Rush Takes a Pill Each Time He Has Sex, So He Figures Everybody Does

As a rule, if you explain a joke, it's no longer funny. But if you explain a Rush Limbaugh joke, it's still stupid. In that spirit, I note a couple of points in his much-condemned ad hominem remarks about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke that do not make sense, one of which suggests he does not really understand the issues raised by the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate. First, Limbaugh mocked Fluke's inflated estimate of contraceptive costs ("over $3,000 during law school"), saying, "She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception." But with the exception of condoms, the cost of birth control does not hinge on how often you have sex, a fact that undermines the whole "slut" and "prostitute" bit. Second, Limbaugh repeatedly suggested that Fluke wanted taxpayers, rather than Georgetown University, to pay for her contraceptives. Last Thursday, for instance, he said:

So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here's the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex. We want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.

Limbaugh repeated this theme in the apology he issued on Saturday:

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?

The policy that Fluke supports, however, requires employers to pay for birth control coverage, which is why religious institutions that consider contraception immoral are objecting. As Peter Grier notes in The Christian Science Monitor, ObamaCare also involves taxpayer-funded subsidies for a government-prescribed insurance package that will include contraception, but that is not the issue Fluke was addressing.

For more on the contraception controversy and its role in the "war on women," see my column tomorrow.

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  • Bee Tagger||

    So not only did Rush give the Left a talking point that further divorces this issue from it's essential core (right to contract), but he also managed to divert any conservative listeners of his to wrong-headed talking points. Nicely done.

  • nicole||

    Bee Tagger, your second point is excellent. Not only does this make it difficult for those of us who already cared about liberty to argue on the side of it (because liberals will just hear "slut" no matter what), but it also keeps his own audience off-topic. Sigh.

  • ||

    Rush is paid to get people to listen to his show. He doesn't care who wins the election - he gets more listeners when there is a Democrat in the White House to criticize.

  • rho||

    I don't see why we can't hate both Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh.

  • ||

    And rho shall show you the way.

  • ||

    I would prefer not to hate either. Also, not listen to either. I'm doing quite well with that.

  • ||

    They exist, so we hate. Our hate has a solution.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Some people deserve hate, and Rush and Fluke both fit that category.

  • ||

    They exist, so we hate. Our hate has a solution defines us.

  • Mo||

    This.

  • Zeb||

    I prefer just to think that they are both wrong and annoying people who shouldn't be considered important or relevant by anyone.

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    Yes! Although I find the prevalent whiteknighting of the "poor widdle female" incredibly sexist and condescending.

  • Zeb||

    Honestly. If you go testify before congress on a highly divisive issue, you need to expect that you will be dragged through the mud. She knew what she was getting into.

  • RBS||

    She knew, I'm pretty sure she was seeking all the attention.

  • RBS||

    Good lord, how many times can I use the phrase "I'm pretty sure" today?

  • Chris||

    so you're saying she was asking for it? Did what she wear make Rush lose control of himself?

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    Like, what is the actual offensive part about what he said? a word itself is not offensive. The intent behind it matters, but that's directed towards one person. The moral opprobrioum is largely because of who said it, which is not a legitimate thing to be aggrieved about.

  • RBS||

    Isn't that part of what John has been going on about all week?

  • nicole||

    As one of the people here who finds it offensive, I agree that it's the intent that matters but disagree that it was directed toward one person. Rush said you're a slut if you spend $X on birth control. There are a lot of sluts in his world.

  • ||

    There are a lot of sluts in his world.

    Your ideas intrigue me. I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    Nicole, that's not right. He said (basically) that you are a slut IF you want others to subsidize your sexual habits.

    Illogicallity aside, why are you emotionally offended by that?

  • Ed Schultz||

    You know who's really a slut? Laura Ingraham.

  • nicole||

    He said Fluke "testifie[d] she's having so much sex she can't afford her own birth control pills" when he had no evidence of how much sex she was having. He said girls at Georgetown are "admitting before congressional committee that they're having so much sex they can't afford the birth control pills!" Of Fluke: "So she earns enough money in just one summer to pay for three full years of sex, and they're full years because she and her co-ed classmates are having sex nearly three times a day for three years straight, apparently."

    If he wanted to stick with talking about the money, I wouldn't complain. But taking money for sex doesn't make you a slut, it makes you a prostitute. He really wanted to call this woman a slut, along with any other women who are just spending so goddamn much money trying not to get pregnant.

  • nicole||

    IOW, he should just never have mentioned how much sex he thinks she is or isn't having, because it's irrelevant. She's a moocher. She's a bad person. But the only reason to call someone a slut is if they're actually slutting it up--and if we're going to redefine that to include anyone who has their birth control pills subsidized (including by other members of their insurer's risk pool), that's a lot of sluts.

  • RBS||

    Keep in mind we are talking about Rush here. I have never listened to his show, but isn't this pretty much what he does?

  • ||

  • ||

    Addresses and pictures, please!

  • Chris||

    Fuck that, if I shoot you by accident my intent does not change the hole the bullet makes.

  • Dave||

    Really, there was so much offensive it's hard to know where to begin. First, Ms. Fluke's testimony was not about needing contraception to have tons of sex, it was that women need it to deal with things like endometriosis and ovarian cysts. Second, she wasn't asking taxpayers to pay for it. Rush wasn't paying for it. She was asking Georgetown to pay for it with the money she pays them in tuition. Third, liking sex doesn't make a woman a slut or a prostitute. It makes them a human. Honestly, if all these men complaining about this have never seen a woman enjoy sex, that says something about them.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Two problems, Dave:

    1. That was a press conference, not "testimony".

    2. She purposefully chose Georgetown so she could MAKE this an issue, knowing full well it went against the grain. She's a professional activist now, if not before, she and the Democrats tricked the entire country into listening to her.

