So who is or is not going to pay for contraception under Obamacare? And this is a religious question?

The truth of the matter is that even though the United States has promised religious freedom from the very start, they have not done a very good job, historically, of delivering on this promise.

I am happy there are folks still fighting for religious freedom, even though their website is a year old and I think that most of what I peeked at is more oriented at public religious freedom. There is a clear designation between public and private religion. I have little use for public religion. Public religion consists of the well-orchestrated photographic opportunities of presidents and their families sitting in their pew at church. It consists of all of those who worship to be seen, whether they are showing off designer clothes or trying to grow professional practices by networking. I actually remember my Mother-of-Blessed-Memory telling me I had to partake in such things. These are practices that, if they are not hypocrisy themselves, surely invite hypocrisy. The private religion that stays inside your head is immune, or virtually immune, to hypocrisy. What you believe when you look yourself in the mirror is real, and more likely to remain so. For this reason I have little faith in institutional beliefs. I always have a little trouble accepting “all Catholics believe” or “all Jews believe,” because I know people who claim to be Catholic but believe in abortion. And me, I am more Jewish than most but think dietary laws were developed for hygiene and my religious beliefs are not located in my digestive system. Now, let’s take things just one step further.

A person would have to pay for his or her religious beliefs in a tangible, material manner — by paying for someone else’s beliefs for or against contraception. America can waste its legal minds and concentration, while perfectly viable adults die at war, deciding not just about whether contraception is right or wrong, but about who pays for who else’s contraception on some higher level.

These decisions should be individual. Contraception does not seem to be that hard to get. I mean, I have completely indigent patients who seem to be able to obtain it from those lovable folks, blessed may they be, at Planned Parenthood. As with any public religion that pays for stuff — most particularly, that “hyper-public” religion — the problem is not the reality, but the apparition of the reality. Hobby Lobby sounds like they don’t want it to “look” like they are paying for contraception. The pills themselves, and most other methods, have so many damned generics the actual cost is pretty negligible.

Why not give people some kind of discretionary control so they can pay for what they believe in. This would protect the religious freedom of those who believe in an amulet from Calvin the tree God to prevent pregnancy. This would be possible if America really protected religious freedom. But I am pretty sure America is not doing much of this.

Author's Bio: 

Estelle Toby Goldstein, MD is a board-certified psychiatrist in private practice in San Diego, CA.

Practicing Medicine Since 1981

In her medical career, she has studied in Europe and Canada as well as the USA. She has attended specialty training beyond medical school in the fields of general surgery, neurology and neurosurgery and psychiatry (specializing in psychopharmacology).

Experienced In Many Situations

She has worked in a variety of positions, including:
■Medical school professor
■General and Orthopedic surgeon
■Brain surgeon
■Army Medical Corps psychiatrist
■Prison psychiatrist
■Community Mental Health Center staff
■Consultant to a major transplant hospital
■Drug researcher

“Whatever It Takes!”

She currently has her own indepenent clinic in San Diego where she is concentrating on what she calls Mind/Body medicine — or Integrative Medicine. Her practice is cash-only, doesn’t accept insurance or government payments, and she operates on the concierge, or “private doctor” practice model to give her patients the absolute best quality of care and the highest level of confidentiality.

Dr. Goldstein’s philosophy is “Whatever It Takes!” Her goal is to do everything possible to solve whatever problem she is presented. This includes seeing patients as quickly as possible — not making them wait weeks for an appointment. This includes making appointments days, nights, weekends or holidays. This includes making house-calls. And it includes using the best, most innovative treatments available — most of which are unknown to standard, mainstream doctors.

Her focus is on transitioning patients away from prescription drugs and onto natural substances. She is also a master practitioner of Emotional Freedom Technique, a powerful and dynamic form of energy psychology that usually brings quicker results than traditional psychotherapy.