg

            Yes you do, the unavoidable reality of your factual arguments are shredding his feeble mind!

          • margieR

            So, Expat, You think you should control how my body is used. I am a rape survivor. Do you have ANY IDEA HOW HARD IT IS TO GET A CONVICTION? MY RAPIST WENT FREE. Are you going to search the country looking for him on my behalf? If not, shut your face.

            Sex may or may not be consensual. In my case it certainly was not and I was raped repeatedly during the time I was held prisoner. So then, I was supposed to carry any issue to term?

          • cjvg

            Huh? I think you are replying to the wrong person

          • CJ99

            Just as well, he’s probably high in cholesterol ;P

          • cjvg

            Shut down, no arguments that make sense is more honest!

          • HeilMary1

            Pedophile mother-killer!

          • Jennifer Starr

            I agree with Jerrad.. Address his point, please.

          • CJ99

            From the wise words of yoda: No chance in hell you have ;P

          • L-dan

            And abortion is not a treatment for sex, it is the treatment for unwanted pregnancy, which does correspond reasonably well to ‘accident’ in the analogy.

            You are taking part in an activity, one with known risks–driving a car, playing a sport, having sex.

            Then something happens–someone runs a red light, you trip over a shoelace, your birth control doesn’t work.

            Then you get treatment for the unwanted health conditions–setting a broken bone, blood transfusion, abortion.

            Not that any of that has anything to do with objecting to paying for contraception, which is what the article mainly addresses. Or are you one of the anti-science type who still think most forms of contraception = abortion.

          • CJ99

            Maybe we shouldnt entice him down that road. He might start breaking wind on how he still believes the earth is flat & cities are really ginormous pepperoni slices.

          • cjvg

            Unwanted pregnancy is

          • CJ99

            His stupidity is also avoidable.

          • cjvg

            Unfortunately (for the rest of humanity) I have the very strong suspicion that in his case stupidity is not avoidable

          • HeilMary1

            Ever hear of rape? And should all marriages be completely sexless? You must be a pedophile priest!

          • Shockna

            Pregnancy, however, can be.

          • AZDem9933

            I do appreciate it when you guys come right out and admit it’s about sex.

          • CJ99

            neither is your willful stupidity. And since you despise sex so much then you’ll gladly avoid it henceforth not inflict your ignorance on another generation.

          • Ivy Mike

            Should people “save up for” pregnancy and childbirth as well? Then why are these covered by most policies, without any hue and cry from the peanut galleries, when they are much more expensive and just as “elective”?

            Are you ever going to address this question, or are you going to keep avoiding it?

          • Ivy Mike

            It is a “lifestyle choice”, as well as “100% avoidable” to own and ride a motorcycle, as well as far more dangerous than to own and operate a car. Yet almost all insurance companies offer motorcycle insurance coverage.

            Teflon, your arguments are nonsense.

          • CJ99

            he’s teflon cause facts just don’t stick with him.

          • cjvg

            Car accidents are 100% avoidable, just don’t drive!
            Driving is a lifestyle choice and any accidents resulting from this should be excluded from coverage!

          • HeilMary1

            Exactly!

          • CJ99

            Perhaps we should also ban breathing as an avoidable risk to save insurers profit margins since 2nd hand smoke and other pollutants cause lung diseases.

          • cjvg

            Absolutely, maybe the insurance companies can put a high risk rider on the policies of those who engage in this kind of dangerous and “voluntary” behaviour

          • HeilMary1

            So even all marital sex should be banned because it often grossly maims/murders women? If you’re an expat, should I assume you’re a pedophile living it up in Thailand? ALL abortions are MEDICAL SELF-DEFENSE against divorce-causing bladder and bowel incontinence and a legion of other deadly complications. You’re a pig.

          • Shockna

            “Nearly all abortions are lifestyle choices.”

            [citation needed]

          • fiona64

            Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy.

            If I were a wagering woman, I’d bet you were male …

          • CJ99

            Then you can be the first not to date, get married and remain celibate your entire life. If you chose not to then you can shut the hell up.

