Religion

Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

novy.

Posted to Religion on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 04:42:06 PM EST (promoted from Diaries by port1080). RSS.

Should religiously affiliated employers be required to provide full contraceptive coverage to female employees in their health care plans? One proposed federal rule to that effect ignited firestorms of protest from Catholics and Republicans, and another has already been proposed.

Not all Democrats were happy to hear rumours of compromise brewing. Yes, we should make churches provide contraceptive coverage, said Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY):

"It is time for the extreme right wing to stop playing football with women's health. My colleagues and I stand in solidarity with American women who have waited decades for equity in contraceptive coverage. We have fought for too long."
No way, said Republican presidential candidates like Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Santorum said,
"This has to do with the right of a church not to spend their moral resources in a way that's inconsistent with their faith. We're not talking about denying women the access to contraception. They can go and get it. But we're talking about having a church of which they happen to choose to work for, and they know their position in working for them. You're now forcing them as a condition of employing people to pay for something that again is a grievous moral wrong."
Obama's proposed change would require women who work for religiously affiliated employers who oppose birth control to directly contact their insurance carrier and sign up for coverage personally. Good enough, or must women who work for say, Catholic Charities, do without such coverage altogether to avoid violating their employers' faith?

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1

Religious Freedom Versus Opressive Liberalism

Ephraim Gadsby.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 02:55:40 PM EST

5.00 (astute)

Insurance should cover unforeseen, expensive, medical events. Mandating routine optional expenses is the opposite of sensible public policy, which would instead seek to to reduce mandates and encourage catastrophic coverage.

This mandate isn't a "health" decision, it's primarily a political gesture to women, with the forcing of religious groups to act against their consciences as a bonus.

2

^ 1

Um...

keta.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 04:01:31 PM EST

none

Gee, I wonder how many Catholic women actually use contraception?

3

^ 2

Actually I don't

Ephraim Gadsby.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 04:10:12 PM EST

5.00 (astute)

I wonder why you think that's relevant.

5

^ 3

Oh Well Then

keta.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 04:16:35 PM EST

none

Do you not believe what you write?

...with the forcing of religious groups to act against their consciences as a bonus.

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^ 5

Re: Oh Well Then

Ephraim Gadsby.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 04:21:40 PM EST

none

I don't believe you're capable of explaining why that's relevant.

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^ 6

Re: Oh Well Then

keta.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 04:24:46 PM EST

5.00 (brilliant)

Well, certainly not to someone who sticks his head up his ass better to not hear a rational rebuttal to a weak ass contention.

TOODLE PIP, URK!

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^ 7

Re: Oh Well Then

Ephraim Gadsby.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 04:27:10 PM EST

none

You aren't capable of formulating a rational rebuttal.

53

^ 7

Re: Oh Well Then

Otto Maddox.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:58:33 AM EST

5.00 (succinct)

keta,

All you need to know about the modern conservative mind:

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2012/02/05/they-fucking-hate-you/

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on his not understanding it" ~Sinclair

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^ 53

Re: Oh Well Then

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 02:21:19 PM EST

none

Evelyn Waugh explains it better:

"Kipling believed civilization to be something laboriously achieved which was only precariously defended. He wanted to see the defenses fully manned and he hated the liberals because he thought them gullible and feeble, believing in the easy perfectibility of man and ready to abandon the work of centuries for sentimental qualms."

                                               

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^ 65

Re: Oh Well Then

Otto Maddox.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 07:21:38 PM EST

none

Shumway quoting a jingoistic, racist, warmonger?

Go figure

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on his not understanding it" ~Sinclair

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^ 85

Re: Oh Well Then

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 07:42:02 PM EST

none

You aren't qualified to judge.

87

^ 86

Re: Oh Well Then

Otto Maddox.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 07:59:36 PM EST

5.00 (tiny)

Drat. The takes-one-to-know-one-gambit.

Damn. You win this time shumway (shakes fist)!

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on his not understanding it" ~Sinclair

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^ 86

Re: Oh Well Then

Otto Maddox.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 11:18:53 AM EST

none

My favorite part is that you didn't even inquire as to which was the jingoistic racist, Waugh or Kipling.

It's a trick question or course because the correct answer is 'all of the above'..

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on his not understanding it" ~Sinclair

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^ 99

Re: Oh Well Then

Ephraim Gadsby.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:47:26 PM EST

none

You mindlessly regurgitate what you were told to think about authors you haven`t read.

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^ 65

Re: Oh Well Then

keta.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 05:13:57 PM EST

none

I think I finally understand why you so dislike women and minorities, Urk.

It's because they're not white man's chattel (so much) any more.  And homosexuals: well, all was fine when they kept to themselves and didn't demand to be treated like normal folks!  But now!  The effrontery!

It's a pity that your wistfulness for a bygone age so impudently corrupts your impressions of the here and now.  Because that's where most all of us live, Urk.  And all your huffing and puffing and railing against equality for all people isn't going to change any of it.

I now return you to whatever fantasy you choose to live in.

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Re: Oh Well Then

Ephraim Gadsby.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 05:31:23 PM EST

none

I like women. I have a rational aversion to certain minorities. So do liberals, though they refuse to admit it. What I'm usually contending against is the liberal usage of minorities (it's not surprising this goes over your head).

"And homosexuals"

At last, your true concern.

"well, all was fine when they kept to themselves and didn't demand to be treated like normal folks"

I did tolerate sodomites more when they weren't demanding everyone pretend they are normal.

"It's a pity that your wistfulness for a bygone age"

I reject the prevailing "wisdom" and orthodoxy of the shallow, vulgar, corrupt age we live in. Besides being the right thing to do, it's fun. I don't "huff and puff and rail". I do reject equality, and have a sound basis for doing so. Probably my reactionary views won't change anything. But if they won't, why do so many feel threatened by them?

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Re: Oh Well Then

keta.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 06:11:28 PM EST

none

Not threatened at all, Urk.  Not one iota.  Mostly because the world has moved on, whether you and your ilk like it or not.

Thanks for the reply.

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Re: Oh Well Then

Ephraim Gadsby.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 06:17:24 PM EST

none

The herd does it what it does.

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^ 124

Re: Oh Well Then

Otto Maddox.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 10:06:58 PM EST

none

I have a rational aversion to certain minorities.

Right here is where every user here with an ounce of integrity steps back, points at you, make the screwball gesture and rolls their eyes in disbelief. You embarrass yourself and then justify it with crushing ignorance.

Racism is a generalization by definition, demonstrably irrational. It matters not what 'facts' you use to weave your comfortable 'rational' racist Snuggie from -statistics, anecdotes, it doesn't matter. Racism is irrational. It is a fallacy of hasty generalization. Period.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on his not understanding it" ~Sinclair

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^ 153

Re: Oh Well Then

Ephraim Gadsby.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:35:02 PM EST

none

I refuse to lie about race. I reject liberal race delusions. I don't worship your idols. Preening about "racism" doesn't impress me.  Your unctuous dismissal of great writers who fail to share your dishonest, degenerate racial views is pathetic.

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^ 167

Re: Oh Well Then

Otto Maddox.

Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 09:49:28 PM EST

none

Honestly gordo, I don't give a shit what you believe.There is no reaching anyone at your level of hate.

 Nevertheless, words still have meanings and "rational" doesn't mean what you think it means.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on his not understanding it" ~Sinclair

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Re: Oh Well Then

Ephraim Gadsby.

Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:57:17 PM EST

none

You, keta, and novy should get a room.

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^ 2

Re: Um...

gerrymander.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 05:30:41 PM EST

none

Plenty of women wear bikinis, too. And since we know that sunlight on skin aids vitamin D production, obviously there should be a government mandate that all women wear bikinis in the office. For the prevention of osteoporosis, of course. Completely valid health reason.

No women's group would complain about that, right?

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^ 14

Er...

keta.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 05:35:53 PM EST

none

In outdoor offices in sunny climes, I suppose, and only in offices where all the women are fit and attractive.

Sadly, the real world gets in the way of another boffo idea.

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^ 1

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Opressive Liberalism

novy.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 08:03:42 PM EST

4.00 (astute)

If, as now seems likely, women who work for religiously affiliated employers have to arrange for such coverage on their own, without their employer's involvement, "forcing of religious groups to act against their consciences" won't come up.

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^ 19

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Opressive Liberalism

Jackkeefe.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 08:34:35 PM EST

none

If, as now seems likely, women who work for religiously affiliated employers have to arrange for such coverage on their own

Who has proposed that?

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Opressive Liberalism

novy.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 10:04:49 PM EST

3.00 (astute)

Obama, right?

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Opressive Liberalism

Jackkeefe.

Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 11:47:58 AM EST

none

That's about the opposite of what he is proposing.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Opressive Liberalism

novy.

Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 11:51:16 AM EST

none

Of what he proposed at first, to be sure, but read my links and see for yourself.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Opressive Liberalism

Jackkeefe.

Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 12:00:47 PM EST

none

women who work for religiously affiliated employers have to arrange for such coverage on their own, without their employer's involvement

His "compromise" forces employers to arrange for coverage.  Obama in one of his more brazen attempts to murder logic, claims that employers won't have to pay for the coverage, that  insurance companies will. That is bullshit.  Insurance companies aren't charities and will simply pass the bill onto religious employers anyway. Plus, it ignores the fact that a significant number of these employers are self-insured and that they believe such coverage is immoral to begin with.  

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Religious Freedom Means Oppressing Women

novy.

Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 12:51:06 PM EST

3.00 (astute)

Plainly, insurance companies won't really be paying for coverage. But I doubt that, when it all gets resolved, religiously-affiliated companies will pay either. One of two things will almost certainly happen: either government will end up paying insurance companies in some sly or indirect way for universal coverage, or women who want contraceptive coverage will be approaching companies that provide such coverage and they will pay "fees" in connection with their policies that will effectively defray expenses.

But how much extra money could contraceptive coverage potentially cost anyway? If women have to get reimbursed for visits to gynecologists by their medical plans, and those doctors normally provide birth control advice and prescriptions in their ordinary course of business, what extra costs get imposed by providing coverage?

I suspect that Obama just wants to find some fudge so that everyone can say that Catholics don't have to pay for birth control for their employees but birth control services get provided anyway. It shouldn't be that difficult, unless Catholic Bishops want to fight over birth control in public (with Republican presidential candidates cheering behind them), which would probably result in American (traditional/ ultra-) Catholicism becoming openly political, like lots of fundy churches. (No mass for you, Mr. Kerry.) If they play that game, they might be able to damage their political enemies, but their religion might be damaged long-term as well. And if it became ordinary political discourse to call Catholic ultras "paedophile enablers" or "women haters"*, both sides of that fight would be cheapened.

*It could be argued that orthodox practitioners of every major religion (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.) consider patriarchy (male rulership over women) "God's will", so ultimately modern feminism cannot abide, or be abided by, any of them come push to shove. In cases like this, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM = SUBORDINATION OF WOMEN TO MEN. Some, like me, might call such subordination "oppression", but religious leaders across this planet would disagree with me fervently.

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Re: Religious Freedom Means Oppressing Women

John Adams.

Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:05:34 PM EST

none

or women who want contraceptive coverage will be approaching companies that provide such coverage

Under the mandate, won't that be all of them?

and they will pay "fees" in connection with their policies that will effectively defray expenses.

I thought the administration's rationale for the mandate was that it was necessary to avoid sex-based discrimination in preventive care.  Charging women extra for their insurance would seem to be at odds with that.

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Re: Religious Freedom Means Oppressing Women

novy.

Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:17:23 PM EST

3.00 (brilliant)

All of them, for sure. But what percentage of American employees work for religiously-affiliated employers whose religious beliefs condemn birth control? 1%? Half that? Even less? So, if Obama makes those women pay fees but then lets them take those fees directly off their income taxes, no harm done, eh?

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^ 1

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Opressive Liberalism

Screename2000.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:00:45 AM EST

none

I wholeheartedly disagree.  First, I accept that your argument is rational and does reflect a compelling perspective on insurance: to only cover unforeseen, expensive events, not elective and moderately costly events.  I accept abortion is an elective procedure, an avoidable procedure and a moderately costly procedure that not only is affordable to a large segment of the population, but for which there is some private subsidy.

I disagree strongly because I believe public policy necessitates perceiving social costs arising from activity that the government, without being intrusive, can affect.  There is evidence that improving a woman's choice (very likely including government financial support, which in this case uses regulation of insurance companies as a vehicle to subsidize abortion procedures rather than a direct tax/subsidy scheme) to have an abortion has a positive effect on crime (and its attendant governmental, social costs), child welfare, poverty and other areas of social concern.  This is a "health" issue not only of the individuals involved, but of society's health in general.

Of course, as I've already indicated, there is the problem of government intrusion into the private affairs of individuals and the control of their actions.  Abortion is tempered though because those whose actions the government seeks to influence desire the government intrusion.  It is the moral sensibilities of those who do not wish to pay for that government influence that is the cause of friction.  So already, we're at a lower level of intrusion.  Do the social concerns of this policy mandating insurance companies cover an elective procedure outweigh the costs of government intrusion into the private affairs of individuals and the free market?  I think so, but can see how others may not.  However, it is patently false that such an analysis can be avoided with the simplistic bright-line rule you try to establish that it never makes sense for insurance to cover elective procedures.

