Two stories courtesy of Reason’s Hit and Run startled me into thinking about the strange issues that come up when you put government in charge.
Peter Suderman covered another Supreme Court review of Obamacare, featuring Liberty University’s claim that Congress overstepped its authority in mandating employer coverage of specific insurance features, and that the contraception/abortion mandate violates religious freedom.
Then I scrolled down to read Rachel Moran on one conservative British MP’s daring call for “patients suffering from so-called ‘lifestyle diseases,’ such as type II diabetes, [to] pay for their own prescriptions rather than claim free or subsidized drugs.” The Tory MP has a point:
[W]e have got to have an affordable system that rewards individual responsibility. If you want to have doughnuts for breakfast, lunch and dinner, fine, but there’s a cost.
Trouble is, as we learned last Saturday, the whole point of the modern welfare state is to take away folks’ responsibility by removing negative consequences, the costs, from risky behavior.
Here in America, we’re headed that direction. The responsibility for one’s own contraceptive purchases is being shifted (by the Democrats’ healthcare reform law) from individuals and couples to employers, via government — putting the monetary burden onto all citizens, via higher insurance payments.
The religious freedom aspect of the constitutional challenge is a red herring. More basic? Individual freedom and personal responsibility. But those aren’t exactly guaranteed in the Constitution, and politicians haven’t found a way to get elected in enough numbers on the issue of returning responsibility back into the system.
So we’re left in a world where it makes perverted sense to call pregnancy a “lifestyle disease.” And subsidize its prevention.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.