There has been something that has always bothered my about this whole contraception debate. Namely the idea that the employer is somehow buying the insurance for the employee. It smacks entirely of paternalism and completely ignores the fact that the employee is, even if sadly not in practice, an equal in the transaction. The employee is providing a service in exchange for money and other perks including health insurance. The employee has earned his health insurance in much the same way that he has earned his salary. Saying that the employer is buying the insurance for the employee is just as inaccurate as saying that if the employee goes out and buys drugs the employer is buying drugs for the employee so it might be better to just give the employee company scrip instead so that the employer can control how it is used. At its heart it is a paternalistic worldview, and once you recognize this simple fact you begin to see it everywhere.
A paternalistic worldview is hardly anything new. It has been around forever. It is the idea that one group of people, for whatever reason, is superior to everyone else. This superiority is what gives them the right to control other people's lives while at the same time giving them the responsibility to make sure that their subordinates live their lives correctly.
It is a concept that is perhaps best illustrated in the concept of the White Man's Burden a century ago. Back then it was manifested as the sincere belief that colonialism wasn't just blatant exploitation of people with less guns, but a duty of the Europeans to make the dirty savages' lives better. It was of course manifestly and overtly racist as well, but in a larger sense this aspect is only tangentially related. The real source of the colonizers superiority was their technology, but since they for the large part didn't invent their technology themselves they needed to lash onto something that gave them a veneer of association to the technology, namely their race. But if we go back even further to feudal times it is easy to see that this worldview can be largely separated from notions of race.
The problem of course is that, at least in polite company, this worldview was soundly rejected fifty years ago or so in favor of the view that all (wo)men are equal by dint of their humanity. But it should come as no surprise that the view would still persist in some segments of the population. And since the rejection was primarily a rejection on racial grounds, the applications of the worldview in other areas tends to fly more under the radar. We are perhaps nearing a turning point in the LGBT application of this worldview, but the application to the poor and working class still seems to be accepted at face value instead of being dismissed out of hand.
Job Creators as a term is perhaps a case in point. All to often it seems the left attacks its use from the standpoint that the rich don't in fact create all that many jobs. But this attack completely misses the point. The real attack is that employers don't create jobs from an altruistic impulse, jobs are created as a partnership between employer and employee.
The treatment of the poor as criminals and drug addicts that need to be taken care of like little children instead of being helped in much the same way that we'd help a neighbor or friend impacted by a natural disaster.
Which brings us back to the beginning. This seeming belief on the right that anything an employee earns through his labor is in fact a gift from the employer for which the employee should be grateful. The idea that pension are somehow a bonus that can be taken away or reduced years after they were earned. And health insurance. The employer is not buying the insurance for the employee anymore than the employer is buying anything for the employee that the employee chooses to spend his salary on. This analogy is actually much better than it would seem at first blush. The employer is just providing the insurance. What the employee chooses to use the insurance for, whether it be birth control or cancer therapy, is solely up to the employees needs. Just as what the employee chooses to spend the salary that he earned on is solely dependent on the employees needs and desires.
As for the rebuttal that the government would seemingly be assuming the paternalistic role from the employer by mandating the insurance that must be purchased, their is a simple answer to that. The government acts as the uber-Union of all its citizens, and like any union that negotiates with an employer it derives its power from its members and is answerable to its members. Even if at times this might not seem to be the case, I think only the most cynical viewpoint views the leader of a union as an all-powerful overlord.