The insurance industry is concerned it will take a hit from the Obama administration’s mandate that they provide birth control in health plans for employees of religious organizations that object to the coverage.
Publicly, the health insurance industry has avoided getting involved in the fight.
But in private, the industry is dubious of the administration’s argument that the insurance industry wouldn't take a hit because birth control is cheaper than unwanted pregnancies.
The trade group America's Health Insurance Plans has limited its comments to saying it worries about the "precedent" the mandate would set. The concern is that the government could eventually require health plans to cover any number of preventive services – even prescription drugs - without copays or deductibles, under the theory that they save money in the long-term.
Privately, however, insurers say there's nothing "free" about preventing unwarranted pregnancies. They say the mandate also covers costly surgical sterilization procedures, and that in any case even the pill has up-front costs.
"Saying it's revenue-neutral doesn't mean it's free and that you're not paying for it," an industry source told The Hill.
Doctors still have to be paid to prescribe the pill, drugmakers and pharmacists have to be paid to provide it - and all that money has to come from insurance premiums, not future hypothetical savings, the source said.
It amazes me that an increase in health insurance premiums for everyone, including people that do not desire abortion/contraception/sterilization insurance, from the mandate is not obvious to the electorate. I guess all all they hear is, "freeee, wheeee, it's freeeee".