Supreme Court will take up birth control dispute

Cases center on health care law's requirement to cover contraception
Associated Press
Nov 27, 2013

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to referee another dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law: whether businesses may use religious objections to escape a requirement to cover birth control for employees.

The justices said they will take up an issue that has divided the lower courts in the face of roughly 40 lawsuits from for-profit companies asking to be spared from having to cover some or all forms of contraception.

The Obama administration promotes the law's provision of a range of preventive care, free of charge, as a key benefit of the health care overhaul. Contraception is included in the package of cost-free benefits, which opponents say is an attack on the religious freedom of employers.

The court will consider two cases. One involves Hobby Lobby Inc., an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain with 13,000 full-time employees. Hobby Lobby won in the lower courts.

The other case is an appeal from Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., a Pennsylvania company that employs 950 people in making wood cabinets. Lower courts rejected the company's claims.

The court said the cases will be combined for arguments, probably in late March. A decision should come by late June.

The cases center on the provision of the law that requires most employers that offer health insurance to their workers to provide the range of preventive health benefits. In both instances, the Christian families that own the companies say that insuring some forms of contraception violates their religious beliefs.

The key issue is whether profit-making corporations may assert religious beliefs under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act or the First Amendment provision guaranteeing Americans the right to believe and worship as they choose.

Nearly four years ago, the justices expanded the concept of corporate "personhood," saying in the Citizens United case that corporations have the right to participate in the political process the same way that individuals do. Some lower court judges have applied the same logic in the context of religious beliefs.

"The government has no business forcing citizens to choose between making a living and living free," said David Cortman of the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian public interest law firm that is representing Conestoga Wood at the Supreme Court.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said the health care law "puts women and families in control of their health care by covering vital preventive care, like cancer screenings and birth control, free of charge." Carney said the administration already has exempted churches from the requirement, and has created a buffer between faith-affiliated charities and contraceptive coverage by requiring insurers or another third party to provide contraceptive coverage instead of the religious employer. Separate lawsuits are challenging that arrangement.

The issue is largely confined to religious institutions and family-controlled businesses with a small number of shareholders. A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found 85 percent of large American employers already had offered coverage before the health care law required it.

Hobby Lobby calls itself a "biblically founded business" and is closed on Sundays. Founded in 1972, the company now operates more than 500 stores in 41 states. The Green family, Hobby Lobby's owners, also owns the Mardel Christian bookstore chain.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said corporations can be protected by the 1993 law in the same manner as individuals, and "that the contraceptive-coverage requirement substantially burdens Hobby Lobby and Mardel's rights under" the law.

In its Supreme Court brief, the administration said the appeals court ruling was wrong and, if allowed to stand, would make the law "a sword used to deny employees of for-profit commercial enterprises the benefits and protections of generally applicable laws."

Conestoga Wood is owned by a Mennonite family who "object as a matter of conscience to facilitating contraception that may prevent the implantation of a human embryo in the womb."

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the company on its claims under the 1993 law and the Constitution, saying "for-profit, secular corporations cannot engage in religious exercise."

The Supreme Court will have to confront several questions: Can these businesses hold religious beliefs; does the health care provision significantly infringe on those beliefs and, even if the answer to the first two questions is "yes," does the government still have a sufficient interest in guaranteeing women who work for the companies access to contraception?

The justices chose two cases in which the companies object to only a few of the 20 forms of contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In a third case in which the court took no action Tuesday, Michigan-based Autocam Corp. doesn't want to pay for any contraception for its employees because of its owners' Roman Catholic beliefs.

The emergency contraceptives Plan B and Ella work mostly by preventing ovulation. The FDA says on its website that Plan B "may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg ... or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the womb (uterus)," while Ella also may work by changing the lining of the uterus so as to prevent implantation.

Hobby Lobby specifically argues that two intrauterine devices (IUDs) also may prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. The company's owners say they believe life begins at conception, and they oppose only birth control methods that can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus, but not other forms of contraception.

In siding with the administration, several women's groups rejected what they see as efforts by the businesses to come between women and their doctors.

The health care law's inclusion of contraception among preventive health benefits was a major victory in a decades-long fight for equal coverage for women's reproductive health care needs, said Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women's Law Center.

Citing the example of IUDs, Greenberger said the devices may be the safest, most effective way to prevent pregnancy for women who cannot take the birth control pill. But at $500 to $1,000 for an IUD, "the cost can be prohibitive," she said.