    She should pay for her own birth control, period.

  • Dave||

    1. She was asked to speak in front of Congress. She did not call a press conference.

    2. Where did you get this information? She's a student. Had the Republicans let her testify in their dog and pony show panel this wouldn't be an issue. Plus, it was Mr. Limbaugh being a mysoginist that brought it to national attention.

    3. So women who need birth control for endometriosis can't go to Georgetown? That's moral?

    When she pays for health insurance, the insurance should pay for what she and her doctor deem necessary. That's what health insurance is supposed to do, supposedly. Unless you want government panels deciding what's necessary.

  • ||

    No, they can go to Georgetown, and then pay for the pill with their own money. Duh.

  • Dave||

    If women need birth control to prevent ovarian cysts, why shouldn't their insurance pay for it? Why does a bureaucrat get to make that decision? And why should that mean she has to take that into account when choosing a school?

  • ||

    Look, ANYONE is free to go out there and buy an insurance plan that covers the pill for ovarian cysts. Nobody is stopping you. But IF you choose to use employer-provided insurance, then you agree to the limitations imposed in that contract.The employer decided what benefits they wish to provid. If you don't like the coverage, don't fucking use it. Go buy your own instead.

  • ||

    No health insurance plan in the world pays for whatever you and your doctor think is necessary. Particularly not employer-provided plans. They all have defined benefits and limits.

  • Joe||

    Insurance is suppose to pay for catastrophic and rare incidents for which the insured does not directly have control and that have a high price tag attached to them. Birth control not and pregnancy, strictly speaking, insurable events. Insurance contracts specify coverage for a pre-determined premium. Hence the idea that you and your doctor can arbitarily deoide what your insurance should pay for is obviously not true.

    BTW, Georgetownwould pay a lower PMPM premium since its health plan doesn't cover oral contraceptives. Actually, my guess is that Georgetown is a self-funded plan, so any health care costs come directly out of its VEBA.

  • ||

    Dave--She's a professional activist. She chose to go to Georgetown on purpose. Her real axe to grind is for insurance companies to pay for transgender operations. Do some more vetting on this person....it's not as innocent as you seem to think.

  • Zeb||

    Calling someone who is not a prostitute a prostitute is offensive if you ask me. It was also completely stupid because it distracts from the real issue. The Democrats couldn't have planned a better response from Rush.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yeah, but she "testified" at a press conference, Zeb.

    Or "proselytized" might be a better term.

  • Zeb||

    It was a press conference? Then why the fuck did anyone pay attention to what she said int he first place?

  • Zeb||

    And she also submitted written testimony to the committee that was having the hearings.

    In any case, my point still stands that, while I think it was a stupid and offensive comment by Limbaugh, she should not be surprised that she gets some mud thrown at her. If you want to make yourself a public figure, you are fair game for whatever people want to say about you.

  • Dave||

    Exactly, if you go before Republicans and counter their nonsense with facts, you know they're going to make personal attacks. It's not like they can come back with facts that support their position.

  • Joe||

    Pot meet kettle.

  • ||

    If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex.

    No less moronic today.

    What a maroon.

  • ||

    Actually, that's not the dumb part.

    If she's not having sex, she doesn't need birth control. If she's having sex, and doesn't want to get pregnant, she needs birth control.

    If we are paying for her birth control, how are we not paying for her to have sex.

    Now, if he had said we were paying her to have sex, that would be wrong. But I think she does want us to pay for her to have sex.

  • RBS||

    I'm pretty sure some women take birth control for other reasons than avoiding pregnancy. But, I'm also pretty sure that's not what Fluke was talking about.

  • Dave||

    No, that's exactly what Ms. Fluke was talking about: http://abcnews.go.com/images/P.....erhead-2nd hearing.pdf

  • Dave||

    Sorry, here's the link: http://abcnews.go.com/images/P.....erhead-2nd hearing.pdf

  • RBS||

    Thanks.

  • Fluffy||

    Tens of thousands of women take the Pill when when not sexually active to regulate their hormones and their cycles.

    That's the whole problem. Limbaugh said that any woman who takes the Pill is a slut. Hell, hundreds of thousands if not millions of married women take the Pill.

  • nicole||

    This

  • Jennifer||

    Fluke was talking about the use of birth control pills to treat ovarian cysts, which can happen to women who've never had sex at all. Rush and the religious bigots are basically arguing for a "women's reproductive systems" exemption to health coverage.

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    She talked about it, but it was not the primary focus of her testimony. That's a legitimate discussion to have, but it was not Fluke's main point.

  • ||

    That's not all that Fluke was talking about. If that was really the issue then why not simply push for a mandate to cover contraceptives in the event they are needed to treat chronic ailments such as that? I bet a lot of the "religious bigots" you mention would actually be on board with a compromise like that. I doubt the Flukistas would, though.

    I have a chronic condition called nearsightedness which requires me to spend significant amounts of money annually on doctor's visits, contacts, and contact solution. Since few of these expenses are covered by insurance, I can only conclude that this is the result of a "nearsighted person's ocular system" exemption to health coverage.

  • Zeb||

    What glasses don't work?

  • ||

    Glasses are actually *more* expensive than contacts, generally. Besides, what business is it of my employer or my health insurance company which vision correction method I choose? It's between me and my optometrist! Cost is an irrelevant consideration.

  • ||

    If your employer or insurance company is paying for it then they have a say.
    If you pay for it out of pocket then they don't.

