Friday, March 9, 2012

I'll stay out of your bedroom. You stay out of my wallet.




The left is using a favored tactic again-- hiding behind young women, who are helped forward to champion a venial cause that leftists-in-power feel uncomfortable hawking unless they can do it while cowering behind a sacrificial lamb. Jessica Ahlquist was the prequel. More will come.

Ms. Fluke is a Georgetown (i.e. Jesuit) University law student and long-time lefty who testified to Congress that insurers (and institutions like the Catholic Church who purchase insurance) should be forced by the government to provide contraception in their health insurance coverage.

Of course, insurers don't pay for anything. We-- you and me-- pay for it, through increased rates. Ms. Fluke was vague as to why other people should be forced at government gunpoint to pay for her birth control pills. Something to do with "protecting women's rights to reproductive health", etc.

It's hard to see how contraception is "reproductive health". Pregnancy isn't a disease, and the state of not being pregnant isn't either health or disease. Health has to do with things like the flu, or cancer, or heart disease. Being pregnant or not being pregnant are not intrinsically states of health or disease. Pregnancy can be associated with disease, of course, but prevention of pregnancy is no more prevention of disease than prevention of exercise would be prevention of disease, just because exercise sometimes is associated with injury.

Contraception is merely the prevention of the natural consequences of a natural act. It neither prevents nor treats any disease.

And it's odd to assert that contraception is a "right" one is entitled to exercise via government (i.e. other peoples') largesse. After all, the Second Amendment guarantees the real right to own firearms, but no one has suggested that the government must buy us each a gun or two. I've always wanted a nice over-under 12-gauge, with walnut stock. I'll call my Senator and ask when mine will be in the mail. Protecting Second Amendment rights, ya' know.

Rush Limbaugh kicked up a brouhaha when he called Ms. Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute", or something to that effect. Such use of sexual slurs is wrong, and Rush apologized, appropriately.

But the context in which he used those words is spot-on. He observed that Ms. Fluke was demanding to be paid for having sex, which is... well... exactly what she is demanding. Contraceptive coverage is not needed for people who abstain.

I point out that "prostitution" is not precisely the right term to use for such demands. After all, the financial arrangement between a prostitute and a john is voluntary, unlike mandatory contraceptive coverage, and at least the john is asked to pay only for the sex he is having, not the sex acts of others.

"Armed robbery" is probably a more apt term for Ms. Fluke's demand.

I'll suggest this to Ms. Fluke and her minions who want all of us to pay for their sex:

Pay for it yourself. We'll stay out of your bedroom. You stay out of our wallets. 

71 comments:

  1. Egnor: Of course, insurers don't pay for anything. We-- you and me-- pay for it, through increased rates. Ms. Fluke was vague as to why other people should be forced at government gunpoint to pay for her birth control pills. Something to do with "protecting women's rights to reproductive health", etc.

    Fluke wasn't vague. She gave quite a few specific examples why some women (not she specifically) need to buy costly hormonal contraceptives. You can easily find that out by reading the transcript. Here is an excerpt:

    A friend of mine, for example, has polycystic ovarian syndrome, and she has to take prescription birth control to stop cysts from growing on her ovaries. Her prescription is technically covered by Georgetown’s insurance because it’s not intended to prevent pregnancy.

    Contraceptives are not expensive for most of the people, they are expensive for some. This is why it makes sense to spread the cost by including it in medical insurance. Same as with the rest of medicine. Some people incur higher medical costs through no fault of their own. We handle that through medical insurance.

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  2. @oleg:

    Hormonal treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome is not contraception. It may involve the use of medications that are otherwise used for contraception, but that's irrelevant. Stay on topic, oleg.

    [Contraceptives are not expensive for most of the people, they are expensive for some.]

    Contraception is dirt cheap. All sorts of organizations and agencies provide birth control pills at very low cost. Condoms are 50 cents. Abstinence is free.

    [This is why it makes sense to spread the cost by including it in medical insurance.]

    Contraception neither treats nor prevents any disease, and it has noting to do with "health".

    [Same as with the rest of medicine. Some people incur higher medical costs through no fault of their own.]

    Contraception isn't a "medical cost" and its cost is incurred by deliberate choice.

    [We handle that through medical insurance.]

    "Insurance" is the pooling of resources to defray risk. Contraception is not "risk": it is the deliberate prevention of the natural consequences of a natural act.

    The push to mandate contraception coverage is a political act. It is intended to gin up votes, box the Catholic Church into a corner, and divert attention from the unconstitutional nature of the mandate and of Obamacare itself.

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    Replies
    1. Egnor: Hormonal treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome is not contraception. It may involve the use of medications that are otherwise used for contraception, but that's irrelevant. Stay on topic, oleg.

      I'm right on topic, egnor. I quoted the part of Fluke's testimony that deals with the high cost of contraception in one particular case.

      Contraception isn't a "medical cost" and its cost is incurred by deliberate choice.

      Contraception neither treats nor prevents any disease, and it has noting to do with "health".

      Contraception is not "risk": it is the deliberate prevention of the natural consequences of a natural act.


      Death is also a natural act, so I suppose resuscitation isn't medicine, either. Same goes for brain surgery.

      Delete
    2. @oleg:

      [Death is also a natural act, so I suppose resuscitation isn't medicine, either. Same goes for brain surgery.]

      Health care doesn't prevent death. It postpones death.

      The purpose of health care is to promote health (the absence of disease or injury) and to postpone death.