Finally, in this specific instance regarding a church's ability to opt-out of what I believe is valid public policy, I actually agree that they should be allowed to do so given the separation of church and state.  While the church must always be subject to laws that are passed not in a manner targeting church nor religion but rather in pursuit of a valid public policy, the policy must be compelling.  I don't believe it is compelling enough in this case.  Churches should be required to alert their staff very clearly during the hiring process that their insurance does not cover these procedures.  There are plenty of other options for those who wish to have the coverage to find employment elsewhere.  Forcing a church to pay for a practice they find morally reprehensible is of greater concern.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Opressive Liberalism

Screename2000.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:05:24 AM EST

none

Wait, this has to do with contraception and not abortion?  Wow, the right is really becoming f***ing insane.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Opressive Liberalism

gerrymander.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:50:28 AM EST

none

This has to do with the government being intrusive.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Opressive Liberalism

zyxwvutsr.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 09:12:19 AM EST

none

No, it has to do with the government interfering with the free exercise of religion.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Opressive Liberalism

John Adams.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 07:07:12 AM EST

5.00 (brilliant, brilliant)

I agree with you wholeheartedly, but (in reference to your subsequent abortion / contraception joke) the issue to me is that if the government determines something should be provided (particularly for the reasons you outlined), the government should provide it, not mandate that a third party to do so.  If the policy is enacted to benefit society as a whole, then society as a whole should pay for it.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Opressive Liberalism

Ephraim Gadsby.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 01:39:18 PM EST

4.00 (informative)

The abortion reducing crime hypothesis doesn't withstand scrutiny (implementing William Shockley's voluntary sterilization bonus plan would reduce crime, and other social ills).

"Forcing a church to pay for a practice they find morally reprehensible is of greater concern"

And of course, these sorts of controversy could be avoided by enacting policies separating insurance from employment.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Opressive Liberalism

iarnuocon.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 10:36:30 PM EST

none

these sorts of controversy could be avoided by enacting policies separating insurance from employment.

That's the first rational thing you've said all day, although we both know that if this administration did something along those lines, you'd be the first on the soapbox declaring it an unconscionable over-reach of authority.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Opressive Liberalism

Ephraim Gadsby.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:32:39 PM EST

none

Changing the tax code isn't an overreach of authority.

4

Morum Santorum

keta.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 04:13:13 PM EST

4.00 (astute)

Sayeth Ricky:

This is simply someone trying to impose their values on somebody else...

Oh! Sweet, sweet irony!

I don't know what's funnier.  What comes out of this clown's mouth, or the fact he's polling as a co-frontrunner for the GOP nomination.

Golly but this primary is fun!

8

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

thefadd.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 04:25:48 PM EST

3.00 (obtuse, interesting)

I guess this is one of those issues where I became a conservative after 30. Nothing's free. The cost is collectivized and it irks me terribly to see my leftist friends pushing for "free" shit from the government (or from a corporation on behalf of a governmetn law) like they're helpless babies. It the sense of collectivizing the cost of birth control so that we don't have to pay for more poor kids later, I'm not necessarily opposed to the concept but I personally can't get behind making a political issue of personal reproductive decisions. The constitution's dick swings both ways: the church has *every* right to expect the government to respect the separation of church and state in this case.

I HAD HAD SEX WITH HUNTER S THOMPSON. HE CAME IN MY MOUTH AND I SWALLOWED IT. I SHOULD HAVE HAD HIS BABY. WE WOULD BE BALLIN' LIKE KOBE'S SON!!

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

Ephraim Gadsby.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 04:29:08 PM EST

5.00 (astute)

One thing: this isn't about birth control for the poor, it's about subsidizing birth control for women who can afford to purchase it for themselves.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

keta.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 04:44:15 PM EST

none

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^ 11

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

Ephraim Gadsby.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 04:51:15 PM EST

none

Yes, really. Women with employer provided insurance can afford to purchase birth control.

12

^ 8

Gosh!

keta.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 04:50:11 PM EST

none

It's good thing the government doesn't extend this largesse to corporations or businesses, otherwise you'd probably never get a wink of sleep!

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^ 8

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

gerrymander.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 05:33:38 PM EST

none

If only there was someone in the Executive branch who was a Constitutional scholar, and could avoid these issues.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

ms sue.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 06:06:59 PM EST

4.00 (funny)

It's your lucky day, then, although I'm sure it will be trashed as a day late, a dollar short.

Why don't we just dispense with these painful incremental steps and just take that final leap to faith? We're a Christian nation, by God.  

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

Ephraim Gadsby.

Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 06:36:29 PM EST

3.00 (astute, myopic)

Why shouldn't a woman pay for her own birth control?  

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

Haggis.

Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 09:21:14 AM EST

3.00 (interesting, obvious)

Why shouldn't a man pay for his own ED pills?

I am shitfitter; hear me roar.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

ThePlague.

Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 10:45:46 AM EST

2.00 (patriarchal)

No reason he shouldn't, although the "D" for "dysfunction" would give some argument for it being covered under a health insurance plan.

the secret to happiness is to have you pay for my cocaine and mountain climbing-p0157

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

joshv.

Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 11:00:18 AM EST

none

Reproduction appears to be considered a dysfunction by many these days.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

improper.

Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 12:18:16 PM EST

5.00 (astute)

If you are recording yourself shooting your daughter's laptop because of a facebook post by her, then reproduction is probably a dysfunction.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

joshv.

Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:54:50 PM EST

none

And he made her pay him back for the bullets - hollow points aren't cheap.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

John Adams.

Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 12:11:27 PM EST

none

Does the government mandate that ED pills be provides by employers with no co-pay?

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

Ephraim Gadsby.

Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:12:46 PM EST

none

You should pay for your own pills.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

gerrymander.

Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 05:30:45 PM EST

3.00 (astute, ridiculous)

Or, trashed as the same day, same dollar amount -- and correctly so. Unless there is also the option of insurance policies without any such mandate for religious organizations to purchase, it's a distinction without a difference.

"Oh, we're not forcing Buddhists/Muslims/atheist vegans to serve lunches with meat. We're merely insisting that all lunches they purchase adhere to federal dietary guidelines, which includes meat. But the meat itself will be offered free by the caterers, in every lunch, as required by federal policy. And the caterers will set their prices to all customers equally." At some level, that would still an edict to pay for and serve meat, yes? And if it's done specifically to countermand religious doctrine, it clearly fails under the "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" clause in the First Amendment.

Is this really so hard to understand?

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

ms sue.

Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:02:51 PM EST

5.00 (astute, astute)

Oh, it's not hard to understand at all. The Catholic Church has decided that this is finally their time to wage the real battle, which has nothing to do with who pays:

The government's decision to guarantee that women have access to contraceptives "remains a grave moral concern," they said.

Very simple to understand.

I wonder why they don't sanction the myriad religious institutions that include contraception in their health insurance coverage. I wonder why they turn a blind eye to the fact that you could probably count on one hand the number of Catholics in this country who abide by their proscription against using birth control.

It's because they're out of steam on this issue. So I know, why don't we just try to put some stumbling block in the way and make it more difficult for many to have that option? What's next? Should we not cover blood transfusions become some denominations abhor the practice?

The Right can try to demagogue this issue (ALERT! RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IS AT STAKE!) But no one is forcing anyone else to use contraception; some are trying to deny others the affordability and thus limiting their choice...their freedom.  

This isn't about religious liberty at all, quite the opposite. And I think that the Bishops' intransigence on this issue after their tentative approval  will backfire.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

Haggis.

Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:34:12 PM EST

none

Meanwhile, on another issue which should truly bother the Church (but which they wish would just go away) -- sexual abuse of children by priests -- they'll just turn that whole thing over to Chris Hanson and the To Catch a Predator crew.

I am shitfitter; hear me roar.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

Ephraim Gadsby.

Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:15:52 PM EST

none

"some are trying to deny others the affordability and thus limiting their choice...their freedom"

Not subsidizing something is a restriction of "choice", and an infringement on "freedom"? Maybe the government should mandate women get discounted auto insurance, so they are "free" to move around.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:43:08 PM EST

3.00 (tortuous)

Maybe the government should mandate women get discounted auto insurance, so they are "free" to move around.

Let's suppose that, for some arcane reason, the government decided to mandate that auto-insurance include a proviso which pays for any abortion necessitated by an accident caused by the covered individual. If you're driving a car, and you hit someone, and that woman winds up needing to have an abortion in order to save her life, as a result of the accident for which you were at fault, your insurance company has to cover that expense. Should the Catholic Church be free to exempt itself from that proviso because it conflicts with Church teachings? Now, let's assume that a "Catholic" business-- a hospital, say-- owns a fleet of vehicles, and that it allows employees to drive those vehicles, provided the employee holds auto insurance. Does this "Catholic" business have the right to prevent the employee from acquiring the auto insurance that contains the abortion proviso, on the grounds that the employee purchasing that insurance is an exercise of religion on the part of the business?

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 02:07:32 PM EST

none

A more apt analogy is mandating auto insurance cover routine maintenance.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 03:54:26 PM EST

none

Right. Because such an analogy would obviously engage the whole "religious objection" angle. /s

Please, try harder.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 04:11:50 PM EST

none

Mandating birth control is bad policy absent any religious objections.

"Please, try harder"

You've established that you're a smug gas bag, there's no need to reiterate it on every comment

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 04:45:46 PM EST

5.00 (astute)

Mandating birth control is bad policy absent any religious objections.

Hmmm... argument by assertion. I'll play. No, it isn't.

You've established that you're a smug gas bag, there's no need to reiterate it on every comment

You've obviously mistaken me for a mirror.

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Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 05:04:01 PM EST

none

Insurance is necessary for expensive, unforeseen events. The mandating of routine, predictable expenses such as birth control is wasteful (it produces a less efficient allocation of resources), and raises the cost of insurance for everyone, hurting those who need insurance for important things.

77

^ 74

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 05:26:24 PM EST

none

The mandating of routine, predictable expenses such as birth control is wasteful (it produces a less efficient allocation of resources), and raises the cost of insurance for everyone, hurting those who need insurance for important things.

That'd be a convincing argument, if it were true.

80

^ 77

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 05:49:52 PM EST

none

The essay you linked to made by partisan activists would be convincing if mandating something made it free, and it were logical for insurance companies to not do something that would make them money.

91

^ 80

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:03:25 PM EST

2.00 (interesting)

Ah, yes-- the old "your link is partisan, but mine is totally objective" ploy. Thanks, seen it already.

42

^ 37

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

Gaius Petronius.

Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:24:34 PM EST

none

wonder why they don't sanction the myriad religious institutions that include contraception in their health insurance coverage.

Are there any such with Catholic affiliatioons that you can name?

59

^ 34

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:35:53 PM EST

5.00 (astute)

Is this really so hard to understand?

Apparently. Here's the flaw in your analogy: "we're not forcing Buddhists/Muslims/atheist vegans to serve lunches with meat. We're merely insisting that when they contract with a third party to provide lunches to their employees, the lunches provided by that third party adhere to federal dietary guidelines, which includes the option of ordering meat-- if the employee wants to eat meat, that is. The meat itself is offered by the caterers, and the caterers will set their price per customer equally."

It's possible that you don't graps the difference, but most people don't have that problem. The edict isn't that Buddhists/Muslims/vegans will be forced to pay for and serve meat. The edict is that at no level are Buddhists/Muslims/vegans allowed to step into the exchange between the caterers and the employees and force the employees to be vegan/Muslim/Buddhist. That Catholics feel they have the right to dictate to insurers and employees as to what constitutes a "legitimate" exchange of goods is the assault on religious freedom, here. You (and others, here) apparently believe that Muslims should be free to prohibit individuals from being covered for pork-related diseases.

But the bottom line is that religious liberty is an individual right. This means limiting group rights to impose religious views or practices on individuals.

105

^ 59

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

tjb.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 03:47:22 PM EST

none

You (and others, here) apparently believe that Muslims should be free to prohibit individuals from being covered for pork-related diseases.

Nobody should be forced to do anything in violation of their conscience.  If somebody were willing to write such a policy, I would have absolutely no problem with an employer offering that.  If the employees don't like it, they are free to find another job.

118

^ 59

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

gerrymander.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 05:08:09 PM EST

none

"we're not forcing Buddhists/Muslims/atheist vegans to serve lunches with meat. We're merely insisting that when they contract with a third party to provide lunches to their employees, the lunches provided by that third party adhere to federal dietary guidelines, which includes the option of ordering meat-- if the employee wants to eat meat, that is. The meat itself is offered by the caterers, and the caterers will set their price per customer equally."

This is similarly a distinction without a difference. If the atheist vegan wants to hold a luncheon, the government is still mandating that it include a meat option. Saying "but it's really a meat option option" is irrelevant. There will still be meat at the luncheon if anyone orders it -- and, to extend the example, the government has also imposed restrictions that the vegan cannot limit the luncheon to vegans only. The government has created an umbrella under which it is impossible for the atheist vegan to hold a vegan luncheon according to his precepts.

