Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What Do Paul Ryan and Monty Python Have in Common?

One little reported aspect of the recent government shutdown was the attempted linking of funding the government to restricting use of contraception.

This from a Sept. 28th article from CNN, "GOP adds "conscience clause' to spending bill," by Lisa Desjardins:

House Republicans have added a measure aimed at limiting contraceptive coverage to the spending bill coming up for a vote Saturday night, a spokesman for Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, told CNN.

and this from the Washington Post, "Senate leaders take over government shutdown talks," by Paul Kane and Lori Montgomery, Oct. 12

According to two Republicans familiar with the exchange, Ryan argued that the House would need those deadlines as “leverage” for delaying the health-care law’s individual mandate and adding a “conscience clause” — allowing employers and insurers to opt out of birth-control coverage if they find it objectionable on moral or religious grounds — and mentioned tax and entitlement goals Ryan had focused on in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.
I take it that any proposed legislation on this would restrict use of condoms, or ban employees from using their wages to pay for condoms or erectile dysfunction medications?    What, you say, the legislation would only pertain to prescription medications, and so only target contraception purchased by and / or for women?  Surely a conscience clause would require men asking for ed medications to supply a marriage license, to make sure that sexual congress is limited to married couples.  Alas, no.

What about asking men who get ed medications to watch a video of a woman giving birth?  As the governor of Pennsylvania likes to say "you can always look away."  What?  Nothing about that in the legislation?

So is it only contraception that is covered by insurance?  But ed medications are covered by insurance, aren't they?

What about selective reduction in invitro fertilization, or discarded excess unused embryos in IVF procedures?  Would companies be required to cover this or would it be part of the "conscience clauses?"

The problem with letting someone else's religion make health care choices is that once the door is open it can easily swing wide open.  Could a company owned by Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to cover any invasive procedure ot medical treatment other than prayer?  That policy might be very inexpensive but I don't think it would be very effective.  Could a company owned by Scientologists refuse to provide mental health care?  It becomes a very slippery slope.

I oppose a conscience clause in health care legislation.

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