 

Comments

Contango

Re: "Carney said the administration already has exempted churches from the requirement, and has created a buffer between faith-affiliated charities and contraceptive coverage by requiring insurers or another third party to provide contraceptive coverage instead of the religious employer."

Their explanation of this "buffer" is absurd.

Several of those employers self-insure and hire management cos. to pay the bills.

Love the hypocrisy of the progressives' cafeteria approach to "separation of church and state."

The one-size-fits-all approach of Obama☭are is socialistic nonsense.

Why don't the Amish pay SS and Medicare taxes? Shouldn't Pres. Obama force 'em?

http://money.howstuffworks.com/p...

The Big Dog's back

I don't know, why don't they?

Sandusksquach

I shop at another art supply store now.

coasterfan

Contango: What is absurd is that an employer thinks they can push their religious beliefs on their employees. This is NOT a separation of church and state issue, since Hobby Lobby isn't a church. It is Hobby Lobby who brought church into the discussion.

The only hypocrisy I see is that of Republicans, who don't want to fund free contraceptives, and also don't want to fund the obvious result of that mindset: food stamps for the millions of additional babies who are born to low-income folks who would've otherwise used those condoms.

I agree that the Amish should pay social security and Medicare.

Oh, and by the way, you can stop with the silly communist references to Obamacare, since it (unlike the federally provided health care in other countries) is a free marketplace where Americans can shop for insurance.
Besides, Obamacare has a definite Republican thumbprint on it, since Obama had to include several compromises, in order to get it to pass in 2010. Also, it's basically the same as the policy the GOP/Heritage Foundation proposed during the Bush years. Did you call it a communist/socialist thing then?

And finally, do you even know the difference between communism and socialism, since you often use the two terms interchangeably?

My cousin in Seattle announced yesterday that he will pay $343 less per month with his Obamacare insurance, and has BETTER coverage than before.
Now, if we can only get the dang website to work...

Contango

Re: "do you even know the difference between communism and socialism, since you often use the two terms interchangeably?"

Stated numerous times: To Marx and Engels they were synonymous.

Early American progressives understood that Progressivism was Fabian socialism.

grumpy

"My cousin in Seattle announced yesterday that he will pay $343 less per month with his Obamacare insurance, and has BETTER coverage than before.
Now, if we can only get the dang website to work..."

Meaning it covers more things, that is one thing it does. Is the deductable higher or lower? Is the co-pay the same, higher, lower? Are the limit per person covered higher or lower? How about the total for the family?

There are more things than coverage that makes up an insurance plan. ObamaSCARE would cover things,... more things that I don't have or need covered. I don't need baby coverage, juvenile coverage prenatal coverage, and several other things. That doesn't mean it is BETTER coverage... it means that my family doesn't need that coverage and doesn't need to pay for coverage it doesn't need. It is called choice... I prefer choice to being told what I need when it is something I DON'T need. I DON'T need a one plan (or as in obamaSCARE) four plans fit all. I prefer choice.

Dr. Information

Whats amazing is the exemptions Obama has given out already (big unions..etc) but Lord forbid he exempt one small fraction of this bill for a small group asking to for religious reasons.

coasterfan

Hobby Lobby has 220+ stores and 13,000 employees. That is not a small group.

Dr. Information

and birth control isn't a right.

The Big Dog's back

Yes it is.

Minuteman

A perfect example of what the problem is. Some want the government to take care of them, others want to live freely and take their chances.

Sandusksquach

Live free until they can't afford their medical bills. Then they want help when it costs all of us more to provide it.

donutshopguy

This continued intrusion into private lives by the government will be our ultimate downfall of America and the values it was founded on.

Peninsula Pundit

Sure, corporations give one fig about religious observance.
These are the same corporations who will work their staff overtime every religious holiday and use the observance to put non-stop ads on TV to BUY!BUY!BUY!, never alluding to anything near religious observance.
Hypocrites!
But, oh,no, we don't want our employees to have birth control.It violates our religious sensitivities.
But Viagara? Well, that's OK.

deertracker

Exactly!

Contango

Re: "BUY!BUY!BUY!,"

70% of U.S. GDP is based on consumerism.

Materialism IS the national "religion."

Hobby Lobby, Chick-fil-a and others CLOSE on Sun. and religious holidays - refutes your argument.

deertracker

Wal Mart, Target, Best Buy, and LOTS of others are open on Sundays and religious holidays. Refutes your argument.

Contango

Re: "Wal Mart, Target, Best Buy,"

Off topic.

Nemesis

Because they all look the same to you, right?

coasterfan

Unless Hobby Lobby donates 10% of it's earnings to the church, then I would say that, yes, they are religious hypocrites. Since they don't, that refutes your argument.