    Cost is only irrelevant to the one who isn't paying for it.

    See how easy that is?

  • ||

    Sigh, listen to what she actually said. There is such an exemption in Georgetown's coverage. Because of that, the insurance company routinely denies claims, claiming that the women only want the pills for birth control. The insurance company denied a friend of Fluke's coverage for BC pills on that basis. Turns out, not only did the friend actually need the pills she also lost an ovary because she couldn't afford them without coverage. Ironically, said friend is gay, and pregnancy wasn't really a concern.

  • ||

    How can the insurance company deny a claim when the doctor's prescription says "to be taken for (some ovarian condition not related to pregnancy)"? And how is forcing insurance to cover *all* contraceptives a reasonable solution to that problem?

  • ||

    They simply don't pay - that's how. Force the patients to go through the process of appealing the denial, most won't try. Have insurance company paid doctors say that they don't think the medicine is necessary. Look around a little on google - I found tons of folk who had experienced insurance companies acting badly because they knew it was more profitable to do so.

  • Mamie||

    You really need to read about insurance company practices if the idea of insurance companies denying coverage is new to you.

    It is a common practice for insurance companies to deny coverage for all kinds of treatments requested by physicians.

  • ||

    Said friend is also quite possibly fictional.

  • ||

    I would bet $ "said friend is fictinal." This is how the Left operates. Remember just before Obamacare was passed, Obama was speaking in some gym. I think it was March 10th. He talked of some poor lady who had to chose between her house & insurance, so she chose her house. Next thing, she got cancer. So she needed treatment & she could not get it. She'd probably lose her house & they were just going to let her die. Guess what? She couldn't make it to the gym that day. Know why? She was GETTING TREATMENT! It turns out that she was eligible for Medicaid AFTERALL & that her treatment was indeed covered! Fancy that! Remember MSNBC,CBS,ABC,CNN, etc ever talking about what a liar Obama was that day? You didn't? I didn't either.

    Obama has too many people with hands stretched out expecting demanding handouts.

  • ||

    Right, if you are at risk of losing an ovary and you don't buy bith control pills with your own money, because you can't "afford" the $20 a mponth, you're a fucking idiot.

  • Mamie||

    If you think birth control costs $20 a month, then you're a fucking idiot.

  • ||

    I've been on the pill long enough to know how much I pay for it, moron.

  • ||

    No, they are arguing that employers should be allowed to decide what is in the health benefits they provide their employees.

  • Chris||

    First off you're not paying for anything her tuition is paying for her insurance. Secondly the insurance company is not "paying her to have sex" they are paying for contraception, period. Most birth control is taken every day, its the same amount if a person has sex 10 times a day or never, many women take birth control with no definite plans of having sex but to be prepared if they do. If you were paying for the sex act then wouldn't you have to pay per act? It's the most convoluted indirect argument to say that by paying for birth control the insurer is paying for sex. But that kind of narrow philosophical absolutism is the hallmark of "Reason"

  • nicole||

    One of the points folks here have been making is that whether it's "taxpayers" in their tax paying capacity or not, it's still "taxpayers" who will pay for this because you'll be paying for the coverage of anyone in your insurance pool who gets free contraceptives. I'm genuinely curious if people really have such a huge problem with that, assuming no connection to a religious employer, because it's just kind of how insurance works--where insurance has, of course, long ago been redefined as prepaid health care.

    Is the only objection, then, that BC isn't "health care"? Or that it would be totally free w/o copay, or what? I mean, y'all apparently really don't want to be paying for any sluts' pills, so I'm wondering if you just think that's because we should go to a true catastrophic insurance model or for some other reason.

  • nicole||

    (I do think we should go back to a true "insurance" not tied to employers, and that it only makes sense to have BC covered because the state makes me get a prescription for it and the insurance/pharma racket means you pay a completely inflated price if you truly have no coverage.)

  • ||

    I guess if the principle is that we've embraced insurance as "prepaid health care" then I want it to cover *everything* I buy when I go into a Walgreens. Condoms, toothpaste, contact solution, anti-acne cream, skin moisturizer, let's throw it all in the hopper and have insurance policies pay for it. I'm sure it will do wonders for the cost of all these items.

    And yes, I still do think there is a legitimate distinction between birth control (*to prevent pregnancy*, since we keep coming back to that inessential point time and again) and other health care expenses which arise as the result of unforseeable or unpreventable conditions. In the event you cannot afford birth control, it's pretty easy to obviate the need for it by having non-procreative forms of sex. If you're cursed with arthritis onset at the age of 35 like my friend, there's nothing you can just stop doing to fix the problem.

  • ||

    And yeah, there are definitely gray area health problems like obesity, high cholesterol, or adult-onset diabetes which arise as a result of the policyholder's crappy health choices. But I think mandates from the POTUS are probably the *worst possible way* to resolve whether and how those should be covered. As a relatively healthy person I would be all in favor of an insurance company offering policies which discriminate in coverage according to how well premium payers have taken care of themselves.

  • Apatheist ಠ_ರೃ||

    The objection is the government forcing insurers to pay for anything. Many already cover contraception without coercion, that is not the issue.

  • nicole||

    Right. But there have also been many saying things like "you should pay for your own contraceptives" and "if you expect other people to subsidize your contraceptives, they should get to watch" or "having someone else subsidize your sex life makes you a whore." Does this apply to all the people who already had insurance policies that covered this shit? (We may have to go back in time to find a state that didn't already require this of most insurance policies, but all the same.)

  • Fluffy||

    When we're talking about private insurance, the "pool" aspect of the insurance is an emergent property of my relationship with the insurer, and not the relationship itself.

