WASHINGTON, November 4, 2017 — Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, requires all new private healthcare insurance plans to fully cover the cost of contraception coverage. But some religious groups did not want to pay for their employees’ birth control (BC).
The compromise was that religious employers could opt out of paying for BC coverage, but women could still apply for the benefit directly from the insurance company.
Last month, President Trump reversed the ACA birth control requirement.
Because of this roll-back, the “opt-out” by an employer is no longer limited to religious employers, meaning now, any employer can choose to not offer BC coverage at no cost to their employees. Despite being federally funded by tax dollars, Planned Parenthood does not provide free birth control pills or exams. They object to the reversal, saying that birth control can cost from zero to $90 per month.
The Week reports that monthly generic BC is $9 per month.
Some feel that removing this insurance mandate will leave women subject to large increases in their insurance costs. In attempting to justify this move, Trump offered that “moral” objections were the same as religious ones. But neither are based in law.
Which leads to the question: As Planned Parenthood demands federal funding to provide health care to women, why can’t they make sure birth control is made available to those who cannot afford it or whose insurance does not cover it?
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act allows for discontinuing birth control benefits.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act allows for religious exceptions to certain laws, within limits. The Act does not provide for “conscience” or “moral” objections. This new rule, some allege, places a boss’s beliefs over a woman’s health and says to employers “we’ve got your back if you want to discriminate.”
Even worse, the new rule, beyond allowing an employer to refuse to pay for this coverage, allows insurers who simply claim they object on moral grounds to cut the coverage in the plans they sell.
Let’s say that again: Insurers can decide not to offer coverage for birth control pills. Such a decision could create an extraordinary access gap in many areas of the country. Which again, Planned Parenthood could fill.
Historically, many men are asses.
There are hundreds of theories about why men oppress women. Most agree that the early cave-era activities of men as the hunters and women as the gatherers and workers in the home, including child-rearing, cooking, and cleaning, are the early roots of this oppression.
Men became the ones to use weapons, capture and breed animals, and accumulate property.
The “rush” from these activities became infectious and was only done by men, because women were consumed in the day-to-day activity of being involved in the home. Accumulating “more” set the tone to sublimate others.
The theory that men try to dominate women just because men are physically stronger is undermined by history and in fact. Men became powerful because they were out of the home dealing with others, protecting their property and learning how to take advantage, while women were tied to the home. Women supported their men in this division of labor.
And for what it is worth, women are physically tougher and more pain resistant than men: ask any woman who has delivered a child.
Throughout history men oppressed women.
In Europe, the Middle East and Asia, women had little influence over the political, religious and cultural lives of their societies. They usually couldn’t own property or inherit land or wealth, and they were frequently treated as property themselves.
The punishment for rape was the handing over of the rapist’s wife to the husband of his victim in Assyria.
In the cultures of India and China, when a husband died, wives either committed suicide or they were put to death, often by being buried or cremated with their husbands.
In ancient Greece, the birthplace of Western democracy, women were not allowed to leave their homes without their husbands or a male relative.
Some cultures still approve of a man beating his wife if she refuses sex or will stone a women who is raped.
Even today there are places like Saudi Arabia, where women completely cover themselves if they go out in public.
In the United States, there was a time when women were not able to vote.
Then they were not able to serve in the military. The disparity between men and women today in the United States remains in numerous arenas. Equal pay for equal work is a joke. Advancement in the workplace favors men significantly. The business world uses women as sex objects in advertising. And on and on.
Even in the criminal arena women are punished more harshly. Punishment for crime, one sex against the other, weighs violently in favor of men. If a woman did to Ray Rice what he did to his then fiancé, the woman would have been in jail.
So we come to the end of 2017 where many very powerful and well-known men are being called out for their past acts of physical and sexual assault, violence, intimidation, and pressure against women, and despite the appearance of societal outrage, men continue to oppress women.
This latest act by Trump is discrimination at its finest, despite his shallow explanation that moral objections are important.
Discrimination is an insidious form of oppression.
It is estimated that 55 million women were helped by the ACA rule requiring insurance coverage for birth control pills. Taking away this insurance coverage is not just discriminatory, it is oppressive. Recall Fred coming home, shouting “Wilma,” giving her a turtle and telling her to make soup.
Barney was raising his son right: Bam! Bam!
The outrageousness of reversing the Birth Control policy is even more worrisome because of its ignorance.
Women use birth control pills for more than just birth control. Birth control pills reduce menstrual pain, regulate menstrual cycles and fight chronic acne. They reduce the rate of abortion. Another lesser but highly important use of these pills is to control cysts that develop in the ovaries, which fill with blood. If the ovaries explode, that can lead to death.
The birth control pills are a necessary medication for millions of women.
Lawsuits filed over Birth Control reversal
Lawsuits have been filed by numerous states and organizations against the Trump administration. The ACLU and state attorneys general are behind these suits.
Other groups, representative of the diversity of those in opposition to this rule change, are The Center For Reproductive Rights, Yale Law School students, students at Notre Dame University, the National Women’s Law Center, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Planned Parenthood. The lawsuits and the press from all opposition corners all cite several reasons for their opposition, including discrimination, preventing women from being able to get “essential care,” the illegal separation of church and state, Trump’s procedural violation of the required procedures for releasing rules, and prior Supreme Court decisions addressing the ACA contraception mandate.
Two things are certain. Regardless of the outcome of these lawsuits, women will persevere. They are stronger.
Paul A. Samakow is an attorney licensed in Maryland and Virginia, and has been practicing since 1980. He represents injury victims and routinely battles insurance companies and big businesses that will not accept full responsibility for the harms and losses they cause. He can be reached at any time by calling 1-866-SAMAKOW (1-866-726-2569), via email, or through his website.
His book “The 8 Critical Things Your Auto Accident Attorney Won’t Tell You” can be instantly downloaded, for free, on his website: http://www.samakowlaw.com/book.
Samakow has now also started a small business consulting firm. The website for this business is brand new and Mr. Samakow will be most appreciative of any and all comments. www.thebusinessanswer.com.