Personally, I think Chick-Fil-A should donate another 10% of their profit to the LGBT community for their obvious anti-gay stance. I'm pretty sure that Jesus would have seen things exactly the opposite as Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A.

Contango

Re: "Unless Hobby Lobby donates 10% of it's earnings to the church,"

How do you know that they don't?

Does the State get to pick the church?

thinkagain

^^godless sinner pretending to know the mind of Christ.^^

Luke 17:26-32 Jesus spoke about the sin of homosexuality bringing about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Matthew 19:4 Jesus spoke about what constitutes marriage and thereby condemning anything outside of God’s standard.

Nemesis

Not all churches preach tithing. Freedom of religion, and your fetish phrase "separation of church and state" mean that you don't get to decide what constitutes full observance of another person's religion.

ladydye_5

Hobby Lobby is CLOSED on Sunday and all holidays. Just an FYI

deertracker

So! Your point?

Contango

Re: "So! Your point?"

See: Topic and PP's absurd assertion.

deertracker

LOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Contango

Re: This court case.

Better get ALL the facts:

"The Green family (Hobby Lobby) has no moral objection to the use of 16 of 20 preventive contraceptives required in the mandate but it says it cannot provide or pay for four of the drugs including Plan B and Ella, the so-called morning-after pill and the week-after pill."

They're OK with 80%!

Gotta love ol' Pres. Obama's dictatorial my-way-or-the-highway attitude.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/poli...

coasterfan

Thanks for the update/details. Actually, I'm pleased to hear about the Green family's stance; being 20% wrong is better than being 100% wrong, I suppose. And I AM glad that they are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, as all stores should be.

The store owners have their hearts in the right place. Where they go wrong is trying to force their personal religious beliefs on their employees, many of whom belong to another religion or no religion at all.
Religion has no place in the workplace, unless that workplace is a church.

Re: Obama's supposed my-way-or-highway attitude. The same idiots who say things like that are also the ones who say he is too conciliatory or wishy-washy. Some, including myself, see a my-way-or-highway stance as good leadership. That certainly served previous presidents well, didn't it?

Contango

Re: "including myself, see a my-way-or-highway stance as good leadership."

Your affinity toward authoritarian-totalitarianism is perfectly clear comrade.

SamAdams

They are not forcing their religious beliefs on anybody. That's where the argument gets bollixed up on BOTH sides. They're not saying that anybody who works for Hobby Lobby can't use birth control. They're not demanding proof job applicants have never had an abortion, nor am I aware of them ever having FIRED someone for having had their tubes tied or taking a Plan B pill.

All that Hobby Lobby is saying is that their religion forbids some of those things and, as a result, they can't buy them — which is what they'd be doing under the Obamacare mandates.

I don't know what you consider to be sinful, nor do you know what I might consider to be sinful. I'm sure you don't care what I do (as long as I don't hurt you or others), and I feel the same way about you. But what if one of us was FORCED to pay for the other's "sins?" I still don't care what you do on your own time, mind you, but I have a serious problem becoming an active participant in it!

Dr. Information

coasterfan has a real hard time differentiating between forcing someone vs not supporting. Two totally different points. FORCING someone would say, if you take birth control and we find out, you are fired or saying if you don't go to church on Sunday, we won't hire you. That is forcing someone to do something to work for their store.

Not supporting birth control is just that. They aren't saying you can or cannot take it. They aren't saying anything but we won't pay for it. BIRTH CONTROL is not a right!

Nemesis

And, to be clear, what they're saying they won't pay for is something that costs $5/month - less than the beer you might buy someone in the quest to do something that might necessitate contraception.

It's understandable, though, because Coaster doesn't think anyone should be responsible for paying for anything for themselves. In Coaster's perfect world, everything would be provided by the state, and thus failure to provide something would amount to a prohibition on having/using it.

Sandusksquach

Refusing to provide basic healthcare for religious reasons seems like forcing religion.

Dr. Information

birth control is not basic healthcare.

Nemesis

"And I AM glad that they are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, as all stores should be......
The store owners have their hearts in the right place. Where they go wrong is trying to force their personal religious beliefs on their employees, many of whom belong to another religion or no religion at all."

You mean like preventing a Hindu or Muslim employee from earning a living on Jesus' birthday, as you say all stores should? Wow, two ADJACENT contradictory sentences is a new extreme even for you.

"Religion has no place in the workplace, unless that workplace is a church."

