Balkanizing America

Given that the market for health insurance has long since ceased to be a truly free market, this seems broadly sensible and I’d guess it will save money:

Virtually all health insurance plans could soon be required to offer female patients free coverage of prescription birth control, breast-pump rentals, counseling for domestic violence, and annual wellness exams and HIV tests as a result of recommendations released Tuesday by an independent advisory panel of health experts.

I would assume (perhaps naively) that something similar, at least so far as annual preventive checks and HIV checks are concerned, is being required to be offered for men.

Some folks, needless to say, have objected on religious grounds:

Jeanne Monahan, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the socially conservative Family Research Council, said that many Americans may object to birth control on religious grounds. “They should not be forced to have to pay into insurance plans that violate their consciences. Their conscience rights should be protected,” she said.

Oh, good lord.

A blogger over at the Economist goes all Modest Proposal on the Family Research Council, but then makes the most important point:

Being part of America means having some level of tolerance for people’s different preferences without constantly demanding to secede. Once you start down the road of demanding monetary exceptions for your private moral convictions, there’s nowhere to stop.

And not just monetary exceptions…

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