18 Responses

  1. yes. they do.

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  2. Who has the healthier party?

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  3. Yet again, the actions that the state takes in prosecuting a crime are worse than the alleged crime itself.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/local/wp/2014/07/09/in-sexting-case-manassas-city-police-want-to-photograph-teen-in-sexually-explicit-manner-lawyers-say/?hpid=z2

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  4. Two good quotes from the NYT article on contraception costs:

    the evidence is thin that, from an insurer’s perspective, contraceptive coverage pays for itself in the long term. Moreover, it almost certainly does not in the short. The cost of contraceptive coverage is immediate, and the possible offsets (reduced pregnancies) are downstream, often years in the future.

    This is true of most preventative medicine. A lot of cost is spent shotgun style to avoid fairly uncommon or even rare extreme expenses. I always feel mixed schadenfreude when a couple goes for infertility treatments after years of being on birth control. That sure was a lot of wasted money.

    Additionally, contraception is not the same as contraceptive coverage. In part because it is so cost-effective, most people are willing to pay for contraception with their own money, if they can afford to. (Many Medicaid-eligible individuals perhaps cannot, but most employed people probably can.) Insurers benefit from this, because every pregnancy avoided is one less they have to pay for.

    Here we are on shaky ground. Individuals clearly see the cost-benefit value of contraception so they do buy it out of pocket. So when it comes to the total medical expense, insurance companies are getting the benefit of not having to pay for it but also reaping the deferred costs of unplanned pregnancies. The net cost benefit to the public, not the insurance company, is what should be examined.

    If one feels that the issue is important enough to be a Dollar One benefit, all contraception methods including condoms should be ‘free’. Condoms in particular are more effective at disease prevention although not quite as good at pregnancy avoidance, mostly because of user-error.

    I’ve always felt that fertility should be an opt-in system rather than opt-out. No couple (or individual) should be running the risk of an pregnancy unless they want one. Down this road lies semi-mandatory birth control which would require the destigmitizing of birth control for young minor women. This is a slippery slope which libertarians, religious conservatives and feminists all find problematic albeit for different reasons.

    I’ve long only slightly tongue-in-cheek advocated that it should be the norm for all women to get a Norplant implant on their fourteenth birthday. Make it a bat mitzvah style right of passage. I have to back away from it because it fails the gender reversal test. I would not advocate all boys getting reversible vasectomies once they start taking long showers But that is my personal prejudice.

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    • yello:

      The whole analysis derives from the typical misunderstanding of what insurance is supposed to be. Proper insurance would cover the cost of pregnancy only if the insured was already paying to take birth control, or, perhaps, would cover someone who did not agree to take birth control, but would charge them much more for the insurance coverage. My insurance company doesn’t pay for me to install an alarm system on my house, but if I do it myself, my insurance premium goes down.

      If one insists that “insurance” should pay for both pregnancies and for birth control, that what one wants is not “insurance”, but rather a medical pre-payment plan. And if one insists that individual insurance premiums should be unrelated to the cost of birth control or the likelihood of becoming pregnant, then what one actually wants is a welfare program.

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      • If one insists that “insurance” should pay for both pregnancies and for birth control, that what one wants is not “insurance”, but rather a medical pre-payment plan.

        I completely understand that position. That’s why I try to use the word “coverage” instead of “insurance” as much as possible even though the vernacular treats the latter as the former. Think of it as a gym. I’m paying for the treadmills even though I only use the ellipticals. But without the treadmills the gym would cost too much for people who only wanted ellipticals.

        And if one insists that individual insurance premiums should be unrelated to the cost of birth control or the likelihood of becoming pregnant, then what one actually wants is a welfare program.

        Masking the higher cost of health care of women versus men, and the cost of pregnancy and contraception do fall largely on women, is part of the structure of the ACA for better or for worse. Whether that is “fair” or not is a much broader issue.

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        • yello:

          Think of it as a gym.

          That is not a bad analogy. The difference is that no one is forced by law to join a gym, and no gym is forced by law to establish its membership fees in a specific way. If a gym wants to charge one amount for access to everything, while charging a lesser amount for access to only certain things, it can. And potential members can either join or not, as is their desire.

          (Although to be sure the very same warped logic that leads to ACA could easily be used to compel both gym memberships and mandate set fees, too.)

          Masking the higher cost of health care of women versus men, and the cost of pregnancy and contraception do fall largely on women…

          The fact that women are naturally subject to higher cost health care than men does not mean that the added cost falls largely on women. I live in a house with 4 women and their health care costs, which are indeed significantly more than mine, fall squarely on me. I daresay that the health care costs of most women are already being shared by men.

          …is part of the structure of the ACA for better or for worse.

          Yes it is, for worse. We should be objecting to it, not championing it.

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  5. mark,

    It has been long realized that the ‘sit in your seat, young man” attitude of school affects the learning capabilities of boys who are more kinetic than girls. That most elementary school teachers are women and therefore less appreciative of the need to move around only exacerbates the problem.

    It’s just another example of how the matriarchy holds us back.

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  6. I didn’t know people still believed this.

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