Oh my dear, dear Kathleen Sebelius, you lost your cool and accidentally said what you really think.

The quick version of the video’s at the bottom, and the link to the whole thing is here if you want context. Since I tend to skip blog posts with videos in ‘em and I don’t want you to miss this, I pulled the transcript. Come on, just skim it.

Conversation is between Sebelius and Rep. Tim Murphy.

TM: Who pays for it? There’s no such thing as a free service.

KS: The reduction in a number of pregnancies is — compensates for the cost of contraception. The overall plan —

TM: So by not having babies born, we’re saving money? I just want to get this on the record — you’re saying, by not having babies born, we’re gonna save money on healthcare.

KS: Providing contraception as a critical preventive health benefit for women and their children reduces —

TM: Not having babies born is a critical benefit. This is absolutely amazing to me. I yield back.

KS: Family planning is a critical health benefit for women, according to the institute of medicine — and that’s, again, scientists!

You can see KS slowing down her sentences, trying to think carefully and avoid speaking plainly. But then she says it: “the reduction in a number of pregnancies.” You know that that’s what “preventive services” prevent, right? Not colds, not the flu: pregnancies.

The last line is also telling, and chilling. Having been trapped into saying what she thinks, Sebelius falls back on what she really believes in: Science Says It, I Believe It, That Settles It. The problem is that Murphy’s not talking about science, but about ethics.

Okay, here’s the clip. Excerpted bit starts at about 4:30.

15 thoughts on “Again, Scientists!

  1. eaa

    sigh. This is just to say, having worked on many wellness initiatives while at Blue Cross Blue Shield, there is a reason that insurance compaines do not put money towards increasing contraceptive utilization – it DOES NOT SAVE MONEY, short or long term.

    Wellness programs save money – health fairs, immunization fairs, healthy pregnancy programs, smoking cessation, bariatric surgery standards – these save money in the long run by making the insured healthier.

    Contraceptives however, cause women to put off pregnancy for a time, increasing untilization of fertility treatments later, which in turn leads to statistically less healthy children and mommies (higher risk pregnancies; ivp fertilized eggs are not as healthy since the are science produced, not nature produced; increased liklihood of birth defects). Additionally, women who use hormonal contraception, especially those who use it for a long term or starting before age 18 dramatically increase their cancer risk – which is not excluded for coverage in an employer-provided policy. So more high-risk babies and mommies, more birth defects, more fertility treatments (whether or not they are covered, there are health consequences), more cancer. These things are not in the insurance companies’ best interest. Actually increasing the health of the insured is much more helpful. In fact, statistically, the lack or insurance coverage for contraceptives only negligibly affect the utilization and access. It sounds like it makes it harder to get, but in fact it isn’t for most women – the stories highlighted are truly anecdotal and are not statistically significant.

    You could argue that, financially speaking, sterilization however, does save money, because it actually causes fewer babies to be born and fewer pregnancies to occur.

    Sebelius is an idiot.

    Reply
  2. Joe K.

    Arguments about whether or not there are abortifacients in the coverage are so pointless. (There are, by the way.) It’s not like these people would have any problem forcing others to pay for surgical abortions. In fact, it’s something that’s absolutely around the corner.

    Even if we take her statements at face value, I still fail to see how she actually answers his question. Q: “Who will pay for them?” A: “We will be saving money because people won’t be having as many kids.” What? How is that even an answer to the question?

    Although I don’t like what Tim Murphy argues here either, implying that “it’s a matter of religious belief” (and not “scientific” belief) that the drugs are abortifacients. One need not be “religious” to see that they are. He gives her too much to begin with, allowing the “science versus faith” nonsense to continue on.

    This positively false idea that a person can be neutral and “scientific” without making philosophical claims or relying on philosophical premises is just completely absurd. This is something the modern world just cannot understand. Perhaps the biggest something.

    Reply
  3. Liz

    The whole argument that chemical contraception is preventative health care for women is ludicrous. It is right in the ads…”increases the risk of blood clots, stroke and heart attack.” It baffles and horrifies me that there are so many who buy it.

    And then I remember Genesis and that whole enmity thing.

    Reply
  4. Lauren

    This would be absolutely hilarious if it weren’t so sad.

    I’ve pretty much given up on her, though. She has said that the Catholic church has not taken an official stance on abortion. *sigh* We should all do a prayer for her:)

    Reply
  5. Tara S

    Someday they’ll understand that using the word “scientists” as some kind of protective talisman is the same as saying “the Bible says” and expecting that to end the conversation to everyone’s satisfaction.