Telegraphing your communist belief that there should be NO private sector, eh? The First Amendment binds only state actors, aka, the government. Private entities are under no such restriction.

Religion has no place in the workplace, IF AND ONLY IF that workplace is a government agency.

Contango

More trouble in that cluster (bleep) known as Obam☭are paradise.

BREAKING NEWS -

"Obama administration to delay online health care enrollment for small businesses"

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101212039

coasterfan

Contango: don't you have a job? You post 24/7. Oh. My. God. Could it be that you're one of the 47% that Mitt griped about? Or, do you work from home like me, and set your own hours?

I'm guessing it's the former. No one who actually works for a living would have the same utter contempt for the working man that you have, right?

Contango

^^^ Absurdist tripe.

coasterfan

I just like kicking the bear. If I, and other Democrats, let your drivel stand without challenging it, less informed/less intelligent people might accept your point of view as "fact", simply because you come across as educated.

That IS a challenge that we Democrats face. A lot of uneducated people who vote Republican aren't able to tell the difference between Opinion and Fact. Fox, of course, doesn't help, since they have all but erased the distinction between the two.

Dr. Information

Hypocrite. You post 99% opinion and on the rare occasion throw out some bogus link. You are the definition of hypocrite.

Contango

Re: "aren't able to tell the difference between Opinion and Fact"

Your perennial issue, since you most often spew political rhetoric and never attempt to educate or convince though the use of documentation.

You had to be one p*ss poor excuse for a "teacher."

cockynurse

Some of you people don't even know what you're talking about. It's not "birth control" like you are all thinking-but after the fact pregnancy control they don't want to be forced to cover, such as the morning after pill, "plan B" , the week after pill. Reason being, they feel as if those drugs (they certainly are not medicines) stop a pregnancy AFTER the point of
Conception-which they do. Government should not force a private business to do anything. If employees don't like it-someone else will always be hiring.

Don't even start with the what-ifs dealing with rape because private insurance doesn't pay for that anyways-the state does or the hospital who has agreed to accept the piddly state reimbursement monies for sexual assault exams.

Hobby Lobby is not saying their employees can not use these drugs-but they don't want to be forced to pay for them.

As for the Viagra comment-Viagra is used to treat a medical disorder. What medical disorder does Plan B treat?

Pterocarya frax...

If Hobby Lobby truly is concerned about the use of a product that stops pregnancy after conception, what are they okay with hormonal birth control (pill, patch, ring, etc)? Hormonal birth control often does not stop ovulation and fertilization, but then prevents the fertilized egg from implanting.

As an alleged nurse, you are aware of that.....right? If you aren't, just ask Rick Santorum. He can esplain it to you.

Contango

Re: "If Hobby Lobby,"

Not to worry Caucasian wingnut; months before the Obama☭are employer mandate kicks in, numerous employers will drop their health ins. plans, give their employees a few bucks and let 'em find their own insurance.

Progressive women will be able to (bleep) whomever and as often as they want.

Catch an STD? Don't worry.

Sexual freedom and socialist health care paradise awaits us all!

http://www.doyougotinsurance.com...

H*ll, most Americans are too ignorant to understand their 401(k).

Trying to navigate the health ins. market should just add to their confusion.

Pterocarya frax...

When real and legitimate arguments are made, you always try to deflect attention from the real situation. I understand it is part of your job, and your employer pays you extra for handling it that way, because when the real issues are avoided, and you keep working in the Sand C words (socialism/communism) it keeps your loyal readers angry and stupid. Good job.

Contango

Re: "socialism/communism"

Just because you're ignorant of the origins of your wrongheaded and failed progressive ideology (Marxism), doesn't make it any less a fact regarding your belief structure.

I'm getting a check for my "contributions"? LMAO!!!

The POINT Caucasian wingnut is that once most employers no longer provide health ins., this birth control controversy will be a non-issue.

Like chess, think a few moves ahead.

Pterocarya frax...

Actually, Winnie, that is where you and your beloved business owners are several moves behind already. Because the liberals have planned so far ahead, and as employers stop providing coverage, we will be moving right into single payer.

