Requiring men to have maternity healthcare coverage is entirely different from maternity leave. Maternity coverage refers to healthcare issues regarding pregnancy. Forcing men to take maternity healthcare coverage has no influence on their employer paid time-off when they become a father.
Bearing children is an event that has implications for the rest of the society far beyond whether the individual woman wants one at a given moment, in some hypothetical vacuum. Just as in your regional disaster example, whether or not the whole insurance system actually does
raise prices for everyone until it can
cover people regularly getting washed off the floodbanks of the Mississippi (or whatever local emergency) has impacts across whole communities and even on the whole national economy.
You can try an atomized, individual consumer choice model if you like, but it falls apart for me when we consider that actually, the whole society is organized around assuming that some people will
positively take certain options and those choices are good for the nation as a whole. It's not simply a matter of some personal "extra" or "privilege" that has no bearing on anyone else (and it has not been treated as if it were, where the government has been concerned historically). The real question is what percentage
perhaps the individual pays versus the collective -- but it is not
whether the collective should reasonably pay a meaningful share at all to make things happen -- at least, not until you get into things like the One Child Policy or abortion debates. This is a question of how the society or government (or is it now, corporation?) actually does regulate or encourage how many
kids per family or how many houses per floodplain is a positively desirable (or at least a supportable) risk/investment.
Now, whether the whole business model has been rigged
such that absolute prices are exorbitantly high to begin with (i.e. does
the government reform this??), or whether the government plans and subsidizes a national plan in a way that people can
pay to get important stuff done at all and keep prices relatively
low under whatever system is available -- those are separate questions.
There seems to be a lot of misinformation flying in this thread. The ACA does not decrease or subsidize costs simply for being a woman. Many women will actually see rate increases. The subsidies are only provided based on financial figures - regardless of male or female.
I don't think I said the ACA itself was doing it all right. I suppose now that the cost management could have been trashed the minute corporations were allowed to change the plans without consequences, and thus nullify the earlier estimates. If that is not actually a runaway problem, then I also wonder if it's just not being funded properly for the intent.
It's the part where you seem to suggest people shouldn't have to pay for stuff they don't immediately use, where I start to ask, but are you sure they don't benefit from others having more reasonable coverage for those particular events (which might otherwise spread high costs of such events in cases of delay or non-coverage, i.e. stuff not getting done or costs of default on payments across the whole system anyway
) and from more people having overall
cheaper coverage for more things? I just got the impression with your disaster and women's cases that you were picking situations where only a minority (errm, except there are an awful lot of women!) are commonly discussed as the immediate "agents" or "people involved" -- partly because yes, the society has taken it for granted that they would bear more burdens, rightly or not -- but in fact a lot of people are
seriously really affected, sooner or later, by what happens?
I do understand that people may be upset when they feel that charges for stuff they don't use "personally" are the ones that seem to break their budget, but to me that sounds more like a problem of how the funding was allocated or not. That does not prove to me that there was no other way to allocate it, or even that the funding was proper or what was intended. It may show that ACA as it stands has problems... It doesn't necessarily show that it's better for everyone to let everyone, slice and dice plans for only what they
use this moment
. That would be contrary to a single-payer system (which you say you support) anyway, right? There would be no way to spread out the costs.
The only clause in the ACA pertaining to women is the requirement that rates cannot vary between men and women. On a functional level, we can all agree this is good in theory.
However, it hurts women who are married, who now have husbands required to pay more for their insurance. It also hurts women who just graduated from college and looking to get their first job. It also hurts women who have no interest in having children, and women in their 40s and 50s.
So you're saying that in theory people are interrelated and should help each other, but "in practice" no one wants to. No one cares if it is hugely expensive for some woman elsewhere in the society to have a child, or to have however many children you say is too many. Only her immediate partner, you might say, should have any interest in that whatsoever. It doesn't matter if she's someone else's neighbor or relative or teacher, or if one wing of the government is lamenting how domestic-born population is in decline for that matter...
In that case, it's completely 'her problem' if she wants a child, and it has no relation to whatever else happens in the society? Who is going to be the workforce when those women in their 30's are 60? Why did the state perhaps, provide an easier financial environment for their parents to bear them, than it offers for them if they wish to have children? No, it's completely their individual problem and if they can't afford children or proper maternity practices, that cost never goes anywhere else in the system. Sorry, I don't believe that's very practical. It's not empirically true. Unless perhaps, you assume that the child she is contemplating is one the state and society are not at all interested in her having...
Maybe it makes some sense in a scenario where you assume from the get go, that is one child too many and it couldn't possibly contribute anything good to have one more -- then, obviously, she should pay for everything. No one else has any interest in that child then
... (Or it could be, in that guy's chronic condition being resolved so he can get back to work, or that house repaired after a flood that only happens in that region so that those people can focus on what they're doing
while they drive buses of people across the country or build roads or inspect nuclear reactors... What have you.)