    Insurance is a contract where I pay $X to someone with more capital than me in exchange that that person warranting that they will pay me back $Y if something bad happens.

    That's it. My insurance relationship is between me and that person with more capital.

    That better-capitalized person may be entering into large numbers of such arrangements, but those other arrangements are entirely incidental to mine.

    The fundamental flaw in the leftist analysis of insurance is that it takes an incidental element of the insurance relationship (the pool effect) and elevates it to central importance. I don't care about my insurer's relationship to anyone else.

  • nicole||

    Great point.

  • ||

    Nicely explained, Fluffy.

    The risk pool is relevant to the insurer's viability. It has nothing to do with each beneficiary's relationship to the insurer, which is purely contractual.

    Its even clearer when your employer is self-insured, BTW.

  • RBS||

    Pay for your own if it's not covered by your insurance, seems pretty simple. I haven't seen where anyone other than Rush has said the other 2.

  • nicole||

    Well, there's already a comment upthread about how "we" would be paying for this. Unless folks saying that are referring only to people within their own coverage pool, or the publicly subsidized option in PPACA, I don't know what that's supposed to mean.

  • RBS||

    I have no idea what you are talking about. I said pay for your own if your insurance doesn't cover it. I didn't think I had to explain why I think the state mandating any sort of coverage is wrong.

  • nicole||

    You said "I haven't seen where anyone other than Rush has said the other 2." So I was just saying, scroll up.

  • RBS||

    Well, no, I don't think think I should get to watch all the ladies in my risk pool. But, having someone subsidize your sex life might make you a bit of a whore.

  • nicole||

    So, that's pretty much what I'm trying to get at. You're not a whore if someone subsidizes your other medication, but you might be if someone subsidizes your birth control.

  • RBS||

    I said "sex life" as in getting paid for sex might make you a whore. Government subsidized medications make you a different kind of whore.

  • Dan||

    I see what you are saying nicole... I agree with you.

    If I have insurance and get an STD or break a wrist in extreme sports, should my insurance pay? Yes, if that was the deal.

    My objection is the government having the power to mandate things like this because it is simply too much power. Do I think that health insurance providers giving birth control is a bad idea? I think it is a wonderful idea. And they all really should.

    I don't like is this idea that the government has the right to mandate such a thing!

    I think it sets up a bad precedent where 10, 20, 30, 50 years down the road they will think they have the right to mandate companies do things that I do not agree with and think is a bad idea. I want the right in the future to make a choice.

    I am actually arguing for women's rights in that I am arguing for the right of the individual to chose what is best for themselves.

  • Dan||

    Also, Rush Limbaugh is a fucking moron.

  • Matrix||

    thank you, Captain Obvious *tongue in cheek*

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Do I think that health insurance providers giving birth control is a bad idea? I think it is a wonderful idea. And they all really should.

    And yet... they don't. They don't all give it away for free. Any thoughts as to why?

  • ||

    Curiously, some of them think it's immoral.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I don't think any small, recurring routine expense should be mandated. The various state mandates is one of the reasons the Health Care cost are so high. Insurance pools are risk pools to help people mitigate the risk of a major expense. Having to buy birth control is an everyday expense like food and clothes. We don't have insurance policies for those things.

  • pmains||

    Don't worry. There are people working to change that. The redefinition of insurance is slowly but surely breaking everything it touches

  • Fluffy||

    To me, the entire concept of an insurance "mandate" is offensive.

    Insurance is nothing but a contract. If you and I signed a contract right now saying that I will pay for your medical care if you have a heart attack, but won't pay for any other health-related issue whatsoever, that's "insurance". But it's also a private contract. I don't see what gives the state any legitimate authority to interfere in that contract.

    I'd like to be able to be reasonable and allow for the "regulation" of insurance in the sense that people should not be allowed to write such contracts if they don't have the ability to pay claims - but being reasonable and allowing that kind of regulation is what gave us the current situation, where under the guise of "regulating insurance" every aspect of all plans is subject to bureaucratic micromanagement.

  • ||

    People have completely lost sight of the contract side of insurance. They believe their insurance company is obligated to fulfill their every health need and want - regardless of what the policy says.

  • shrike||

    A risk pool should also be offensive. How do you know you don't subsidize others in that pool?

    I want to be in the pricing pool with the healthiest people although I partake in some illegitimate and risky behavior.

  • ||

    "Sharing risk" and "subsidizing" are the same thing. You ARE subsidizing them, unless you are the one who gets cancer or hit by a bus - then they are subsidizing you.

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    A voluntary pool is not offensive because it is voluntary.

  • George Soros||

    You're calling anal sex with ME, "risky"?

    Watch that pretty mouth of yours, shrike. I could have you flayed alive for such loose talk.

  • ||

    Everyone who thinks that insurance should cover everything, including free birth control, viagra, gender resassignment, and booze, should be in the same risk pool.

    That would be justice.

  • nicole||

    Haha, Hazel, they all will be! It's just that the rest of us will have to be in the pool with them too...

    I still can't decide if all this BS will lead to single-payer, or lead to such a horrorshow that people will decide they really do want the govt out.

  • Rule #1||

    If you have a problem with Fluffy's reasoning then the problem is you. Fluffy is damn near immaculate.

  • Joe||

    Insurance premiums, unless specifically outlawed, vary by risk factors. Community rating, or modified community rating, bans or restricts the number of risk factors that can be used to determine an individual policyholder's premium.

  • ||

    We should look at what the definition of the word "insurance" is. It does NOT mean "pre-paying for expected expenses".

