Thursday, October 18, 2012

War on Binders. Or Something.

As the beyond-ridiculous "bindergate" prepares to join the Big Bird flap on the dustheap of discarded campaign memes, this Tim Carney piece on contraceptive mandate and the so-called "war on women" is worth a read:
[W]ielding an Obamacare provision on "women's preventive care," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius imposed a new rule requiring almost all employers to cover every penny of contraception, sterilization and morning-after pills.

That means if you offer health insurance that doesn't cover sterilization, you're breaking the law. If you offer health insurance that covers all contraception, but requires a $5-a-month co-pay, you're breaking the law. If you offer two plans, and the one that covers all contraception and sterilization carries a higher premium, you're breaking the law. Or at least Sebelius' law.

Mitt Romney doesn't think those things should be illegal.

Wages, commuter benefits and vacation time are all matters of negotiation between bosses and the people they want to hire. But if you offer someone a job, and promise to pay them in cash instead of contraception, you're violating Obamacare.
He describes a mock "permission slip" on the Obama website, part of the Democrats' argument that Romney wants to let employers decide whether or not women can have birth control:
The mock permission slip on Obama's campaign website read:

"I have discussed the employee's contraceptive options with her, and I verify that her use of these methods (IS / IS NOT) in agreement with my personal beliefs. The employee (DOES / DOES NOT) have my permission to access birth control pills, intrauterine devices, or any other type of contraception."
It's so over-the-top tendentious that it seems guaranteed to raise the eyebrows of any woman with two brain cells to rub together.  "Wait. You're saying if it weren't for Obama, my boss could tell me I can't use birth control?  Something about that claim doesn't ring true, given that we're in America and it's the 21st century."

And indeed, it's heartening to see polls showing the gender gap tightening somewhat.  The defensive brigade in the "war on women," with its hands-off-my-ladyparts infographics and its dreary insistence that Girls Must Have Free Stuff, makes me faintly embarrassed for my sex.  The sassy sisterhood stuff seems so obviously a front for a one-sided agenda that, at best, is only interested in advancing the interests of certain women.

Speaking of the gender gap, our household was polled last night.  (Election-season life in a swing state:  I often serve my toddlers dinner with a phone on one ear.)  The pollster told me that they had met their quota for female respondents and asked me if there was a male in the house.  I handed the phone to my husband, who gave the exact responses I would have given.  

I vote like a guy.  Thank goodness.

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