    Science is a lovely way of understanding the way the world is. I basically trust natural science. But I trust the human scientists rather less, and a layperson’s biased understanding of what they *want* the science to say much, much less than that.

    Oh, Lauren – she said WHAT? Heaven have mercy on her poor addled wits.

    Reply
  6. Peter M

    Man, nothing ruins my serenity more effectively than finding out what the government has been up to lately. St. Thomas More and St. Jude, pray for us.

    Reply
  7. Emily

    It’s just interesting to see what was done here linguistically, though.

    Sebelius backtracks calling “contraception” – that word that’s so nefarious to Catholics – to call it “Family Planning” which sounds much less threatening. You know, like tyrannic governments did throughout history. Take something controversial, call it something nice-sounding, BOOM. Not controversial anymore.

    Additionally, there’s this:
    “The reduction in a number of pregnancies is — compensates for the cost of contraception.”

    So that sounds like, to me at least, this mandate is providing contraception to women who don’t already use it. Yet, the argument that “everyone uses it,” was the reasoning behind passing such a mandate. Everyone uses it, but it costs lots so let’s help women out and remove the financial burden.

    But, that seems to not be the case. They think that by providing contraception they will lower the overall birthrate.
    NOTE: Not “unwanted pregnancies,” “unplanned” is not used at all.
    Just “the reduction in pregnancies compensates for the cost of contraception.”

    So, getting pregnant and having children is more expensive for the government, and that is what they are taking aim at. They are, in essence, encouraging women to contracept if they maybe even slightly think that they maybe don’t want another kid just yet.
    The government is trying to save money by preventing the birth of children.
    China, anyone?

    Reply
  8. Abba

    Aside from the repulsiveness of maintaining that there is a class of people who can benefit society by not being born, there’s this: if providing free contraceptives really saved insurance companies money, they would have been doing it all along and wouldn’t need the government to mandate it. It’s just one more lie on top of a whole stinking pile of lies. And by the way, the panel of the prestigious-sounding Institute of Medicine that Sebelius cited is loaded to the gills with “reproductive rights” activists (see http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/290664/abortion-rights-advocates-who-compiled-hhs-mandate-kathryn-jean-lopez).

    Reply
  9. William M.

    Really really sad for this deluded woman. She even had the benefit of a good shepherd in (I believe) bishop Naumann who tried to make it absolutely clear to her the spiritual danger she was in. … I will pray for her and also for the liberals who see her antics and think they can do likewise. Really sad. God must have a plan in allowing this but it doesn’t mean we don’t expose and oppose this. God help us.

    Reply
  10. Barbara

    Mark Steyn ought to sit this woman down and give her a talking to. He argues that Europe is already tanking economically because of declining birth-rates and the lack of a sufficient, young viable work-force to prop up the social programs in place in many countries. An aging population is NOT good for the economy.

    Reply
  11. Ruth

    @William, I think God’s plan is to allow us to stand up and be counted as someone who is willing to pay the price to do what is right.

    But that said, I AM a scientist. My profession (DVM) involves the constant use of science–though in an applied way–on a day to day basis. But I don’t believe in science and I sure don’t look to it to base my ethics on.

    Scientific studies are SO easy to design to show that which you want. Eliminate a certain small subset of subjects and the whole statistics change. If you eliminate Grant from the equation, the conclusion on a study of who is buried in Grant’s tomb sure won’t be Grant. That is why the phrase “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics” was popularized by Mark Twain. As someone who has read a lot of studies, I will say that most are full of a french phrase for that which comes from the south ends of north-going male cattle.

    Actually the push for contraception has everything to do with the war on poverty. The thought is that, if we don’t allow any poor people to be born, everyone will be rich and happy. If people on welfare don’t reproduce, we won’t have to give anyone welfare. The illusion is that poor people cost too much money. The reality is that ‘poor people’ only became a ‘drain’ on society with the introduction of welfare before that they were just a ‘shame.’

    BTW–I grew up in government-defined poverty as the 10th child out of 11. Farming our grandparents’ farm fed us. Educational grants and work study (a hand up) were very helpful and we also qualified for free lunches at school. Being from the working poor was such a blessing in a way that welfare can not be. All 11 kids are college graduates. But the ability to work hard and as a group for common goals is a lesson too few learn these days–especially in small families.

    My siblings are the best gift my parents could have given me–and they will make sure that I will never need to be on government assistance. So from my experience, having more children may be what truly saves the government money.

    Reply
  12. Rebecca

    And let’s not forget, that contraceptives, the “Pill” etc sometimes cause early miscarriage (abortion!)There’s no way of knowing if your contraceptive prevented a baby from being conceived, or allowed conception and then killed the baby.

    Reply

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