The answer comes in two parts. First, because the law requires a woman to get a prescription before she can buy the pill, and it requires her to get an invasive and frequently unnecessary medical exam before she can acquire that prescription. Eliminate those controls, and insurance coverage would be beside the point; the pill would be cheaply available over the counter. Second, because changes to the tax code in the 1940s and ’50s have channeled us into a system where Americans overwhelmingly get their health insurance through their jobs. Eliminate those incentives, and far fewer people would be dependant on their employers for insurance at all, substantially reducing the relevance of the boss’s opinions about birth control.
It goes without saying that Barack Obama has displayed no interest in rolling back the FDA’s birth control rules. Nor has he moved away from the policies that push people into employer-based health coverage, or, more broadly, from a system where so many medical services are purchased via insurance in the first place. Indeed, his signature accomplishment is a law requiring people who don’t have health insurance to buy it.
If you can’t afford to buy it, you may qualify for financial assistance. That’s the Democratic Party’s promise: We won’t end the policies that empower big institutions and raise the cost of living, but when they send you the bill we might help you pay. You saw the same idea at work when various speakers this week invoked student loans: The Democrats will lend you money for college, but they’ll do nothing to end the legally enshrined credentialism that makes so many professions off-limits without a degree. And if those subsidies end up inflating the cost of tuition and health care even more…well, then the pols will just call for more subsidies.
More here, and it’s an excellent read, rightly skewering both sides for their variations on crony capitalism.