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March 18, 2014

Math Doesn't Discriminate (Unlike the ACA)

We saw this last week and didn't have time to write a post about it. Though we don't often agree with John Stossel, this is hard to argue with:

President Barack Obama and his supporters brag that Obamacare forces health insurance companies to sell men and women health insurance for the exact same price. On my TV show this week, Democratic activist Jehmu Greene asks indignantly, "Do you want to live in a country where you charge women more than men?"

Well, yes, I do. Insurance should account for costs. Women go to doctors much more often. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say, even if you exclude pregnancy visits, women are 33 percent more likely to visit a doctor.

Insurance companies used to reflect that in prices. That isn't bigotry -- it's just math.

Insurance companies still charge men more for car and life insurance. A survey of car insurance companies found that the cheapest policy for a woman cost 39 percent less than for a man. A 60-year-old woman pays 20 percent less than a man for a 10-year life insurance policy. Seventy-year-old women pay half as much as men.

That's just math, too, because most women live longer than men and, despite the "woman-driver" stereotype, we men get into more car accidents.

I don't hear activists complaining about men paying too much. The "victim" propaganda works only when women pay more.

Pricing isn't the only way the ACA discriminates against men. Two years ago we asked why birth control should be free for women but not for men?

1) Are male-based contraceptive methods, such as vasectomies or condoms, covered by the rule?

An HHS official said on Friday that women’s preventive services guidelines apply to women only.

Guidelines issued by the Health Resources and Services Administration, part of HHS, require coverage without cost sharing for "all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity" as prescribed by a provider, according to the Federal Register.

The insurers' letter from September says they interpreted the rule to include only female-based contraception and that the requirement to waive co-payments "does not apply to methods and procedures intended for males."

Either it's sexist to treat people differently because of their plumbing, or it isn't. We can think of good reasons for doing so in some cases, but that's not the argument this administration has advanced. Why, if sexism and disparate impact are truly evidence of gender injustice, is it acceptable for the federal government to provide benefits to women (funded with our tax dollars) that are not provided to men?

If it's wrong and unacceptable for women to be charged more for health insurance simply because they're women, why is it acceptable for men to be charged more for birth control simply because they're male? Seems to us that all this "cost sharing" is a rather one-way process.

Posted by Cassandra at March 18, 2014 08:35 AM

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If only there were some way for men and women to team up and share expenses, so that all these things equalized out.

Posted by: Texan99 at March 18, 2014 10:16 AM

OK, that wins Comment of the Day, Tex! :p

Sadly, this administration seems hell bent on creating disincentives for the one thing that seems to do the best job of fixing all the problems the DNC has blown so many of our tax dollars on.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 18, 2014 10:22 AM

Tex, you ignorant slut!
Cass, you're on double secret probation now!

That's rayyci....umm, sexi....err, Istist!!
Yeah, that's the ticket!!

Now, back on your heads, both of you.

Posted by: DL Sly at March 18, 2014 12:51 PM

Cass, we'd like to invite you to become one of our Authors in Alexandria. This invitation has been extended to you by email as well.

In addition to posting on anything you wish, as you desire, you may of course mirror posts you've already written from here or elsewhere to gain a different or additional audience or for any other reason that appeals to you.

If you think you might be interested, contact me through Alexandria or by return email via this comment and I'll forward our formal invitations for you to look over and return if you decide to proceed.

Come contribute your perspectives and opinions to the ongoing conversations there or, even better, start some new - and different - ones of your own.

I look forward to hearing from you.

H. M. Stuart

Posted by: HMS at March 18, 2014 01:58 PM


So, where was I? Oh, that's right. All math is sexist except, perhaps, binary math, which is just plain sex. (10101010101... Oh yeah....)

Dry cleaning math is particularly sexist. Q.E.D.

Posted by: spd rdr at March 18, 2014 07:25 PM

...except, perhaps, binary math, which is just plain sex.

When I think of all the fun I could've been having all these years.... :p

Posted by: Cassandra at March 18, 2014 08:29 PM

" All math is sexist..."

Um, sorry, but all math is purple, because aliens don't wear hats.
I'm pretty sure you got the memo.

Posted by: DL Sly at March 18, 2014 11:32 PM

More hypocrisy from liberals? I have never heard of such a thing! If only someone could have warned us that liberals are unprincipled liars.

It is almost as if liberals are telling us that we are all equals, but some are more equal than others.

Posted by: a former european at March 18, 2014 11:39 PM

- Sooo, gov't is going to try to ignore actuarial reality, yet again? Gosh, that worked so well with housing policy that we'd be fools to think it won't work for Health Insurance . . .right?
- SeaStory: In Nuclear Power School they made a point of establishing basics up front, so we covered math from the number line through differential equations in six weeks.
- Sly provides a brilliant link. Again.
- AFE gets a prize for wise, yet obvious, observation.

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at March 20, 2014 07:00 PM