Thursday, March 15, 2012

HealthCare & Contraception

What is the role of government when it comes to requirements for healthcare insurance? Virtually every state has an insurance commission and an insurance commissioner. Together, the commissioner and commission determine minimum coverage requirements for insurance companies. States require insurance companies to cover expenses related to various illnesses as well as coverage for proven actions to prevent illness. States already require various inoculations for children entering public schools. 28 states require healthcare to provide contraception as part of the coverage for women’s healthcare. In 1998, the first state mandated this requirement and as of 2008, before President Obama was inaugurated, 27 other states had this mandate a requirement for healthcare insurance sold in their state. The law termed Obamacare was not created without looking at what was accepted practices throughout the country. The mandate that every person have healthcare insurance, first proposed by Nixon, was a Republican “must-have” originally made part of Obamacare at the insistence of a Republican Senator (Grassley). In spite of the origination on the part of republicans and in spite of the inclusion in the Massachusetts plan implemented by then Governor Romney, the mandate has become an anti-Obama issue. When the hypocrisy of that part of Obama care seemed to lose traction with voters, it was time to resurrect some other reason to rally anti-Obama voting sentiment thus was born the contraceptive issue. Failing to consider this was already a requirement in 28 states and failing to consider that this is really an employer/employee issue, republicans did everything possible to again try to raise the hackles of voters. Government has a role in determining minimum coverage for healthcare insurance otherwise insurance companies will fail to provide coverage for some policyholders. This is particularly true when it comes to employer provided healthcare otherwise, the employer in collusion with insurance companies will find ways to shortchange employees. Just as an employer is required to pay part of the payroll tax for FICA or Medicare, if an employer provides healthcare insurance there are minimum coverages.