Ruling impact on birth-control coverage mixed

Business owner: "Framing this as an issue of contraception is wrong. It's a battle against bullying by the government, telling us what to do"
Associated Press
Jul 3, 2014

Business owners who don't want to pay for their employees' birth control are ending that coverage after the Supreme Court said they could choose on grounds of religious belief not to comply with part of the health care law.

Some owners are already in touch with their brokers in the wake of Monday's ruling.

Triune Health Group Ltd. wants to know how soon it can change its coverage to stop paying for all contraceptives, said Mary Anne Yep, co-owner of the Oak Brook, Illinois company that provides medical management services.

"We were ready to go when we heard the decision," she said. Triune had filed lawsuits against the U.S. government and the state of Illinois because of requirements that they pay for contraception.

The Supreme Court ruled that some businesses can, because of their religious beliefs, choose not to comply with the health care law's requirement that contraception coverage be provided to workers at no extra charge. The 5-4 ruling has the Obama administration looking for another way to provide birth control for women who work for those companies.

The ruling applies to businesses that are closely held, generally defined as having five or fewer individuals owning more than 50 percent of the company's stock. By some estimates, 90 percent of businesses are closely held and employ about half the nation's workforce.

But many companies are likely to continue providing coverage for birth control — a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found 85 percent of large employers already paid for contraceptives before the health care law required it. Many owners believe it's an important benefit that helps them attract and retain good workers.

Even employers who want to opt out of some forms of birth-control coverage see covering others as important.

"We want to provide for good health care for our people. We just don't want to fund abortive procedures," said Mike Sharrow, owner of C12 Group in San Antonio. His company, which provides faith-based counseling for business owners, has always paid for what he calls traditional forms of contraception, such as birth-control pills.

Business owners interviewed by The Associated Press that don't want to pay for contraceptive coverage said their insurers were still trying to figure out how to change their policies. It's possible employees might still be able to get birth-control coverage through their plans, but pay for that portion of their insurance themselves.

The contraceptives at issue in Monday's decision are two known as morning-after pills, the emergency contraceptives Plan B and ella; and two intrauterine devices, which are implantable devices inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. Many owners objected to them because they believe they may work after conception occurs. However, on Tuesday, the court left in place lower court rulings in other cases that allowed businesses to refuse to pay for all methods of government-approved contraception.

The case decided by the Supreme Court involved two companies, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. About 50 others also filed suit against the health care law's contraception requirement. Some received court injunctions allowing them not to pay for birth control; the Supreme Court's ruling is expected to allow them to continue that policy.

Weingartz Inc., which has five stores in Michigan selling lawn mowers and other outdoor equipment, stopped paying for all contraception, except when medically needed, since it won an injunction.

"We don't believe anybody else shouldn't have access to it. We just can't pay for it," said Dan Weingartz, the company's president.

But Joe Holland Chevrolet in South Charleston, West Virginia, and Hastings Automotive Inc. in Hastings, Minnesota, opposed post-conception forms of birth control only, said Matt Bowman, an attorney representing both auto dealerships.

"Our clients have no problems with things that are truly contraceptive," Bowman said.

Christian publisher Tyndale House Publishers Inc., which also filed a lawsuit, expects the Supreme Court ruling to clear the way for it to stop paying for morning-after pills and IUDs.

"We believe that those family businesses should have the religious freedom not to offer abortion-causing items through their employee health care program," Tyndale CEO Mark Taylor said in a statement. The Carol Stream, Illinois, company publishes Christian books.

The businesses contacted by The Associated Press all said their greatest concern was the government forcing them to pay for something that goes against their religious beliefs.

"Framing this as an issue of contraception is wrong. It's a battle against bullying by the government, telling us what to do," said Yep, the Triune Health Group owner.

Comments

Contango

"Roughly 90% of all companies in the U.S. are closely held,"

Chipping away at the fascistic Obamacare, piece by piece.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/h...

The Big Dog's back

So what's next pooh, SS and Medicare? Women's rights? Oh wait, Repubs are already trying to do that.

Contango

Re: "SS and Medicare,"

Deflection and off-topic.

freespeech1

This make you proud puppy doo?

Planned Parenthood claims its business is “women’s healthcare,” but its recent award certificate to a Colorado abortion clinic for “exceeding abortion visits [in the] first half of FY12 compared to the first half of FY13,” affirms that its most valued business is abortion.

The Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, the second largest Planned Parenthood facility in the United States, gave the award to its Aurora abortion clinic.

As CNS News.com reports, the photo of the award was taken by a former worker who saw it posted on a bulletin board in Denver that displays awards earned by satellite clinics.

The award certificate confirms that Planned Parenthood clinics are given abortion “quotas” to meet and that the Aurora clinic had “exceeded” expectations.

