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False Equivalences: Contraception = Gym Memberships

False Equivalences: Contraception=Gym Memberships


What happens when you take a writer for Glenn Beck's The Blaze and give him a forum on CNN? Stupid stuff like this. From CNN's Starting Point.

WILL CAIN: You used this word several times, ‘access'. I hope you and I can agree on one term of this debate. That is, no one is attempting to ban contraception or limit access and make it illegal for women to have this! The debate is about who should be providing it, who should be paying for it. Should employers determine what is involved in their compensation, determined in their health care benefits or should the government make certain requirements of employers? Can we agree that is what this debate is about?

SANDRA FLUKE: Not exactly. I think there are multiple ways to limit access. Certainly making something illegal would be the most extreme form, but not covering it as a health care benefit the way other types of health care benefits are covered is another way to limit access and that’s what many women across the country are currently experiencing when they — even if they have insurance, co pays, can be as high as $50 a month, which is significant for a woman not making a lot of money.

WILL CAIN: But Sandra, couldn’t that same logic be applied to so many other things that health care doesn’t cover, such as gym memberships? Exercise is important to health but that’s not covered by health care insurance. Couldn’t that logic you’re using, saying access is denied because it’s not being offered to you for some reduced price, apply to so many things?

SANDRA FLUKE: I think that that’s not a fair comparison. And most women would tell you that’s not a fair comparison

The Blaze noted that host Soledad O'Brien also took issue with Cain's gym membership analogy after the Fluke segment ended.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: I would add to that, isn’t gym membership — isn’t part of her argument if gym membership were covered for other employees? It’s covered for other people at Georgetown. Her point was that the janitors actually get their contraception covered. The gym membership I think is a flawed analogy.

WILL CAIN: No, it focuses on the right question. Should employers determine the benefits or should the government be mandating what employers provide?

For Cain and others of his ilk, it's quite all right for an employer to dictate benefits and choose what is and what is not considered basic health coverage, as the market is all-knowing and all-powerful. Yet it is quite shameful for an entity representative of the people to have the same powers and judgement, as that would be dictatorial.

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