But the bottom line is that religious liberty is an individual right. This means limiting group rights to impose religious views or practices on individuals.

No one is imposing limits on the individual right to purchase healthcare. Any person without contraceptive coverage offered through work remains free to obtain separate or supplemental health insurance, or to pay out of pocket, or to find an employer that does include such coverage. This is a limitation on the right to offer health insurance, which last I checked, also was an individual right and should therefore be free of government limitations.

131

^ 118

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 10:49:05 PM EST

none

If the atheist vegan wants to hold a luncheon, the government is still mandating that it include a meat option.

There would be a significant difference between a luncheon and bringing a caterer in to allow employees to purchase lunch. Ones a singular, invitational event. The other is a matter of two non-vegans engaged in commerce.

There will still be meat at the luncheon if anyone orders it -- and, to extend the example, the government has also imposed restrictions that the vegan cannot limit the luncheon to vegans only.

Interestingly, that's simply incorrect, irrespective of whether we're talking about luncheons or lunch counters. See exceptions to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The problem is that "religious" organizations such as colleges and hospitals don't want to be inconvenienced by following the law which would allow them to invite "vegans only". Their tough luck.

No one is imposing limits on the individual right to purchase healthcare.

Sure, they are. These organizations are telling non-adherents to their religion that, if they'd like to purchase healthcare that offends their employer, they have to jump through additional hoops to access it. And since what we're really talking about is the employee's compensation, they're essentially being told what they can and can't do with their own money.

This is a limitation on the right to offer health insurance, which last I checked, also was an individual right and should therefore be free of government limitations.

Not any more. Conservatives put a stop to that by insisting that health care reform not include a public option. "Offering" health insurance is no longer optional. And deciding what goes on between the two parties involved, neither of whom is the employer, is not the employer's right.

49

^ 17

Re: oh, ms sue, you so silly!

zyxwvutsr.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 08:53:01 AM EST

none

That was a funny editorial, and they saved the best bit for last:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., an ardent support of the original measure, offered a restrained response. Focusing on the benefits of health care, she said: "I appreciate the president's unifying approach.''

23

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

ThePlague.

Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 10:38:10 AM EST

none

This is an example of hiding costs to the consumer, and I suppose given the micromanaging nature of BoCare, it's the only viable solution.  However, it does take away choice from the consumer, namely the choice to buy a health maintenance plan that does not include birth control (whether the pill or condoms or abortion on demand or whatever).  That also raises the question of whether federally-approved health maintenance plans should be required to provide free condoms as well.  From a health perspective, it would make sense, given that those actually lessen the chances of disease transmission whereas most forms being discussed in the current context do not.

It seems fairly obvious that what is in the process of being implemented is no longer "insurance" in the usual sense (hedge against calamity), rather an all-encompassing care plan that one is legally obligated to purchase.  It is very reminiscent of the pre-paid plans for car maintenance (oil changes, etc) that are almost never worth it.  Of course, for now at least, one is not required to make those purchases, but we're fast approaching the point where the individual no longer has that choice for their own health.

the secret to happiness is to have you pay for my cocaine and mountain climbing-p0157

47

^ 23

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

HidingFromGoro.

Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:45:36 PM EST

2.00 (helpful)

Your point would make sense if these "Catholic" employees didn't have the choice to opt-out of contraceptives- such as by not buying contraceptives.

I got more styles than prison got bricks- ain't that some shit?

48

^ 47

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

ThePlague.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 08:03:49 AM EST

none

Except they are still paying for it.  One can see this by observing that there is, by executive edict, no price differential between those getting free contraceptives and those who "opt out".  Thus, the costs for this service are rolled into the premiums of everyone.

However, even ignoring the monetary aspects completely, they still don't have the choice to have a plan that does not offer the service at all.

the secret to happiness is to have you pay for my cocaine and mountain climbing-p0157

61

^ 48

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:48:21 PM EST

1.00 (astute)

So your argument is that Catholics object because their money is going to support an insurance company which provides abortions and contraception to people, when what should really happen is that the status quo should be maintained-- i.e., their money should be going to an insurance company which provides abortions and contraception to people?

Because, like it or not, their money is currently funding the companies which provide people with contraception and abortions. QED, the outrage is just a tad manufactured.

96

^ 61

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

ThePlague.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 05:48:08 AM EST

none

Which is why the mandate is terrible, as people of conscience are no longer allowed to opt out of monetarily supporting such insurance companies.

the secret to happiness is to have you pay for my cocaine and mountain climbing-p0157

97

^ 96

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 08:44:31 AM EST

4.00 (astute)

Money is fungible, so Catholics have been supporting these companies all along.  Thus, it's not a matter of "no longer allowed to opt out".  They never "opted out".  Their entire argument is flawed from the start.  It's nothing more than election year manufactured outrage.

98

^ 97

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

ThePlague.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 10:39:41 AM EST

1.00 (inverted)

Many Catholic institutions self-insure for precisely that reason.  Of course, that is now illegal by executive edict, but to try to paint these real concerns by Catholics actually trying to follow their faith as "manufactured" is disingenuous.

the secret to happiness is to have you pay for my cocaine and mountain climbing-p0157

100

^ 98

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:40:41 PM EST

none

I have my doubts that you actually read that document.  It does far more to support my point than it does to support yours.

123

^ 100

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

ThePlague.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 05:30:20 PM EST

none

Then you are only reading what you want.  The take-away from that link is that Catholic institutions are seeking or creating solutions that are consistent with their faith, which if the present ruling stands will no longer be an option, certainly not in any but a smoke-and-mirrors sort of way.  That many fail in that pursuit due to  combination of state mandates and inexperience in the minutiae of insurance coverage is not relevant.

the secret to happiness is to have you pay for my cocaine and mountain climbing-p0157

134

^ 123

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 10:56:25 PM EST

none

The takeaway from that link is that most Catholic institutions think so little about this "violating" their consciences that they, as organizations, aren't even aware that it does so; and that many Catholic organizations believe, contrary to popular opinion, that the "smoke and mirrors sort of way" more than adequately solves their ethical dilemma.

140

^ 134

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

ThePlague.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 07:53:13 AM EST

none

I disagree.  However, even granting your ...interesting...interpretation, does that mean it's ok to violate the conscientiousness objections or practice of religion as long as it only affects a suitably small minority?

the secret to happiness is to have you pay for my cocaine and mountain climbing-p0157

143

^ 140

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 09:39:17 AM EST

none

I think our society has already established that while individual rights are recognized, the government has the authority to disregard those rights in certain instances and for certain purposes. In this case, the government has a compelling interest (several, in fact) for regulating insurance companies. The "imposition" on "religion" is not the purpose of the regulation, but an ancillary effect, and that ancillary effect is fairly unintrusive, despite the wailing of some very vocal minorities. But even if the act were more intrusive, it might still be warranted-- for instance, the government most definitely intrusively prevents the religious practice of bigamy in fundamentalist Mormon churches, going so far as to arrest and prosecute their members who engage in it. And that's intrusion on a claimed positive religious practice-- i.e., an instance where the claimant asserts a right to engage in a practice.

In the case of contraception, we're seeing a minority of Catholics complaining because of intrusion into a supposed negative right-- the purported right not to offer material support to an organization or organizations which offend their religious sensibilities. Assuming such a right exists, and I think that's such a fuzzily defined claim that its existence is arguable, not even the adherents who are claiming that right manage to follow it in anything like an organized way, violating it regularly. For instance, their tax dollars go to provide contraception to individuals, with little to no protest on their part. But, in this instance, they're vocally protesting having to allow other people to be compensated in a way which allows those other people the option of choosing to have their birth control covered by insurance; which, on its face, seems to be an even less direct connection to their so-called negative right.

Take it further in the other direction... hypothetically, I might have a moral, religious, conscientious objection to paying taxes. Turns out I'm the only guy in my "church". Is it ok for the government to violate my conscientious objection and practice of my religion, since it only affects a minority of one? Tread further into more familiar territory... my religious sect hypothetically believes that it is immoral to interact with black people, who bear the mark of Cain. I and my fellow practitioners have a moral, conscientious objection (and practice of religion) which says that we should discriminate against black people on the basis of their skin color. Is it ok for the government to violate our conscientious objection and practice of religion? Would the size of our group have anything to do with whether or not it were ok? That is, would it be ok if it were only a hundred of us, but not ok if there were a million of us?

I can see the Catholic church making the argument that, since they don't believe in sex outside of marriage, they refuse to support any insurers who offer coverage for treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. Would you think that's permissible? They also believe that gluttony is a sin. Now they decide to exempt themselves from providing coverage for treatment of obesity. Still ok? Sloth is a sin. Ok to "object" to treatment of insomnia? The Catholic church considers as "grave sins" (verging on or firmly into the territory of "mortal" sins) things such as divorce, masturbation, extra-marital sex, apostasy, abortion, drunkenness, and robbery. Should the Church and its organizations be allowed to discriminate against anyone who has masturbated, been divorced, had extra-marital sex, believes in a different god, renounces Christianity, had a few too many drinks or ever been convicted of theft, due to a conscientious objection to those practices? Further, should they be allowed not only to discriminate, but to refuse to offer insurance to their employees if the insurer is mandated to cover any of those individuals, or any treatment related to those actions?

I have no doubt that some enterprising poster will claim "you're making a slippery slope argument", but I'm not. I'm not saying that if we allow an exemption in this case, we'll be allowing exemptions in all these other cases. What I'm saying is that the principle in these other cases isn't noticeably different from the principle in the case of contraception, and that how convincing one finds the "conscientious objection" in these other cases should have a bearing on how convincing or compelling one should find it in the case of contraception.

"I conscientiously object" isn't and shouldn't be a get-out-of-jail-free card that allows religious people of any stripe to ignore any law they disagree with.

146

^ 143

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

ThePlague.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 12:01:38 PM EST

none

Well, I actually believe minorities have the right to practice their religion or even follow their conscience, and that includes opting out of providing subsidies for practices they find abhorrent.  After all, there is a correlation between money and time, and providing money for something is comparable to rolling up your sleeves and working to implement it yourself.

Of course, taxes are part and parcel of living in this republic.  There's no denying that, as it's written very plainly that congress does have the authority to tax.  They do not have the authority to compel economic (i.e. bilateral private exchanges) activity, save via the Alice in Wonderland expansion of the Commerce clause.  Pretty much if a dollar changes hands, then the USFG gets a say in it and, apparently as well, if a dollar doesn't change hands they have the power to compel it.  Since they have assumed that power, the micro-managing minutiae that we're seeing is inevitable, as the purpose of the "reform" is obviously not to provide insurance for the 15% or so of americans who lacked it prior to implementation, rather to social engineer mores.  Mandatory contraception provision is just the tip of the iceberg.

It's a smart move, politically.  Catholicism has a deservedly bad reputation right now, as well as shrinking numbers.  Thus, this case makes a good floater to test the resistance to violation of religious rights.  Once the precedent is set, later implementations can have this case as a working example.

The take-away from this is if you have a conscience, or firm beliefs in right and wrong, then under no circumstances employ someone as you will not be allowed to practice those beliefs.  Apparently, the Commerce clause trumps the first amendment.

the secret to happiness is to have you pay for my cocaine and mountain climbing-p0157

154

^ 146

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 10:10:41 PM EST

none

After all, there is a correlation between money and time, and providing money for something is comparable to rolling up your sleeves and working to implement it yourself.

Well, no... it's not comparable. But even supposing that it is, all that would prove is that Catholics are perfectly fine with providing "money" for contraception, as a matter of principle, since they already do so in a number of circumstances, including supporting the same insurance companies which already provide contraceptive services to their insured.

They do not have the authority to compel economic (i.e. bilateral private exchanges) activity, save via the Alice in Wonderland expansion of the Commerce clause.

I have yet to meet a person who hasn't availed himself of medical care, although I have met several dozen who have done so without the means to pay for it. The government isn't "compelling economic activity", it's recognizing that economic activity is already taking place in the form of freeloaders shifting the burden of payment to third parties. Despite the fiction that the PPACA is forcing people to engage in commerce, what's really happening is simply a regulation of commerce which is already taking place.

the purpose of the "reform" is obviously not to provide insurance for the 15% or so of americans who lacked it prior to implementation, rather to social engineer mores.

Yes, clearly "culture" aspect of this is far more important than the medical aspects of it. Next thing you know, the government will be forcing people to wear condoms. /facepalm

The take-away from this is if you have a conscience, or firm beliefs in right and wrong, then under no circumstances employ someone as you will not be allowed to practice those beliefs.

I'd say that the takeaway is more along the lines of discovering just how irrational, ethically bereft of compass, and absolutely entitled to the privilege of meddling in other people's private decisions religious organizations are. Although, again, one clear solution is to simply scrap the for-profit insurance industry in favor of something more workable

But I think we both know the paranoid story line that would accompany opposition to such a move, don't we? After all, you're already floating a version of it, here.