Former Planned Parenthood director and pro-life advocate Abby Johnson wrote about the award certificate at her blog, “And Then There Were None,” on Monday:

Ever since I left Planned Parenthood, I have been talking about the abortion quotas that are established inside abortion facilities. Many abortion supporters refused to believe it, citing that surely Planned Parenthood wants abortion to be safe, legal and RARE. If they want something to be RARE, they certainly wouldn't have quotas, right?

Last year, Planned Parenthood reported a net revenue of $1.21 billion, and received $540.6 million in U.S. taxpayer funding.

Dr. Information

Hobby Lobby pays 93% MORE than minimum wage AND still COVERS 16/20 birth control measures. Liberals hate facts.

The Big Dog's back

You hate the fact that they deal with a country, China, which has mandatory abortion.

vcreed123

Was that a question or a statement? If it was a response to Dr. Info it doesn't make sense in the context of either.

Contango

Re: "China, which has mandatory abortion."

Prove it with a link, dog breath.

Contango
corey510

Like^ (dr. Information'd post)

anthras

dr Information says"Hobby Lobby pays 93% MORE than minimum wage AND still COVERS 16/20 birth control measures. Liberals hate facts."

I do agree with the Dr. and all the persons advising they are taking away a woman's reproductive health rights I cannot understand where they are reading that. They are not taking away any woman's rights they just do not wish to pay for 4 of the items while paying for 16.

The woman still has every right to go to a Dr. get a prescription then go to a pharmacy buy the item and then take it. See no one took that right away from her.

Because the insurance will not pay for my hearing aids can I then say they took away my hearing rights ? No I cannot say that because I did have the right to spend $3000 to purchase the aids myself.

If Obamacare is forcing the coverage for birth control items and not hearing aids it seems that they feel that having sex is more important than hearing.

From the Grave

Business owners don't want the government telling them what to do, but yet they want to be able to tell their employees what to do.

JJr12

And you have a problem with that? The government doesn't sign the business owners paycheck. The great thing about America is if you don't like your employer or are unhappy with the medical coverage they provide, you can leave and get a job with a different company. If your religious beliefs don't align with the business owners beliefs and how he wants to run "THEIR" company then find a different job that aligns more with your beliefs. It's that simple.

The Big Dog's back

Religious beliefs has nothing to do with this. Should we throw out all pollution controls for companies?

Contango

Re: "Should we throw out all pollution controls for companies?"

Deflection and off-topic.

grumpy

"Religious beliefs has nothing to do with this."

That is not what the Supreme Court found. Let's see do we believe the sworn statements made in various courts leading up to SCOTUS... or do we believe what some anonymous poster on a newspaper blog called piddle puppy? Not even close in deciding which to believe.

Since the premise of the rest of your claim is based on an untruth, it is not worth even commenting on the rest of your flawed statement.

Dr. Information

Off topic dog breath. Next.

Kmf1984

They didn't say employees could not use birth control. They just don't support the use of birth control by paying for it. Also, the do cover some forms. Condoms aren't hard to get ahold of either

vcreed123

So far I have loved reading the liberal commentators on this ruling and how it's another attack on women's reproductive rights. It's obvious most libs are either completely uneducated on this ruling or we've spiraled so far down the rabbit hole of entitlement there is no recovery. I'll lay it out for our liberal friends right now HOBBY LOBBY STILL PROVIDES 16 TYPES OF BIRTH CONTROL COMPLETELY FREE, THE ABORTION PILL IS STILL AVAILABLE, YOU JUST HAVE TO PAY FOR IT YOURSELF. I know, I know, liberals believe they shouldn't have to pay for anything but if 16 types of free birth control is not enough I think you need to re-evaluate your life.

The Big Dog's back

I'll spell it out loud and clearly for you, why does H L deal with a country that has mandatory abortions? Where's their religious convictions?

By the way, The Big Dog is Back!

vcreed123

This doesn't have anything to do with ACA and how it forces employers to provide birth control options, unless you have an actual argument don't bother responding to me.

The Big Dog's back

You're not even in my class vcreed. You should be honored that I responded to you.

Contango

Re: "You're not even in my class vcreed."

Deflection and off-topic. You're battin' zero, dog breath.

The Big Dog's back

I only respond to you to keep you off the bottle.

Contango

^^^ Proof anesthesia kills brain cells.

vcreed123

This guy is a waste of oxygen, not a single intelligent, factual, argument so far, every post is nothing but fluff

2cents

So why do you go to a store and buy anything, when a lot of these products are made in China or contain components made in China by sometimes slave labor and they pollute to no end?

vcreed123

Was that to me or Big dog?

The Big Dog's back

Because I'm not against abortion, so I'm not a hypocrite like you right wingnuts. So you agree with me that our companies that do business with China should pay a premium tax because of their actions?

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