      Pregnancy is not a disease, and preventing it is not health care.

      Delete
    3. Health care doesn't prevent death. It postpones death.

      LOL. I can retort that family planning does not prevent pregnancy. It just postpones it. Even Catholics do that.

      Delete
    4. You could attempt such a retort, Oleg.
      It would be immediately demolished by logic, however.
      The problem with your retort is that it is oblivious to the individual potential of a human being, in this specific contrast.
      A normal living person (or any organism) will only die once and only be conceived once.
      Preventing that moment of conception PREVENTS that individual organic life from ever taking form, thus PREVENTING any potential that person may have embodied. Postponing death through good health practices and medical care prolongs that individual life, allowing for MORE potential.
      Promiscuity is NOT a good health practice so far as the individual is concerned. It can result in disease, even during 'protected' sex, and even (often) violence.

      Delete
    5. crus, that's a very impressive scholastic! LOL.

      Let's use that "logic" to construct some more silliness. If you decide not to have sex with your wife sometime next month, that decision will prevent some potential individuals from being born. Too bad, isn't it?

      Delete
    6. "Contraception neither treats nor prevents any disease, and it has noting to do with "health"."

      Pregnancy is not a disease, as you said. In that case, prenatal and postnatal care neither treats nor prevents any disease, and has nothing to do with "health". You should go down to the obstetrics department where you work and inform the doctors who specialize in it that they are not practicing medicine.

      Delete
    7. @anon:

      You're wrong. Pre- and post-natal care is the diagnosis and prevention of diseases-- eclampsia, gestational diabetes, placenta previa, anemia, fistulas, etc.

      Pregnancy itself is not a disease, so contraception is not health care.

      Pregnancy can be associated with diseases, so pre and ppost natal care are health care.

      Delete
    8. Oleg,
      Again, you seem to miss the point.
      Abstinence is not prevention, it is non participation in the act.
      No potential is materialized because the act of procreation was not made/attempted, but rather avoided in it's entirety.
      Potential is not PREVENTED during the natural course of said act.
      A subtle but actual distinction.
      Rather than wasted, that energy and will is instead invested in something else; say, for example having a nice dinner together, taking our children to see a relative or to Disney World, or spending time working on our home.
      The act of lovemaking has one single purpose: To procreate - new life.
      I understand what you're getting at, but it is an incomplete idea.
      You seem to suggest that if a married couple wishes to delay or postpone pregnancy till the optimum window via contraceptives then this is the same as abstinence. This allows this theoretical couple to express their affections sexually without making children every time they couple.
      'Family planning' is what you hint at, if I am not mistaken, and as I have stated before I am not against this idea in practice, provided it is voluntary.
      Indeed I have done so myself, and have a loving family.
      That said, it is NOT the same as abstinence, which is the most principled approach.
      I would further suggest that the ULTIMATE expression of sexual union and the affections associated with entails is holding a child in your arms that you have conceived together. Nothing beats that.
      Further, I would suggest there are fun (even sexy) ways to be intimate that do not involve intercourse and require no government hand outs or interference.

      But I digress.
      The problem does not stem from such practices as you have described, even if in principal they are misleading. The problem is relative to promiscuity and the notion that sex is 'just sex' and that pregnancy is some sort of illness that results from people who are just trying to have fun.
      Sexual union is an act with purpose and to reduce it to 'fun' between strangers is analogous to gluttony or fast-food culture. Promiscuity is akin to (voluntary or pathological) obesity.
      We eat for nutritional purposes, and we can make it enjoyable by preparing the food with care and attention to the preferences of the diner.
      A good meal is not just a BIG meal of whatever you can find. Lots of bland limp noodles is not better than, say, a small portion of well prepared plate of yakitori or a dish of fajitas. The sheer quantity and availability is not what counts.
      Good food is not just MORE food, it is tasty and satisfying.It is a meal prepared well of ingredients you enjoy and shared with people who's company you enjoy. Such meals are long remembered. The limp noodles are happily forgotten, save by the glutton who simply wants to eat for eating's sake.
      Sex is analogous to this. Good sex is between people who love each other and take the time to learn and 'play' together for mutual satisfaction with the goal (eventual) of expressing that union in new life.

      PS. Scholastics? Interesting. You're quite right. It seems scholastic thought has served me well in this argument.
      I have always thought of myself as a platonic mind and prefer Augustine to Aquinas (like them both). Pre-Cartesian and non mechanistic, surely.
      Anyway, I will take that as a compliment, as there is much merit to scholastic thinking.
      Certainly beats the snot out of nihilism and eliminative materialism - now that IS silliness.

      Delete
    9. Only a moron thinks he can define the problem away by making pronouncements like "Health has to do with things like the flu, or cancer, or heart disease". No one is fooled by this transparently stupid claim. Modern healthcare has many facets, including (for example) gunshot wounds, venereal disease, and pollution & environmental aspects. It is entirely appropriate that healthcare deal with contraception, and every civilized country has such measures in places. Only total wackos disagree.

      Delete
    10. "It is entirely appropriate that healthcare deal with contraception, and every civilized country has such measures in places."
      Nonsense. I live in a civilized country with a medical system that is totally socialized. We happily pay for our own contraception. No need for big brother to stick his nose into our sex lives, as we pay for our own measures.
      Why not give us actual examples of nations that DO pay for the populace's contraceptives?

      "Only total wackos disagree."
      Aha! Well, there is your real argument:'Disagree with me and your insane.'