            Btw couple little factoids for you mr douchenozzle:

            (A) being raped is not a lifestyle choice.
            (B) medical complications that can cause deformaties of the unborn and life threatening problems for the mother are NOT lifestyle choices.

      • Shockna

        Given that more or less all of those who make this argument also favor TRAP laws to force clinics to shut down for no good reason, along with mandating that doctors lie to patients about the effects of abortion, and a plethora of other insane roadblocks, yes.

      • lady_black

        YES it is. If you are restricting what MY insurance covers, based on the fact that you also pay for insurance, you are controlling my body.

      • fiona64

        Yes, actually, it is. You are arguing that you have the right to determine someone else’s health care decisions.

        Which of your health care decisions should *I* be allowed to determine?

      • CJ99

        Then you won’t complain when politicians sponsored by fanatics decide if you can get married and with home you can have sex if at all.

  • colleen2

    This is a (spit) Republican. They enjoy inflicting pain on women and children.

  • Elizabeth Chapman

    Solution two words…SINGLE PAYER.

    • L-dan

      Much as I like that solution, it won’t stop the screaming since taxes pay for that. Hence the odious Hyde amendment.

    • Amanda Marcotte

      Single payer would eliminate all insurance coverage of abortion. I’m for it generally, but it’s not a cure-all.

      • cjvg

        Single payer, and all medical coverage decisions can only be made based on medical necessity and best medical practices, NOT on what religion, personal believes, or individual “morality” dictates.

        This seems to work just fine in the northern European countries that have single payer health care systems since those systems do not deny coverage of certain procedures based on gender, religion or someone else’s “morality”

        • Amanda Marcotte

          That would be nice. But that’s not how it would work in the U.S. Our current single payer systems—Medicaid and Medicare—have a ban on covering abortion.

          • cjvg

            I do realize that, however there is no medical justification for this.

            So while we are at it why not make it law that medical coverage or lack thereof can only be determined by the most up to date best medical practices as acknowledged by the WHO, AMA, CDC who are generally recognized as experts in the field.

            Politicians, legislators and the catholic church do not have the medical expertize and impartiality to make these determinations, and no legal justification can be given for why these groups should be able to override the opinion of the actual experts.

            It is better if we at least attempt to fix this idiocy once and for all, otherwise this fight and versions of it will have to be fought over and over.

      • Shockna

        It’d be best for reproductive care if we could get rid of the Hyde Amendment, but sadly, that seems even less likely than the US actually getting a single payer system.

    • Brian

      What exactly makes you think that this problem would disappear with a single-payer system? Every public insurance program bans the coverage of abortion already. This isn’t a problem with the form of coverage, it’s a problem because elected legislators want to deny women the right to make their own decisions.

      • marshmallow

        yep up here in Canada abortion is taxpayer funded but that doesn’t stop the anti-choicers from whining about it every chance they get

  • RHM

    “Brick by brick, anti-choicers are trying to create the illusion that it’s perfectly reasonable for strangers who disagree with your private religious views regarding contraception and abortion to determine for you what kind of coverage you can buy.”

    No, they are objecting to being required to purchase such coverage themselves. Even if it is offered as compensation for labor, the employer is still making a purchase from the insurance company on behalf of the employee.

    Let me offer an analogy. Suppose an individual is morally opposed to eating meat. Now imagine that this individual owns a business, and part of his compensation is to provide lunch to his employees. Would this individual choose to serve meat to his workers? Doubtful. Could he be legally compelled to do so? Certainly not. Does this mean, then, that he has the right to control what kind of food his employees purchase with their own wages? Of course not, but that is the kind of analogy Marcotte is attempting to make here.

    These kinds of conflicts could be avoided if, for instance, employers offered their employees a voucher with which to purchase their own health insurance on the market, rather than purchasing it directly for them. I do not know if such a system has been tried, but I see no reason why it could not be.

    • marshmallow

      Yeah, so if I am an employer and I don’t want to pay for blood transfusions then I can tell the employees to fuck off too, because it’s just like that meat lunch I don’t want to pay for.

