Human Exceptionalism

Obamacare: Forcing Private Health Insurance to Pay for Public Social Policy

I posted earlier about how the Obamacarians have now paid off political allies by forcing every  private health insurance policy to pay for a broad array of women’s  “reproductive” services–for free.  This is how banks are broken and healthcare becomes unaffordable.  And here’s the irony: The very Obamacarians who railed against “Cadillac” health insurance policies, are in the process of turning every policy into a Cadillac.  I mean, why women who make $200,000 per year should be able to access all of these services for free is beyond me.

But that’s not what I want to focus on.  In their zeal to lard out the goodies, Obamacarians are requiring health insurance companies to pay for public social policy, e.g., screening for domestic violence.  From a San Francisco Chronicle column by Ellen R. Shaffer: 

Domestic violence is a widespread, harmful and expensive public health issue. Public awareness campaigns, advocacy groups and laws offer support and a way out, but too many individuals remain isolated and stigmatized. Every year, 2 million women experience domestic violence, more than new cases of breast cancer or deaths from cardiovascular disease. More than three women a day are murdered by current or former husbands or boyfriends.  Homicide is the secondleading cause of injury-related death among pregnant women.  6.5 percent of California women report physical violence by a partner in the past year. 24 percent of U.S. women have experienced physical domestic abuse at some point in their lives. Domestic violence can include threats, isolation, humiliation, unwanted sexual activities and limiting access to financial resources.

Domestic violence is unquestionably a serious social problem, but that should be irrelevant to Obamacare regulations.  But because the government has seized control of the entire sector, we now see that anything that can possibly be construed as being in any way connected to wellness, being redefined in blatant term-inflation as “health care.”

We see this phenomenon in the column–because doctors sometimes spot the abuse, it should be construed as a health care issue:

Studies show that health care professionals can help to effectively break the cycle by bringing the problem to the surface and offering resources. In one study, women who talked to a health care provider about abuse were nearly four times more likely to use an intervention such as calling a support hotline. On follow-up, they reported fewer threats of violence and assaults. The majority ended their relationships with violent partners and did not re-enter an abusive relationship.

That doesn’t mean it is health care.

Funding domestic violence screening is properly defined as social policy.  One might even say it is laudable social policy.  That means, if screening is to be paid for, it should be on the public’s or charity’s dimes–not forced out of the purses of private insurance companies.

But with the government worse than broke, the Obama Administration apparently intends to use Obamacare as a club to force the private sector to pay for public services.  That is not only bureaucratic overreach–which won’t stop here–but it is a prescription for making the cost of health insurance unaffordable and/or bankrupting the health insurance industry.

Post Script: If Obamacare can force insurance to provide free reproductive services, why not also free dieticians for the overweight?  Heck, why not trainers to help people exercise?  It’s all related to healthcare!

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