Private Sector SprawlThis mirrors the growth of health insurance coverage in the private sector. If anything, the private sector has been in the forefront of increasing healthcare expenditures, and the federal programs only bring those spending patterns to the poorer parts of society. Private health insurance instituted coverage for prescription drugs long before Medicare Part D, so it's no wonder seniors wanted it too.
So the federal government is hardly the major instigator of insurance coverage for contraception. However, it is a significant step when government mandates that insurance companies have to provide them with no copay. I understand the reasoning: contraceptives are preventative care, and ACA mandates that insurance companies cover preventative care 100%. They are certainly cost-effective compared to maternity costs.
However, I question whether the country is going in the right direction to mandate that ALL insurance cover ALL care deemed preventative. We might make better decisions and save money if we had skin in the game. On the other hand, we might save some money in the short run by making bad decisions, like delaying treatment or skipping an uncomfortable screening test that also cost us money (insult on top of injury).
How Many Mandates?So I'm uncertain. Should we go the libertarian route and leave the responsibility to the individual, or do we go statist and trust a government board to dictate what standard care and standard coverage should be? I actually think that the doctors in government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control have done a good job, so I don't object on principle to the statist route.
Maybe it is best for medical experts to evaluate practices, their costs, and their efficacy and report which are best. I don't particularly care if the medical experts work for the government or for large healthcare groups like Kaiser or Mayo Clinic, or for large insurers. If they use good methods and find good savings in money and lives, I want to know and benefit. However, when it comes to legally mandating certain coverage, maybe it's better to go slow--don't require too much all at once. Choose to mandate the most effective preventative care, not the kitchen sink of preventative care. And also allow other experiments, like Whole Foods health account/catastrophic care insurance combination.
I hope ACA doesn't become a monster, with too many mandates and therefore hideously expensive. It doesn't have to be that way. Still, ACA was an important step to partially solve a huge problem in the US for those without employer-provided healthcare insurance. Just like Romneycare was a big step for Massachusetts, and it's now benefiting many, including people in my own family.
More ChoiceIn a time when our healthcare insurance market seems like feast or famine (employer-provided insurance or nothing affordable), ACA mandated something else. It opened a door. Now let's open some doors for other sorts of healthcare coverage too.
Preventative care: Catching the #1 cancer in women
Switzerland model, Singapore model with mandatory accounts.
CA mandates, CT mandates. Read them to see how much is mandated (a lot), and think about how you'd be glad it was mandated if you were in those shoes.