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Sunday, October 31, 2010


Babies and laws and special interest groups, oh my!

The health care law has always been a great controversy, and now the controversy continues over what was meant by the wording within the law. One of the current issues is whether the law is meant to cover birth control. This is where the special interest groups come in. In this case Planned Parenthood is fighting that it is included in the law, while the National Catholic Bioethics Center is arguing that birth control is a lifestyle choice, and other religious organizations are saying they will join the fight against birth control being included if the morning after pill is included under birth control. Since they are unable to agree, there now has to be meetings and conferences and votes as to what constitutes birth control, and if it is covered under the act. There are also major research projects being conducted that to see if more women will take birth control if it is free, also what kind of birth control they will choose. Planned Parenthood advocates for free birth control, because that is their special interest, while it is in the interest of the religious groups to not allow free birth control because it goes against their beliefs. However, in reality, they don’t have to take it, and while the law may not be the best on the books, if we can make it less costly for us that would probably be our best option.

The head-butting that is visible over this issue, is a clear example of how special interest groups create inefficiency as Olson says. Given that the bill has been passed, these special interest groups are creating even more friction about it. It probably would have helped if the people in congress had read the bill prior to voting, but I suppose we have to put the past behind us, now that the bill is in place special interest groups are having their little quarrels making it more time consuming and more costly, exactly as Olson said. Unfortunately it appears that this will be our future unless we begin to follow Olson’s advice, and get things to begin to change somehow.

So, special interest groups on opposite sides of the policy issue now "duke it out" over implementation of the statute. Would you guess these same interest groups were also "duking it out" over what the language in the bill would be?
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