  • RBS||

    ^This

  • nicole||

    I know. And I don't think contraception "should" be covered any more than my car insurance covers oil changes or gas. I also don't think about a million other things that are covered should be. Because they're not unpredictable, catastrophic expenses.

    But since (a) we are forced to see state-licensed professionals for access to drugs that are (b) artificially high in price for those without this "insurance" coverage, it seems clear that having your insurance cover it is a good and reasonable thing for you, just as it does when your insurance covers pregnancy and prenatal care, which is just as unfair. We are already pooling a shit-ton of costs that shouldn't be pooled. But is BC special enough that pooling those costs makes you worse than people pooling the cost of their cholesterol meds or antibiotics?

  • Chris||

    but doesn't it make since to pay for routine checkups and other preventitive care to help prevent the catostrophic event. Seems penny wise pound foolish not too because of an philosophical absolutism.

  • nicole||

    Yeah, it makes sense to pay for that stuff--yourself. Just like it makes sense for you to pay for your own oil changes but to insure against the unpredictable and expensive event that you might get into a car accident.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Not always. The idea that "routine checkups" and other preventive medicine are cost-effective is just an appeal to cliches about ounces of prevention and pounds of cure.
    Example: I have a friend who got breast cancer at 24. Horrible. It's been in remission for years, but it was expensive to treat because she didn't catch it early. Obviously for her it would have been a great idea to get an annual mammogram, but it's not-cost effective to pay radiologists to screen every woman under 30 for breast cancer.

    The insurance companies know what they're doing. If it made financial sense for you to get free checkups every year, they'd pay for it. If giving away contraceptives saved them money on prenatal and delivery costs, they'd give them away. They don't. So either they know something you don't, or the greedy insurance companies are leaving money on the table. Which is more likely?

  • Chris||

    Well, I'm sure you're one anecdote proves that preventative care is a complete fantasy.

    Regarding your financial argument then why is it that health insurers cover erectile dysfunction more often than contraception? I can't see any preventative argument for hard ons.

  • ||

    nicole, you have to choose. You can't say both "I don't think contraception "should" be covered" and "having your insurance cover it is a good and reasonable thing."

  • nicole||

    Unfortunately I am not allowed to choose the kind of insurance I want. And in the current reality I described in my second paragraph, it's just as good and reasonable as a lot of other things that are covered and "shouldn't" be.

  • ||

    But you are allowed to choose from the available insurance options, and then pay for additional services, including birth control, out of pocket.

  • nicole||

    I meant that under PPACA high-deductible, catastrophic, true insurance plans are not allowed--or at least, do not fulfill your requirement to purchase health insurance.

  • Joe||

    Let's get rid of it then. No need to play into the statist trap of choosing one's poison.

    Obamacare will not work. If it isn't struck down by congress or the supreme court in the next two years, it will die a spectacular death about two to three years down the road as the costs will far, far outweigh the supposed benefits.

  • MJ||

    This is not about whether or not contraceptives or anything else should be covered, rather it is about what insurance providers must cover by rule.

  • Joe||

    Two wrongs don't make a right but fifty do?

  • H man||

    I think in some instances a retainer fee could be in order. But that should be a matter of contract and your general point stands.

  • NoVAHockey||

    "because we should go to a true catastrophic insurance model"

    yes. birth control, routine physical, my seasonal allergies. my once every 5 years sinus infection. these are not catastrophic costs (for most*).

    first dollar coverage and employer sponsorship are the problem. i go back and forth and which is worse.

    *then you're into charity care, which also isn't insurance.

  • ||

    Yup. Back to the future, bitchez. And we will get there, eventually, because that is all that we can afford, as a society.

  • ||

    There was a time when insurance really only covered hospital expenses; your family doctor was paid by his patients out of pocket. That's how Blue Cross got started - hospitalization insurance.

  • shrike||

    Its easy to agree to that in the abstract.

    But what of the teen recently who died from an infected tooth? His health insurance would not pay dental (which is understandable) then a quick infection set in and became a catastrophe within hours.

    I am not leading since I don't claim to know an answer in this case.

  • Zeb||

    Go to the ER and you will be given antibiotics so you don't die. It is far from ideal (from any political perspective), but no one has to die from an abscessed tooth.

    Also, routine dentistry is not terribly expensive. Most people should be able to afford to get regular cleanings and fillings when they need them, as long as they are willing to prioritize dental health over beer and video games.

  • ||

    That's the problem. In the welfare state we've taught everyone that they don't have to prioritize. Mommeny government will make sure they get dental care when they need it. And as a result many Americans are children who are INCAPABLE of prioritizing teeth cleaning over beer and video games. We've trained them well to be dependents of the state. And when you are a dependent, you can never be free.

  • ||

    Infected teeth are incredibly painful. I find it a little hard to believe that someone with an infected tooth would not seek any treatment at all. We see dental problems in our ED All. The. Time. Because they hurt. A lot.

    Even if they had dental insurance, there's no way to know that they would have gotten in to the dentist before that "quick infection" set in.

    So I'm not sold on the presumed narrative, here. But lets say they decided not to seek any treatment because they had no insurance. That means they decided that they would rather keep the money than see a dentist. Turned out to be bad decision, but it was their decision.

  • shrike||

    Here is the story http://voices.yahoo.com/boy-di.....28308.html

    I have no point to make. You know a lot more about this than I do.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Pretty much everyone here knows more than you do, shrike.

  • NoVAHockey||

    This also gets to a larger issue of what is/isn't provided under charity care -- and I include Medicare in that. If we were truly interested in getting health care to low-income people, we would not be subsidizing pre-paid health plans, but building primary care and dental clinics

  • Zeb||

    No, that can't be true. Libertarians hate poor people and want them to suffer.

