Sunday, March 04, 2012

Including Contraception in Health Insurance

Health Insurance regulation should not be a federal function. It would not be under the interstate commerce clause, because the original meaning of commerce included goods, not mere promises or financial transactions not include insurance. Accordingly, insurance should be regulated by the states, perhaps guided by the full faith and credit clause.

The supreme court precedent for an individual mandate is Korematsu vs US which required Mr. Korematsu, an American citizen of Japanese ancestry, to report to a concentration camp. I would hope and pray that the SCOTUS uses its review of health care legislation to overturn the shameful Korematsu vs. US. At least that precedent shows that the ability of the federal government to mandate individual behavior would end with all of us in concentration camps.

The federal requirement that health insurance include contraception violates some American's religious beliefs. I am sad to say for some in the current administration that is not a bug, but rather a feature. If the left can force the most righteous to commit a crime in their own eyes, then they are half way home. Still, all are sinners in the eyes of the divine, and we depend on the grace of the divine for our salvation.

Birth control pills cost perhaps 5$ a month. No one needs insurance for that. Insurance is needed to pool risk, taking money from many, and paying money out for for few who have a bad event (less the cut for administration). If routine costs are covered, there is no risk pool created, everyone has the perverse incentive to get as much care as possible, for money saved is an opportunity for benefit that has been missed.

I have a religious objection to paying more for insurance than needed. I prefer to spend money on myself and my family, or on the needy. I want a high deductible, and low rates, just like my car insurance- I don't have insurance that covers gas, or oil changes. I want insurance that protects me from risk of an expensive accident (a rare event) that could cost a lot of money. Routing money through the insurance company doesn't multiply the amount of money available- and is logically reduces the amount of money because the insurance companies need to pay for their administration and profit. Let me pay for gas and oil changes, let me pay for tires and the occasional windshield replacement. Let them take their legitimate cut out of the risk pool money. Let the market help set that price level.

Where insurance pays for contraception, then there is no advantage to those who are moral, and don't need it, or for those who are old, and don't need it, or those who have resolved such matters years ago. They are not part of the risk pool, and should not pay for others risk who are in that group. The market can provide alternative plans for people who don't want certain services. The federal government has no legal authority to interfere, and no moral authority to set perverse incentives that encourage bad behavior.