Health economics 101: contraceptives pay for themselves, usually, babies don’t

Posted By on July 11, 2014

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If anyone thought the controversy over Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate finished with the Supreme Court’s decision it’s time to think again. Over the past months the battle has been framed as conscience rights versus contraceptive rights. Now that conscience has won the first fight on points, a second round could be fought over money.

According to health economists writing in the New York Times and The Incidental Economist blog, another troubling effect of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling is that insurers may lose money by having to cover the full cost of contraceptives, unless they raise premiums.

But don’t be fooled; it’s neither the insurance industry nor women’s health that these two experts are primarily defending, but contraception itself. Why? Because it’s more cost-effective than having a baby.

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