      Delete
    11. @anon:

      [Only a moron thinks he can define the problem away by making pronouncements like "Health has to do with things like the flu, or cancer, or heart disease". No one is fooled by this transparently stupid claim. Modern healthcare has many facets, including (for example) gunshot wounds, venereal disease, and pollution & environmental aspects. It is entirely appropriate that healthcare deal with contraception, and every civilized country has such measures in places. Only total wackos disagree.]

      You haven't made an argument. Why do you think that contraception is health care? What disease does it treat or prevent?

      Delete
    12. Pre- and post-natal care is the diagnosis and prevention of diseases-- eclampsia, gestational diabetes, placenta previa, anemia, fistulas, etc.

      And contraception prevents all of those. And thus, it prevents disease.

      Delete
    13. So does a bullet to the head, Anon.
      If you shoot someone dead they will no longer be able to contract STD's, diabetes, cancer, or AIDS. Those diseases have been prevented by untimely death.
      Is that health care too?
      Some argument, Anon.

      Delete
    14. @anon:

      [Pre- and post-natal care is the diagnosis and prevention of diseases-- eclampsia, gestational diabetes, placenta previa, anemia, fistulas, etc.

      And contraception prevents all of those. And thus, it prevents disease.]

      And sitting on my couch eating cheese doodles prevents exercise-related injuries. Should Obama-care cover couches and cheese-doodles?

      Delete
    15. And sitting on my couch eating cheese doodles prevents exercise-related injuries.

      Why don't you go out and advocate for those as the equivalent to contraception coverage and see what kind of reaction you get in the public forum.

      Delete
    16. "Why don't you go out and advocate for those as the equivalent to contraception coverage and see what kind of reaction you get in the public forum."

      I would suspect that is exactly why the Doctor has used the analogy, Anon. Stripped bare, that is what this debate is about.
      People who WANT to have sex or eat cheese doodles (I prefer the 'puffs') are entitled to do so.
      There is no law against snacking or humping. In moderation, or in excess.
      There is no law against being a sexual pig or a gluttonous pig. But everyone should pay for their own play time and not expect others to foot the bill.
      Couching the discussion in the language of health care or 'women's rights' is simply at best utterly naive and at worst totally dishonest.

      Let's frame the question for you, Anon:
      Do you think the government or an insurance firm should have a say in when and how you use contraception?
      If they PAY for and legislate it don't they GET a say in how you use it?

      Delete
  3. Michael,

    Are hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia diseases? Neither are associated with symptoms, and both have to be measured to be detected.

    Should medical insurance pay to screen for them? And if so, should the medical insurance pay for the drug treatment, the cost of which is considerably more than that of oral contraceptives?

    Lifestyle choices strongly influence the incidence of both hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia (too much dietary salt, too much stress, not enough exercise, too much saturated fats in the diet), so why should medical insurance pay for expensive drugs to possibly prevent sequelae years down the track from asymptomatic states partly resulting from poor life choices.

    Or what about immunisations? Should medical insurance pay for them too?

    Is your objection entirely due to your envy at the thought of other people enjoying their lives? Life isn't meant to be spent in a state of fear and guilt.

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    Replies
    1. "Are hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia diseases? Neither are associated with symptoms, and both have to be measured to be detected[...]Should medical insurance pay for them too?"
      Yes. Just the same as HIV patients who have lived a promiscuous life get treatment. There is a disease and the doctor's job is to treat it. That's c
      The actual parallel would be should we pay for the decaf coffee or diet coke (or whatever) to prevent/postpone them from getting unhealthy in the first place.

      "Life isn't meant to be spent in a state of fear and guilt."
      MEANING, Bach? How very teleological of you!

      Delete
  4. Here's a good analogy.

    A cancer patient (I know very well) requires an illegal drug to help him eat and live a normal life.
    He is granted a prescription and allowed to purchase this controlled substance for his 'quality of life', as after many different trails of various synthetics this is the ONLY one that seems to work for him and those like him.
    After many letters and conferences with doctors and the quacks they call 'boss', he is told this drug will be legal for him to buy (from a legal source) while on medical benefits (a kind of welfare) without worry of prosecution. Due to the cost of this drug, his allowance is increased slightly to help cover the costs.
    So far we are in the realm of the sane.
    Now it seems to me that the logic behind Obamacare vis a vis contraception would legitimize ANYONE getting that drug cost free or as a supplemental simply because it has SOME medical benefits for a few. The stoners would be covered the same way as a cancer or HIV patient might be.
    Now while I may be very libertarian when it comes to prohibition of substances, I could NOT support the government paying for a pot smokers 'fun'. (this is analogous to the right to hump for 'fun').
    If he/or she wants to spend their money and leisure time smoking pot -as wasteful as that may be - I don't think they should be jailed etc (with all the costs included); but neither do I think his 'fun' should be paid for by my taxes!
    (or by my insurance payments).
    The analogy works because in both cases (marijuana or contraception) because it is, quite simply put, making the exception the rule.
    I believe the right is to 'pursue happiness', not have it paid for by the nanny state.

    The idea is all back-asswards, as my son would say.
    The law should simply state that such drugs (as the hormones etc) must be covered by medical care or insurance ONLY if they are being used to prevent or control a disease or illness.
    For fun? Pay to play.

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  5. crus: Oleg,
    Again, you seem to miss the point.
    Abstinence is not prevention, it is non participation in the act.
    No potential is materialized because the act of procreation was not made/attempted, but rather avoided in it's entirety.


    crus, when a couple is having sex while using contraception, they are not engaged in procreation, either. Just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oleg,
      "crus, when a couple is having sex while using contraception, they are not engaged in procreation, either."

