June 28 2012
As we wait for the Supreme Court to rule on the Affordable Care Act, I remain hopeful that this is the first step in reining in an unruly progressive state. Should the SCOTUS strike down the whole law — or even just the individual mandate — it is a sign that there is indeed a limit to federal power.
Still, feminist groups on the left have been lining up to defend ObamaCare in the weeks leading up to this decision and to “keep fighting” for the law’s survival.
It’s true that women are an integral part of our healthcare system. Women make the majority of decisions pertaining to their families’ healthcare needs. Women purchase about 75 percent of prescription drugs — significantly more than men. That’s why we might even say that women have the most at stake in today’s ruling and in preserving high-quality medical treatment centered on individual patient choice.
But women’s groups on the left have been so concerned with negotiating specific advantages for women — free birth control, annual exams and no more gender-based pricing — that they’ve lost sight of the bigger picture. They’ve considered only one side of the equation — the “benefits” — and have ignored the costs, in terms of both freedom and resources, of this law.
What would ObamaCare mean for our tax burden and our lagging economy? What does this mean for the quality of our healthcare? And what does this mean for freedom?
The Supreme Court’s ruling this week has the potential to put to rest the idea of a federal takeover of the healthcare sector and its attempt to nationalize the very difficult moral and social questions that accompany healthcare choices. Perhaps today will be the day that women’s groups will realize that there is no such thing as a free lunch and that the so-called “benefits” in ObamaCare are not really free.
Today the court has an opportunity to make clear that a successful healthcare system for women — and men — is not a one-size-fits-all government-run program. Rather, it’s healthcare that allows for the greatest freedom of choice. Only then can we set out on a path to truly put Americans back in control of their healthcare decisions.
Sabrina L. Schaeffer is executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum.