What does ObamaCare Have to Do With Circumcision?

I was recently discussing the pros and cons of circumcision with a friend, and later, he sent me an article from no less reputable a source than Yahoo! Health news which reported that the leading pediatric organization in America has reversed its 13-year-old policy concerning the health benefits of circumcision. Up until recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics had stated that the risks involved in circumcision weren’t really worth the possible benefits. Now, the AAP says that the risks are worth the benefits.

The battle over this question has been going on for some time, but what I find so interesting about this recent reversal is that it comes right on the heels of Obamacare passing. You see, the AAP’s endorsement is more than just an unbiased statement of medical research—it has repercussions on insurance. As the story reports:

The nation's most influential pediatricians group says the health benefits of circumcision in newborn boys outweigh any risks and insurance companies should pay for it.

The most important line there is “and insurance companies should pay for it.” In another portion of the article, it mentions that eighteen states have stopped funding circumcisions through Medicaid because it was not considered medically necessary. Most people have not considered this very important aspect of the recent healthcare regulations: the potential it has to impact medical research results and influence the stated opinions of professional medical associations. If a medical association says something is medically necessary, and this causes insurance companies to be forced to cover it, then, under ObamaCare, this could fluctuate the taxpayer burden by billions or more. One day, circumcisions are not covered; the next they are. One day, chiropractor visits are covered; the next, they’re not.

If insurance stays largely unregulated, different insurance companies would be free to develop their own policies, and you would be free to purchase the insurance that works best for your needs. But, if the civil government is paying for it, it can’t and won’t be like this. Insurance will become uniform, and the civil government will have to use research from the most “reputable” professional associations to determine what will and will not be covered. And, of course, these associations will not in any sense be tempted to sway their opinions to benefit their members or their backers in different health industries. Effective cancer treatments that cost very little will of course be given as much weight in the research as costly cancer treatments that extend over long periods of time after which they precipitate the need for other costly medical procedures. Right. Because insurance companies, bureaucratic associations, and government never work to further their own selfish ends at our expense.

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