      I agree, in the sense that they are preventing the potential from materializing. They mimic the act, but prevent it from coming to it's natural conclusion by preventing insemination and consequent conception. They may love each other and have every intention of having children later in life, but choose to prevent that potential at present.
      This is, I am sure you would admit, still a long shot from promiscuity. Why is that? Because it is intimacy based on love and is between devoted monogamous partners.

      But, ALL that said, the mirror couple who abstains is merely postponing it, because they do not engage in the act in the first place. The sexual union is not completed, and thus the potential is not lost - it has never been realized.
      Like I said it is a subtle, but real difference even between loving couples.
      If we extend it to handing out rubbers to horny teenagers and telling them it is 'safe' and 'healthy' to rut like wild animals, we approach the real issue at hand.

      "Just a thought."
      A well formulated one.
      Now we are on the same page (even if we don't agree), and you can understand the perspective from which I approach this issue, and I yours.
      :)

      Delete
    2. PS, Oleg.
      Good to see you back and commenting again.
      We may not agree on much, but at least your comments are usually thought provoking and engaging.
      Hope all is well out your way, 'comrade' :P

      Delete
  6. Of course, insurers don't pay for anything. We-- you and me-- pay for it, through increased rates.

    Contraceptive coverage reduces health insurance rates. You won't have to pay any additional amount. Notice when the regulation shifted to requiring that insurers offer contraceptive coverage directly to the covered individuals at no extra cost the insurers didn't bat an eye? That's because they know it will end up costing them less to cover people.

    And even if it does increase costs, so what? The government makes decisions that increase your costs all the time. Seat belts increase the cost of cars, but you can't buy one without them due to government regulation. There are dozens of regulations that increase the cost of products you buy, whether you want the things those regulations buy or not. Are those also "armed robbery"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,
      Seatbelt regulations (no matter where you stand on those issues) are intended to extend existent life. Contraception (HINT:the meaning of the word itself) is to prevent the conception of NEW LIFE.
      If the proposed law was stated that such drugs and devices are only to be covered when they are used medicinally (as in the examples noted above re: Hormones etc) we would not be having this discussion.
      The legislation is about CONTRACEPTIVES used as COUNTER CONCEPTION, not the hormones themselves used for medicinal purposes.
      No one here is suggesting outlawing the use of contraceptives (not that I am aware of, anyway) we are simply saying that PAYING for them is not only silly but sends a very bad message about intimacy and the value of life in general.
      Surely you can see that?

      Delete
    2. @anon:

      [Contraceptive coverage reduces health insurance rates. You won't have to pay any additional amount. Notice when the regulation shifted to requiring that insurers offer contraceptive coverage directly to the covered individuals at no extra cost the insurers didn't bat an eye? That's because they know it will end up costing them less to cover people.]

      If contraception decreases health costs, why didn't all insurers offer them already? Think of the extra profits they'd make. Do you actually think that insurers didn't know the cost/benefit of contraceptives, and Obama had to enlighten them?

      [And even if it does increase costs, so what?]

      Well, that would mean that your paragraph above is bullshit.

      [The government makes decisions that increase your costs all the time.]

      This is the first time they've ordered me to pay for other people's sex.

      [Seat belts increase the cost of cars, but you can't buy one without them due to government regulation. There are dozens of regulations that increase the cost of products you buy, whether you want the things those regulations buy or not. Are those also "armed robbery"?]

      Seat belts save lives. Contraception prevents lives.

      What was the similarity again?

      Delete
    3. If contraception decreases health costs, why didn't all insurers offer them already? Think of the extra profits they'd make. Do you actually think that insurers didn't know the cost/benefit of contraceptives, and Obama had to enlighten them?

      Because the institutions in question often specifically require such coverage not to be provided. The fact that providing contraceptive coverage reduces premiums is well-documented.

      Well, that would mean that your paragraph above is bullshit.

      You have a had time dealing with alternative hypotheses don't you?

      This is the first time they've ordered me to pay for other people's sex.

      Except they haven't. I'm sure you'll be just fine not buying contraception for yourself.

      Seat belts save lives. Contraception prevents lives.

      Contraception saves lives too. Women die as a result of complications from pregnancy at a higher rate than they do from side effects of hormonal birth control. But that doesn't matter to you, because you seem to regard women as nothing more than walking wombs.

      Delete
    4. "Contraception saves lives too."
      Contraception PREVENTS new life. That is it's function.

      "Women die as a result of complications from pregnancy at a higher rate than they do from side effects of hormonal birth control."
      Do they die from abstinence too? Do men?
      Or.... maybe you're talking about women who WANT to have children. Also you neglect to mention the fatal, crippling, and sterilizing diseases they may contract while on hormonal birth control.

      "But that doesn't matter to you, because you seem to regard women as nothing more than walking wombs."
      You know nothing about Dr Egnor's stance on women, that is just a knee-jerk, insulting (histrionic) response.
      Do you view women as walking sex toys for your pleasure, or alternately as insatiable hedonistic sex addicts?
      Is that a fair assessment of your position?
      Such talk lends nothing to dialogue, but then you don't seem very interested in that, Anon.

      Delete
    5. Oh, what a subtle equivocation! Good one, crus! You're a first-rate scholastic.

