I’ve never heard of Dan Mitchell before, but apparently he’s a libertarian blogger. He’s also, apparently, an idiot. In this post he characterizes Sandra Fluke as wanting the government to pay for her birth control.
That might be a good idea, but it’s not what this controversy is about. Anuone who thought for 10 seconds would realize that this has nothing to do with the government’s paying for birth control. To sum up the obvious:
- Sandra Fluke is a student. Students are required to pay for health insurance as a condition of enrollment. That’s true today in Massachusetts, under Romneycare, and it will be true for the whole country once Obamacare is fully in effect.
- The Catholic Church, which owns Georgetown University, wants to take Sandra Fluke’s premium money, but deny her birth-control coverage. Note that this does not lead to a premium reduction, since covering birth control lowers health care costs rather than raising them.
- So what the church is saying is that it should be able to force its own beliefs on the students and employees of the universities (and hospitals) it owns, and should still be subsidized by our tax money (and universities are heavily subsidized – not just by grants, but federal financial aid and tax exemption for all their real estate).
A more intelligent libertarian view would be that our tax dollars should not go to subsidize sectarian institutions. If Catholic (or other religious) universities want to get all that federal aid, they should follow the same rules as everyone else.