ObamaCare and Women: A Symbiotic or Sybaritic Relationship?
ObamaCare (officially the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) has been touted as a boon to women. Making oral contraceptives, surgical sterilization and abortion-on-demand available to women is supposed to boost their well-being.
It is presumptuous to assume these are the most important items all women want covered by their health care plans. Of course, Democrats who voted to pass ObamaCare (there were no Republican votes for this legislation) are all for handing women the means to consequence-free sex. This is the sybaritic relationship - ObamaCare enables women to devote themselves to the pleasures of sex without worrying about how to pay for its consequences.
ObamaCare also has a symbiotic relationship with women - it pays for women's birth control and abortions and women, in turn, support keeping it in place. This is not to say all women support ObamaCare. The women of Concerned Women for America recognize how destructive this law is and are working and praying for it to be repealed. It does appear, though, that liberal women support keeping the law in place.
However, for those women who support ObamaCare, it may come as a surprise that buried in its 2,000-plus pages are many critical aspects of health care that they stand to lose because of the law. ObamaCare puts into place several boards that will make universal decisions about what insurance providers must cover. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is one such board, and so far, they do not recommend the following (which means they won't be mandated under ObamaCare):
- Chlamydia screening in most women over 25
- Cervical-cancer screening in those over 65
- Breast-cancer screening using digital mammography or MRI instead of the traditional plain film
- Screening for ovarian cancer and the genes that raise a women's risk of breast cancer
- Clinical breast exams in women older than 40
- Having a doctor teach women how to do a breast self-exam is unlikely to be covered
So, none of the above-mentioned critical screening tests is as important to the Obama Administration and its female fans as free birth control and abortions.
Further, ObamaCare is going to increase the Medicaid rolls by 11-17 million people, mostly men, which will further erode the already poor care women receive through Medicaid. In 2008, three-fifths of Medicaid patients were women. State governments are cutting funding to Medicaid because their revenues cannot keep up with the costs of the program. Translation: ObamaCare will worsen care for the women on Medicaid. This is what happens when the government tries to control costs instead of letting the free market dictate prices based upon competition and consumer choice. The changes are particularly egregious because they are being touted as female-friendly when, in fact, they curb programs targeted to women.
On top of decreasing coverage for important tests and preventive care and further marginalizing poor women on Medicaid, ObamaCare will raise taxes on women. You will pay more for less.
According to Grover Nordquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, here are five new taxes that will burden women through ObamaCare.
- The excise tax for failing to comply with the ObamaCare mandate to purchase "qualifying health insurance." Women may not be able to keep the plan they have and like because it no longer qualifies, which means they may lose their doctors, too.
- A 40-percent excise tax on "Cadillac" health care plans, which is a high-cost plan that consumers choose to buy because they need more care due to chronic health conditions or growing familie
- The "medicine-cabinet tax" began in 2011 and disallowed people from purchasing non-prescription, over-the-counter medications with their flex-spending or health savings account dollars. Moms buying cold medicine at the local pharmacy for their sick families will notice the difference this change makes.
- The amount allowed for pre-tax dollar contributions to flex-spending accounts will be capped at $2,500 beginning in 2013. Families with special needs children will be especially penalized by this ObamaCare tax.
- For those women who wish to have a sun-kissed glow year-round, acquired at a tanning salon, there will now be a 10 percent excise tax on that, too. Women are the majority of tanning salon owners, so when their business drops because of this new tax they will suffer, too.
To recap, ObamaCare will have detrimental effects on women's health, their relationships with their doctors, and their pocketbooks. Their health care will cost more and provide less coverage. Even health screenings for major health risks unique to women have been cut from ObamaCare.
But the Democrats made sure women would have birth control and abortion coverage.
Is the deal worth it, ladies?
Brenda Zurita is Research Fellow for Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute.
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