      We're talking about different lives here. Surely, contraception prevents the emergence of a new life. However, said emergence of a new life affects the life of a woman. In fact, it clearly impacts her health. And so does contraception. It's part of healthcare. Hormonal contraceptives are prescribed by a gynecologist, who is (wait for it!) a physician.

      But seriously, not all things in healthcare are matters of life and death. Some things that physicians treat merely impact the quality of life, but in no way threaten life itself. Take pain medication. If you have a tooth extracted, you will experience pain for a few hours. You won't die of it. It's just a matter of discomfort. Nonetheless, medical insurance covers the cost of pain killers in this case. Why is no one protesting this?

      Delete
    6. Oleg,
      "You're a first-rate scholastic."
      Cheers. You're going to make the other creationists jealous, though :P

      Look, if indeed the woman has a medical condition that requires the hormones so that she is not in pain, I see no wrong in prescribing said hormones.
      In fact, I am all for relieving her pain.
      But why call such a measure 'birth control'? Surely that is only a side effect of her medical treatment.
      Why frame the laws based on the contraceptive properties and not on the medicinal properties?
      That is the crux of my beef with this legislation as I see it, Oleg.

      "However, said emergence of a new life affects the life of a woman. In fact, it clearly impacts her health."
      Your talking to a dad, who's wife and and 16 week old baby are mere meters away (I'm at home today).
      I have seen/am seeing my wife go through this first hand. There are serious PHYSICAL effects caused by labour that require what could only be described as recovery time. That's why women get paid maternity leave - to bond with baby and recover from the act of giving birth (1 year in Canada).
      It also affects the life and health of a (present) father.
      These are just the facts of life.
      If you want to have a child, you should be aware of them. Sleepless nights, hospital visits, irritating in-laws, schooling etc etc. In fact, if you want to have SEX you should be aware of WHY that instinct is present and the natural end product of such a union: A human child.

      As for the woman having a child and this affecting her health: She should not engage in the very and ONLY act procreation she can, if she wishes to avoid the possibility of becoming pregnant and is worried about the risks this may pose to her health.
      As the crass saying goes: She should keep her legs closed.
      The same goes for a man. If he does not want to risk fathering a child,he should keep it in his pants.
      If either wants to have their cake AND eat it, they should be willing to pay to play. That simple.

      "But seriously, not all things in healthcare are matters of life and death. "
      Agreed. It was not I who brought up the whole life and death aspect, it was Anon. I was responding with contrast.
      My point stands firm (me so punny): Abstinence does NOT kill.

      "Some things that physicians treat merely impact the quality of life, but in no way threaten life itself."
      Sure, like my cannabis example above. But as in that example a cancer patient or seriously suffering person being prescribed cannabis is not the same as paying for any and all comers to get stoned.

      "Take pain medication. If you have a tooth extracted, you will experience pain for a few hours. You won't die of it. "
      I have had tooth broken for days without care. I know all too well what that is like. I have also limped with a stitched hole through my leg for three days and no PK's and no local for the stitch up, but honestly the dental pain was much worse.
      I just don't think it is fair to compare abstaining from recreational sex to enduring severe pain. I like sex like anyone else, but I would gladly take six months off from it rather than go through either of the above examples again. On the other hand, I WOULD go through the above for my son(s) or wife willingly and without second thought.

      "Nonetheless, medical insurance covers the cost of pain killers in this case. Why is no one protesting this?"
      Mine does not, it supplements the cost of dentistry but I must pay for my own scripts. That said, nobody is protesting the medical use of hormones.
      We (at least I am) are protesting paying for someone else's license to indulgence in PLEASURES. They have a right to do what they will -even take the pill, but they do not have the right to send me the bill!
      (Poet and didn't even know it!)

      Delete
  7. @anon:

    [Contraception saves lives too. Women die as a result of complications from pregnancy at a higher rate than they do from side effects of hormonal birth control.]

    Abstinence saves even more lives. Is abstinence health care?

    [But that doesn't matter to you, because you seem to regard women as nothing more than walking wombs.]

    Why would my observation that contraception isn't health care and my insistence that people who want to use contraception pay for it themselves lead you to assert that I view women as "walking wombs"?

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  8. So, now that we've established that Ms. Fluke is for as much unconstrained sex as she can get, let's pick out a place for her to live, shall we?

    ReplyDelete
  9. mregnor, off topic. I ditched the whole captcha thing and have been letting Blogger's spam filters do all the work. It's been great. It's easy on my commenters and no spa, is getting through.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Same here, KT.
      Not that anyone comments much :P But the filter does nail some rather nasty spam.

      Delete
  10. Recent polls suggest that ranting against contraceptive rights is having an impact.

    The fragile gains Republicans had been making among female voters have been erased, a shift that has coincided with what has become a national shouting match over reproductive issues, potentially handing President Obama and the Democrats an enormous advantage this fall.

    When the Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey asked last summer which party should control Congress, a slim 46-42 percent plurality of women said it should be the Democrats.

    But in a survey released Monday, compiling polling since the beginning of the year, that figure had widened considerably to a 15-point advantage for the Democrats, according to polling by the team of Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff. Fifty-one percent favored Democratic control; only 36 percent wanted to see the Republicans in charge.


    Try yelling louder, Mike.

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    1. I believe it, Oleg.
      But, I think that is more due to the spin put on the issue by the proponents than the argument against.
      No one is objecting to right of people (men or women) to have sex or use birth control.
      That's not the issue at hand.
      They are objecting to having to pay for OTHER people's use with increased insurance rates.

