Recent, dominate headlines feature Limbaugh's very crude remarks re: Fluke, Georgetown law student.
His comments were TOTALLY uncalled for and were reprehensible. But, his comments paled to those made by Bill Maher, who contributed $1M to Obama's campaign, against Sara Palin, for example, and paled compared to many, many other liberal "news people's" comments against Palin, Bachmann, H. Clinton, and others.
These went unreported by the main media outlets. ALL such comments are reprehensible. But, it's important to realize there is a remarkable "double standard" in play here. Defenders of this "double standard" claim that what was said against the above list of people was OK because they are "public" figures and Fluke was a "private citizen". Or, as in the case of Maher, "he is just a comedian". Hey, rude and offensive is rude and offensive - no matter the "target" or the source.
Now, as a "backdrop" to the intended (and the resulting offensive) humor of Limbaugh:
Her statement of the $3k (i.e., $1k per year) cost for contraception was "analyzed" by more than just Limbaugh. If the contraception was for the use of condoms (she did not specify which type of contraception), then the costs she referenced would be sufficient to have protected sex 3 times per night - every night for 3 years. (A bit more sex than most of us are used to - at least for me, anyway.)
That was what the "joke" was about.
Further, as it is assumed that she was really referencing birth control pills and not condoms, "the pill" may be purchased from Walmart for $9 per month ($108 per year) - not nearly the $1k per year cited.
And, what REALLY prompted the ill advised and poor attempt at humor was her admitting knowledge that the university DID cover contraceptive meds for other than reproduction prevention. Hence, she was asking that pregnancy prevention be given her for free - OR, she was asking the taxpayer to pay for her to have sex without risk.
(See item #4 below, as well.)
A different way to look at this:
Assuming her specified contraception costs are accurate (though, in fact, much exaggerated - see above), then if contraception was covered by the university's insurance, why wouldn't the premiums go up $1k per year? If the premiums are less than that then someone else is paying for the difference. This is somewhat different than a person paying for insurance for many years and not using it except for rare occasions.
The cost of whatever illness befalls them is being shared by:
a) the person's prior, unused payments, and
b) by others "waiting to need it". The costs of contraception is an ongoing thing throughout a woman's "child bearing years".
There is no way for an insurance company to recoup its costs except through higher premiums and/OR someone else chipping in for the coverage expenses. Does the government have the right to dictate what must be provided by private companies - free or not?
Per our Constitution it does not.
Also, Georgetown costs $20k+ per SEMESTER. Her stated contraception costs should not be a large burden, as she claimed, if one can afford Georgetown. The amount she stated as her contraception costs represent only less than 2% of her tuition, not including all the other costs associated with going there. The burdensome cost impact on her did not seem to be all THAT burdensome to those critical of her testimony - especially when one considers that rational expenditures would be less than .02 % of her tuition costs.
Some issues to consider:
1. Apparently, she decided to attend Georgetown SPECIFICALLY to confront the university with the issue of contraception coverage there; she knew prior to attending exactly what the insurance coverage was - NOT, that she attended the university and THEN found out that the university didn't cover contraception.
She is a well known political activist for women's issues covering a broad range of issues. And, there is definitely nothing wrong with being that. However, the media has portrayed her as a poor, struggling student trying to make ends meet. Clearly, an over exaggerated view of the woman. Being a very known and active "activist" may give rise to an answer
to the next point.
2. Consider that she was the ONLY one called to testify before Pelosi's commission. Why? First, she approached the "real" hearing on the contraception subject and was denied due to not having any "credentials" on the subject. Then, Pelosi set up a separate hearing JUST to allow her to testify.
Consider, the possibility that with all the important issues facing the country, a diversion was considered necessary for the liberal side of the political spectrum.
Such a "testimony", obviously, would be inflammatory to the Catholic Church and to conservatives. Makes for really "hot" news; thus, creating a diversion to the economy, high gas prices, the rising national debt, etc. And, with all the media attention to this, the ploy seemed to have worked.
Why only one person to testify? The more people that testify the more diverse the discussion; with perhaps opinions being brought forward that do not adhere to Pelosi's (or the administrationís) agenda.
3. A well know and documented fact that seemed to have eluded Ms. Fluke is that the univeristy's health care does, in fact, cover the use of contraceptive meds for other than pure avoidance of pregnancy. She did note this is passing but went on the say that a friend was denied such coverage. Which makes no sense - if the coverage is there, it's there.
4. The fact is the issue has nothing to do with the right to contraception. It has to do with who pays for it and the authority to demand who pays for it.
Consider, why should I pay for your contraception needs? And, why should you pay for mine? If insurance companies are "forced" by the government to provide contraception for "free", do you think they will actually do it? They will "bury" the increased costs across all those insured. They are in the business of making money.
A point has been made stating that with increased use of contraception insurance companies would actually benefit. This is because contraception costs far less than medical issues arising from pre-natal care, birth, and after birth needs. Then consider, any insurance company, which is in the business of making money after all, would and could figure this out. Thus, they would offer contraception for no additional cost as a cost avoidance / profit enhancing move. So, why haven't they? If just one insurance company did this, competition would drive the others to follow suit. So, again, what haven't they?
Consider further, the 10th Amendment to our Constitution actually prohibits the government from making laws/rules on anything not specifically stated in that document. There are NO provisions in the Constitution that permit the government to make such laws / rulings that govern health/contraception issues. One may believe that it SHOULD; but it doesn't.
Or, for that matter, there is nothing in the Constitution that allows the government to dictate to a private company or companies what they must or must not provide for 'free".
Again, one may believe that it SHOULD; but it doesn't.
So, the correct, legal approach is to change the Constitution by amendment - not to just ignore it; it is the law of our country.
I hear much about the president's "edict" being against the First Amendment's passage on religion - specifically the phrase "..or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...". While it correctly may be argued this is a valid criticism, the real issue is a violation of the 10th Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The president has exercised authority not afforded him by our Constitution.
10th Amendment adherence is the REAL issue here. Anything else is just "smoke" - liberal or conservative, pro or con.