With several lawsuits challenging the mandate stalled awaiting the White House’s clarification of how they’ll apply a contraception coverage mandate to faith-based employers, the Obama administration announced today a “compromise” which doesn’t really seem like a compromise at all.
In fact, it kind of seems like President Obama thinks we’re stupid.
Under this proposal, objecting nonprofits will be allowed to offer employees a plan that does not cover contraceptives. Their health insurer will then automatically enroll employees in a separate individual policy, which only covers contraceptives, at no cost. This policy would stand apart from the employer’s larger benefit package.
The faith-based employer would not “have to contract, arrange, pay or refer for any contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds.”
“Is it really credible that health insurers won’t simply boost the prices of their non-contraceptive policies to cover the “no-cost” contraception coverage?” asks Reason’s Ronald Bailey.
Well, no, it’s not credible at all. Insurance companies aren’t really going to provide this coverage for free. They’re going to build the cost of providing the coverage into the cost of the policies employers must buy (making those policies more expensive, another reason why the “Affordable Care Act” makes insurance less affordable). This isn’t a compromise, it’s a bait and switch.
The Obama administration is rolling the dice on the courts falling for this ruse, and maybe they will, but consider this: We now have the government ordering private businesses to provide services for free.
But remember, this