      Delete
  11. I’ve known more than one woman for who contraception was merely a side benefit of hormonal birth control. Being on the pill can greatly reduce the severity of period symptoms, with shorter duration menstruation, reduced cramps, reduced blood flow, and less severe mood swings. Being on hormonal birth control reduces monthly suffering for millions of women.

    Do conservative Christian men for some reason not know this, or do you simply not care?

    -KW

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  12. @ KW
    I’ve known more than one man for who being loaded was merely a side benefit of single malt whiskey. Being on the bottle can greatly reduce the severity of fatigue symptoms, with shorter duration of headaches, reduced body pain, increased humour, and much less severe mood swings. Being on single malt whiskey reduces monthly suffering for millions of hard working men (and women).

    Do wealthy liberals for some reason not know this, or do you simply not care?
    NOW PAY FOR MY SINGLE MALT!

    (before you all jump on me - I AM being intentionally silly - consider WHO I am responding to here)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How about paying for my Newcastle? Watching the lads play with a man advantage for the last 40 minutes and still only manage a draw against Sunderland was enough to drive me to drink.

      Delete
    2. CrusadeREX,I take that as an "I don't care"

      -KW

      Delete
    3. KW,
      Take it for what it is a gross over-simplification of matters and a mirror to your own grossly over simplified position.

      KT,
      See? The INJUSTICE of it all is incredible. These elitists who wont pay for our sauce are obviously doing so because they HATE both sexes, and would deny us our right to get utterly plastered.
      There is only one way to beat this tyranny of the sober: Be revolting!!!!

      Delete
  13. Serious question:
    How much does it cost for 'the pill' state side. As I understand it it is about $3-$7 a month here. Condoms run roughly $.50 each in a small package, cheaper if you buy a big box.
    Maybe the cost/availability problem lies with the companies selling the drugs and not with coverage? Supply and demand and all that.

    ReplyDelete
  14. crus: Serious question:
    How much does it cost for 'the pill' state side. As I understand it it is about $3-$7 a month here. Condoms run roughly $.50 each in a small package, cheaper if you buy a big box.


    Think about it, crus. If contraception were always that cheap, there would be no need to cover it through medical insurance. The whole point of insurance is to insure against high cost in rare circumstances. Read Fluke's testimony to find out whether such cases exist.

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    Replies
    1. Oleg,
      Why are these extreme circumstances seen as contraception? Why would they not be filed under hormone treatments and covered?
      That is what gets me about this, you see.
      Hormone therapy is no meant as contraceptive control, it is meant to relieve pain or chronic illness.
      Here it is not even labelled the same.

      So here's a solution that would theoretically make all happy: Don't call hormone therapy 'contraception' and ONLY prescribe (and thus cover) it to those exceptional cases with a physician's approval. Sure you may get some abuse, but it could be vetted out by the insurers. A second impartial opinion, for example. If it is for contraceptive purposes, PAY FOR IT. Condoms are just not that expensive.

      Maybe everyone would rather just yell at each other? Or maybe it is not the hormone treatments that are the real issue here. Maybe that is just political legerdemain.
      I really just do not get the reason for demanding 'contraception' be covered. Condoms are cheap and sex is not the only means to show love and intimacy.
      Thanks for responding anyway, Oleg.
      I will read her testimony.
      But I am off to the movies now.
      Enjoy folks!

      Delete
    2. CrusadeRex,

      Michael could have written a noncontroversial thread, and also achieved his aim, if he had just insisted that oral contraceptives be treated by the insurance companies in exactly the same way as other medications.

      The American health care system is a mess, with thousands of insurance companies, apparently, covering the market. The government apparently decided it was easier to just require the insurance companies to cover the cost of OCs, rather than examining the payment policies of many insurance companies.

      In Australia, OCs are treated in exactly the same manner as any other medication, and there's just one authority covering prescription medication, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

      Medications aren't free in Australia. Patients are expected to make a 'copayment', which is appreciable, ranging up to over $30 per script. Low income individuals holding a health care card pay around $6. The idea of the PBS is to cover the cost of very expensive medications which may cost up to a thousand dollars a month.

      The cost of most OCs is around $22 a month, and most patients pay this and also pay the full cost. It's only low income groups who have their OCs subsidized.

      Australia also has a safety net, with prescriptions over a certain number free. It's over 40 per year, equivalent to around $1400 per year for most people.

      I think Michael is just engaging in sham outrage with moral undertones. 'How dare women get their sex lives subsidized by the moral majority' in effect. Actually, medical insurance coverage of employees by employers is a very valued part of the remuneration package. It's a part of the job's pay as much as cash in hand. Women who are taking OCs are probably not of an age that they need to be taking antihypertensive medications or statins for cholesterol, so they're probably subsidizing the health care needs of other employees.

      I think the Republicans tried a dog whistle to rally their conservative supporters without realizing how unpopular attacking OCs actually is, and without understanding how little it's actually saving.

      Delete
    3. Bach,
      Your system sounds very much like our own. The costs are a little different, and the ministries etc have different names, but it sounds much like our own.
      Does the state run insurance differ between state to state? What I mean is: Do the individual regions (NSW for example) have and control over what those funds are used for? We do here.
      Each province tailors the plan to their needs and funds it with local taxes as well as federal grants etc.

      Still the question that begs answering is why are hormone treatments for ill people classified as contraceptive measures. That is but one function of the 'drug'. Again I point to my cannabis example.
      One use is serious and medicinal (of controversial) and the other is for fun.