      • Leo Buzalsky

        I think the point RHM is trying (though not very clearly) to get at is it would be better if the employees could go buy their own insurance instead of having to get it through their employer. That seems to be the point of RHM’s analogy — it would be better if the employees buy their own lunch instead of having their employer buy it for them.
        It wouldn’t be too bad of a point, except it’s comparing something as simple as lunch to something more complex like health care. I’m not an expert on health care, but I’d expect those complexities to cause the analogy to fall apart.

        • marshmallow

          I know.

          And because employees can’t buy in bulk, they would end up paying twice as much..or more…for their insurance

          And as I said, what constitutes ‘life saving’ and ‘preventative’ can be rather vague and open to interpretation.

          So picking on birth control is rather arbitrary.

        • HeilMary1

          Rethugs would then make sure that no direct-buy public or private insurance covered women’s health other than abstinence-only bullying and the UNnatural Family Cramming (NFP) scam.

        • lady_black

          Where it falls apart is that neither employer nor employee would be able to get such a policy (that doesn’t cover contraception) either directly or by voucher. His “plan” amounts to a distinction without a difference that would end up costing the employee twice as much because he won’t get group rates that businesses get.

          • marshmallow

            Thanks for backing up my point.

    • HeilMary1

      Pedophile priests don’t have the right to hijack women’s medical insurance to force deadly, bankrupting pregnancies on them just so they’ll have unlimited rape victims. You need to understand the underlying hidden criminal Munchausen by Proxy/pedophile priest agenda of the anti-safe sex tyranny now running the fascist GOP. Where’s your selective outrage for insurance-covered Viagra abused by priests and GOP adulterers??

    • grantal

      What part of “we are all in this together” don’t you get? I hate to tell you but freedom does not exist. We are stuck like domino’s. One goes down and we ALL go down. or one bad apple destroys the whole dang bunch! Got it.libertarian Ayn Rand lover?

    • JamieHaman

      So the health nut boss who worships his body also gets to tell all the overweight Type II diabetics “No coverage for you”, the Jehova’s Witness boss gets to say “No blood transfusion for you” and the Scientologist? She says “you get NO medical coverage”
      You have lost your mind.
      That said, the voucher idea for employees is an excellent idea imho.

      • lady_black

        The voucher idea is a terrible idea.

      • marshmallow

        Voucher idea is a bad one. Companies buy insurance in bulk get better prices. Vouchers will just gouge the employee somehow and come with hidden penalties.

        • JamieHaman

          The way I understand the voucher system is that the employee could use it for any available type of insurance. While it is true the cost of individual insurance is higher than group, shouldn’t the voucher cover the extra cost? That was my thinking….

          • marshmallow

            In an ideal world, yes.

            I believe that Paul Ryan has suggested ‘vouchers’ should replace medicare for old people…the caveat being that old people would get gouged more for shittier care.

          • HeilMary1

            But adulterous Rethugs would figure out other ways to gut vouchers and still deny affordable family planning to the women they aren’t personally banging. I’ll bet David Vitter helped some of his prostitutes get abortions!

    • lady_black

      The employer chooses the plan because the rates are better that way than for an individual. The birth control mandate is not on employers, specifically. It’s on insurance companies. Generally, the employee contributes in a significant manner to the cost of the policy as well. The employer is purchasing health insurance, not contraceptives. Your analogy doesn’t work. If the vegan employer serves a vegan lunch, the employee isn’t required to eat the lunch. He can call out for a pizza, or carry a bologna sandwich and eat that instead. Most people do not have a choice in insurance coverage. They cannot afford the more expensive individual coverage. The government has every right to make sure insurance covers certain base expenses as preventive. The boss will simply be unable to purchase insurance that doesn’t cover contraception, because such a policy won’t be offered. The employee cannot purchase such a policy with a voucher, either. It would be illegal to offer such insurance. So there is where your “voucher” nonsense falls apart. The end result would be a distinction without a difference. The employee may not need contraceptives, or may choose not to use them, but in any case the employer isn’t purchasing the contraceptives. The key word is CHOICE. The owner of the policy (the employee) chooses how it is used.

