Real money and imaginary money look nothing alike when it comes to Arizona health insurance and the benefits that must be covered by federal mandate. Take birth control medication as an example. The general argument for, “free,” contraception is that insurers will save money by not having to pay for the birth of a child. What many forget is that health insurance companies in Arizona and elsewhere must balance their books at the end of the year. Contraception medication and surgeries cost real money, unknown future maternity costs are a big fat zero on the balance sheet.
Forcing Arizona health insurance companies to cover the pill and abortifacients under their preventive medicine benefits opens the door to other, or all, medications needing to be provided at no cost to the policyholder. Of course there is a cost, maybe not in co-pays, but certainly in premiums. It is a classic case of where does it end?
There is nothing free about having to pay the up front costs of the pill and other medications by Arizona health insurance companies, especially considering the cost of sterilization operations. “Revenue neutral,” does not mean it’s free, there is still the cost of paying the doctor for the prescription, the pharmacy for providing it, and the drug maker for manufacturing it. Health insurance companies cannot promise to pay these costs with imaginary future savings. What they can do, and will, is raise premiums to pay these up front costs.
Many large employers in Arizona are self insured, hiring health insurance companies such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona as their Third Party Administrator. These large employers will assume the total cost of this mandate, and it is unlikely they will see a penny in savings down the road. With employee turnover what it is, and a 25 year window to have a baby on average, the possibility of the employer to save premium down the road goes out the other window.
The White House just announced, through their budget recently released, that the cost of giving money to, “middle class,” Americans to buy health insurance went up 30%! Instead of $367,000,000,000 it will now cost $478,000,000,000. Worse yet, the program hasn’t even started yet. Come 2014 when the health insurance exchanges open for business, no one should be surprised to see these figures continue their upward climb. Even before the law was passed many Republicans pointed out studies that showed the true cost of this free money, doubling the administration’s figures.
So why such a huge increase in cost, which of course will raise future health insurance premiums that much higher? According to the Obama administration the majority of the increase is due to, “newly signed legislation,” and, “technical changes in Treasury assumptions.” What? Huh? Really? These assumption changes are going to raise everyone’s collective health insurance premium by $111,000,000,000, the least they could do is speak English when telling such lies about the real cost of medical insurance.
We are not to worry though, President Obama states that we will still save money overall once everything is in place. Miraculously we are going to save money on health insurance by spending a lot more money. Where have I heard this before? Oh yea, unemployment insurance payments are good for the economy, abortion pills save health insurance companies money, billion dollar stimulus spending sprees create lot’s of jobs, and the list goes on.
Arizona health insurance companies, and all health insurers throughout the USA, must now cover contraception medication under the free preventive services section included in health insurance policies. As we are all aware by now, many religious organizations disagree with this new mandate, some suggesting that it will actually force them to stop offering health insurance to their employees, or worse yet, force them to close their doors.
The argument for mandated contraception coverage, and especially emergency contraception pills such as Ella, (a pill causing the abortion of the baby, a.k.a. the, “Morning After Pill,”) goes something like this… if everyone has access to, “free,” contraception medication, the need for abortions will decrease, something we can all agree is a good thing. Planned Parenthood and others also say that Arizona health insurance companies will ultimately save money by not having to pay for unwanted pregnancies, the cost of delivering a baby much more than a few pills.
These arguments for mandated contraception coverage by health insurance companies in Arizona and elsewhere make complete sense. There’s just one problem though… well, actually, there’s twenty-three problems. Twenty-three separate studies, many conducted by supporters of such coverage by Arizona health insurance companies, concluded that there is no direct correlation between increased access to emergency contraception medication and a reduction in unwanted pregnancies or abortions.
Enter the, “Reproductive Parity Act,” recently passed by a Washington state board, a first in the country. The law basically forces health insurance companies doing business in that state to cover abortions at ANY point in a pregnancy. The Huffington Post, Planned Parenthood, and others have called this new law, “ground breaking.” I’ll say. Somehow we have gotten to the point where killing is the equivalent to healing. If you are a health insurance company in Washington you are now to treat abortion the same way as the birth of a child. Up is down, and down is up it seems.
The majority of Americans believe in the right to life, are against abortions, and certainly don’t want to be forced to pay for them, or added as one more federal mandate on their health insurance policy. Yet here we are, the beginning push toward the right to end an innocent life hours before birth.