The RH Bill’s Impact on Your Rights and Freedom
NOTE: The following is a response I made to a Facebook commenter who asked whether the bill I posted on my blog (Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008 authored by Rep. Edcel Lagman) contains the exact RH proposal.
Here’s my answer:
Yes, my post contains the exact 2008 RH proposal of Rep. Lagman. However, there are other versions of the RH bill in Congress (both lower and upper houses). If I’m not mistaken, Lagman filed another version of his original bill. But here’s the thing: the whole Congress are going to debate on the issues concerning the bill, and some of these issues include reproductive health, population, the use of contraception, family planning, regulation of businesses and the medical profession, among others, and they would certainly make a compromise, as they always did whenever they tackled pieces of legislation in the past.
But here are the FACTORS that our lawmakers should consider:
- The current condition of the country’s economy. Can the government provide all the RH services mentioned in the bill WITHOUT TAXING the people?
- The bill’s penal and punitive provisions.
- Are they going to shift the burden to employers, health care providers and others?
- The country’s budget deficit, tax revenue, or the financial capacity of the government to pursue the intents of the bill.
Whatever that result of that compromise would be, here are the very POSSIBLE effects/impacts of the bill on your rights and freedom:
- Big government, which means the government will have to assume a bigger role to rule our lives.
- More government regulations of the business community, the medical profession, and the education sector.
- There would be higher prices of commodities and services, including medical services. Why is this the case? It’s because employers and even hospitals would be compelled to raise their prices in order to offset the RH expenses they pay for their workers. If they don’t do this, they’d go BROKE!
- There would be more regulations and controls to come. The government could even issue PRICE CONTROLS in order to legally prevent companies from raising their prices.
- The system would corrupt the entire medical profession. Since RH services would be partly or even fully subsidized by the government and/or paid for by employers, hospitals might look at opportunities to get more patients or RH beneficiaries rather than focusing on quality health care. How much should a hospital charge for every RH care visit to be covered by Philhealth or a private company? How would the government or state regulators know whether a particular clinic or hospital mis-declare the number of its patients, its price, etc?
- Private companies and firms would be compelled to lay off workers or not to hire women or new workers in order to avoid more RH care expenses. This is very much possible since the bill includes punitive or penal provisions against employers who refuse or fail to comply with their “responsibilities.”
- There would be less innovation in the medical industry since one of the effects of the bill is that it justifies state or government’s fixing of the prices of medical services. If the government through PhilHealth pays for the RH case expenses of poor people and if employers pay for the expenses of their workers, then that gives the government the “right” to regulate or control the prices of RH services.
- The government would be compelled to levy additional tax rates or new taxes or borrow money from foreign sources in order to fully deliver the promises of the bill.
- The bill, if ever enacted, would have a negative impact on our individual rights and freedom, as it allows the government to have more power to heavily regulate the business sector, the medical profession, the education sector, and to rule our lives.