      • marshmallow

        and people keep missing out on the fact that Obama has offered a workaround – many insurance companies will choose to cover birth control themselves because it’s waaay cheaper than childbirth + more kids.

        and big surprise, businesses and bishops didn’t go for it

        and that is because this isn’t even about women’s healthcare – it’s about owning and controlling one’s employees

        • HeilMary1

          And kicking those useless eaters into early graves when their slave labor is no longer competitive with the slaves in overpopulated Catholic poverty pits.

        • lady_black

          Yes, he has offered a workaround. It doesn’t apply to for-profit businesses, and no, I’m not surprised the bishops didn’t go for it. Too bad. They will lose this one.

          • colleen2

            I hope you’re right. If the Bishops win (and I am not optimistic) then we live in a country where the worst aspects of Catholicism will be legally imposed onto women. What a shame that it never occurs to the atrophied ‘consciences’ of the religious right to impose their faith onto men. I would LOVE to see the reaction if someone tried to mandate painful and unnecessary penile probes just prior to a vasectomy.

  • RHM

    I really should point out that the argument I’m making applies specifically to preventive services, not to medical care in the strict sense. An employer paying an employee’s insurance could not refuse to cover a life-saving blood transfusion, because of the compelling state interest in protecting an individual’s fundamental constitutional right to life. But having preventive services (such as birth control) provided free of charge has not been defined as such a constitutional right.

    • marshmallow

      That’s arbitrary.

      Besides, someone might need a blood transfusion might not be ‘on the verge of death’ so yeah, there would still be good reason to say ‘no’ to blood transfusions.

      • RHM

        Not defining free birth control as a constitutional right is arbitrary? You either do not have a good understanding of what constitutional rights are, or believe in a socialist state quite different from the one we live in.

        What is really arbitrary is determining what health insurance must cover once mandatory coverage is expanded beyond medical care to the almost infinitely broad category of things deemed “important for health.” I could just as logically demand that insurance pay for my groceries. Food is important for health, and my employer is required to compensate me for my work, so isn’t it unjust that they refuse to cover my nutritional expenses?

        (Note that I am not arguing against insurance choosing to cover birth control; they have every right to do so if they determine it is in their financial interest. At issue is the legal principle that demands they must do so.)

        • marshmallow

          A friend of mine had a brain tumour. But she didn’t have health insurance. Which means she couldn’t get it removed. Not until it grew to the size of a grapefruit at which point meidcaid agreed to pay for her operation.

          The tumour was not ‘life threatening’ until it was almost too late.

          This is why preventative healthcare = good.

        • HeilMary1

          Birth control is as essential in saving women’s lives as antibiotics and insulin. Get over your killer misogyny.

        • Shockna

          “Getting birth control via the insurance policy you work for” isn’t the same as “free birth control”.

          Having wide access to preventive care, by the way, is one of the best ways to make healthcare cheaper; just look at almost every country in the developed world. They spend far less on healthcare than we do for better outcomes, and one of the key differences is the heavy emphasis they place on preventive care.

          If you declare life-saving care a human right, preventive care should be declared such as well.

        • lady_black

          The reason birth control is covered is because it is PREVENTIVE. No you CANNOT demand insurance pay for your groceries. First there are programs that help people buy groceries, and your groceries aren’t preventive medicine. Birth control is no different than a flu shot. Both prevent an unwanted condition, and both may be life-saving for some people. And OF COURSE it’s in their financial interest to pay for contraceptives. Nothing is worse for the bottom line than uncontrolled breeding.

    • HeilMary1

      By your ugly Darwinist logic, vaccinations and ALL other death- and disease-preventing treatments shouldn’t be covered! Why bother having any insurance? Birth control PREVENTS a zillion deadly and bankrupting diseases in women and unwanted children. Birth control SAVES women’s lives and prevents horrendous deadly birth defects in children.

  • http://www.avsa1.com/ can

    hobby lobby nice :)

  • expect_resistance

    Thanks Amanda. This is pure wage theft.

  • Brian

    That’s true. It’s also true that if there was enough support to repeal the Hyde Amendment we wouldn’t be having the problem with the limitations on private plans either.