Monday, March 5, 2012

The left hasn't won its war against religious liberty (but by thus framing the issue, the right is losing the battle).

By framing the ObamaCare contraception mandate as an issue of of religious liberty, conservatives have played right into their antagonists' eager phalanges: the young,  liberated, free-thinking modern women vs. dried-out, repressed old males (and likely deviants)  imposing a Taliban-like moral code on the 99%. Yes, google "war on women":  It yields, among the 1st ten of 1.2 million results, 4 or 5 variations of "The Republican party declares war on women" (The Guardian); "Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP's War on Women" (;  "A War on Women?" (asks The New York times in I guess a genuflection to impartiality); a slightly more leading question in Politico's "Has the 'war on women' gone too far?" and my favorite, The Daily Kos' entry, "This week in the War on Women: Sluts unite!" Yee Ha. Oh, and don't forget the catchphrase's eponymous digital base where one is exhorted to "tell Republicans no!" and prevent us from "moving right back to the dark ages under this congress."  (In something of a tabloid or Cosmo mag style section called "Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP's War on Women", the reader is informed about "Republican"proposals such as "a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care"  and apprised that "Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids" as well as the real shocker: the hypocrite repub (Dan Burton) "who has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses" while having the cajones to [push] "to eliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program")

Somehow, I think, we've lost command of the conversation.  The focus must be economic commonsense only, and leave the squishy sexuality and ethics questions for another day. Ms. Flukes's  $3000 pill bill, versus $324 the generic pharmacy value was not "misleading", nor was it "a lie" , but an unintended perhaps gaffe revealing the ObamaCare bottom line compared to the direct cost.
Think of two fictional women, Sue and Alice. They each need birth control pills. They are both employed making $60,000 per year. Sue calls her doctor and makes an appointment for some weeks hence. She pays a $20 copay and the MD prescribes a months supply with 11 refills. She bills the insurance company and Sue visits the pharmacy where the pharmacist fills the Rx for zero cost to Sue and his ass't bills the insurance company. The insurance company processes the bills. The total tab? $24.99/month is billed to the provider.
Alice simply goes to the druggist, consults with the pharmacist or nurse practitioner and buys over-the-counter birth control pills and pays cash. $9.00 for a month's supply.

Am I missing something?