April Freeman Banner 2014

ANYTHING PEACEFUL

The "Accommodation" that Changes Nothing

MAY 22, 2012 by SHELDON RICHMAN

Catholic institutions sue Obama over birth control mandate –USA Today

But what about the “accommodation” President Obama has put forth? You judge:

Scenario: A woman who works for a Catholic hospital walks into a pharmacy and fills her birth-control prescription. The pharmacy files the claim with her employer’s insurance company. The insurance company pays the pharmacy.

Question: Is this a description of a transaction taking place before or after Obama’s “accommodation” to the Catholic objection to being forced to pay for contraception?

Answer: There’s no way to tell.

Possible objection: But won’t the hospital’s premiums be lower after the accommodation since it won’t be paying for contraception coverage?

Answer: Not if the Department of Health and Human Services is right. HHS says paying for contraception coverage offsets the cost of medical expenses associated with having children. Therefore there is no reason to expect a post-accommodation fall in premiums for Catholic institutions.

Bottom line: If in principle one cannot distinguish a pre-accommodation from a post-accommodation transaction, there is no accommodation at all. The grand compromise is a sham.

Hat tip: Mario Rizzo

ABOUT

SHELDON RICHMAN

Sheldon Richman is the former editor of The Freeman and TheFreemanOnline.org, and a contributor to The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. He is the author of Separating School and State: How to Liberate America's Families.

comments powered by Disqus

EMAIL UPDATES

* indicates required
Sign me up for...

CURRENT ISSUE

April 2014

Around the world, people are struggling to throw off authoritarianism, with deeply mixed results. From Egypt to Venezuela, determined people build networks to overthrow their regimes, but as yet we have not learned to live without Leviathan. In this issue, Michael Malice and Gary Dudney discuss their glimpses inside totalitarian regimes, while Sarah Skwire and Michael Nolan look at how totalitarian regimes grind down the individual--and how individuals fight back. Plus, Jeffrey Tucker identifies a strain in libertarianism that, left unchecked, could reduce even our vibrant movement to something that is analogous to the grim aesthetic of architectural brutalism. The struggle for our lives and freedom is a struggle for beauty; it begins inside each of us.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION