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Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) was the first senator to offer a successful amendment to the big Senate health-care overhaul bill now being debated in Washington, D.C. It was a perfect lesson in what’s wrong with the political mentality.
According to Mikulski’s news release, the amendment would “guarantee women access to preventive health care screenings and care at no cost ... [by requiring] all health plans to cover comprehensive women’s preventive care ... with no copayments.”
Does this amendment make Mikulski a great humanitarian? It may appear so on the surface. But if we stay at the surface of public policy we miss many important details.
The first thing to notice is that it would require all plans to include comprehensive women’s preventive services. Why a single man would want those included in his medical coverage is something only a politician can explain.
But, you say, what’s the big deal? If it’s “at no cost” with “no co-payments,” who cares?
And that brings us to the main point. What does “at no cost” mean? Is Mikulski offering to pay personally for every woman’s preventive services? If so, all I can say is that it is very generous of her. But I have a feeling that that is not what she means.
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