How We're All Paying for Rush Limbaugh to Take Viagra (And Why it Costs a Lot More Than Contraception)
From the article:
Quote:When conservative blowhards rant, you know they have something on their minds and it’s almost always themselves. So the people who yell loudest about class warfare have waged it successfully on behalf of the 1 percent. And the conservatives complaining about death panels did not object to the real ones in states like Arizona that denied Medicaid benefits to patients who died because of the transplants they could not get as a result. Similarly, you then hear Rush Limbaugh objecting that a mandate that university health plans cover contraception would mean taxpayers paying people to have sex, it can only mean that he is describing himself. And he may very well be. Let me explain.
First, Rush’s comment. As anyone who had listened to the media over the last week should know by now, the conservative radio commentator insulted Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke when she tried to testify before Congress. Fluke’s testimony maintained that contraceptive coverage was important to women because, without coverage, it could cost as much as $3,000 over the course of university enrollment and some women needed the birth control pill to control medical conditions such as ovarian cysts. Fluke told the sad story of a classmate who could not afford the pill and faces early menopause in her 20s as a result. Limbaugh called Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” and insisted that she “wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex” and he later added “as many times and as often as they want, with as many partners as they want.”
In the 1940s, private employers started to offer healthcare benefits to compete for new employees during a tight labor market. Employers deducted the cost of the programs as a business expense, but employees did not have to report the benefits as income on their tax returns. The result is a huge tax subsidy for healthcare benefits. The more money an employee makes – and the higher the marginal tax rate on the employee’s income – the more the employee might prefer additional income in the form of an untaxed medical benefit. So the best employer-provided healthcare plans, the so-called “Cadillac plans,” often go to the most highly compensated employees. CEOs love them. Mitt Romney as head of Bain Capital, highly sought-after commentators like Limbaugh, and some of the most generous union plans tend to have the most extensive coverage. While the Affordable Health Care Act proposes higher taxes on these plans, the changes won’t take place for years. And, in the meantime, the more extensive the employer-provided plan and the higher the marginal tax rate of the recipient, the greater is the effective taxpayer subsidy.
The fact that high-end medical insurance plans cover a drug like Viagra also affects what new products come to market. Researchers are more likely to invest in the development of medical innovations with a guaranteed market (and the ability to charge a high markup) than in medical care that depends on individual ability to pay. So not only do taxpayers subsidize Rush’s Viagra along with a host of other medical treatments, but the existence of healthcare plans that more heavily subsidize the wealthy and the employed increases the odds that less subsidized medical treatments will be less effective or more expensive.
That's the part they don't want to talk about. They will scream bloody murder over possibly covering contraception, but are all quiet if their hard-dick pills are covered--by the gov't, no less!
As usual, the rabid RW is playing politics and lying whenever some gov't subsidy or coverage isn't for their beloved 1% or their constituency, but everyone else is just SOL. Standard RW hypocrisy.