As Beverly Mann points out, it's not even clear what the hell people are talking about when they jabber about how "we" are going to pay for Fluke's birth control. Mann writes:
"The government doesn’t pay student medical insurance premiums; the students do. Nor does the government pay the medical insurance premiums of employees at any of the other employers who will be obligated under the ACA to provide minimum healthcare benefits; the employer and the employee together do. That, of course, is what’s caused all the controversy about whether it violates freedom-of-religion guarantees of the government to require that the healthcare insurance that Catholic universities hospitals and charities provide their employees include contraception. If the government were paying these premiums, this controversy wouldn’t exist."
Fluke may never get what she wants. She did, after all, accept the offer from Georgetown with full knowledge of the terms of the health insurance. But I see nothing wrong with drawing attention to this, nor do I see anything wrong with trying to change Georgetown's mind over this. Any responsible employer or school providing group insurance ought to discuss these things with their employees or students. I'm sure readers who get their health insurance through employers or schools have experience with these sorts of internal discussions of coverage and contracts with insurance providers.
So what are Limbaugh and Boudreaux thinking exactly? I'm not sure... is it about a low income subsidy or something like that? I just don't know, and they apparently don't feel the need to elaborate.
This isn't a unique concern for Fluke at Georgetown. Kate got into her master's program at Georgetown in our senior year at William and Mary before I heard back from the Urban Institute, and the issue of whether she would have to get her insurance through Georgetown (and therefore loose coverage for contraception) came up. Fortunately, I did get a job with Urban and they provided great coverage and domestic partner coverage so Kate would be covered before we even got married. Not everyone was so lucky - we had a lot of friends who attended Georgetown because of the excellent education provided there, but who struggled on the health insurance front as a result.
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