Friday, February 10, 2012

Contraception contretemps

It's been really interesting to see how many ways Obama's contraception modification has been framed today. The reactions have ranged from ha ha, Obama pawned the GOPers on this one to ZOMG Obama sold women out again. And that's just on the left.

I was most surprised by Charlie Pierce's reaction. He called it a graceful dive but I'm confused by his disdain for the terms of the compromise.
And what's to prevent the clever Catholic CEO of Greedy Bastard Health Insurance, LLC from deciding that he has an objection of conscience to providing contraception as part of his company's insurance plan.
As I understand it, the Republican's bill would allow that but unless the insurance company is run by a Catholic church, Obama's rules wouldn't. And then there was this bit.
(If there's one thing that insurance companies produce more of than profits for their executives, it's arcane reasons not to do something. And, as for the institutional Church, it has no earthly reason to accept this deal. It doesn't think anyone should use birth control for any reason ever. If it accepts the deal, by which it essentially farms out its conscience to insurance companies, it looks foolish. If it sticks to its guns and rejects the deal, what's the president going to do? Run against the Church? He pretty plainly doesn't have the stomach for that. The Clan is empowered again. The comeback from the conspiracy to obstruct justice of the crime of sexual assault is complete.
I get being pissed off that the same Church which covered up its ugly history of pedophilia gets away with hypocrisy in claiming moral grounds on contraception, or anything, but nothing about this rule prevents holding them to account for it in the future. And from where I sit, Obama took a pretty bold stand against allowing them to dictate health care choices for women. Furthermore, as Greg points out Obama reversed the dynamic in the debate. The so-called attack on religious liberty has been negated, leaving the Church and the GOP with the sole position of being against any reproductive health care at all. Not a popular stand.

As for the insurers, they save money by passing out birth control instead of paying for abortions and pregnancies. They'll still be scum sucking skimmers, but that would true in any case. It's who they are and what they do. Granted this isn't a glorious victory, but not seeing how this isn't a win for Team Obama and for women. It's certainly more than we had three weeks ago.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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