Head in Sand Syndrome – Getting Fluke’s argument wrong on purpose

Sandra Fluke

Many people have completely missed the point of Sandra Fluke’s testimony. Several commenters, on my blog and elsewhere have asked why they should pay for somebody else’s contraception. This would be a perfectly reasonable argument if it had anything to do with what we’re talking about – it doesn’t. In the make-believe world of American politics, you can argue about whatever it is you want to argue about. Like, let’s argue over the government forcing religious institutions to subsidize women’s contraception. That’s a nice argument but that’s not what were talking about here. Let’s look at the facts.

Georgetown, a private Jesuit University, requires their students to have health insurance. You can have your own health insurance or you can pay for the university’s health insurance. Here is a statement from the Georgetown websiteFor all students, good health is essential to achieving educational goals. Because maintaining good health requires access to health care when you need it, Georgetown University requires the students described below to have health insurance. So, let’s all agree that were not talking about providing services to those who are not paying for it. This has nothing to do with Obama Care. This has nothing to do with government takeover. Instead, it has everything to do with students paying for services and only getting a portion of what they paid for.

Now, let’s look at Sandra Fluke’s testimony in front of the Democratic forum. She said, “I attend a Jesuit law school that does not provide contraception coverage in its student health plan.” She went on to say, “…without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school.” So, in a nutshell, what these women are asking for is that the health insurance that they’re currently paying for extend its benefits to cover women’s contraception. I just don’t see how this is unreasonable. Those institutions that are religiously based and are opposed to contraception for whatever reason could easily offer an alternative insurance plan that would be completely maintained and administered by a third party so that there is no religious objections. It seems that compassionate alternatives like this simply escape many of these religious institutions. There is no excuse for people who are paying for health insurance not to get the comprehensive health insurance that they’re paying for. That is the argument here. We are talking about students who are paying for comprehensive health insurance getting something less than comprehensive for their healthcare dollars. Questions?


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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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