159

^ 154

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

ThePlague.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 07:02:13 AM EST

none

Let me get this straight, requiring people to buy a specific product (HCI) isn't compelling economic activity since you know several dozen people who freeload.  Wow, that's an unassailable reason to make people who neither want nor use insurance to pay for others (/not).

It's very simple: you don't need insurance to get medical services, cashy money works.  Thus, it's far better to save the money spent on premiums for the possible future need of health care.  Or, another solution is to get a very high deductible policy to cover true catastrophes, and cover the piddling stuff yourself (which happens anyway prior to meeting deductibles of any non-zero amount).  Instead, we're in the situation where everyone is required to pay for an all-you-can eat Brazilian buffet:  great for the carnivores, not so much for the vegans.

Of course, the whole upshot of the law follows the usual tenet that only those who can be squeezed are, and as much as possible, independent of their need or desire for the product.  The fact that the fine for not buying a USFG-approved plan is directly proportional to income above a certain income threshold is proof-positive of that.  So, you have the consequence that a healthy male in his 20's could end up net paying more for the lack of insurance than a family of 8 for full coverage, after subsidies of course.  So, there are still freeloaders, it's just that now one can not avoid opting out of paying for them by federal law.

the secret to happiness is to have you pay for my cocaine and mountain climbing-p0157

160

^ 159

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 07:38:57 AM EST

none

You people do love to toss that word "since" into statements that don't contain them, don't you? I must say, I have seen this many straw-men thrown at me in a long time. No, buttercup, you haven't gotten it straight. It's not that it isn't "compelling economic activity since I know blah blah blah." It isn't compelling economic activity because people who don't buy insurance are already engaging in the economic activity of using healthcare. And please don't regale me with your anecdotes regarding all the amazingly healthy rugged individuals you know who were born in a cave, far from civilization, and lived their whole lives without ever seeing a doctor or visiting an emergency room.

It's very simple: you don't need insurance to get medical services, cashy money works.

Yes, clearly this principle simply has never occurred to anyone who has ever been bankrupted by medical care. If only they had had you nearby to offer them sage advice prior to their ever having gotten cancer, or whatever. I'm not going to go over this argument yet again, since I've already gone over it several times. If you haven't been able to grasp why health care isn't amenable to free market principles, that's your problem, not mine.

161

^ 160

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

ThePlague.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 07:54:11 AM EST

none

There's a glaring problem with that argument:  using healthcare does not equal having health insurance.  They are two separate activities, and one does not necessarily correlate to the other.  I know plenty of people (anecdotes are fun!) who have health insurance but don't use it.  I also know plenty of people who don't have HI and just pay out of pocket as needed.  If people are using healthcare without paying for it, then there are already processes in place to correct it, namely the courts just like any one else delinquent on any other debt.

So, the solution being implemented now is that these freeloaders, ripping off doctors and hospitals in great numbers according to you, will now rip off via subsidies from disinterested third parties.  In other words, people now being compelled to engage in this economic activity.

I suppose the ultimate purpose of this "reform" is to obfuscate the freeloaders activity via a mandate and fines to those who pay their bills but want nothing to do with the HI industry.  At least they can feel "good" about themselves.  Heh.

the secret to happiness is to have you pay for my cocaine and mountain climbing-p0157

163

^ 161

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 10:21:51 AM EST

none

There's a glaring problem with that argument: using healthcare does not equal having health insurance.

That's not a problem, glaring or otherwise.

They are two separate activities, and one does not necessarily correlate to the other.

Sorry, but that simply removes any meaning from the word "correlate". They very much correlate to each other.

I know plenty of people (anecdotes are fun!) who have health insurance but don't use it.

And taking a page out of your book-- "Let me get this straight, the government requiring individuals to be insured isn't a regulation of economic activity, since you know 'plenty of people' who have health insurance, but don't (yet) use it?" Gee, I guess straw men are pretty fun, too. I'm not surprised that you've developed a taste for using them.

But, no. I'm certain that you know virtually no one who will never use nor have ever used health care.

the solution being implemented now is that these freeloaders, ripping off doctors and hospitals in great numbers according to you

Hey, asshole. Get your tongue out of my mouth. These "freeloaders" aren't just "ripping off" doctors and hospitals. You think the doctor or hospital just eats the cost of providing care for indigent patients? You and I pay for it. We pay for it as individuals by being presented higher prices for care, which has the added bonus of making it even less likely that the uninsured will pay their bills, even the ones who would want to; and that's saying nothing at all about the lost productivity that the nation eats as a whole, because uninsured people wind up not seeking medical care until their condition becomes severe. These "freeloaders" have been being subsidized by you and me since we first visited a doctor. It's just that you're too dumb, apparently, to realize it.

168

^ 163

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

Ephraim Gadsby.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:44:52 PM EST

none

Under Obamacare the "freeloaders" will cost us even more, see here.

170

^ 168

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 03:00:07 PM EST

none

The guy starts out his little exercise in mathematical gamesmanship by low-balling the cost to the country of the uninsured, as shown in the source he himself links to, and I'm supposed to find the argument convincing? I don't think so.

This analysis underestimates the costs associated with a single hospitalization because the analysis only includes the bills (or costs) for the hospital itself. The analysis does not include the costs of physician fees, ambulance fees, post-acute care expenses, or the possibility of multiple hospitalizations. Expenditures for hospital care represent only 56% of total medical expenditures for the uninsured with one or more hospitalizations (data not shown). Had additional items been included in the analysis, fewer of the uninsured would have been able to cover the full expenses associated with an entire episode of care.

The analysis also assumes that uninsured people would be willing and able to use all of their financial assets to pay medical bills, but that they would not have recourse to their non-financial assets (such as the value of their homes) to pay these bills. Uninsured people may not be able to use all their financial assets to pay hospital bills (especially as they may need these assets to pay living expenses following a hospitalization); on the other hand, they may be able to take out additional loans or sell their house or other non-financial assets to pay some of these costs.

Garbage In, Garbage Out.

171

^ 170

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

Ephraim Gadsby.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 03:46:14 PM EST

none

That doesn't change the analysis.

173

^ 171

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

iarnuocon.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 03:50:28 PM EST

none

Neither would dividing by zero, apparently.

174

^ 163

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

ThePlague.

Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 08:07:30 AM EST

none

"We" don't pay for it.  Only those people who use a healthcare provider who tries to pass along those costs pay for it.  Do health insurance companies pay more to businesses who have a problem with delinquent bills out of their kindness of their hearts?  Are there line items on medical bills as a surcharge for non-payers?  No?  Then requiring by law, with income-scaling fines for noncompliance are going to cost the very people you claim will be saving money far more than any supposed hidden costs passed along.  That's even ignoring the deal-breaking loss of freedom of choice.

I mean, really, it's not that difficult to understand.  The present retarded reforms compel economic activity contrary to the best interests of many people.  The freeloaders. those using services without paying for them, are now required to buy health insurance.  However, the HCI is so heavily subsidized for certain demographics that it is practically free to them, certainly not anything approaching break-even.  The bill-payers, whether out of pocket or through current HI coverage or both, are now required to get HI that is, per the current topic, having far more than calamity coverage being tacked onto it.  So, not only can they not opt out, their costs will rise for expanded services.  It's a really, really bad deal, akin to the maintenance packages car salesmen try to hawk.

Just pay for your own damn services.

the secret to happiness is to have you pay for my cocaine and mountain climbing-p0157

88

^ 48

Re: Religious Freedom Versus Women's Health

HidingFromGoro.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:13:34 PM EST

4.00 (brilliant, contiguous)

None of that matters according to real Catholic doctrine, otherwise Catholics would not be allowed to purchase drugs made by drugmakers who also produce contraceptives (or lethal injection drugs).  

Nobody is stupid enough to believe that premiums would be lowered if the insurance company didn't have to cover the drugs, either.

The whole "controversy" is a manufactured publicity stunt so that Obama can make it look like he "stood up for reproductive rights" in an election year- and another example of the kind of nonsense we wouldn't have to deal with if we had UHC (oh whoops, Obama sold out the public on that one too).

I got more styles than prison got bricks- ain't that some shit?

121

^ 23

Completely Off Topic

keta.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 05:27:39 PM EST

none

Hey!  DerPlaguenPlunker!  Good to see you back here after a well-earned rest!

I just want to be the first to congratulate you on that marvelous holiday season idea of yours!  What a kind-hearted movement to start, and the way it snowballed!  Whew!

You tricky bastard, you.  Why, some said you'd hauled off to Galt's Gulch, but not me!  As soon as I heard about the layaway phenomenon I said to myself, I said, "keta, that there thing is DerPlaguenPlunker's doin' as sure is rain is wet!"  And rain sure is wet!  You crazy sum'bitch!

You Der Man, DerPlaguenPlunker!  

Bog Bless!

36

How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:16:10 AM EST

5.00 (funny, heroic)

It's interesting to see TnT's raft of hard-core libertarians and conservatives-- who would ordinarily make the rational argument that any money a business spends on insurance for the employee is actually employee compensation, and, thus, an expenditure of the employee-- suddenly whipsaw in the other direction, and claim that it doesn't have a thing to do with the employee, and instead is an example of the business' practice of religion (makes me wonder whether incorporated businesses also have tastes in music, favorite restaurants, and hobbies).

Let's just cut to the chase, turn the insurance industry into a not-for-profit industry, get employers out of the middle of handing money from the employee to yet another middle-man, and move on. Because all the bullshit posturing on the part of the outraged religious is stinkin' up the joint, not to mention impacting personal liberty.

38

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Re: How refreshing!

joshv.

Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:19:55 PM EST

none

Yeah sure, and why should these organizations be forced to compensation their employees for activities that the church does not approve of?

In generally I don't really even care about the specific products/services being debated here.  I think it's ridiculous that the federal government is mandating coverage levels, and further that they are mandating coverage for something that's entirely elective.  Imagine if every woman in the country takes advantage of "free" birth control.  Premiums will simply increase - "free" indeed.

I am on board with getting employers out of the insurance business - I have no idea what making insurance companies not-for-profit would accomplish.

44

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:28:40 PM EST

3.00 (informative, shriveled)

"I have no idea what making insurance companies not-for-profit would accomplish"

It would temporarily satisfy the statist liberal urge.

50

^ 38

Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:41:00 AM EST

4.00 (astute)

Why think that "the Church" and "a business" are the same thing? I mean, I think they are-- the Church hasn't been anything but a business since about 400 CE-- but I'm a bit surprised to see people try to argue that something as simple as transferring money from one account into a different account equates to "a practice of religion".

As far as the government mandating coverage, or mandating anything else about health insurance, health care isn't something which lends itself well to free market forces. That should be obvious from the example we have in our country, which is one of the most expensive in the world, while remaining one fairly low on the totem pole in terms of results for first world health care. See Kenneth Arrow's seminal work Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Health Care.

Making insurance companies not-for-profit shifts the dynamic and focus from profits to service. Instead of maximizing profits by cutting access to health insurance and by refusing to pay out for care which actually is or should be covered by the existing policies, a not-for-profit system ties increasing revenue directly to increasing the number of the insured. For an example of how this would work, see Germany's excellent not-for-profit driven health insurance industry.

52

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Re: How refreshing!

joshv.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:19:25 AM EST

3.00 (obtuse, astute)

"As far as the government mandating coverage, or mandating anything else about health insurance, health care isn't something which lends itself well to free market forces. That should be obvious from the example we have in our country, which is one of the most expensive in the world, while remaining one fairly low on the totem pole in terms of results for first world health care."

And then we have the examples of the entirely for-profit cosmetic surgery and laser eye surgery markets, where inflation adjusted rates have remained the same and fallen, even as the quality of care has increased.  So sorry, it's not obvious to me that healthcare doesn't lend itself well to market forces.

Want another example?  HSA participants with high deductible insurance coverage.  They spend less than people who use traditional insurance, consume fewer medical services, and manage to be just as healthy.

54

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 12:40:39 PM EST

3.00 (helpful)

it's not obvious to me that healthcare doesn't lend itself well to market forces.

What percentage of "health care" is purely elective? That's where the difference lies. Purely elective surgery will obviously follow free market dictates-- consumers decide when and where to have the procedures done, and can simply delay having the procedures done until they find a source which meets the right cost/benefit ratio that they themselves predetermine.

When's the last time you saw someone put off having a heart attack in order to find the care provider who most reasonably balance cost versus quality of care? My guess is never, and you never will. Health care consumption driven by illnesses follows free market principles relatively poorly, and it's likely that no free market changes will improve that situation, because illness-driven health care consumption isn't driven by "preference", and isn't "elective".

64

^ 54

Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 02:12:09 PM EST

none

"What percentage of "health care" is purely elective?"

At least 50%.

"health care consumption isn't driven by "preference", and isn't "elective"."

50% of it is.

70

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 04:30:23 PM EST

none

At least 50%.

Sorry, but Hanson's argument isn't that 50% of medical care is elective, but rather than 50% of medical care is ineffective. Those are different things. That you don't grasp the difference, also suggests which side you come down on regarding the "let 'em die?" question.

50% of it is.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that you're right-- that 50% that isn't elective means that the health care market is, still, vastly different from a market in (for example) consumer electronics, and will-- for exactly the reasons I've already pointed out-- be resistant to the "corrections" of the so-called invisible hand of the market.

