9/23/14

Hobby Lobby Hysteria . . .

One of the benefits of taking the summer off from blogging (beyond not losing sleep over typos and grammatical errors) is that I was able to just experience some things without feeling like I needed to add my two rusty, oxidized pennies to the discussion. Another is that there were certain things that happened that I knew I would be able to use the 20-20 hindsight nature of waiting to discuss or opine on. That being said - I chose to smear Vasoline on my spectacles and to prattle on like no one was watching and I didn't need the money.

What should we discuss today? Those ass clowns at Hobby Lobby and the ass clowns that got upset over the religious values of a few dribbling its way in to the public consciousness. 

Do I agree with Hobby Lobby that they should be able to decide what medicine they do and do not cover on behalf of their employees? Nope. For the same reason that I resent that VERY FEW employers cover mental health as part of their standard insurance (and, let's be clear America there are a LOT more crazy people among us than those with fertile wombs). Do I believe that they should be forced to cover these medicines? Nope. Not so long as I need to max out my deductible to go see my counselor without, well, maxing out my deductible. Do I think this decision makes a difference. Nope. 

Now I know, I know . . . "But SEAN - this is a bunch of old, rich, white men deciding what can happen in MY body. That is not right." You're right - that position is not right.

The Hobby Lobby verdict, if you bothered to read beyond the headline, agreed that a privately-held corporation could exclude a handful (from a larger category) of medical offerings from coverage because they were thought to be used exclusively in preventing or terminating pregnancies. The pill your daughter takes for her acne vs. her sexual experimentation? Still covered. That drug that balances your midlife hormones and keeps your cycles normal? That will be a standard co-pay, Hot Flash McGee. Want to take a pill that ONLY serves to prevent or terminate pregnancy? You're S.O.L.

I know, I know. TOTALLY unfair. No. It is not. My mental health example above? Extend that on to surgeries like gastric bypass surgery or carpal tunnel procedures. Throw in smoking cessation pills, lozenges, and patches and add diabetic needs. Now pile on ad hoc screenings for breast and prostate cancer. For good measure, try to get your kid in to see an ear, nose, and throat (or ENT as the pros call 'em) specialist without the pink copy of a form filled out, in triplicate, by your PCP (or gatekeeper as the pros call 'em). What do all these things have in common? NONE OF THEM are covered by standard/basic insurance for many (30-ish percent) Americans. Yet every one of them is more dangerous to us as a collective than some unwanted pregnancies.

There was an article (the link is now broken) that was written using averages and statistics to figure out the real "impact" of the Hobby Lobby decision . . . it basically looked at how many women work at Hobby Lobby and how many are likely on the insurance the company offers and then used public health data percentages and statistics to extrapolate how common these medicines might have been and it speculated that exactly THIRTEEN women in the country (of the 165,000,000 they live among) were likely even impacted by this ruling - including four or five that likely found a dead end (no equivalent and covered medication) in this ruling. That is LESS people than have had their McDonald's drive-thru order screwed up since you started reading this (that is a real stat). More over the article suggested that MANY Hobby Lobby (no percentage was cited, to my memory) employees (men or women) agree with the company's religion-based business decisions for the company.

Still fired up?

Now I know, I know, I know. This Supreme Court decision is a gateway to chaos. The whole world is going to Heck because of this. Yep. Like Brown vs. BOE ended school segregation, Title IX made the world equal for the genders, and the recent gay marriage decisions made the whole country same-couple nuptial crazy. Heck all court decisions are immediate and eternal. Want me to go on?

Before you accuse me of being a conservative nut job who wants to invade your womb . . . a) I am a Liberal (big L for dramatic effect). b) I am pro-choice (in many cases and contexts) c) I have zero interest in your womb. NOTHING personal. d) I do not think that one's personal religious views should govern business policies unless you are in the business of religion or your business serves a religious function (Kosher Delis, Rosary manufacturers, etc.). e) I worry more about a million other things than if my employer is going to change their insurance policies because of this verdict.

Let's all relax. Let's take a pill (for anxiety vs. blocking pregnancy). Let's all just keep things in context. The sky is not falling. The world is still spinning. And there are still thousands and thousands of couples ready to adopt that unwanted baby and hundreds of medical professionals ready to terminate the pregnancy if you prefer - some of whom can get the procedure covered even under Hobby Lobby's insurance.

Seriously, though, what is UP with the people working the McDonald's drive-thru?