  • NoVAHockey||

    The clinics will be of poor quality. MRSA everywhere.

    More seriously, if they think they're going to solve the the primary care problem by getting everyone a health plan, they're delusional. People who utilize the ER for primary care are not going to take off work -- and clock out -- to sit around a GPs office to wait to be seen. they will continue to use the ER because it's open 24/7 and they can go after work.

    I'm hopeful that the minute clinic model will take off. I use it for the minor stuff.

  • Zeb||

    Joking aside, I agree completely. If people are going to get the routine and preventative care that they should, there will need to be more and more flexible options for getting such care (and to get rid of stupid pointless office visits).
    Look at me. I have great insurance and I still never go to the doctor, even though I probably should. This is because:
    1. GPs are almost completely useless. I have never had one of those guys tell me anything I couldn't have figured out on my own in 5 minutes on the internet. and
    2. I don't have time to waste on pointless office visits.
    If I could just pop into some storefront after work and get my blood tested or get a prescription for anti-biotics, that would be great.

  • NoVAHockey||

    http://www.minuteclinic.com/services/

    there are competitors to CVS, but I can't recall. but they'll do routine blood work. and if something is off, then call your GP with actual lab results.

  • ||

    There are lots of urgent care centers in addition to minute clinic style facilities. Urgent care is a bit more expensive but they treat a wider range of semi-emergency health problems. They have a lab and can do urine cultures and bloodwork generally.

    For most purposes, urgent care is better than an emergency room. You'll get seen faster. Although they aren't 24 hours, they usually have late hours. Unless you're bleeding to death or having a heart attack, you're better off.

  • Joe||

    First dollar coverage is a symptom of employer-sponsored insurance. The tax-favored treatment of employer-coverage means that choosing the richest plan possible just means paying less taxes. At least that was the case before first dollar coverage led to wickedly high health care costs.

  • Zeb||

    I, at least, have no objection to insurance covering contraceptives. One of the things I find most odd about the insistence that contraceptives be covered is that, out of all of the drugs that people are prescribed, contraceptives are the one that has to be provided without co-payment. Why the hell should it be treated differently from any other prescription? One would think that if any prescriptions should be "free", it should be the ones that actually save lives and treat actual illnesses.

  • nicole||

    Yeah, that's just total grabbiness. And silly.

  • Zeb||

    Grabbiness, plus I have to believe that this particular issue was chosen just so they could tar all who object as women-hating, backward religious fanatics or something. I am really shocked at how many people buy into the "the nasty conservatives want to take birth control away from women" spin.

  • nicole||

    Part of the problem is that there are nasty conservatives who want to take birth control away from women, and it's really easy for women who care about "women's issues" to get pretty jazzed up about it after spending years hearing stories about pharmacists refusing to fill their prescriptions, lobbying for legal protections from doing their job, etc.

    Another part of the problem is that a lot of those women who care about women's issues are horrible, horrible statists.

  • RBS||

    How much of this would go away if BC was OTC? My guess is a lot. Sure there would be some pharmacies that would't carry it but I'm willing to bet CVS and walgreens and the others would.

  • nicole||

    I think it would mostly go away. It would at least be a much smaller deal, because even if you didn't have a pharmacy that carried it that was convenient to you, you'd have greater ability to stock up (which, at least under some insurance plans, you can't do now even to the extent suggested by the instructions in the package--you're supposed to always have an extra pack of pills just in case, you can only get one pack at the copay rate per month).

    It would also eliminate a lot of unnecessary doctor visits. Now that whatever board of experts has deemed a pap smear necessary only every two years, on the odd years I have to go to the doctor for a full-fee checkup that includes literally nothing but checking my blood pressure and asking me if "anyone is hurting [me] at home" (srsly) for no reason other than the script.

  • Zeb||

    I would add that I do think that the best insurance model really is catastrophic/high deductible coverage with everything else out of pocket, or possibly HSAs if people can't live without some sort of tax breaks.

  • ||

    I do think we should be going to a catestrophic insurance model.

    The problem is that paying for birth control via insurance really ONLY makes sense if you are expecting someone else to pay the bill for your insurance premiums.

    Which is effectively what ObamaCare does. It restricts insurance companies from charging people more based on how many claims they make, or are expected to make. Which means that if you use BC, you'll still be paying the same premiums as someone who doesn't, which means when premiums rise to pay for the pill, non birth control users will be forced to subsidize birth control users.

    If insurers could charge risk based pricing they could simply charge people who use birth control $20 extra per month, and tack on a little extra for profit. In which case, nobody would use insurance for the Pill, because it would not make any financial sense to do so.

  • nicole||

    The problem is that paying for birth control via insurance really ONLY makes sense if you are expecting someone else to pay the bill for your insurance premiums.

    This is only true if you can still get your insurer's negotiated rate for the pill if you are paying out of pocket. I have no idea how this works for someplace like a Catholic institution that's also its own insurer--do they have negotiated rates for such drugs?

    Anyhow, I think in most cases these price distortions would still make it make sense to want this on your insurance--although really you should just want some kind of group-buying plan for it. Or, you know, not to have all these price distortions to begin with.

  • ||

    Indeed. Imagine a Catholic institution being forced to negotiate a price for birth control pills for their employees. Which any self-insured institution would have to.

    Makes me want to poke my eyes out.

  • sticks||

    Anyone else think ken at popehat had the best take on this nonsense?

  • ||

    Employers are taxpayers, are they not?