      I think the problem could be solved if the hormones used for contraceptive purposes are categorized as such and the (same) ones used for truly medicinal purposes and to treat real disorders and illness get their own.
      That way people who want to engage in recreational sexual activity can do so without support and control that activity accordingly, and those that NEED this stuff to live a functional life can get the script they need with some help.
      Lumping it all together is obviously a political tactic and it hints at a much broader agenda.
      Obviously this is not a black and white issue, but BOTH sides of the debate seem to frame it that way.
      'All or nothing' when the middle road seem so bloody obvious to me.

      Delete
  15. "We'll stay out of your bedroom. "

    No you won't. You'll continue telling BILLIONS of people how they should and shouldn't behave in the bedroom - with whom they should have sex and how.

    And to pay for all your meddling in peoples' sex lives, you'll collect billions of dollars tax free.

    I'll tell you what - if churches will pay taxes like the rest of us, the rest of us will cover the condoms.

    Deal?

    But nobody believes you for a second when you say you'll stay out of our bedrooms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. Where do you live? The local parish priest comes over to your house and yells at you? Man, that's got to be some kind of crazy priest. Here where I live, it's pretty easy to avoid the guy.

      Delete
    2. @RickK:

      ["We'll stay out of your bedroom. "

      No you won't. You'll continue telling BILLIONS of people how they should and shouldn't behave in the bedroom - with whom they should have sex and how.]

      It's a free country, pal, and anyone can tell anyone else how they should live their lives. Free speech applies to churches too.

      I don't like force, which is what you do when you get the government to tax and regulate. Priests and faithful offering opinions about cultural issues is protected by our Constitution. Many of the federal governments acts-- such as the requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance, are obviously unconstitutional-- congress has no enumerated power to force individuals to buy health insurance. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterjreilly/2011/08/17/key-part-of-obamacare-unconstitutional-eleventh-circuit-rules/)

      [And to pay for all your meddling in peoples' sex lives, you'll collect billions of dollars tax free.]

      Government meddles, using force. The Church teaches, using no force. You can tell the Church to f*ck itself. I can't tell the IRS/Congress/Obamacare regulators to f*uck themselves.

      Delete
    3. You're right - raising a child from birth to believe she is a sinner and sex is something to be ashamed of, telling her that if she falls in love with the wrong person or does the wrong things, God will punish her for all eternity - is not using force. Excommunicating the mother of a 9-year-old girl for helping her daughter abort the pregnancy of her rapist, and then forgiving the rapist - this is just a way of sending a message and teaching a moral lesson - but it's not force.

      Sick and twisted, yes, meddling in what should be private, yes - but not force.

      Oh, and as far as I can tell, the Catholic Church does indeed tell the IRS to, as you put it with your characteristic class, go f*ck itself.

      Delete
    4. You are a sinner, RickK.
      So is she. So am I.
      We all have moral flaws. We are human.
      You will only feel consistent and lasting shame about that 'sin' if you think there is some road to being a better person and CHOOSE not to take it. If that is the case, you SHOULD be ashamed.
      Shamelessness is not a virtue. Quite the opposite.
      Examples?
      I am in a situation where I HAVE to steal food for my children, their is no other means.
      No great shame.

      I am in a situation where I can cheat on my wife with a pretty young thing and be pretty sure to NEVER get caught...so I do so REPEATEDLY.
      Great shame.
      Either way, I will feel it. I will know what I am doing is wrong and can seek a better way. I should seek a better path, if at all possible. If I don't? If I ignore my conscience?
      Then I should be ashamed.

      "Excommunicating the mother of a 9-year-old girl for helping her daughter abort the pregnancy of her rapist,"
      Killing is killing. The unborn child is not the rapist - it is a new life, and she is the mother.
      I am not so sure excommunication is the route to redemption, myself...
      and I must admit that I am not familiar with this incident.
      NINE years old and she conceived? WOW!


      "... and then forgiving the rapist - this is just a way of sending a message and teaching a moral lesson - but it's not force. "
      No. Force is force. This seems more (as you describe it) like exclusion from rituals of religion.


      "Sick and twisted, yes, meddling in what should be private, yes - but not force."
      Rape is sick and twisted. Killing unborn children for the sins of the parent is sick and twisted.
      Meddling? I am not sure what you mean. How did they know what she did, if it was 'private'.
      How did they know the child aborted and not miscarried? Private is private.

      "Oh, and as far as I can tell, the Catholic Church does indeed tell the IRS to, as you put it with your characteristic class, go f*ck itself."
      I am not sure about the USA but all charities, religious organizations, and schools are tax exempt here. Bahá'í or Baptist, Mormon or Muslim, Red Cross or Greenpeace - No different in that respect.
      The only way that gets 'stripped' is when those organizations are caught funding terror, crime, or ripping people off.
      Now, if an individual was to say they would not pay taxes as they disagree with something being PAID for by them: PRISON TIME.
      Unless I am mistaken about your tax exemptions state-side, I think that is what Mike means.

      Delete
  16. Michael,

    Golly... You're part of the reason why America has such a ramshackle health care system.

    Australia's system isn't perfect, but it's considerably better than America's, and manages to do it for 9.1% of GDP, compared to America' s 16%, which still doesn't manage to cover its entire population.

    Rick could tell the Catholic Church to go 'fuck itself', but then you'd just accuse him of being an antichristian bigot.

    You've got more power over Obama, Congress and the IRS than you do over the Catholic Church. At least you have a vote in a democracy. The Catholic Church is a totalitarian regime. Your only freedom is to leave. If you don't like the political system in America, you're perfectly free to emigrate. Your medical skills would make you a sought for acquisition by many countries.

