I heard about this today on the radio as I drove to class. At first I thought it was another parody. I was wrong, via Craig Bannister at CNS News:
A Georgetown co-ed told Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s hearing that the women in her law school program are having so much sex that they’re going broke, so you and I should pay for their birth control.
Speaking at a hearing held by Pelosi to tout Pres. Obama’s mandate that virtually every health insurance plan cover the full cost of contraception and abortion-inducing products, Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke said that it’s too expensive to have sex in law school without mandated insurance coverage.
Apparently, four out of every ten co-eds are having so much sex that it’s hard to make ends meet if they have to pay for their own contraception, Fluke’s research shows.
"Forty percent of the female students at Georgetown Law reported to us that they struggled financially as a result of this policy (Georgetown student insurance not covering contraception), Fluke reported.
It costs a female student $3,000 to have protected sex over the course of her three-year stint in law school, according to her calculations.
"Without insurance coverage, contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school," Fluke told the hearing.
Awww. My heart’s all broken up over these poor, disadvantaged (but soon to be very wealthy) Georgetown Law School students. To be subjected to the humiliation of having to pay for one’s own, er, college recreation is downright barbaric. Somehow it has to be Bush’s fault.
This got me to thinking: I must have spent at least $10,000 during my college years on beer alone. As a result, I most definitely "struggled financially" and found it "hard to make ends meet". And I wasn’t alone. I’d be willing to bet that at least "forty percent of the male students" at my university suffered through similar hardship. With this in mind, I propose free beer for all college students. Think of how much easier college life would be if students didn’t have to pay for their own extracurricular activities. And as an added bonus, universities would be able to raise tuition more easily as students would have a lot more discretionary income available. After all, beer is one of the biggest expenses one incurs at our institutions of higher learning.
The amorous Ms. Fluke, no doubt, has a bright future after law school. Expect her to be nominated for the SCOTUS in about thirty years.
Update: Tina Korbe at Hot Air makes a great point:
Again, contraception is not a necessity and fertility is not a disease. As plenty of folks have pointed out, contraception is, in fact, impossible to “insure,” as it’s impossible to “insure” against an expense that a person knows for a fact he or she will incur. In that case, it’s just an expense — and the person who’s gonna incur it should budget for it.
Having the personal responsibility to budget for predictable, elective expenses. Imagine that.
Update II: In reading some of the comments, I fear some of our readers are missing the point. This is not what insurance is about. You can’t "insure" against events or costs that are certain to occur. Insurance is about risk management. There’s a reason, for example, that auto insurance doesn’t cover routine maintenance expenses such as new tires, brakes, oil changes, gasoline, etc. All car owners are certain to incur these costs and must budget for them accordingly. If the government forced auto insurance companies to cover these costs, the cost of auto insurance would be astronomical, as it would have to be priced high enough to pay for the certainty of these inevitable expenses. Many people would need government subsidies to afford it. Kind of like…health care insurance.
If we accept Ms. Fluke’s numbers (I don’t), her premiums must rise by at least $1,000 per year to pay for this ($3,000/3 years). In reality, of course, the premiums would have to be higher than that as a certain amount would have to be allocated to cover the costs associated with administering the insurance policy. For this reason, it would be cheaper for her to simply pay the $3,000 out of pocket. Unless, of course, other policyholders pay for it through higher insurance premiums. This, I suspect, is what she really wants.
More broadly, when the government forces health insurance companies to cover birth control pills (or anything else), all of us pay with higher insurance premiums, and an increasing number of people can’t afford them. This is not a coincidence. It’s great that some "Cadillac" insurance plans cover a lot of things insurance plans have no business covering, but this necessarily means that everyone covered under the plan is paying for these options through higher premiums. Under a free market, of course, people are free to choose an expensive insurance plan that covers more things. It doesn’t make any economic sense to have such a plan, but it’s a free country. However, when the government starts mandating this or that benefit be included in the policy, there’s no free market and those who are paying for their insurance are forced to subsidize those who aren’t.
One more thing: As much as those on the other side of the aisle would like to make this a gender issue, it’s not. Nor is it about contraceptives per se. This is about personal responsibility and the desire of Ms. Fluke and her fellow travelers on the left to avoid it. I need a new roof this summer, I have to purchase mulch every spring, firewood every fall, and pay a guy to plow my driveway every winter. I budget for these and other things and don’t expect my homeowner’s policy to pay for them. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect pampered Georgetown Law School students (male or female) to pay for their own elective behavior. If said behavior is too expensive, stop whining and change the behavior.
Note: I originally posted update this as a response to a reader’s comment, but after further thought I thought it would make more sense as an update to the post.