Friday, February 10, 2012

Update on Contraception Controversy

Widespread news coverage of the Obama administration has ignited widespread controversy. Just perform search for "contraception coverage catholic" and see what's cooking in the news. I have blogged twice on this issue already, because it goes to the heart of questions about freedom under the PPACA. But John Cochrane, a U of Chicago economics professor (thank you Milton Friedman), points out in yesterday's WSJ that the issue is symptomatic of deeper problems with Obamacare. A few examples:

  1. Insurance that covers known and expected expenses end up causing those services to be delivered at higher cost because of administrative expense and lack of price competition. This is true of contraception.
  2. Even though the goal of the bill was to reduce the cost of health care, mandating coverage of routine services drives up the cost.
  3. The purported goal of providing access to contraception is a smoke screen. Birth control isn't outlawed in the U.S. Poor women who can't afford it, aren't in employer sponsored health plans.
  4. It's unfair. The elderly, gay and infertile pay higher premiums. "Let's mandate that every time a government official says that the government is going to "help" some category of voter, he or she has to say who they are going to hurt in the same sentence. Because it has to be someone."
  5. If we want to subsidize contraception, then subsidize, but let the Congress vote on it, so the cost is explicit.
  6. The PPACA is horribly named and should just be tossed because it just doubles down on all the distortions and cross-subsidies already present in health care.

Nicely put, Professor Cochrane (pictured above).



    He runs a good blog.

  2. "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it's free". - P.J. O'Rourke


  3. Calivancouver, added Cochrane's blog to favorites.

    Dean, very true, thanks for the link.