    ReplyDelete
  17. @bach:

    [The Catholic Church is a totalitarian regime. ]

    Are you drunk? The Catholic Church has no police, no criminal courts, no jails. The worst thing the Church can do to an opponent is excommunication.

    There are real totalitarian regimes. The Catholic Church is the opposite-- she uses no force at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael,

      No, I'm not drunk. The Catholic Church is a totalitarian regime. It's 'obey or else'. The church used to have the power of physical force over its subjects and others. Nowadays, fortunately, it's only force is excommunication.

      It's totalitarian in that your only remedy is to leave it, just as you can flee, if you're lucky, any other totalitarian regime, and become a political refugee.

      Most Catholics quietly ignore the dogma of the church when it doesn't suit them. Oral contraceptives for one.

      The Vatican is a state. It was recognized as one by a fellow dictator, Mussolini.

      Let's go through the list of attributes of totalitarianism.

      Charisma of leader - high. Check.

      Role conception - leader as function. Check.

      Ends of power - public. Check.

      Corruption - low. Check.

      Official ideology - present. Check.

      Limited pluralism - no. Check.

      Legitimacy - yes. Check.

      Enough said?

      Delete
    2. You left out "use of force"-- the sine qua non of totalitarianism. No check.

      Would Hitler have been a totalitarian if the worst he ever did was tell folks "if you don't agree with me on a few specific issues, you can't share meals at Nazi party meetings!"?

      Delete
    3. Egnor: Are you drunk? The Catholic Church has no police, no criminal courts, no jails. The worst thing the Church can do to an opponent is excommunication.


      It hasn't always been his way. There was a time when the Church had all of that.

      Delete
    4. bach, I just went through your checklist and discovered that Arsenal is totalitarian. Curse that Robert Van Persie! He's as bad as Hitler!

      Delete
    5. Michael,

      My list of the features of totalitarianism were taken directly and in full from the table in the Wikipedia article you'd previously linked to, distinguishing totalitarianism and authoritarianism. Force, genocides and massacres weren't part of the features.

      It was a reference to your previous deluded hyperbole that atheist states exist, which they don't. Atheism doesn't have an ideology. To have totalitarianism you need an ideology.

      Delete
    6. @bach:

      You really need to think more deeply than Wikipedia. Totalitarianism presupposes government force. The Catholic Church is neither government nor force.

      Your unwillingness to even acknowledge the obvious atheist foundation for communism is pitiful.

      Delete
    7. @bach:

      SInce Wikipedia comprises such a big chunk of the way you understand the world, check out the Wikipedia article on "State Atheism".

      Delete
    8. It was a reference to your previous deluded hyperbole that atheist states exist, which they don't.

      Huh?

      Atheism doesn't have an ideology.

      Huh?

      bach, why do you come here and comment? Seriously, do you come here just to let us know you don't have anything to say? For someone whose defining characteristic doesn't seem to have had any impact on anything ever and removes all transcendent meaning from everything around us, you sure seem to spend a lot of time telling us benighted deists what a bunch of dopes we are.

      What's the point?

      Delete
    9. Cat, you don't seem to be able to distinguish between a worldview and an ideology, do you?

      Delete
    10. Michael,

      Golly, you are an idiot. You linked to the Wikipedia article, not I. I was just throwing back at you your reference.

      Delete
    11. That seems like discussing how many multiverses can dance on the head of a pin. I'll admit I'm not up on that. I do pretty good at distinguishing between end results, though. Atheism may have lots of wonderful characteristics, but it didn't seem to slow down the Khmer Rouge on their way to building mountainous pyramids of skulls. In fact, it was downright useless.

      Delete
    12. Well, then, maybe you shouldn't get into discussing a subject you do not comprehend.

      Delete
    13. Umm, but atheist states do exist. That is, states whose atheism is written right into their documents and is implemented in their behaviors. I understand that part real well, Professor Oleg, even though I ain't got much book larnin' on the subject.

      Delete
    14. That knowledge of yours is very impressive, Cat. (I might note parenthetically that atheism was not written into the Soviet constitution. Freedom of religion was. But I digress.)

      That vast body of knowledge notwithstanding, atheism is a worldview. Not an ideology.

      Delete
    15. Michael,

      My last reply seems to have disappeared into the aether. I cited the Wikipedia article because you'd previously linked to it. I never cite Wikipedia. You often link to Wikipedia articles when it serves your argument. I don't regard the Wikipedia to be always true.

      Delete
    16. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  18. Oleg,
    The Khmer Rouge was not a Soviet youth league.
    KT is referring to the Cambodian 'year zero'.
    That was, in part, driven by a 'world view' with an atheistic and subjective take on morality.
    Besides, I think it would be very easy to argue that the semantics make no difference to the conversation.
    If atheism is a complex multifaceted 'view' then it is merely a tool for broader ideologies.
    If it is a facet or central point of the offending ideology, why attempt to blur the issue by shifting it's definition today? Why not examine and correct?
    That very act of redefining comes of as very ideological in nature.
    I might add that silencing KT (or you) makes no difference.
    The deeds were done and the excuses (in this case Atheism and collectivism) made long before we began chatting about it.
    Redefining the wording and self declared motives of the killers NOW makes no difference to the dead or those left in the wake of these horrors.
    World view, ideology, or simple a negative/detracting position: No matter. The effect is the same.

    ReplyDelete