by Whitney Pitcher
Earlier today President Obama tweeted the following about women’s “health”:
Make sure the women in your life know: twitter.com/BarackObama/st…
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 26, 2012
It’s intriguing that the President decided to tweet a quote from a women’s health magazine to make a policy point. The quote Obama used was from a scare tactic campaign from Women’s Health magazine that indicates that women’s reproductive “rights” may go the way of the dodo bird. A little closer look shows that President Obama may be giving Women’s Health magazine the Solyndra treatment. The CEO of Rodale Inc, Maria Rodale, which publishes the magazine, has given the President $5,000 to his campaign and and another other $5,000 to the DNC. Rodale Inc mostly focuses on health and wellness related magazines and books, but interestingly also published Al Gore’s “global warming” fictional book, An Inconvenient Truth–indicating their aim may be more political than solely “health and wellness”. It sure was nice of the President to give some advertising to one of his donors and ideological peers, huh?
Of course, Women’s Health Magazine , in addition to campaign funding, also gave First Lady Michelle Obama the platform to promote the President’s health care reform bill this past May. Mrs. Obama writing in part about contraception (emphasis added):
It used to be that even many women with health insurance would skip these check-ups because of the cost. In fact, before the health reform law that my husband signed back in 2010, some insurance companies would routinely charge women 50 percent more than men for the same coverage because they needed more frequent access to preventive services like mammograms and cervical screenings. Fortunately, the new health care bill makes that discrimination against women illegal starting in 2014, and today, insurance companies are required to cover life-saving cancer screenings and other preventive services like contraception and immunizations without a co-pay.
While the First Lady wrote this piece for Women’s Health and provided them with her workout play list, interestingly, she turned down an interview and cover with the Heart & Soul, a health magazine for African American women.
Beyond the cronyism of free advertising, the tweet is blatantly false. President Obama implies that the Republican Party is trying to limit or ban birth control. Those claims are only true in liberal newspeak where “ban” is synonymous with “not forcing employers to pay for”. However, this is the kind of fight the Obama administration brought upon themselves when they sacrificed the first amendment to expand government, and it’s a problem easily solved if the free market is brought into health care, a concept I describe in a post at Breitbart.com in February:
Beyond the economic benefits, a free market based health care system provides the best vehicle for religious liberty. When health insurance is detached from employment, it means that employers—be they religious institutions or religious business owners– have no requirement to violate their conscience by providing insurance that covers contraception and abortion causing drugs.
The same is true for individual health care consumers and insurance companies themselves. Individual health care consumers would have the option to purchase plans from insurers that either do or do not cover contraceptives. While individuals opposed to contraception would not desire contraception for themselves anyway, choosing a plan that does not cover contraception means the money they used to purchase health insurance does not have the potential to “cross subsidize” contraception or abortion causing drugs.
“Cross subsidization” occurs when insurance premiums are pooled by the insurer and then dispersed to pay medical bills for those they insure, meaning that the money one pays in insurance premiums beyond what care they need may ultimately cover another individual’s care . Market based healthcare also provides health insurers with the freedom to abide by their conscience in what they will cover. Insurers who oppose contraceptives would not be obligated to provide coverage, and those who approve contraceptives would be free to do so. There is a market for both, and it would provide employers, individuals, and insurers the freedom to exercise their religious liberty.
President Obama is again trying to scare women into believing that the only way to protect their so called reproductive freedoms is to grow government and quash religious freedom–and in the process, he’s providing free advertising for his donors. In reality, the free market providers the greatest platform for both individual and religious freedom.