    Plus, if their costs go up, who ends up covering that? As I recall, they're referred to as "consumers".

  • Zeb||

    Oh, come on. You know that when he says "taxpayers" it implies that it will be paid for out of tax money. Otherwise, every expense for everything is paid by taxpayers. Who doesn't pay some form of tax?

  • ||

    The government is requiring this expense. The only thing different, really, is who is tasked with collecting the money.

  • Zeb||

    Sure, but taxes are taxes and other things are other things. Those other things might be just as bad as taxes, but it just confuses things to call all government imposed costs taxes.

  • ||

    The developing story is Rush's loss of sponsors. Will we soon see the headline: Rush goes down on "slut"

    I hope so.

  • ||

    A trillion dollar defecit. Lots of dumbass wars and a frozen brain dead executive - congress. And these turkeys want to talk about contraception.

  • shrike||

    Its an insurance issue. The fucking Catholic Church made a mountain out of a molehill due to their pre-Galileo mindset.

  • ||

    Needs more christfag.

  • shrike||

    I've replaced that term with "pre-Galileo mindset".

    I am creative - give me that.

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    I dunno, the drunker I get, the funnier "Christfag" gets.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Funny how shrike never rails against worshiping the Church of Government...

  • RBS||

    It's his post FDR mindset

  • ||

    No one understands insurance really. If you spread EVERY health risk, insurance will be unaffordable. That is one reason we have a looming debt crisis. People today believe that every health care cost should be insured. And that's just stupid. No one wants to explain this to people who already don't understand the very basic concepts.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Among other things, what irritates me about this contraceptive mandate is that health insurance reform legislation was sold politically with sob-stories about gigantic medical bills driving regular 'mericans into bankruptcy. When that occurs, it's a problem, and maybe it's one that we decide we want to address with legislation. (I don't like it, but we don't live in Libertarian Paradise).

    Then we get the actual law, and is it about saving families from bankruptcy due to tragic illness? No. It's about giving women in the hated 1% free tools to enable them to have recreational sex.

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    Well said. And what's wrong with the Medicaid model? "Sorry you had to go broke, but at least you're not dead" that seems generous to me.

  • BakedPenguin||

    alt-text: "her vagina is this big."

  • Spoonman.||

    The only reason I care about this is that if Obama has the power to mandate contraception coverage, Santorum has the power to ban it.

  • ||

    The funny thing, Spoonman, is that Obama is the only one who is mandating anything. Santorum follows "his" religious beliefs, but he has no desire to mandate it on the people. But....the Left will make you fear that THAT is what certain people of faith want to do--which is an outright lie. Stop to watch who is doing all the mandating...it's the Socialists (a.k.a. Democrats)

  • ||

    I took a hard turn towards Libertarianism in college. Thank bloody God I came to my senses and dumped this sh*t like a hot potato ... these comments are just sad. For cryin out loud, why is everything always about sex with you people? Fluke's testimony spoke specifically to the compelling health issues addressed by oral contraception that have NOTHING to do with recreational sex (ovarian cysts, painful menstruation, etc.). But, let's not acknowledge that, let's just keep banging the gong for slut-shaming. Because what's really important for our country is that not ONE RED CENT comes out of your pocket to fund something that benefits someone else. Also, stop conflating the issue of coverage offered by employers and coverage offered by the government. Not the same thing.

  • Abdul||

    Libertarians aren't really known for slut-shaming. That's why they're in favor of legalizing prostitution, etc.

    And if you don't like the government asking questions about a woman's reasons for taking birth control pills then don't ask the government to pay for it. Once your pill is charged to the public, the public's allowed to have an opinion.

  • ||

    Actually, the distinction you mention has been acknowledged and discussed ad nauseam on this forum. But you don't have to look much farther than Ms. Fluke herself to find people who are blurring that very distinction. They consider contraception-to-prevent-pregnancy to be a "medical necessity" on par with contraception-to-prevent-ovarian-cysts, both of which they argue should be fully covered without copay.

    Fluke even thinks employer-provided insurance should be mandated to cover gender reassignment surgery, for Pete's sake.

    I yield to no one in my positive attitudes toward sex. There should be no prescription required for the Pill. The morning-after-pill should be sold in vending machines. It's just the people demanding to have the incidental costs of their purely recreational and optional sex covered, regardless of their financial need, that gets my dander up.

  • ||

    What we object to isn't anyone using any of these things. We just don't think that everyone should be required to buy, and employers required to pay for, coverage. ANYONE should be allowed to BUY coverage for gender-reassignment surgery on the free market (if they can find someone willing to sell it). The issue is that the insurers shouldn't be FORCED to cover things that aren't even really insurable fucking events.

    It's a monthly pill, for crying out loud. It's a 99% chance you'll use it next month. There's no risk involved. It's a guarenteed loss for the insurer. The only reason some insurers voluntarily choose to offer it is to avoid having to pay for babies.

  • ||

    It's a 99% chance you'll use it next month. There's no risk involved. It's a guarenteed loss for the insurer.

    Yep, and a guaranteed net loss to society when you force it to be provided through a relatively complicated and expensive channel like an insurance company.

    I never really got why natal care is covered by insurance either, actually.

  • nicole||

    I never really got why natal care is covered by insurance either, actually.

    Because that's how the baby Jesus made the law.

    Sigh.

  • ||

    If you are making some point here nicole, it's lost on me. Carrying a child to term (and any associated *routine* natal care costs) is a purely elective expense. It doesn't really make sense to me to provide for it in an insurance scheme. (At least, that is, a *true* insurance scheme, as opposed to the 'prepaid healthcare plan' reality which you point out insurance has been turned into.)

