There’s no logical reason to expect consumers to be smart shoppers, after all, when they’re only responsible for directly paying just 11 cents for every $1 of health care they consume. And providers have little reason to be efficient when they know that consumers are largely insensitive to price.
Let’s now apply these insights to the political controversy over birth control. Except, as I explained in July, there is no fight over birth control.
As far as I’m aware, nobody is trying to ban birth control.The real fight is whether the government should mandate that health insurance plans include coverage for birth control and certain abortifacients.
Writing for Bloomberg, Megan McArdle explains that Obamacare’s birth control mandate is silly because a modest and routine expense shouldn’t be covered by insurance at all.
I am not very patient with the political fights over the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. …Generic birth-control pills are a cheap, regular expense used by many millions of people, exactly the sort of thing that insurance is not designed for. All this does is spread the cost around a bit while adding administrative overhead for your policy.
Moreover, the better policy is to allow birth control to be purchased without a prescription.In other words, address the issue by reducing government regulation rather than imposing a mandate!