Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Arizona: Bringing the Crazy Since 1925

My former state of residence has added its own piece of chipotle-flavored gristle to the national stew of gynophobia with this proposed legislation, forcing women of "religious" employers to submit evidence from a doctor that any prescription contraceptive for which they want insurance coverage is being used for reasons other than birth control. Because God hates birth control, but he's willing to give women a pass if they need the pill to ease cramps, or whatever.

The blog post linked to, above, is not partisan hysteria. Here's a summary of the legislation, straight from the Arizona House of Representatives. It is what it is.

Look, I'm all for religious freedom. I'm all for freedom of conscience. People who truly believe that abortion is repellent shouldn't have to pay for other people to have it. People who believe in sin, and believe that contraception qualifies as a sin, shoulnd't have to provide it as an employment benefit.

But why is that the extent of the discussion, these days?  Why is it all about the choice between A) Force employers to pay for procedures and drugs they find morally offensive vs. B) Force women to pay for expensive drugs and procedures without the help of insurance? The real question is: why are we putting women and their employers in this position in the first place?

Why should it be any business of an employer how or to what extent a woman engages in family planning? Why should women have to go to their bosses, hat in hand, to beg for some kind of coverage. The whole thing is evil, and it doesn't seve either side of the equation well. I'm amazed that religious employers aren't pointing out that they shouldn't be put in this position at all.

The real problem here is our country's Fear of National Health Care. Employers should not be in the business of making medical decisions on behalf of their employees, but they shoudln't have to be in the business of covering their health care at all. It's none of their business, and it's an enormous expense and pain in the ass for them. Take it off their plates. Especially in this day and age when people change jobs and careers multiple times, why should a person's access to health care have change over and over again, purely dependent on what job she has. It's absurd on its face.

Why won't any of our Brave Leader and Statesmen talk about that?

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