Point by point
Tim Seims continues to be misinformed. So point by point:
1. Church implies religious. Institution is a mushy term and was not mine. An institution may be religious, secular or some mix of the two. A church-affiliated private school is likely religious. A church-affiliated public hospital primarily secular. A controlling interest in the SantaFe Railroad would be solidly secular even if a church acquired it. As I said previously, the rules distinguishing religious from secular might need some work.
2. Markets, free or otherwise, do not have ideas. People have ideas. Markets merely set a value on ideas.
Group insurance cost is a function of group composition. A company’s employees and their immediate families is not a random draw from the general population, but a statistically predictable grouping which largely excludes a number of high risk types (people over 60 for example) and coddles some others (like pre-existing conditions). Given the group, free market competition for market share among carriers determines policy cost independent of government involvement with buyers.
On the buyer side, currently the tax bias favors group plans by 10 to 35 percent (depending on taxable income) of individual plan cost with most employees being near the low end. Given the difficulty of comparing plans this dollar bias is likely not the major decision factor. My own limited experiences as employee, employer, self-employed, and at times between jobs supports a contention that individual policies are more costly than group by much more than just the tax bias, but I am quite willing to be proved wrong by hard data for one-on-one comparisons.
3. Seims now advocates subsidized contraceptives in the U.S.? Fine with me now that the apples/oranges nature of his Egypt/U.S. pricing comparison has been clarified.
4. Pharmacy personnel have informed me that data entry for a new account typically take less than five minutes; entering prescription data for an established account about a minute. Also, that there are quite a number of other steps in filling a prescription, some of them expedited by the data in the computer, that are outside the scope of the immediate issue.
5. Excuse me, let me rephrase: Over the counter birth control would likely be opposed by the very people his original letter appeared to support (i.e., the Catholic and other churches that have historically strongly opposed contraceptives). Bet they won’t like item 4 either.