There was an amusing “contoversy”. The new healthcare “reform” law requires health insurance providers to cover contraceptives. This led to religious objections. The law affects churches and their related charities, especially the Catholic church.
The church itself is exempt. However, the church also controls charities. The church hires secretaries and non-religious employees. The church would have been forced to cover contraceptives, for the non-religious employees and the charities.
This led to a controversy. “Should the Catholic Church be required to cover contraceptives for its employees?” This is a good fake issue, because it divides people nearly evenly. Some people say “Churches should be forced to follow the same rules as everyone else.” Others say “It’s a religious freedom issue.”
This is a problem with State health insurance. If the law says “X must be covered!”, then everyone who doesn’t need X pays higher premiums. If the law says “X is not covered!”, then everyone who needs X pays more; they pay insurance premium plus separately for X.
Insurance really is supposed to cover only disasters. “Insurance covers routine medical expenses.” isn’t really insurance. That policy originated as an income tax loophole. Corporations gave employees health insurance as a tax-free benefit. The law was changed to make this loophole explicitly legal. Because health insurance is a tax dodge, it covers almost everything. The current system of health insurance maximizes the economic rent of the State medical cartel. Via health insurance, patients pay indirectly and not directly, providing little incentive to keep costs down.
The actual economic value of this dispute is negligible. It probably comes to less than $10 per month per person.
Why is this important? The issue is dividing and conquering the slaves. The issue is a distraction from more important issues.
A typical slave thinks “I have an opinion on abortion. I have an opinion on health insurance and contraceptives. Therefore, I’m knowledgeable about politics.” People talk about stupid things instead of “Jon Corzine stole $1.6B from his customers and got away with it!” or “The Federal Reserve is printing a ton of money. That’s an indirect bank bailout!”
People talk about trivial issues like abortion and contraceptives. They don’t talk about the big issues like “The Federal Reserve is evil!” or “Government is too big!” or “All taxation is theft!”
The “Catholic contraceptive” debate is a clever distraction. The slaves are debating minor issues. They ignore the important things. By heavily debating trivial issues, this makes the slaves think they know about politics, while they’re totally manipulated.