Check and mate.

grumpy

"Because the liberals have planned so far ahead,"

Yes we have all seen that planning first hand. Shovel ready projects that turned out to not be shovel ready, closing gitmo the first year, getting out of Iraq befor the end of obama's first year and Afganastan soon after, IRS debacle, Syria and Bhengazi, obamaSCARE saving $2500 per family, keeping you doctor, and insurance plan if you like them, extending and expanding the patriot act, extending bush's tax cuts for a cuple years after claiming it was the devils work, I could keep going but am getting tired of typing things that show how well you progressives plan things. Do you want to share all the things they planned out the last 5 years and compare?Single payer will take both houses of Congress to pass the bill. How is 14 looking to you nowafter the diaster we are going thriough now? I am sure the country will be backing those who voted in obamaSCARE into existence with NO repubes voting for it. Lets give the losers who voted in that turkey another bite at the apple. Good plan.

Contango

Re: "we will be moving right into single payer."

The POINT (once again):

AND birth-control for the promiscuous and others will become a non-issue.

Single payer - what a JOKE.

Medicare and Medicaid lose an estimated $60-$100B annually through waste, fraud and abuse.

Looking forward to seeing the hundreds of billions in losses that single payer will annually bring about. You?

Maybe just hire a few more thousand highly compensated bureaucrats to police the system eh?

Brain dead socialists attempt to suspend market forces, but ULTIMATELY succumb to Mr. Market.

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there'd be a shortage of sand."

- Milton Friedman

Pterocarya frax...

Hey look everybody...Taxpayer is back!! Remember how he capitalized every other word. I always knew you 2 were the same commenter. LOL.

Most of the Medicare/Medicaid fraud you mention has been perpetrated by your beloved corporations. Think Columbia/HCA for reference. They paid back 1.7 billion for their lying/cheating ways. I never understood how Rick Scott stayed out of prison for that, much less got elected governor of Florida.

You do realize that provisions in "Obamacare" commit resources and technology to fraud prevention. There have been multiple new prosecutions, and over 10 billion in Medicare fraud has been recovered already since the law was passed. Time to update your talking points.

Contango

Re: "I always knew you 2 were the same commenter."

First I was "paid" and now I'm a "twin." Got any other delusions handy? lol

Corps.? Unless you socialists control ALL the means of healthcare delivery in the U.S. by making hospitals and providers public ees., the waste, fraud and abuse will add up into the trillions instead of the hundred of billions.

Dumbed-downed progressives think that they're smarter than the Soviet Russians who were the first in the world to guarantee healthcare for all citizens.

Waste, fraud and abuse was rampant.

http://mises.org/daily/3650

Let's discuss free-market ideas like a high deductible (catastrophic) health ins. plan along with Health Savings Accounts like Dr. Ben Carson proposed.

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront...

That's what I have - works fine.

Nemesis

What "real and legitimate arguments" would those be?

Pterocarya frax...

It would be that Hobby Lobby is hypocritical in what birth control they are cool. I made that point above, and Contango tried to deflect attention away from it. In case you can't be bothered to go find it, here it is again:

If Hobby Lobby truly is concerned about the use of a product that stops pregnancy after conception, what are they okay with hormonal birth control (pill, patch, ring, etc)? Hormonal birth control often does not stop ovulation and fertilization, but then prevents the fertilized egg from implanting.

Doh!!

Contango

Re: "Contango tried to deflect attention away from it."

No, I wrote that eventually your point would be moot.

Before and after the employer mandate kicks in, employers will dump their health plans.

Prediction: The Admin. will lose on this case.

Pterocarya frax...

Each employer that dumps health plans takes us one step closer to single payer.

Prediction: It doesn't matter whether the Administration loses this case. We will have single payer by 2020, or sooner.

Contango

Re: "Each employer that dumps health plans takes us one step closer to single payer."

Not inconceivable.

And then "one step closer" to the country's financial, fiscal & economic collapse.

H*ll, these bozos can't even get a website to work and the socialists want 'em in charge of 1/6th of the economy? LMAO!!!

Nemesis

I saw what you said, I just asked where the "real and legitimate arguments" were. You don't get to dictate what constitutes compliance with someone else's religion.

cockynurse

Pterocarya frax: I am not an alleged nurse, I am a nurse. Please research how birth control works and the different types as you are, clearly, uneducated. Birth control pills DO prevent ovulation. They also alter the thickness of cervical mucous as well as the very make-up of the endometrial lining. You must have the same sort of "fact checkers" as your beloved President. Have a nice day...

Train

If the employees of a religious based company don't like or agree with that companies policies; don't work there. They are not forcing their beliefs on anyone. If they were, you wouldn't have been hired in the first place. Will Obama force Muslim based businesses to serve pork products in their cafeterias and/or vending machines for those who enjoy pork? Oh, I guess that's different.

Pterocarya frax...

Yeah that is different.....and stupid.

Contango

Re: "Yeah that is different....."

