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The word “free” explains everything.
Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, February 17, 2012.
When the story broke about the Department of Health & Human Services mandating under Obamacare that virtually every employer health plan must provide contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacients, I have been talking about the fact that such a mandate constitutes an assault on liberty. That was the thrust of last week’s piece in this space.
Of course, about the mandate being an assault on liberty, I’m right. But with a week of listening to the back and forth on this issue, I finally understand what the argument is really about.
Not that yet another incremental surrender of liberty isn’t worth an argument. It is. And I have either listened to or in one case participated in such arguments over the past week.
But it finally has become clear to me that I have insufficiently appreciated what it is that is actually motivating those that argue in favor of the administration’s position.
It’s not complicated. The word “free” explains it all.
What’s really going on here is that a huge number of people who ought to know better actually believe that contraceptives should be free. It’s not really about the right of the Catholic church or any other institution or individual to oppose these mandates on ethical or religious grounds. It all boils down to ’How dare you stand in the way of me doing what I want.’ This fight is all about the belief held by an astonishing number of people that they should be able to live a consequence-free life courtesy of the taxpayers.
The problems attendant to this mindset are obvious to those with a brain. We have insufficient space to cover them all. So let’s just concentrate on the idea of free. If birth control is free, why isn’t a mammogram? Or a colonoscopy? If you’re entitled to a free “morning after” pill, why are you not entitled to free diabetes care?
(The answer to these questions is, of course, that people believe that they are entitled to free mammograms, colonoscopies and diabetes care.)
So let’s expand beyond health care. If you want free birth control, it’s because you want to enjoy the pleasures of having sex without the consequence of producing a baby. You want sex for recreation and you want someone else to pay for it.
Well if the government is going to underwrite your recreational sex, where is the money for my recreational pursuit of photography? Or your neighbor’s recreational fishing?
A quick check reveals that Trojan Ultra-thin Lubricated Condoms can be purchased online in packages of 36 for just $18.00. That means you can “git ‘r done” every single night for the next year for only $184. That’s a mere 1.2 percent of your annual income if all you make is minimum wage. Forget about the food, housing, health, education and transportation subsidies to which you already feel entitled, you’re not even willing to work a half a week in order to have fun in the old sackeroo every single night for an entire year? For what exactly will you put forth some effort?
For the debate over government-mandated free birth control to have arisen in the first place is evidence that we as a nation have raised a huge cohort of permanent adolescents, partying and hooking up and having fun on mommy and daddy’s dime.
For you permanent sophomores I have this question: if you believe that someone else should pay so that you can enjoy consequence-free sex, at what point do you assume responsibility for anything in your own life? Does that point even exist?
For an astonishing percentage of Americans, apparently it doesn’t.