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  • Government-Run Health Care Will Not Save Marriages

    The Washington Post’s Liza Mundy had a cute take on the recent divorce of reality TV stars Jon and Kate Gosselin:

    Poor Jon and Kate. Their marriage is over, their show on hiatus, their domestic ordeal entering a new phase of acrimony. Possibly nothing could have saved this marriage, but one thing would have made it less fragile: a mandate for health insurance to cover in vitro fertilization.

    If the Gosselins, whose efforts to raise eight kids have been chronicled over five seasons on cable television, had enjoyed, and availed themselves of, ready access to IVF — the most sophisticated, controlled and expensive form of fertility treatment — they almost certainly would not have had six children at once.

    Let’s stipulate, for the sake of argument, that IVF would have saved the Gosselins’ marriage. But would an insurance mandate have provided them access to that care? Probably not. All insurance mandates drive up the cost of insurance for everyone. With higher insurance premiums it is more likely that Jon and Kate, who Mundy reports “were hardly affluent,” would have been priced out of the health insurance market entirely.

    But then, Mundy might argue that a government-run health plan is needed to provide IVF to all Americans. Well, the United Kingdom does just that. Well… not quite. The Telegraph reported last week:

    Infertile women told they can have IVF but only between the ages of 39 and a half and 40

    Women seeking IVF treatment on the [National Health Service] have been told they only qualify if they are between 39.5 and 40-years of age under policies which have been condemned as “cruel and bizarre” by fertility experts.

    The bottom line: nothing is ever free. All health insurance mandates, like ones for IVF, drive up insurance premiums for everyone making more people uninsured. And a government takeover of health care is no panacea either, as the government must inevitably control costs through rationing. Mundy should look for marriage salvation elsewhere.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Government-Run Health Care Will Not Save Marriages

    1. Chris J. Breisch, In says:

      My only criticism with this is the message we are currently sending. Every single health insurance program in America will fully fund an abortion, yet almost none of them offer any kind of significant coverage for infertility treatments.

      What kind of country have we become that we assist in the killing of babies, but not in helping people have them?

    2. Spiritof76 says:

      Mr. Obama is a strong proponent of late term abortions even to the extent that he blocked legislation that would have offered life-saving medical help to babies that suvived a botched abortion. Is this the America that shoots off fireworks on July 4th to celebrate Independence and its ideal of life, liberty and happiness? People that promote killing of human babies are no different than the Nazis and their concentration camps. Only now, we call them abortion clinics.

    3. Roger S., MA. says:

      Actually a good argument for getting the Gov out of the health-care business entirely. Let the free market provide options for the would-be insured to compile a package to fit their (perceived) needs and financial resources. Since when is it my duty to supply either the abortion or the fertilization or the marriage counseling? In most instances neither condition constitutes a genuine "Life Emergency" for the woman or couple. They'll just have to cope with the resources they have, and in most cases they can and they will !

    4. Jonathan, Indonesia says:

      I don't think that is the right way to retain marriage. The government are just giving support however, they are not wrong. But the most important is the support from each other as partner.

    5. Beth says:

      I'm an American living in a European country that mandates insurance for all and covers infertility treatment.

      A big difference: I get monitored (ultrasound, bloodwork) twice during my cycle. An American fertility specialist does this nearly every day. No wonder it costs 4 times as much at an American clinic.

      There's much, much more to this than just providing insurance coverage.

      Additionally, Jon and Kate used IUI, which is much cheaper than IVF. Even if they had access to lower-cost IVF, they probably wouldn't have used it as it is much more invasive. Her doctor should have seen that she had 7 or more follicles and cancelled her cycle, then tried again with lower doses of drugs to produce 2-3 follicles.

    6. Jessica, Naperville says:

      I have heard over and over again, on message boards over the past 7 years of my fertility journey, from women in countries with national health care and overwhelmingly they envy us in the U.S. and our freedom to chose the best fertility doctor we can find. They envy that we don't have to be put on long waiting lists for the initial visit and then wait just as long to see them again if we have questions about the treatment decisions. They envy that we have the right to take control of our own treatment in the sense of opting to partake or not partake in any given procedure suggested by the doctor to achieve a pregnancy. They envy that we have choices in the drugs prescribed for fertility especial. It is terribly sad when someone does not have insurance coverage to have treatment but there are options, expensive at time yes, I even have heard of people changing jobs in order to receive better coverage but they do have this choice. To have all of us waiting on the government run treatment…forget it. Fertility is an extremely complicated issue and it makes me sick to my stomach to think of the government having any say in how this treatment is given.

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