No stories in the media about Muslim firms being required to cover birth control and abortions.

Wonder why?

Your bud, coasterfan writes that the Amish should be forced to pay SS and Medicare taxes. What say you?

Always love how you socialists are into force and control and you call it freedom.

Nemesis

"Yeah that is different.....and stupid."

Actually, it's exactly the same.

Pterocarya frax...

When I first read Train's comment I possibly misinterpreted the term "religious based company". After re reading I decided Hobby Lobby does probably qualify as such, so I was almost ready to concede that you are correct.

But then I thought about it some more and decided that no, I should not give it to you. First off, Hobby Lobby is hypocritical about paying for birth control, as I explained in a previous comment.

Secondly, the idea that Obama would make a muslim based company is absurdist tripe, and stupid.

Third, if we let Hobby Lobby out of paying for birth control, we start down a very slippery slope. Next a Jehovah's Witness will say he won't pay for health insurance that won't cover blood transfusions. Where does it stop?

Contango

Re: "Where does it stop?"

When (to use a sport analogy), the govt. quits being coach, owner and referee and goes back to it's traditional role as ONLY referee.

But the socialists won't stop until they control all the means of production and the system eventually collapses.

Mr. Market ALWAYS wins in the end.

The socialists may be able to give the illusion that they are in control, but eventually every market reverts to the mean.

Nemesis

First off, your accusation of hypocrissy rests upon the proposition that you get to dictate the rules of someone else's religion.

Your secondly makes no sense. Obama making a Muslim based company is illegal, since he's not allowed to invest while in office - his investments are in a blind trust. Now maybe you've just adopted the sloppy writing style of some SR columnists, and meant something else. However, assuming you meant Obama/the government making a Muslim owned company serve pork, the mandate in question is exactly the same thing - forcing an employer to purchase a good or service for employees that his religion forbids. The fact that you can't conceive or a reason why the government might do such a thing in no way reduces its value as an illustration of the constitutional issue.

I have no problem with JW's not offering health insurance, or with not giving employees holidays off (JWs' beliefs also forbid celebrating holidays or birthdays.) I will just avoid working for them, unless they offer a very substantial pay differential.

The fact that, for several decades, employers have offered health insurance in no way makes it some sort of obligation that they must. They do it because it's a benefit they can offer to entice people to work for them, and because they can pool their employees to make it cost less. People who went to the trouble to develop valuable skills have always had options, and employers have offered various benefits to attract them.

Pterocarya frax...

1) Re: "First off, your accusation of hypocrissy [sic] rests upon the proposition that you get to dictate the rules of someone else's religion." Either you don't understand science or you don't understand hypocrisy. The hypocrisy is that hormonal birth control that they claim they are okay with, does the same thing that the forms they are trying to refuse to pay for.

2) Are you really accusing me of adopting a "sloppy writing style" for leaving out 2 words? Whatever dude. Reread your post where you have a misspelled word (hypocrisy), used a nonsensical statement (you can't conceive or a reason), and are too lazy to spell out a religious name (JW). How does it feel to be hoisted on your own petard?

3) I have no problem with any organization (alleged religious or otherwise), not paying for health coverage either. It is time we moved to single payer anyway.

Contango

Re: "It is time we moved to single payer anyway."

Don't ONLY socialists advocate for socialistic programs?

Not to worry, the baby boomers will help bankrupt this country without single payer.

Imagine approx. 78 million baby boomers in nursing homes paid largely by Medicaid and all FREE.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/0...

Hope you're saving and investing and protecting your own cause this financial ship is goin' DOWN.

Nemesis

1)Science has nothing to do with it. You're saying that their beliefs have to conform to YOUR reasoning of why something is a sin. There are several ethical/moral frameworks where what you outlined is not hypocritical - for instance, most concepts of sin involve some element of intent.

2)You left out two words that were critical to the meaning of the sentence, and frankly, I'm not interested in wasting time going back and forth over putting words in your mouth when your actual words are ambiguous due to carelessness. Wow, you found two obvious typos - thanks for reminding me to proofread, but a 10 year old can discern the clear meaning in both cases. There's nothing wrong with using abbreviations.

3) Then you do have a problem with an employer not paying for someone's health care, because single payer forces us all to pay for the health care of others.

Pterocarya frax...

1. Science has everything to do with my arguments of their hypocrisy. I am sorry if I have not explained it simply enough for your brain to understand, so I suggest that you do some reading of how hormonal birth control (the pill, etc.) functions in a woman's body. Hobby Lobby claims not to be opposed to hormonal birth control, but is opposed to some other types of birth control that act the same way in the body to prevent implantation of the egg. That my friend, is where the science comes in. It has nothing to do with my reasoning of what is sin.