Oops.

73

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 04:52:21 PM EST

none

When consumers have to pay for health care themselves, they purchase less ineffective care.

"also suggests which side you come down on regarding the "let 'em die?" question"

I don't understand what your fixation on this is. None of the changes in health care policy I advocate would produce more deaths.

"the health care market is, still, vastly different from a market in (for example) consumer electronics, and will-- for exactly the reasons I've already pointed out-- be resistant to the "corrections" of the so-called invisible hand of the market"

Your blather is contradicted by the fact enrollment in high-deductible insurance combined with health savings accounts reduces spending, with no adverse impact on health.

76

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 05:18:18 PM EST

none

When consumers have to pay for health care themselves, they purchase less ineffective care.

Consumers pay for health care themselves. Insurance companies wouldn't be profitable, otherwise.

None of the changes in health care policy I advocate would produce more deaths.

I wouldn't be terribly familiar with what you "advocate". What I've seen you suggest is that consuming health care is little different from buying a toaster, which is obviously incorrect. That attitude fosters misperceptions of the consequences of health care policy, the unintended consequence of which is, often, higher prices that discourage use.

Your blather is contradicted by the fact enrollment in high-deductible insurance combined with health savings accounts reduces spending, with no adverse impact on health.

Evidence, please. And, no, Hanson's article did not already provide it.

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 05:44:14 PM EST

none

Most people indirectly pay for employer provided health insurance, which then pays for health care.

The savings produced by high deducible plans with HSAs are well documented.

Hanson links to multiple peer reviewed studies.  You should read those, see also more recent ones.  .

90

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:01:34 PM EST

none

The savings produced by high deducible plans with HSAs are well documented.

Your link directs me to information on Aetna's CDHP, which pairs high-deductible medical coverage with preventive care that is not charged against the deductible. I'm certainly not opposed to it, but that cuts directly against your suggestion that preventive health care services such as contraception shouldn't be covered by insurance.

Q. Isn't consumer-directed care just cost-shifting in disguise? A. No, that is not our experience. First, most CDHPs provide up-front, 100 percent coverage of preventive care, which is a strong incentive for consumers to get the quality care they need. Second, the data show that CDHP premiums are more affordable than most traditional plans, which means some consumers are able to afford coverage they otherwise might not have.

Hanson links to multiple peer reviewed studies.

I read the links Hanson provided in the link you presented. That's how I know that Hanson isn't arguing that 50% of health care involves elective care.

You should read those, see also more recent ones.

Thanks, I appreciate the links.

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:49:49 PM EST

none

Those plans cover birth control, but you have a deductible.

104

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 03:43:07 PM EST

none

Those plans cover birth control, but you have a deductible.

First, most CDHPs provide up-front, 100 percent coverage of preventive care

107

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 03:49:02 PM EST

none

You can look it up.

109

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 04:04:36 PM EST

none

I did. That's where I got the quote. Are you under the impression that 100% coverage doesn't mean 100% coverage? Here's Aetna's definition:

100% coverage for in-network preventive care (medical, dental and vision) that does not reduce your Fund balances

Contraceptive visits would be covered. Long-term contraception that requires more than simply a prescription (IUD, injections, sterilization, etc.) would be covered. The pill and condoms would come out of your fund, until and unless the fund were exhausted, and only then would they apply to your deductible.

Don't get me wrong. I like the idea behind CDHPs. My last employer used a CDHP, and I found it to be, in some ways, better than the traditional insurance I had before. I just think you're operating under some misunderstandings-- if insurance companies didn't take in more money than they pay out, they wouldn't be in business. QED, employees pay for their health care. CDHPs cover preventive care, 100%. Not as part of the "deductible", but flat out.

Your suggestion was that CDHPs don't result in "adverse impact on health". I'd suggest one strong reason for that is that CDHPs invest heavily in preventive care, and participants avail themselves of that. The reduction in catastrophic medical needs due to early intervention offsets the cost of 100% covered preventive care, apparently.

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 04:12:25 PM EST

none

You don't get "free" birth control pills.

"if insurance companies didn't take in more money than they pay out, they wouldn't be in business"

Thanks for sharing your profound insights.

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 04:38:03 PM EST

none

You don't get "free" birth control pills

I'm sorry that you've been reduced to such ridiculous back-pedaling. I'm simply pointing out that you've made claims which aren't, in fact, supportable. If you'd like to scour the internet for better support, I highly encourage it.

Thanks for sharing your profound insights.

Glad I could help. If there's anything else you're unclear on, feel free to ask.

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 04:55:19 PM EST

none

I'm not back pedaling, I'm stating a fact.

129

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 06:21:25 PM EST

none

An irrelevant fact.

55

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Re: How refreshing!

zyxwvutsr.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 12:43:51 PM EST

3.67 (astute, astute, false)

...the Church hasn't been anything but a business since about 400 CE-- but I'm a bit surprised to see people try to argue that something as simple as transferring money from one account into a different account equates to "a practice of religion"
I would think that the overwhelming majority of Americans would think your view is, at the very least, quite bizarre, and more likely would think it utterly ignorant and bigoted. Nonetheless, it should suffice for you to realize that however you characterize the Catholic Church - and, more importantly, however you characterize their beliefs - there is a rather clear protection for them written into the Constitution.

Ministering to the sick is explicitly a central tenant of the Catholic Church. The implementation of this may take many forms, but the one we are primarily discussion here is that of hospitals and the like created and supported by the Church that are intended to help Catholics and non-Catholics alike. It should be obvious that if the Church cannot legally operate such ministries without violating their teachings - that is, without committing a sin - that they will be unwilling to do so. It is probably less obvious (but no less true) that preventing the Church from engaging in such ministries is a prohibition of freely exercising their religion. Thus the Obama Administration has proposed a policy that would not only violate the rights of Catholics, but also curtail health care for the needy. That combination is appalling, even for an administration that habitually proposes bad ideas.

57

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:21:47 PM EST

3.67 (astute, wrong, interesting)

there is a rather clear protection for them written into the Constitution.

And the pretense that mandating insurance companies provide coverage for contraception violates the religious exercise of any Catholic is exactly that-- a pretense. It should be obvious (but apparently isn't) that a "Catholic" business transferring funds from a non-Catholic employee's total compensation to the account of a third party, on behalf of the employee, isn't an exercise of religion, and isn't an "act" of the employer in any meaningful sense except in the sense of an "act" of accounting. For example, these same organizations already transfer part of their employees' compensation to the state and federal governments in the form of taxes, which use that money in part to fund insurance programs which cover contraception. How anyone could be expected to believe that while this transference of funds is NOT an exercise of religion, this other transference IS an exercise of religion is a nice bit of sophistry.

Set aside for a moment that most of these organizations have insurance plans which are grandfathered under the ACA, and thus would not be "forced" to do a thing. Set aside the fact that the majority of Catholics actually practice chemical of physical birth control in a manner directly against the so-called doctrine of the Church. Set aside the facts that no Catholic will be forced to use birth control, nor will any Catholic be forced to buy birth control. What's really at issue is whether or not a religious organization-- in this case the Catholic Church-- can insert itself into what is essentially a transaction between a non-Catholic and a third party, and force both those parties to adhere to Church doctrine.

In other words, it's a religious freedom issue, absolutely. And in this instance, the organization fighting against religious freedom is the Catholic Church.

The free exercise of religion does not consist of me forcing you NOT to spend your money on things I disagree with. You're claiming it does. Your assertion is what's appalling.

84

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Re: How refreshing!

zyxwvutsr.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 07:07:09 PM EST

none

...a "Catholic" business transferring funds from a non-Catholic employee's total compensation to the account of a third party, on behalf of the employee, isn't an exercise of religion, and isn't an "act" of the employer in any meaningful sense except in the sense of an "act" of accounting
That's a funny bit of sophistry, akin to the idea that not buying insurance is "commerce." But it is wrong because the source and scope of the health plans are determined by the employer and it is in fact the employer that pays for most of the cost of the plan. Employees generally contribute some of their salary, but they do so voluntarily.

these same organizations already transfer part of their employees' compensation to the state and federal governments in the form of taxes, which use that money in part to fund insurance programs which cover contraception
The Church makes a distinction between directly funding something (over which they have control) and indirectly funding something (over which they have no control). Rendering unto Cesar is not the same as joining his Legions.

Set aside for a moment that most of these organizations have insurance plans which are grandfathered under the ACA, and thus would not be "forced" to do a thing
Yes, set that aside because it irrelevant and likely untrue in the long-term. Irrelevant because, logically, even you must admit that "most" is not "all." (Why would you support law that violates the constitutional rights of only some citizens?) Likely untrue because grandfathered plans will inevitably dwindle in number if the ACA is not repealed or amended.

Set aside the fact that the majority of Catholics actually practice chemical of physical birth control in a manner directly against the so-called doctrine of the Church
Yes, set that aside because it is wholly irrelevant to the question of free exercise of religion. The Catholic Church is not a democratic organization - there is no majority rule.

Set aside the facts that no Catholic will be forced to use birth control, nor will any Catholic be forced to buy birth control
The plan explicitly requires Catholics to buy birth control. (Or do you think the insurance firms will really provide it at no cost through some economic magic spell?)

What's really at issue is whether or not a religious organization-- in this case the Catholic Church-- can insert itself into what is essentially a transaction between a non-Catholic and a third party...
You are flatly wrong about that, for several reasons:

  • The "transaction" is between the employer and the insurance company. Employees are, as always, free to seek their own health insurance coverage and opt out of their employer's plan. Furthermore, there is nothing preventing the employees from seeking contraception - both from within and outside their employer's plan. (You will no doubt try to respond with some variation of "the cost is a barrier and barriers are preventing the transaction.")

  • Under the current system the Church cannot prevent Catholic, nor non-Catholics, from entering into any transaction with a third party.

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:51:24 PM EST

none

That's a funny bit of sophistry, akin to the idea that not buying insurance is "commerce." But it is wrong because the source and scope of the health plans are determined by the employer and it is in fact the employer that pays for most of the cost of the plan. Employees generally contribute some of their salary, but they do so voluntarily.

As I said, it's funny how people who would ordinarily make the claim that insurance is "employee compensation", and not some free service provided by the employer, suddenly reverse their course when confronted with the mandate to provide coverage for contraception. Then, insurance suddenly becomes a "gift" of the employer that has nothing to do with the employee. I think you for providing such a clear example of the phenomenon, zyx.

The Church makes a distinction between directly funding something (over which they have control) and indirectly funding something (over which they have no control).

Obviously not. Paying for insurance coverage, irrespective of the argument over whether that's simply employee compensation, is an obvious case of "indirectly funding something". As I've pointed out, there's little difference between transferring a portion of the employee's compensation to the IRS and transferring a portion of the employee's compensation to an insurer. The employer's role is mainly that of an accountant, not that of a purchaser.

Yes, set that aside because it irrelevant and likely untrue in the long-term.

Sigh. I guess we Can't set it aside, then, since your statement is flagrantly false. It's both relevant and true that the organizations who are howling the loudest would not be required to cover contraception. The rules in place for "grandfathering" existing insurance programs are clear and easily followed. "Most" is, quite true, not "all"-- in this case, I say "most" because some organizations will eventually make a voluntary decision to offer contraceptive coverage, ideology notwithstanding (most probably as soon as we're out of an election year). Those who choose not to voluntarily offer the coverage could, without doubt, remain grandfathered under the existing law in perpetuity.

Yes, set that aside because it is wholly irrelevant to the question of free exercise of religion.

Do you always miss such glaringly obvious points, or are you being purposefully obtuse? It isn't "irrelevant" to the question of free exercise of religion specifically because the claim is being made that coverage of contraception for the non-religious constitutes a violation of the consciences of all Catholics. Since most American Catholics (the only ones we need concern ourselves with, here) already practice birth control, obviously there is no such violation occurring amongst all Catholics, even if we were inclined to believe the nonsense that a Catholic employer sticking his nose into the relationship between the insured and insurer were a valid enterprise. Which it isn't.

The Catholic Church is not a democratic organization - there is no majority rule.

Organizations cannot have "rights"-- and organization doesn't have a "conscience", nor sentience, nor anything else you'd want to try to posit in making the claim that the Catholic Church has a right to interfere in the doings of its non-religious or non-Catholic employees. And while the Church can certainly say that it thinks its members will be roasting in hell for using contraception, the obvious point to make is that millions of Catholic Americans disagree, and use contraception anyway. It's a bit tough in the face of that fact, to pretend that the Catholic Church is speaking for them when it says that this rule violates their consciences-- since it quite obviously does not.

The plan explicitly requires Catholics to buy birth control. (Or do you think the insurance firms will really provide it at no cost through some economic magic spell?)

Repeating the lie doesn't make it any more true. But knock yourself out, if you want to. Catholics will still not be buying birth control for other people (even though the majority of them will be buying birth control for themselves).

The "transaction" is between the employer and the insurance company.

