Cutting through the birth control debate

While the Supreme Court wraps up its hearings on ObamaCare, the birth control debate rages on, especially on the letters pages of the Albuquerque Journal. I previously blogged about the issue here, but the controversial nature of the issue could be mitigated significantly if our health care system was not so poorly designed.

By accident, the US has a third party payment system that I have called the “original sin” of US health care. It resulted from wage and price controls during WW II and created a system under which patients are not in charge of purchasing their own health care and health insurance.

The fact that we don’t pay for our health care is the biggest single factor that has driven costs up over the last several decades. It has also led to the attitude that we should get things “for free” in health care (like birth control). However, I understand the frustration that proponents of birth control coverage have over the lack of control in choosing a health care plan that covers what they want. After all, the beneficiaries of “free” birth control are likely young people who hardly use other aspects of their health insurance plans…shouldn’t they get something?

Interestingly enough, the individual mandate in ObamaCare will only further pile the costs of health care on young, healthy people of both sexes. This will make the “benefit” of “free” birth control look trivial by comparison.