2. Anyone who reads back through the entire thread would have zero problem understanding what I was saying, even though I left out 2 words....zero. And at the time you had no problem wasting a lot of time ridiculing me for it. Here is some helpful information on using abbreviations, because your use was wrong:

http://essayinfo.com/sguides/abb...

Nemesis

I can almost guarantee that I understand the biology and chemistry of the various forms of contraception as well or better than you do, and I am fully aware of what occasionally happens with "the pill." I am not disputing the accuracy of your scientific claims; only their relevance.

If I shoot you, my religion calls it murder, but if you are actively trying to kill me when I do it, or if it happens because you run out into the middle of a firing range at the worst possible moment, it's not a sin. The fact that the chemical reaction of the gunpowder and the physiological effects on your body are the same have no bearing.

Again, slowly this time just for you, each religion may choose, for itself, what criteria, SUCH AS INTENT, for instance, to apply in deciding the moral impact of an action. You do not get to impose upon someone else's religion your desired standard of basing the moral character of an action solely on the occasional, possible outcomes. That's what separation of church and state is all about - the sword cuts both ways.

No one ridiculed you - I called attention to the mistake, the ambiguity it created, and the interpretation I was taking, lest you decide to claim, truly or not, the alternate meaning, and accuse me of putting words in your mouth.

SamAdams

I believe that, along with Congress, unions, and various and sundry other Democrat donors, Muslims are just as exempt from Obamacare as are the Amish. At least the latter have a valid rationale for exemption! They pay cash (usually a community effort). What's the rationale behind the rest? Oh, yeah, Obamacare is too expensive on too many levels, and too restrictive. Huh. What a surprise...

(As far as any Muslim exemption goes, it's immaterial whether or not Obama actually IS Muslim. Regardless, he's willing to bend over backwards and twist the Constitution into knots just to show the Middle East how totally cool with Islam he is!)

Pterocarya frax...

Re: "No stories in the media about Muslim firms being required to cover birth control and abortions. Wonder why?"

OK...let's just get it out there. It is because Obama is a mooslim, and they don't want to hurt their leader! Feel better?

Contango

Re: "It is because Obama is a mooslim, and they don't want to hurt their leader!"

To quote you: "Yeah that is different.....and stupid."

The POINT (again) is that Christianity and Islam share some similar beliefs regarding birth control.

Wait until the employer mandate starts kickin' in - the jury is still out.

KURTje

No problem. Got the vasectomy. Some others here don't have to worry either - they can't get it up.

SamAdams

So then why are you being forced to pay for contraceptive and prenatal care coverage? Is some miracle in the works about which none of us have been told?

Nemesis

Um, could it be for the same reason I am taxed to pay for rehab for drunks and junkies even though I've never had more than 2 glasses of wine in a month and I'm hesitant to even take aspirin?

OSUBuckeye59

Unless I'm wrong, and Lord knows not only could I be but no doubt there will be a few of you folks very quickly pointing to where I'm wrong. :)

But anyway . . . the ACA is only "affordable" when everyone either signs on or pays the tax not to sign on. Either way, the ACA needs the nation's collective money. If Hobby Lobby or any other for-profit business wins the right to pick and choose what coverage they will/will not pay for, it will open the doors for a rush by other for-profit corporations similar to what WalMart experienced last evening in several states when doors opened on Thanksgiving sales: a stampede. If for-profit companies start to deny coverage on certain covered expenses, as the combined denial of these same coverage items starts to accumulate, insurers will change their plans to not include coverage and anyone wanting those particular procedures or drugs will have to foot a very expensive bill, if patients could even find providers because, as an example, drug companies could very well stop production of certain medications not covered and charge outrageously for current stock until it runs out.

Pterocarya frax...

Overall you are fairly accurate on your points, and after all that is the goal of the Obamacare haters...to make the system implode. They mistakenly believe it will send us back to the system that has failed many Americans miserably for years. In reality though, we are inevitably headed towards Universal health care without the deniers.

The US is one of the last industrialized countries in the world without universal health care, and in spite of the claims of some, we are falling farther and farther behind the rest of the world in health outcomes. The US health care system is ranked 37th in the world by the World Health Organization.

http://www.policymic.com/article...
http://www.theatlantic.com/inter...

And for those of you that hate that thought of single payer, here is good article about places you can move to:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/da...

