The Imminent Cost Explosion in Birth Control

“Follow the money” is a well-worn phrase … precisely because it so often leads to the truth. These articles expose the role of the pharmaceutical drug industry (“Big Pharma”) in promoting Obamacare, and particularly in advocating “free” contraceptive coverage.

  • Avik Roy explains why and how the HHS contraceptive mandate will cause an explosion in healthcare costs in this article at – destroying HHS Secretary Sebelius’ claims that the mandate will be “costless” and “actually reduce healthcare costs.” Mr. Roy shows that the basic laws of economics will produce a cost explosion. As a preview, consider this brief excerpt:

    If you were surprised that PhRMA, the pharmaceutical trade group, backed Obamacare, now you can see why: the HHS contraception mandate alone will be a multi-billion-dollar boondoggle for the pharma industry. If your health insurance plan allowed you to buy a television, of any price, without any cost-sharing on your part, would you buy a 13-inch CRT or a 60-inch flat screen?

    After detailing just how this cost explosion will occur, Mr. Roy concludes:

    The contraception contretemps is a case study in how thoughtless laws and policies drive up the cost of health care, making it less accessible to those who are most in need. The path to truly affordable health care involves moving in exactly the opposite direction: restoring the notion that health insurance is meant as protection for catastrophic costs, and letting people buy birth-control pills for themselves.

  • Peter Schweizer, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, documents in this article how Big Pharma helped secure passage of Obamacare, and how it will score billions in added profits from the contraception mandate:

    Back in 2009 … the [pharmaceuticals] industry spent millions running television ads in favor of the law and industry lobbyists pushed hard for it. One important reason they did so was the promise that with the new law they would have a new market of millions of new customers. The contraceptive mandate is a perfect example.

    … And the lesson seems to be clear: it is money well spent. Not only did they get largely what they wanted from Obama’s health-care-reform law (no caps on drug prices, no reimportation from Canada); now, President Obama’s mandate is broadening the market for their products. With drug prices so high, the best way it can increase demand for its products is to get the federal government to mandate payment for it.

  • Charles Hooper, an insurance consultant, points out the arrogance of the HHS mandate: the politicians think insurance companies are so stupid that they have missed an opportunity to increase their profits, and need HHS to show them the light.