Mona Charen
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Free medicine! That's what Obamacare has brought you -- or should bring you, at least according to CNN.

The story's opening sentence set the tone: "Contraceptives, sterilization and reproductive education should be covered by health insurance plans with no cost to patients under the health reform law, a new report recommends."

In a tone that can only be called cheerleading, CNN tells its audience that the Institute of Medicine has made these recommendations to the secretary of Health and Human Services. "Historic" is the way HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius described the report, adding that "we will release the Department's recommendations of what additional preventive services for women should be covered without cost sharing very soon."

Now, why, you may wonder, does the secretary of Health and Human Services get to decide whether to adopt the report's recommendations? Well, under Obamacare, health care has been nationalized. Among the roughly 700 references in the law to "the Secretary shall" is one mandating that the secretary shall decide which health care plans are acceptable in America and which are not. If a plan does not comply with HHS mandates, companies and individuals who purchase their products will have to pay a fine. In other words, under Obamacare, the secretary of HHS decides who gets covered for what.

The secretary is now considering whether all health plans in America will have to cover birth control, annual HIV tests, well-woman care visits, annual counseling on sexually transmitted diseases, breastfeeding support and counseling including rental of breast pumps, and screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic abuse. These services should be covered "without any co-pays or deductibles," the report by the Institute of Medicine urges. In other words, these products and services should be "free" for all women, not just for the poor.

CNN quotes the president of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Dr. James Martin Jr., who believes that "unimpeded access to affordable contraceptives for all women is foundational."

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Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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