It's funny that you'd continue to try to pass off this lie. Anyone who is employed knows that you have to sign up for insurance through your employer, and that your employer withholds the funds for your insurance. Very few people are under the delusion that the "funds" which the employer "matches" in "paying" for your insurance are not, in fact, your compensation. You don't "opt out" of an "employer's" plan. You purchase insurance.

Under the current system the Church cannot prevent Catholic, nor non-Catholics, from entering into any transaction with a third party.

You're right-- they can't prevent it. They can only make it more difficult by erecting discriminatory hurdles. Bottom line is that the Catholic Church, by choosing to pretend that it has any right to erect those hurdles, is simply making the case for single payer.

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Re: How refreshing!

zyxwvutsr.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 09:04:58 AM EST

none

...people who would ordinarily make the claim that insurance is "employee compensation", and not some free service provided by the employer, suddenly reverse their course when confronted with the mandate to provide coverage for contraception. Then, insurance suddenly becomes a "gift" of the employer that has nothing to do with the employee. I think you for providing such a clear example of the phenomenon...
I apologize for not being explicit enough for you to comprehend. Let me try again: Employer-provided health insurance is a component of employee compensation. That fact has nothing whatsoever to do with contraception or anything else being discussed here; it simply is true.
Paying for insurance coverage, irrespective of the argument over whether that's simply employee compensation, is an obvious case of "indirectly funding something". As I've pointed out, there's little difference between transferring a portion of the employee's compensation to the IRS and transferring a portion of the employee's compensation to an insurer. The employer's role is mainly that of an accountant, not that of a purchaser
There is such an enormous difference that I am wondering (again) about your understanding of the topic. In the former case the employer has nearly limitless discretion on the scope and form (and, most crucially, the very existence) of the expenditure. In the latter case those issues are wholly outside the employer's control.

This point is at the center of this issue; your failure (or refusal) to understand that is, perhaps, unsurprising.

It's both relevant and true that the organizations who are howling the loudest would not be required to cover contraception. The rules in place for "grandfathering" existing insurance programs are clear and easily followed
I suppose that your misunderstanding of the nature and history of the Catholic Church should also be unsurprising, but you should be at least a little embarrassed that you have utterly failed to account for the idea that, at the very least, the Obama Administration's acts would deter the Church from engaging in new charitable endeavors similar to the ones in queston. (Or maybe that's the point?)
Organizations cannot have "rights"
What compelled you to make that obvious point?
...making the claim that the Catholic Church has a right to interfere in the doings of its non-religious or non-Catholic employees
Has anyone made that claim? As far as I can tell that is solely a product of your fevered imagination.

Catholics will still not be buying birth control for other people...
Please explain that economic magic: where will the money come from?

Anyone who is employed knows that you have to sign up for insurance through your employer...You don't "opt out" of an "employer's" plan
Of the many ignorant claims you have made in this discussion that is the most ignorant by far. An employer cannot force an employee to join an insurance plan - indeed many employees opt out for reasons of cost or because their spouse has cheaper or otherwise superior coverage.

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 10:20:22 AM EST

none

Employer-provided health insurance is a component of employee compensation. That fact has nothing whatsoever to do with contraception or anything else being discussed here; it simply is true.

Well, in fact it does bear directly on the issue of contraception.

...the employer has nearly limitless discretion on the scope and form (and, most crucially, the very existence) of the expenditure. In the latter case those issues are wholly outside the employer's control.

Lol... well, in the former case, no-- not any more, as a matter of law. And in the latter case, those issues are outside the employer's control as a matter of law. So your objection seems to be that in the former case, it's an unconscionable intrusion on religious freedom because the mandate is a matter of law, but taxation isn't an unconscionable intrusion on religious freedom because it's a matter of law.

the Obama Administration's acts would deter the Church from engaging in new charitable endeavors similar to the ones in queston.

This is obviously untrue.

What compelled you to make that obvious point?

The fact that you seem so thoroughly unable to apply that point in any meaningful way to real world situations.

Has anyone made that claim?

Yes, regularly.

Please explain that economic magic: where will the money come from?

From the money saved as a result of the prevention of unintended pregnancies on the part of those individuals who choose more effective means of birth control as a result of its availability to them. I pointed out elsewhere studies conducted by health organizations which found inclusion of birth control results in a net savings of roughly $8,000 per unintended pregnancy avoided. Since the cost of contraception coverage in a normal organization with regular uptake rates equates to $21/annually per employee, each unintended pregnancy avoided offsets the coverage cost for nearly 400 fellow employees. It's likely that, rather than costing these organizations anything, those who take advantage of contraception under these plans will be subsidizing the health care of those who do not.

An employer cannot force an employee to join an insurance plan - indeed many employees opt out for reasons of cost or because their spouse has cheaper or otherwise superior coverage.

In fact, I was pointing specifically to the fucking idiocy of your benighted claim that the employer "provides" insurance for his employees. The employer doesn't purchase coverage for everyone, forcing those who don't want it to "opt out". Employees specifically purchase coverage. If an employee doesn't "opt in", they simply are not covered. I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that you're just moronic enough to have failed to grasp what was said in the context of the claim which you made. But I'm finding, as I get reacquainted with you, that I'd forgotten just what a disingenuous asshole you really are.

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Re: How refreshing!

zyxwvutsr.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 01:08:16 PM EST

none

...not any more, as a matter of law
Employers are not required by law to provide health insurance to their employees. Doing so is therefore completely at the discretion of the employer. So what the hell are you talking about?

...taxation isn't an unconscionable intrusion on religious freedom because it's a matter of law
You seem to completely misunderstand the complaint of the Catholics: they are not challenging the idea that the government may compel them to pay taxes. Rather they are challenging the idea that they can be forced to facilitate the use of contraceptives.

The fact that you seem so thoroughly unable to apply that point in any meaningful way to real world situations
Where have I, or anyone else for that matter, written that indicates that there is a belief that organizations have rights?

Who has claimed that "the Catholic Church has a right to interfere in the doings of its non-religious or non-Catholic employees"?

From the money saved as a result of the prevention of unintended pregnancies on the part of those individuals...[blah, blah, blah]...
What made you believe I was asking how the cost of contraception would be offset? The context (please pay attention this time) was your ridiculous claim that "Catholics will still not be buying birth control for other people." The Catholics in question, i.e., the ones running the secular (or semi-secular - it makes no difference) organizations do not want to spend money on health insurance plans that include contraception. Not that they do not to spend more money for such a plan, but that they do not want to pay for any part of such a plan at all. The Obama Administration's "compromise" would still force them to pay for those plans, or forgo covering their employees altogether.

...the fucking idiocy of your benighted claim that the employer "provides" insurance for his employees...Employees specifically purchase coverage
Really, your entire argument depends on the absurd idea that employer-provided health insurance is not really provided by the employer at all. The Obama Administration has not made that ridiculous claim, not has anyone else other than you as far as I know.

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 10:34:48 PM EST

none

Employers are not required by law to provide health insurance to their employees.

True. The ones who have more than fifty employees simply face fines that are stiffer than providing insurance, if they fail to do so.

You seem to completely misunderstand the complaint of the Catholics: they are not challenging the idea that the government may compel them to pay taxes. Rather they are challenging the idea that they can be forced to facilitate the use of contraceptives.

By paying taxes, they're facilitating the use of contraceptives, without a doubt. Thus, they've already violated the principle they claim to be defending.

Where have I, or anyone else for that matter, written that indicates that there is a belief that organizations have rights?

Your position isn't that the Church, operating businesses which are secular in nature, can impose its rules on its non-religious employees, and that by having to adhere to regulations regarding mandated coverage is having its rights violated? Because if we're talking about the individuals who work for those organizations, they're not having their rights violated in any way.

Really, your entire argument depends on the absurd idea that employer-provided health insurance is not really provided by the employer at all.

My argument is and has been that employee insurance is employee compensation, and that there is little difference between this portion compensation and that other portion-- that the claim that an employee using one portion for one purpose is a violation of the employer's "rights" while using the other portion for the same purpose is not is simply an absurdity that some people find compelling for a variety of fairly flawed reasons. If your employer told you that you couldn't pay for contraception using your paycheck, we'd both find that ridiculous. But through the magic of religion, suddenly an employer saying you can't use this other portion of your compensation for that purpose seems like the height of wisdom and (of all ridiculous justifications) an exercise of of the employer's religion. As I recall, someone in this conversation has already stated fairly clearly:

Employer-provided health insurance is a component of employee compensation. ...[This] simply is true.

Bottom line, if I give you a paycheck and you use it to purchase contraceptives, I am not "facilitating the use of contraceptives". If I pay taxes which go to providing contraceptives to people, I am not "facilitating the use of contraceptives". But if I broker insurance coverage for my employees, and they use that to acquire contraceptives... hell, that is "facilitating the use of contraceptives"? Pull the other one, please.

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Re: How refreshing!

zyxwvutsr.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 08:26:28 AM EST

none

The ones who have more than fifty employees simply face fines...
Not yet, and perhaps never if we are wise enough to repeal the ACA.

... that are stiffer than providing insurance, if they fail to do so
And you once again show that you are arguing from a position of deep ignorance. The fines for large employers are $167 per month - far less than the cost of insurance plans that would cover all the "free" stuff the Obama Administration wants to give to voters.

By paying taxes, they're facilitating the use of contraceptives, without a doubt. Thus, they've already violated the principle they claim to be defending
Everyone pays taxes. Tax expenditures are used for such a wide variety of purposes and people's opinions are so wide-ranging that it is inevitable that everyone's principles are being violated by some government expenditure. Therefore, in your view, no one has principles.

Your claim is absurd. More to the point, however, it is not the view of the people who are objecting to this policy.

...if we're talking about the individuals who work for those organizations, they're not having their rights violated in any way
Indeed. But we are talking about the leaders of these organizations. I don't know how you came to misunderstand this so thoroughly.

My argument is and has been that employee insurance is employee compensation, and that there is little difference between this portion compensation and that other portion...
I didn't misunderstand your argument; I have merely been mentioning that it is ridiculous. There are fundamental differences between cash compensation and fringe benefits - probably the most significant difference is that the existence, type, limits, and eligibility of fringe benefits are at the discretion of the employer with the employee having no say in the matter. It would absolutely be a violation of the employer's rights if the situation were reversed as you are bizarrely claiming it to be.

This idea - apparently central to your argument - is completely divorced from reality.

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 10:47:52 AM EST

none

you once again show that you are arguing from a position of deep ignorance. The fines for large employers are $167 per month -

That will just have to remain your little secret. If the employer employs at least fifty people and at least one employee received a premium tax credit or cost sharing subsidy, then the employer mus pay a fine of $2,000 annually (your $167 dollars/month) times the number of full-time employees (minus 30). Thus an employer with 51 employees who fails to offer insurance is facing a penalty of $167 x (51-30), or $3,507/monthly. For a company with 1000 employees, the fine is $161,990/monthly.

Everyone pays taxes. Tax expenditures are used for such a wide variety of purposes and people's opinions are so wide-ranging that it is inevitable that everyone's principles are being violated by some government expenditure. Therefore, in your view, no one has principles.

Not in my view. In the view of individuals who buy the argument being made by the Catholic Church. People like you. In my view, neither your principles nor mine are violated by what other people do. I also like how you've brought up the diluting effect of other activities which the dollars support. Last I looked, insurance expenditures are also used for a wide variety of purposes.

it is not the view of the people who are objecting to this policy.

I'm surprised you keep missing this point. You're right-- it's not their view that the money they hand over to government (or even to the very same insurance company about whose contraceptive coverage they're whining) violates their consciences, even though that money goes directly to organizations covering contraception. Thus, complaining that the government requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for contraception is a violation of their own right not to give money to an organization that provides contraception is nothing more than a hypocritical lie.

But we are talking about the leaders of these organizations.

If we're talking about "the leaders of these organizations", then there is no reason to presuppose that, outside of the Church itself, their attempt to impose their morality on others has any weight, or constitutes anything like an exercise of religion. Of course, it's fairly obvious that these "leaders" are attempting to speak as the authoritative voice of all their followers combined, and in the most glaring cases, they simply do not do so. For instance, since the majority of Catholics in America use contraception, it highlights the fact that claiming "supporting" contraception violates their consciences is nothing other than a lie.

I didn't misunderstand your argument; I have merely been mentioning that it is ridiculous

No, rather, you've been showing how shallowly you hold the notion that an employee's compensation is, in fact, the employee's. As I started out saying-- I'm enjoying the fact that this situation has so many hard-core libertarians and conservatives reversing course so quickly on what would usually be an argument basic to their viewpoint.

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Re: How refreshing!

zyxwvutsr.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:54:56 PM EST

none

If the employer employs at least fifty people and at least one employee received a premium tax credit or cost sharing subsidy, then the employer mus pay a fine of $2,000 annually (your $167 dollars/month) times the number of full-time employees (minus 30). Thus an employer with 51 employees who fails to offer insurance is facing a penalty of $167 x (51-30), or $3,507/monthly. For a company with 1000 employees, the fine is $161,990/monthly
Most of us don't need the math spelled out in order to understand that you were dramatically wrong when you claimed employers would "face fines that are stiffer than providing insurance."