  • JEP||

    This is yet another example of the government throwing tax dollars on the ground and watching the tax payers fight over it.

  • ||

    You're wrong on the taxpayer subsidies issue.

    The bill requires that ALL health plans cover preventive care with zero co-pays and deductibles . The recent ruling merely defines birth control as a type of "preventive care". As such ALL health insurance plans, whether they are employer-paid or not, must include birth control coverage. Given the laws other provisions, that means that anyone who doesn't use birth control will effectively be subsidizing the cost for those who do. And given the subsidies for low-income insurance plans, that means a significant portion of the costs will be picked up by taxpayers eventually.

  • Extra Sausage||

    This is like the worst chat room ever.

  • Dave||

    So I assume everyone here is also mad that viagra is covered by most plans. Unlike birth control, that only has one use: to enable a guy to have sex. And you're paying for that!

    Also, I think smoking is disgusting and offensive. If you get lung cancer, it's not fair that I have to help you pay for treatments. Insurance shouldn't cover it. You made your poor choice, suck it up. Sure you might have got lung cancer another way, but let's be safe and say no treatment for any lung cancer.

  • MJ||

    Viagra coverage is not mandated by the government. When the Obama admin wants to mandate such coverage I'll be complaining about it. What a private company thinks is sensible to include in the coverage it offers is none of my business unless I am shopping.

    Go peddle your red herrings elsewhere please.

  • ||

    Everyone here is in favor of allowing insurance companies to charge risk based pricing.

    WHich is to say, we strongly believe that your insurance premiums should be based ONLY on YOUR personal, individualized risk profile. Whether anyone else smokes or drinks should be entirely fucking irrelevant to what you pay for insurance.

  • ||

    Incidentally, that also means if someone is male and they want viagra to be covered the insurance company is free to charge them more for it. And likewise charge women less due to the virtually zero likelihood that they'll buy viagra.

  • kristamae||

    Can we all just agree that Rush Limbaugh is a dick? Just a straight up asshole--I mean, what kind of person is going to make fun of Michael J. Fox because he has Parkinson's? That douchebag, that's who... He doesn't deserve a public microphone. And, like the article said, he didn't even know what the hell he was talking about. Next time, he should be more informed before he attacks women who think the insurance plans that women pay for shouldn't cover birth control. I'm sure HIS insurance covers HIS viagra...

  • Ray Ray||

    Um, waah waah. I'm sure his insurance does. So the fuck what? Buy your own damn contraceptives or find a job or school or private plan that is willing to provide you that benefit.

  • ||

    No, Kristamae, we can't agree with that. Limbaugh is a very decent man. He's blunt & maybe too blunt at times, but he's a good person. Where's the outrage over all the disgusting things said about Conservative females, Christians, & Conservatives in general, constantly, on Morning Joe, Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, Bill Maher, & NUMEROUS others? They say vile things ALL OF THE TIME & it's never discussed or condemned much less go after the sponsors of MSNBC & others for airing them. I'm fed up with the double standard.

  • ||

    Obama himself is guilty of this. Today he had the nerve to say 'he would lead by example.' Well...his big ole Obamy smile & hearty laugh the night comedian Wanda Sykes said that she hoped Rush Limbaugh's kidneys failed & that he died would have been a good start in setting an example. So would all the people who didn't get up & walk out at such an outrageous & cruel thing to say. Never an apology was asked for that, either. No outrage expressed.

  • alex||

    Rush was wrong to say "taxpayer," but he correctly observes that there is a cross subsidy being created by government policy here. As a result of the mandate, everyone in the insurance pool who doesn't use contraception is paying for those who do use it. And you can't opt of health insurance, just as taxpayers can't opt of the government funding things they don't like.

  • ||

    So employers aren't taxpayers? The money doesn't come out of thin air, and society shouldn't have to pay for the high, or even low costs of her apparently unusual lifestyle choices. They are CHOICES, and she should bear the cost.

  • alex||

    I didn't say they weren't taxpayers, Adam. My point was that in saying "taxpayer" instead of "consumer," he was confusing people like Jacob Sullum.

  • ||

    This was such a hit-job by Obama's people. Fluke's faux moral indignation creeps me out. She purposely chose going to Georgetown for THIS fight. She knew the Jesuits didn't approve of contraception so she went there to start a fight. On The View she told them to go to Media Matters. Oh wait...isn't it Media Matters who meets with the White House every week?

    Limbaugh rocks! The Left want to silence him so bad because he exposes all their little lies. He said it right in his apology:he made the mistake of stooping to the Left's level. They call Conservatives all sorts of filthy names but no ones sheds a tear. He got caught up in his frustration & called her a slut & prostitute in sarcasm. So what? Maybe he should have just called her a *bitch* and a *fraud*. That would be more accurate.

  • Ray Ray||

    I'm really surprised by the reaction. I'm not a Limbaugh fan, I really cannot even wrap my ahead around these conservative views about sexuality, but I found what he said soooo funny. I mean, jeez. It was tongue in cheek. But give me a break. Some stupid bitch went to congress to bitch about paying for birth control. Let's make fun of her.

  • ||

    I do not want to imagine him having sex...

  • Mattrue||

    God fucking dammit. Rush is paid millions to spew nonsense on the air. He is a fucking genius, no matter how you spin it. Sure he's down now, and has been before, but what the fuck is the problem here? If his words carried any weight in public policy debates like those printed in the NYT, our government would most likely be LESS moronic than it is now. In other words, while fat stupid and rich, his impact on my life pales in comparison to the impact of the nanny state, which is not quite as fat or rich, but definitely dumber.

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