On large, unexpected expenses

Once in a while there appears a post or a letter to the editor so earnestly, hilariously dumb that we must sit for a moment of awestruck silence. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ben Belrose:

Dear Editor: There are certain expenses in life that are “normal” ongoing expenses that people pay for out of their budget. We buy insurance to cover large, unexpected expenses.

Years ago, the common plan was described as “major medical” which was designed to help people cover medical hospitalization, i.e., expenses that could not be covered by their normal budget. A routine visit to the doctor for a cold or the flu was paid out of the available normal resources…

The purpose of this letter is to establish the idea that reproductive health, which includes control over conception, is not properly categorized as a health care expense. He would like for us to consider categorizing it instead as one of many “normal living expenses” like buying gasoline or “daily trips to the coffee bar.”

If a person commutes 20 miles per day to their job, the gasoline costs far more than $50 per month. So why does someone’s choice to take the “pill” rise to such an elevated status that it must be in a separate category of drugs that even the co-pay must be waived.

See, it’s a woman’s choice to need reproductive health care, just like it’s her choice to commute to work by car or to buy that Skinny Mocha. Insurance, we understand, is not for this category of “very minor expenses that are routinely used,” but for “large, unexpected expenses.” Like pregnancy and childbirth. Or an ovarian cyst the size of a tennis ball.

I submit that this letter expresses the equivalent of what the fabulous Rob Tisinai has identified as “The Stoner Argument.” It goes something like this:

Ben: Dude! I figured it out!
Me: I’m reading…
Ben: No, dude! I know why women should have to buy their own birth control…
Me: What are you talking about?
Ben: Because it’s their choice to have sex, that’s why.
Ben: So they could, like, not have sex, and then there wouldn’t be anything to pay for.

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