Obama’s “Compromise,” Part II

I wrote here about the Obama administration’s transparently fraudulent “compromise” on the HHS contraception/abortion rule. Greg Mankiw makes the same point I did, only a little more elegantly:

Consider these two policies:

A. An employer is required to provide its employees health insurance that covers birth control.

B. An employer is required to provide its employees health insurance. The health insurance company is required to cover birth control.

I can understand someone endorsing both A and B, and I can understand someone rejecting both A and B. But I cannot understand someone rejecting A and embracing B, because they are effectively the same policy. Ultimately, all insurance costs are passed on to the purchaser, so I cannot see how policy B is different in any way from policy A, other than using slightly different words to describe it.

Yet it seems that the White House yesterday switched from A to B, and that change is being viewed by some as a significant accommodation to those who objected to policy A. The whole thing leaves me scratching my head.

It isn’t really a puzzle. The Obama administration thinks the rest of us are idiots; and, with respect to most of their voters, they may not be far off the mark.


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