An employer providing health insurance for 1,000 employees is probably paying something like $800,000 per month.

In my view, neither your principles nor mine are violated by what other people do
That would seem to be the position of the Church. They do not hold a taxpayer responsible for the sins of his government, only for sins he commits himself. Paying for contraception is something they bleieve is a sin, and that's why they are refusing to pay for it.

...complaining that the government requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for contraception is a violation of their own right not to give money to an organization that provides contraception...
That is not their complaint.

If we're talking about "the leaders of these organizations", then there is no reason to presuppose that, outside of the Church itself, their attempt to impose their morality on others has any weight, or constitutes anything like an exercise of religion
Yes, that's true.

Of course, it's fairly obvious that these "leaders" are attempting to speak as the authoritative voice of all their followers combined, and in the most glaring cases, they simply do not do so
That is largely correct.

..since the majority of Catholics in America use contraception, it highlights the fact that claiming "supporting" contraception violates their consciences is nothing other than a lie
Their claim that facilitating the use of contraception violates their conscience is based on church law. How is it that you believe you can read the minds of these church leaders?

...you've been showing how shallowly you hold the notion that an employee's compensation is, in fact, the employee's
Imagine going to your employer and saying, "I don't like this Cigna health plan you gave me. Switch it to Blue Cross."

Your understanding of this issue is childlike.

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 03:49:35 PM EST

none

An employer providing health insurance for 1,000 employees is probably paying something like $800,000 per month.

America's Health Insurance Plans (a trade group representing health plans) gives the average annual premium for an individual as $2,985. Given that most employees also spend a portion of their paycheck on premiums, it's unlikely the employer "contribution" to the premium exceeds the fine they'd pay for not "providing" insurance. Even if the 1,000 employee business paid every last dime of the premium (which we both know doesn't happen), their monthly "contribution" wouldn't top $250,000. Unless that employer is kicking in more than two thirds of the premium, the fine will be more than the employer pays per month.

That would seem to be the position of the Church. They do not hold a taxpayer responsible for the sins of his government, only for sins he commits himself. Paying for contraception is something they bleieve is a sin, and that's why they are refusing to pay for it.

These organization pay taxes, themselves. Those taxes go in part to purchasing contraception. The taxes their employees pay go in part to purchasing contraception. You claim the position of the Church is that this is not a problem, however, the Church has gone so far as to refuse communion for individuals who have done nothing more than support politicians who are insufficiently "pro-life", so it would appear that they view sin-- when convenient-- as transferable.

The argument currently being floated by the Church is that even if the insurance companies were to offer the contraceptive services at no charge, it would still "violate" their consciences-- hence, the payment itself isn't the issue, the use of contraception by employees is the issue, and these organizations are attempting to enforce their religious view on the non-believers in their employ.

That is not their complaint.

They're claiming that by requiring employee insurance to cover contraception, they're "paying for" contraception. Again, there is little difference between this and "paying for" contraception through taxation or through paychecks which employees use, in part, to purchase contraception.

Their claim that facilitating the use of contraception violates their conscience is based on church law.

Whether it is based on "church law" is irrelevant, first and foremost because what we're talking about is whether Catholic conscience is violated even if they aren't paying contraception. The administration's compromise position is to have insurance plans offer contraception at no additional charge in premiums to these so-called religious organizations. Thus, they aren't "paying" for contraception, even by an argument that insurance is "payed for" by the employer. Yet they're still maintaining that the requirement is a violation of their conscience-- which is obviously an attempt to impose their morality on non-believers, since they aren't actually paying for the contraception, the new argument is that no one should be able to pay for the contraception.

Secondly, if that "church law" isn't actually a law, isn't actually followed, and has no scriptural basis, it can't really be said to be meaningful. Again, the Catholic believers, who ARE the "Church", do not hold that contraception is a sin. The majority of them practice birth control, the majority of them agree that their organizations' insurance plans should cover contraception, and the majority of them reject Humanae Vitae (1968) as an irrelevant document. There's no support for a ban on contraception in Scripture, and while the Church once claimed there was (Casti Connubii 1930), it has since backed down from that position. Its current rationalization for maintaining such a "ban" (honored mainly by the breach of it) finds its basis in "natural law", over which natural reason is the arbiter--and natural reason, even for Catholics, has long rejected the idea that contraception is evil.

You've claimed before (iirc) that the Church "isn't a democracy". This is, of course, utter nonsense. They are their church. The Second Vatican Council defines the church as "the people of God". Thinking that the pope or the bishops are "the church" is a relic of the days when a monarch was said to be his realm and the pope was held to be infallible.

How is it that you believe you can read the minds of these church leaders?

I'm not "reading their minds", but rather reading their actions. If you want to speak for what they're thinking (which you so clearly do), knock yourself out. I don't think your crystal ball or tea leaves or whatever it is you're using to do so is all that accurate. But their actions are fairly well able to be read by anyone who cares to consider what they've done, what they're doing, and the various positions taken by the Catholic laity, who are both by common sense and by definition of the Second Vatican, "the Church".

Imagine going to your employer and saying, "I don't like this Cigna health plan you gave me. Switch it to Blue Cross."

You mean in the way that has often been done in unionized shops? Yeah, I can't imagine it ever happening.

Your understanding of this issue is childlike.

As politely as you deserve, fuck you, asshole.

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Re: How refreshing!

zyxwvutsr.

Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 08:15:20 AM EST

none

America's Health Insurance Plans (a trade group representing health plans) gives the average annual premium for an individual as $2,985...
With every comment you dig your hole deeper.

We are discussing employer-provided health plans. These range in total cost from an annual average of $5,400 for single plans to $15,000 for family coverage. The employer-paid portion averages $4,500 to $11,000 respectively. You were - erroneously, of course, because you don't know any better - quoting a figure for the individual market, pre-Obamacare. Those plans are medically underwritten; employer-provided plans usually are not. (You probably don't know what that means and why it affects cost because despite all of your bloviating here you actually don't know very much about this topic.)

...the Church has gone so far as to refuse communion for individuals who have done nothing more than support politicians who are insufficiently "pro-life", so it would appear that they view sin-- when convenient-- as transferable
That makes no sense.

Secondly, if that "church law" isn't actually a law, isn't actually followed, and has no scriptural basis, it can't really be said to be meaningful
That is your opinion. Catholics, however, follow the edicts of the Pope who has said that using or providing contraception is a sin. (Of all the odd things you have been claiming, this is one of the oddest because it is plainly and verifiably true that the church teaches that contraception is a sin.)

...fuck you, asshole
Ignorant and vulgar. A winning combination for sure.

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 11:34:46 AM EST

none

We are discussing employer-provided health plans. These range in total cost from an annual average of $5,400 for single plans to $15,000 for family coverage.

Not according to America's Health Insurance Plans.

You were... quoting a figure for the individual market, pre-Obamacare.

Since your panties are in a twist about the unconscionable intrusion of government into health insurance, that seems like a reasonable comparison.

Those plans are medically underwritten; employer-provided plans usually are not.

First, no, those plans aren't predominately medically underwritten. Second, employer provided health care plans generally include a 15% rate increase over medically underwritten plans to cover the additional liability, and generally spread the cost of mandated maternity coverage, which increases the overall cost. I'm fairly certain you have no clue what percentage of employers offer premium reimbursement for medically underwritten plans, nor what percentage of employees go that route.

That makes no sense.

Because you're an idiot. The upshot is that the Catholic "leaders" find things to be sins when convenient, and find the same things not to be sins when inconvenient. That little habit really undercuts claims of "conscience".

That is your opinion. Catholics, however, follow the edicts of the Pope who has said that using or providing contraception is a sin.

What's really hilarious about this comment of yours is that it is so obviously false. The Catholic Church instituted a Papal Commission on Population, the Family and Natality, informally known as the "Birth Control Commission", in 1964. In 1967, that commission, responding to widespread support for "artificial" birth control amongst the laity, recommended that Catholics be "allowed" to use birth control methods other than the rhythm method (note, this method of birth control, was permissible to the Church by 1951). In 1968, Pope Paul VI, in direct contradiction to the recommendations of his own commission, pens Humanae Vitae, re-affirming the "official" opposition to artificial birth control. By 1970, American Catholics tell the Pope to fuck off, and 67% of Catholics are using artificial birth control-- 28% of them choosing the birth control pill. By 1980, almost 80% of American Catholic women used contraceptives, and only 29% of American priests believed that it is intrinsically immoral. Cut to the 2000s-- 87% of Catholic women have, at some point in their lives, used artificial birth control. This mirrors current polls which find 84% of U.S. Catholics believe a person who uses artificial birth control can still be a good Catholic (CBS poll, 2012), and 89% of Catholic women favor expanding access to birth control for those who can't afford it (Public Religion Research Institute, 2012).

So, Catholics are clearly not "following the edicts of the Pope". Where contraception is concerned, the majority of them have not been following those edicts for more than forty years.

Of all the odd things you have been claiming, this is one of the oddest because it is plainly and verifiably true that the church teaches that contraception is a sin.

Of all the ignorant claims you've made so far, this one shows that despite all your bloviating, here, you actually don't know very much about this topic. The Church taught contraception was a sin up until 1951. Since then, contraception has been ok with the Pope, provided that only the least effective, non-artificial contraception is used. Contraception via math? Good to go. Contraception via physics or chemistry? No go. But contraception-- the deliberate use of artificial methods or other techniques to prevent pregnancy as a consequence of sexual intercourse-- got the green light from the Church 61 years ago.

Ignorant and vulgar.

I treat you with exactly the respect you deserve, cockmuffin. Go whine to someone who gives a shit.

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Re: How refreshing!

zyxwvutsr.

Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 02:12:34 PM EST

5.00 (astute)

Not according to America's Health Insurance Plans
I don't know where you got your figure from - perhaps it was third-hand. But I looked up the AHIP report that used the $2,985 cost and it was for the individual market, not for employer-provided plans.

I will repeat that because you appear to be having trouble understanding this: THE COST YOU CITED WAS NOT FOR EMPLOYER-PROVIDED PLANS.

The fact that you persist in using the AHIP report despite the fact that the context of this discussion is EMPLOYER-PROVIDED HEALTH INSURANCE  makes it especially amusing that you are trying to insult my intelligence.

...Catholics are clearly not "following the edicts of the Pope". Where contraception is concerned, the majority of them have not been following those edicts for more than forty years
And some of them are following the Pope. Such as the ones complaining about the Obama Administration's new rules. You have said why you believe it is ok for Catholics to decide on their own not to follow the Church's teachings, but you haven't said why you believe it is ok for the government to interfere with the free exercise of religion in this case. There are circumstances where the courts have allowed such interference, but you haven't said why you believe those apply here. (Probably because you are unaware of these issues.)

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Re: How refreshing!

ms sue.

Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 03:04:46 PM EST

none

  ...Catholics are clearly not "following the edicts of the Pope". Where contraception is concerned, the majority of them have not been following those edicts for more than forty years

And some of them are following the Pope. Such as the ones complaining about the Obama Administration's new rules.

Why do you believe that the Catholics complaining about the Obama administration's new rules necessarily are following the Pope, if by "following the Pope," you mean "following the edicts of the Pope" . Where contraception is concerned"?

179

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Re: How refreshing!

zyxwvutsr.

Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 06:21:37 PM EST

none

That's why I asked if he could read their minds. They say they are following the Church's teachings; is there a good reason to disbelieve them?

180

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Re: How refreshing!

ms sue.

Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 11:39:58 AM EST

none

You said that those complaining are following the edict against contraception. So you have a source that supports your contention, or is it possible that many who object use contraception themselves and object for less personal and more general reasons? Some who object may eschew contraception, of course,  although the number of sexually active Catholics who are of childbearing age who do not use contraception is not particularly high, to put it mildly.

181

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Re: How refreshing!

zyxwvutsr.

Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 01:48:13 PM EST

none

So you have a source that supports your contention...
I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you asking if it is in fact true that Catholic doctrine forbids contraception?

...is it possible that many who object use contraception themselves and object for less personal and more general reasons?
Certainly it is possible. Why in the world would that be relevant?

...the number of sexually active Catholics who are of childbearing age who do not use contraception is not particularly high, to put it mildly
Again: in why do you believe that is relevant? If some members of a religion don't perfectly follow that religion's teachings, do you believe that invalidates the First Amendment?

182

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Re: How refreshing!

ms sue.

Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:07:22 PM EST

none

Are you asking if it is in fact true that Catholic doctrine forbids contraception?

No, I was not. My question was clear.

If it's possible that many who object do use contraception and object for less personal and more general reasons, it contradicts your own words that you posted as follows: "And some of them are following the Pope. Such as the ones complaining about the Obama Administration's new rules." Your words. You clearly stated that the ones complaining about the new rules do follow the Pope, and by "follow the Pope," you were referring to iarnuocon's "following the edicts of the Pope."

If some members of a religion don't perfectly follow that religion's teachings, do you believe that invalidates the First Amendment?

Say what? Out of where did you pull this non sequitur?

