To try to get an understanding of how truly extreme the Manchin-Rubio bill is — which would allow employers to deny health insurance coverage for any procedure or benefit, for any reason — consider this scenario:
You’re a stay at home mom with three kids. Maybe your last pregnancy was difficult. Maybe not; maybe three kids is enough for you. Maybe you just want to give your body a break from the stresses of pregnancy and childbirth.
Your health insurance is through your husband. And your husband’s boss, unfortunately for you, is a conservative Christian who doesn’t believe birth control is God’s plan. So that coverage is not on your policy. And birth control pills are not cheap.
I guess your husband could find another job. But in this economy? And what if he likes his job? Making career decisions based on what kind of prescriptions are covered by the workplace insurance policy is ridiculous. I guess you could get divorced. Sounds extreme, but really: if you get pregnant, I’m sure it’s your own fault for having the misfortune to marry someone who would end up working for a conservative asshole.
The bottom line is, the decision is not yours. It’s not your family’s. In fact, it’s removed from your family completely. It’s already been decided and you had nothing to do with it.
Somehow this is Republican “freedom”: putting women under the thumb of their spouse’s employer. Freedom isn’t free; someone always has to pay. Of course that someone would be women.
This is awful to everyone, don’t get me wrong. But it’s especially insulting to women. Because it wasn’t too long ago that women weren’t allowed to do things like open bank accounts (or close them), apply for jobs, or, yes, get birth control without their husband’s permission. This wasn’t all that long ago; there are a lot of women walking around today who remember those days.
And now Republicans and that idiot Democrat Joe Manchin want to not only return to those days, they want to add a second layer of authority in there. Now we need to get our bosses or spouse’s bosses involved, too. In stuff that is none of their business.
But I’m being unfair. Because it’s so much worse! What if your husband is the one needing a healthcare service, say an expensive one like a mental health service or psychiatric drugs? Those are even more expensive than birth control. What if, God forbid, he’s bipolar? What if you are? What if it’s your teenage son? How much would it suck that your health insurance coverage is decided by a boss who is a devout Scientologist, someone who believes psychiatry is evil and thinks you can be cured by Niacin doses and a round in the sauna?
But it’s even worse than this. Maybe someone in your family needs arthroscopic surgery, but that’s not part of your insurance plan because the boss says it grosses him out. Hey, he or she has that right, according to this bill! They don’t even need to show a moral or religious objection. They could just decide something is icky. Tough noogies for you.
Republican freedom means your healthcare decisions are out of your hands. You either pay the exorbitant cost of a procedure not covered by your health plan, find a new job and suffer until your insurance benefits come in, or just do without. Can you feel the freedom just trickling down? This isn’t freedom; it’s serfdom.
Why is it okay with Republicans that someone other than you is allowed to make decisions about what treatments you can access? Weren’t they just lecturing us on how we don’t want bureaucrats coming between us and our doctors? We don’t want bureaucrats but we do want our employers? I don’t think so.
This is beyond horrible. That we’re being asked to turn healthcare decisions over to businesses who already have so much control over our daily lives is frightening. And frankly, I’ve had enough.
It’s time we stop the bullshit. No more private employer health insurance plans. It’s not a “benefit” if it doesn’t have the coverage we need, anyway. End it now. Everyone buys their health insurance plans directly. I’m sure employers would love not having to deal with this, and I don’t want some busybody boss telling me what coverage he or she deems it okay for me to have. It’s none of their fucking business.
This is insane, but it’s a special insanity rooted in the very ridiculous nature of our sucky healthcare delivery system. Private, for-profit health insurance plans offered through your employer. Now you know why we needed that public option, right? To get away from crazy crap like this? You know, as far as I’m concerned, a little socialism is a hell of a lot better than a big dose of fascism. Just sayin’.