Your Body, His Law

March 19, 2012
The Obama re-election campaign is mailing out fliers championing his health-care law as a great benefit to women. Sorry: It diminishes women’s freedom and privacy.
The Obama law vastly expands the president’s power over your insurance plan, your doctors’ decisions and your medical records. Not just this president’s power, but every future president. Why are women’s rights advocates so sure they’ll always agree with the person occupying the White House?
Flash back to the Bush-era battle over the Partial Birth Abortion Act, which banned the procedure. When a federal court struck that ban down in 2004, Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feldt hailed it as a victory for patient privacy and freedom: “This ruling is a critical step toward ensuring that women and doctors — not politicians — can make private, personal health-care decisions.”
During that legal battle, federal authorities requested access to women’s medical records to determine whether the procedure was medically necessary. Women’s rights groups defeated every request.
Yet many women’s rights groups support the Obama health law, which allows federal access to women’s records and dictates to their doctors. Pro-choice or pro-life, you lose privacy.
Sec. 1501 and 1302 of the Obama health law requires nearly everyone to enroll in a “qualified” health plan or pay a penalty. “Qualified” means a government-designed plan covering what the secretary of Health and Human Services decides are “essential benefits.” The secretary (a presidential appointee) decides what your plan includes.
Nothing in the law guarantees contraception coverage; that’s left to the secretary’s discretion. And the power to compel insurers to cover contraceptives is also the power to stop insurers from covering them.
Sec. 1311(h)(1) of the law says “qualified plans” can pay only doctors and hospitals that follow the dictates of the secretary, who is empowered to impose any regulation to “improve health-care quality.” That breathtakingly broad power could include everything — dictating when your cardiologist recommends a stent rather than a bypass or whether your ob/gyn does a cesarean.
Your doctor will have to enter your treatments into an electronic data base, and your doctor’s decisions will be monitored for compliance with federal guidelines. Ultimately, your doctor could have to choose between doing what’s right for you and avoiding a government penalty.
The law empowers presidential appointees to standardize medical practice. The government will be in charge, even if you pay for a private health plan yourself.
Never before in U.S. history has the federal government tried to broadly control how doctors treat privately insured patients.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan/Queens) accuses opponents of the contraceptives mandate of “efforts to extend the reach of the government into the bedroom.” In fact, the ObamaCare law blasts the government into your doctor’s examining room and your own room — and far beyond abortion. How can it be that a woman is free to choose an abortion but not a hip replacement?
Either your body is free from government interference or it’s not. The Obama law takes away that freedom.

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