Published August 31, 2011
Recently, Kathleen's Sebelius' Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gave us a taste of things to come if ObamaCare survives its legal challenge and is implemented. New regulations require insurance companies to reimburse patients for birth control, including the controversial drug Ella, which is believed to induce abortions. Wait, isn’t federal funding of abortion against the law?
In addition to the nanny state requiring all of us to pay for birth control, regardless of conscience concerns, it mandated another very telling perk for working mothers — reimbursement for the breast pump. Really? Uncle Sam has the right to be so down in the weeds in health care plans as to mandate a breast pump which costs about $200 for the average consumer?
That means the insurance companies will get charged $400, and you and I will pay more in premiums. Does the government really need to be under our blouses?
TMI, I know, but I nursed two children. Breast feeding is believed to be the best option for babies and should be encouraged.
Do some women need formula as either a back up or plan B if a poor, exhausted mom can't nurse? Absolutely. But why should the government have a say in it? Why should a struggling single mom whose children are in middle school be forced to pay more for her family's health care in order to provide a female lawyer with a breast pump?
The answer is craven gender politics by a president who is obviously putting his re-election above common sense. Women voted for Obama overwhelmingly in 2008 but swung seven points to support Republicans in 2010. In fact, it was the first time in 30 years that women as a voting bloc supported Republicans.
The swing was in response to the many economic problems facing our country and the complete lack of leadership in the White House as to how to address them. So this administration believes the way to win back women’s hearts is through government handouts and not through systemic economic and financial reforms.
Back to breast pumps for a moment. Yes, they are necessary equipment for many moms, but the one-size-fits-all/government-knows-best approach is so telling. Wouldn’t it be better to encourage breast feeding by increasing the child tax credit so moms can keep more of their own money and decide what their kids really need?
Here’s where this gets a bit ominous. The upcoming Independent Payment Advisory Board — which is an unelected, unaccountable group of 15 bureaucrats — will indirectly get to decide whether or not the government will pay for Granny's hip replacement or other services for our seniors.
We were warned about this during the great 15-month debate over the health care bill, the bill that (Nancy Pelosi insisted) had to be passed so we could see what was in it. This is where the government, as is done in Great Britain and Canada, can pick health care winners and losers and ration care.
ObamaCare is going to be expensive and inefficient like every other Big Government program. Thomas Jefferson said: “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.”
Clearly, a government brazen enough to get involved in our most intimate mother-child relationship respects no boundaries in our lives. I'll say it: “Uncle Sam, get out of our blouses and off our backs.”
Penny Nance is CEO of Concerned Women for America.