OSUBuckeye59

I'm definitely in favor of a National healthcare plan. I'm just not in agreement with much of the ACA, which can quickly lead to the question of, "Should we scrap the ACA and put the right plan in place or should we improve the ACA because if we scrap it then who knows when a National healthcare plan will ever be passed by our Federally-elected officials?" And that's the hard question for me. I don't know if the ACA can be corrected as it needs to be, yet I also very much doubt if any Congress & President would ever be able to pass a new National healthcare plan. It would take far better Presidential, House & Senate Leaders than we have today. I just have such a hard time viewing our President, and the both the House and Senate Majority & Minority Leaders. They're all anything but Leaders, IMHO.

Pterocarya frax...

While most will agree that Obamacare is a piece of caca, and the implementation of the website has been a massive case of diarrhea, we need to step back and use some perspective.

Medicare Part D was a huge unfunded mandate and the rollout and implementation was deeply flawed. At the time I felt it should be scrapped too. Over time though, they have worked out a lot of kinks, and it has become a very popular program, albeit a cash cow for the drug companies. There were similar problems with the health care program in Massachusetts as well, but now 97% of the people of that state have coverage, and overall it is working fairly well.

I post on here occasionally, mostly just to rile up some of the angry conservatives, but the reality of the situation is that the costs of health care are one of the primary causes of the financial health of this country. Therefore, we need massive reform, and the conservatives will be dragged there, kicking and screaming about socialism, since they clearly have shown no leadership on the issue.

So the only question becomes "how do we get there"? My preference would be through evaluating what works well in other countries like Australia, Germany, Canada, etc., and then implementing a hybrid sort of system that still allows (like those socialists in Germany) for a private health system in addition.

Whether we get there through Obamacare, or starting from scratch, we must get there. It is also certainly not inconceivable that it happens through the states, like Massachusetts has shown.

Contango

Re: "the costs of health care are one of the primary causes of the financial health of this country."

Which is why a high deductible health plan (HDHP) combined with a Health Savings Account (HSA) is an approach worth debating.

Unfortunatly, Pres. Obama and the Dems instituted this fascistic monstrosity known as the ACA.

Want universal health coverage? Get ready for MASSIVE tax increases in order to support it.

Not to worry, nursing home care for baby boomers will bankrupt Medicaid anyway.

Still got parents? Watch out for filial laws - you're legally responsible.

http://elder-law.lawyers.com/eld...

The Big Dog's back

Your taxes would increase a little but you wouldn't be paying for medical at work. Your out of pocket dollars would be minute. In the end you would be ahead.

Contango

Re: "In the end you would be ahead."

First dollar benefit no out-of-pocket universal coverage as opposed to private plans with deductibles and co-pays?

MASSIVE tax increases.

No comparison.

The Big Dog's back

Wrong again pooh.

Nemesis

Proving once again, leftists just don't get supply and demand.

Nemesis

" My preference would be through evaluating what works well "

Well, then, it's notable that one segment of the healthcare industry has, since its inception, seen constant increases in quality and outcomes coupled with constant decreases in cost. It's also notable that this segment is the most free market part of the healthcare industry, and completely outside the health insurance sphere - surgical vision correction.

Nemesis

Whether we are behind or ahead is a matter of opinion. Note that the assorted royalty of the Middle East, who can choose to get their healthcare wherever they wish, fly right over all those utopias of universal health care on their way to American hospitals.

Pterocarya frax...

Without a doubt, we have some great doctors, technology and facilities in the US. And yes of course, those oil rich middle easterners will come here to avail themselves of those features, just like the rich here can buy those services whether or not their plan covers it.

Evaluating infant mortality and all other health outcomes is done by using science and math. It is not "a matter of opinion".

Nemesis

Evaluating infant mortality and all other health outcomes is done by using statistical chicanery, not science and math.

Our infant mortality rates are higher because more of our at risk pregnancies actually carry to term and live birth, which makes them eligible to be counted as infant mortalities. It is, in fact, an indicator of the how much better our prenatal care is.

"All other health outcomes" is a nebulous term that typically lumps in pseudo-scientific feel good new age concepts, and the negative consequences of personal behavioral choices, rather than measuring the quality of the actual healthcare industry.

Contango

Pterocarya fraxinifolia writes: "Australia, Germany, Canada,"

Your fallacy: Mostly homogenous societies with small populations.

Reality:

Attempting to institute a national healthcare system in the U.S. would be like setting one up that included all Europeans.

How’s the euro (single currency) working out?

Single payer?

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." - H. L. Mencken