It's fortunate the Supreme Court of the United States saw it fit last week to rule that corporations could not be coerced into covering religiously objectionable forms of birth control for their employees.
This was a critical ruling, because it indicates that the majority of the Court still thinks religious beliefs and personal choice have a valid place in American society. The margin of the split decision, however, is alarming, because it reminds us of how close we are to having a government that will subject moral convictions to its bureaucratically directed control.
People have legitimate differences of opinion about the appropriateness of various forms of birth control, which is something most reasonable people on both sides of the political ledger understand. However, legally requiring the side opposed to a form of birth control to be financially responsible for its distribution to any employee who wants it is distinctly un-American and abusive to the concept of freedom of religion.
A major problem is that many people in our entitlement society see nothing wrong with forcing others to provide for their desires. In a free and open society, anyone should be able to purchase anything he or she wants that is legal. It really should be no one else's business. Common sense dictates, however, that it immediately becomes my business if I'm being forced to pay for it.
Wouldn't it be fairer and make more sense for people wanting some form of birth control to pay for it themselves? This is exactly what would happen if everyone had access to his or her own health savings account. A woman and her health care provider would decide on a birth control method, and the cost would be deducted from her account with no involvement of anyone else in any way. It's so simple and upholds privacy and freedom.
Health savings accounts can be funded in a variety of different ways and give people total control of where, how and with whom they wish to spend their health care dollars. Most people will want to get the biggest bang for the buck and will independently seek out both value and quality. That, in turn, will bring all aspects of medicine into the free-market economic model, thus automatically having an ameliorating effect on pricing transparency and quality of outcomes.