Once again, you said that some are following the Pope...such as the ones complaining about the new rules. I've yet to see where that has been proved true. In fact, I assert that those who are complaining may include some who follow the edict but that most are complaining for general reasons -- perhaps precisely on the basis that they believe that it invalidates the First Amendment.

Do you want throw something else into this mix? I don't. I made a simple point about your unsupported statement, and I have yet to get either a credible source from you that shows that those who are complaining are ones who follow the proscription against contraceptives or an indication that that wasn't exactly what you meant to say.

184

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Re: How refreshing!

zyxwvutsr.

Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:24:52 AM EST

none

You clearly stated that the ones complaining about the new rules do follow the Pope, and by "follow the Pope," you were referring to iarnuocon's "following the edicts of the Pope."
I think it is rather obvious. They are bishops of the Church, after all. What sort proof would you find adequate?

As for what you call my "non sequitur," it was you who wrote, "the number of sexually active Catholics who are of childbearing age who do not use contraception is not particularly high, to put it mildly." What, may I ask, has that got to do with this issue? (The idea that sprang to mind was that you think it is acceptable for the government to interfere with a religious practice that is not universally adhered to.)

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Re: How refreshing!

gerrymander.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 05:24:30 PM EST

none

It should be obvious (but apparently isn't) that a "Catholic" business transferring funds from a non-Catholic employee's total compensation to the account of a third party, on behalf of the employee, isn't an exercise of religion, and isn't an "act" of the employer in any meaningful sense except in the sense of an "act" of accounting.

Take that argument to its logical conclusion: the Equal Employment Opportunity Act is a de jure infringement on the Catholic employer's First Amendment rights. If it weren't, there would be no non-Catholic employees, nor Catholic employees demanding contraception (on pain of losing their jobs), in this debate. The end result is still the same.

132

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 10:52:23 PM EST

none

the Equal Employment Opportunity Act is a de jure infringement on the Catholic employer's First Amendment rights.

Nah. They're plenty able to exempt themselves under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. They simply choose not to. And I understand their reasoning-- it would be difficult for them to field the personnel they currently do if they had to restrict themselves only to adherents of their religion. But their decision to act as secular organizations rather than religious ones comes at a price, and that price is the inability to impose their religious rules on non-members.

43

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:26:42 PM EST

none

Insurance should be separated from employment, something easily done by ending the tax subsidy for employers provided insurance. Individuals could then purchase their own policies. Mandates that drive up costs should also be eliminated (ones at the state level could be eluded by allowing purchase across state lines).

45

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Re: How refreshing!

natophonic.

Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:48:45 PM EST

none

> Insurance should be separated from employment, something easily done by ending the tax subsidy for employers provided insurance. Individuals could then purchase their own policies.

Very surprised to hear you say that. I agree.

Unfortunately, there's someone who's a great deal more powerful than either of us who strongly disagrees.

46

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:01:12 PM EST

none

It shouldn't be surprising. Norquist may be obstructing sensible reforms, but I think little has been done mostly because of Republican inertia, short shortsightedness, and general stupidity.

51

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:50:34 AM EST

none

I'd agree that cutting out employers as an unnecessary additional middle-man from the equation would be a good first step. On the other hand, suggesting that a health care system could adequately meet the needs of a society without a mandate is a fairly juvenile suggestion. The market in health care isn't like the market in oranges, and free market dynamics won't result in a system in which virtually everyone in society has medical coverage. If you believe that citizens have a perfect right to highly expensive, critically needed health care, even when they cannot pay for it, then a mandate is required. And, far from "driving up costs", it is precisely the lack of regulations which have driven rising health care costs in America. Each player in the chain seeks to maximize profits, and the end result is that the "consumer", due to the unique nature of health care requirements, has a radically curtailed ability to utilize "free market" forces to combat that trend.

Of course, there are many people who believe that society should just allow those in need of critical care to die, rather than meeting their needs. Maybe you're one of them, who knows?

56

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Re: How refreshing!

joshv.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:19:56 PM EST

none

"If you believe that citizens have a perfect right to highly expensive, critically needed health care, even when they cannot pay for it, then a mandate is required"

Well, I don't believe that such a right exists, but let's assume I did.  Can't you just tax me to pay for other people's health care?  What the hell does my having insurance, or my level of coverage have to do with anything?

Perhaps you are thinking of the antiquated (these days) "risk sharing" actuarial models of health insurance.  If you can tax me to pay for somebody else's care whyever would you need me to be in their risk pool?

58

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:24:11 PM EST

none

Hey, if you're arguing for single payer, I'm not at all opposed.

62

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:59:08 PM EST

none

Mandates drive up the cost of insurance, as does the existence of third party payments, which encourage wasteful health care spending. Reforms that promote HSA's and the purchase of high deductible, catastrophic health insurance plans produce less spending on health care, and don't produce adverse health outcomes.

"If you believe that citizens have a perfect right to highly expensive, critically needed health care, even when they cannot pay for it, then a mandate is required"

What does an insurance mandate for birth control have to do with "critically needed" care, or those who can't pay for it?

"Of course, there are many people who believe that society should just allow those in need of critical care to die, rather than meeting their needs. Maybe you're one of them, who knows?"

You think that's clever. It's not.

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 03:51:59 PM EST

none

Mandates drive up the cost of insurance, as does the existence of third party payments, which encourage wasteful health care spending.

Yes, this is clearly seen by the fact that the United States, lacking mandates, spends the least amount of money on health care in the developed world, whereas all those nations that mandate insurance coverage for all charge astronomically mroe than we do for health care... oh, wait... no they don't. Sorry, got that reversed.

Well, I'm sure you had a point to make in there somewhere. I'll wait for further developments, I guess.

What does an insurance mandate for birth control have to do with "critically needed" care, or those who can't pay for it?

Erecting barriers to access to contraception has long term impacts on the costs and usage of health care. Feel free to read the literature. Or are you of the mistaken impression that what we're talking about is restricted to "handing out free condoms"?

You think that's clever. It's not.

Whether or not it's "clever" is irrelevant. You either do or don't believe that, and from what I've seen of your comments, it's an open question as to how you'd answer that question.

68

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 04:06:39 PM EST

none

You confuse mandated universal coverage, and the mandating of insurance provisions, which drives up the price of insurance.

"Erecting barriers to access to contraception"

Not mandating something isn't "erecting a barrier" to access.

"Whether or not it's "clever" is irrelevant."

It wasn't clever.

71

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 04:38:35 PM EST

none

You confuse mandated universal coverage, and the mandating of insurance provisions, which drives up the price of insurance.

Sorry, that isn't a given. For example, exempting contraceptive coverage results in unintended pregnancies which wind up costing insurance companies more in the long run than the coverage of contraception. This is an example where mandating coverage actually drives down the cost of insurance.

Not mandating something isn't "erecting a barrier" to access.

Providing an "exemption" which allows religious busy-bodies to insert themselves between the insured and insurer for the purpose of allowing religious authorities to discourage the use of contraceptive services by making them more difficult to access and/or more expensive, individually, on the other hand, most certainly IS erecting such a barrier.

It wasn't clever.

I'm sorry you got sand so far up your vagina. But, as I said, whether or not it was "clever" is irrelevant to whether or not it was an accurate statement-- which it is.

75

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 05:11:56 PM EST

none

Not having contraceptive coverage doesn't produce unintended pregnancies. If covering it lowered insurance companies costs in the long run they would do it (insurance companies are profit seeking enterprises).

Not mandating something isn't "erecting a barrier", no matter how hard you pretend it is. The "busy-bodies" here are liberal bureaucrats, who for political reasons want to tell insurance companies and employers what to do.

78

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 05:30:52 PM EST

none

Not having contraceptive coverage doesn't produce unintended pregnancies.

That will just have to remain your little secret.

Not mandating something isn't "erecting a barrier", no matter how hard you pretend it is.

Allowing employers to dictate available insurance coverage to employees, on the other hand, IS a barrier, no matter how hard you pretend that it isn't.

81

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 05:57:45 PM EST

none

Your link, to an advocacy group, provides zero evidence not having contraceptive coverage produces unintended pregnancies. Who are these women who choose not to use birth control because they have to pay for it themselves?

"Allowing employers to dictate available insurance coverage to employees"

Is a product of current tax law, which I'm in favor of changing, and something not being covered by insurance doesn't mean there is a "barrier" to getting it.

82

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Re: How refreshing!

John Adams.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 06:16:40 PM EST

none

The study found that all 15 of the contraceptive methods reviewed were cost-effective when compared with the direct medical costs of unintended pregnancy that resulted when methods were not used.

Emphasis mine.  I think what Ephraim Gadsby is arguing is that lack of coverage for contraception does not mean that contraception will not be used which makes comparing results from coverage to results from non-use irrelevant.  (And, if true, would mean that coverage is simply an additional cost for the insurer.)  

83

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 06:30:54 PM EST

none

Exactly.

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:28:57 PM EST

none

Which is a flawed assertion, since I've already provided information showing a direct relationship between contraception coverage and use, supporting the conclusion that reduced coverage equates to increased numbers of unintended pregnancies.

Several studies indicate that costs play a key role in the contraceptive behavior of substantial numbers of U.S. women. A national survey from 2004 of women 18-44 who were using reversible contraception found that one-third of them would switch methods if they did not have to worry about cost; only four in 10 of those women were using a hormonal method or an IUD, and nearly half were relying on condoms. In fact, women citing cost concerns were twice as likely as other women to rely on condoms or less effective methods like withdrawal or periodic abstinence.47

Similarly, in a nationally representative survey from 2005 of private family practice physicians and obstetrician-gynecologists, two-thirds of the providers believed that at least 10% of their clients experienced difficulty paying for visits or services, including 7% of providers who believed this was the case for at least half their clients. Six in 10 of the family practice physicians and seven in 10 of the obstetrician-gynecologists believed that reducing costs for insured patients by improving coverage of contraceptive care would be very important for improving their patients' contraceptive method use. A parallel survey of providers at publicly supported clinics found similar results, although more of them (22%) reported having at least 50% of their clients experiencing cost barriers.48

The current recession, more severe in depth and length than any in this country in decades, has provided further evidence. A 2009 study of low- and middle-income sexually active women found that 52% of them were worse off financially than the year before. Of those who were worse off, three-quarters said that they could not afford to have a baby right then. And while nearly four in 10 of those worse off reported being more careful in their contraceptive use in the current economic climate, many of the financially challenged women reported barriers to contraceptive use: 34% said they had a harder time paying for birth control, 30% had put off a gynecology or birth control visit to save money, 25% of pill users saved money through inconsistent use and 56% of those with jobs worried about having to take time off from work to visit a doctor or clinic.49

A recent study of 10,000 women in the St. Louis area provides clear evidence of the impact that removing financial barriers can have on contraceptive use. When study participants were offered the choice of any contraceptive method, including long-acting reversible methods of contraception such as the IUD and implant, at no cost, two-thirds chose long-acting methods, a level far higher than in the general population.50

All of this helps explain why, according to the most recent data, rates of unintended pregnancies are far higher among poor women (112 per 1,000 women under 100% poverty in 2001) and low-income women (81 per 1,000 women at 100-199% poverty) than among higher-income women (29 per 1,000 women at or above 200% poverty).51 Indeed, that disparity increased substantially between 1994 and 2001, as the unintended pregnancy rate declined among higher-income women but grew among poor and lower-income women.

...Comparing publicly or privately insured women with uninsured women, three recent studies have found that lack of insurance is significantly associated with reduced use of prescription contraceptives, even when controlling for a range of sociodemographic factors.53,54,5553 One of these studies also indicated that prescription contraceptive use increased between 1995 and 2002 among privately insured women because of state contraceptive coverage mandates enacted during that period...

In addition, there is some evidence from states' Medicaid family planning eligibility expansions that coverage of contraceptive services and supplies has helped women improve their use of contraceptives. In Washington state, for example, the proportion of clients using a more effective method (defined as hormonal methods, IUDs and sterilization) increased from 53% at enrollment to 71% one year later, according to the state's program evaluation.5614 Similarly, program clients in California were both more likely to use any method and to use a more effective method than they were before enrolling in the program.

...Multiple studies over the past two decades have compared the cost-effectiveness of the various methods of contraception, finding that all of them are cost-effective for private or public payers when taking into account the costs of unintended pregnancies averted.43,66,6743 Long-acting methods in particular are extremely cost effective when looking at a longer-term perspective (at least five years).

...Some studies have looked at cost-savings for private insurers specifically. Notably, the federal government, the nation's largest employer, reported that it experienced no increase in costs at all after Congress required coverage of contraceptives for federal employees in 1998.68 A 2000 study by the National Business Group on Health, a membership group for large private- and public-sector employers to address their health policy concerns, estimated that it costs employers 15-17% more to not provide contraceptive coverage in employee health plans than to provide such coverage, after accounting for both the direct medical costs of pregnancy and indirect costs such as employee absence and reduced productivity.69 Mercer, the employee benefits consulting firm, conducted a similar analysis that year and also concluded that contraceptive coverage should be cost-saving for employers.70

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera...

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:59:28 PM EST

none

We aren't talking about the poor. The claim contraception is "cost-saving for employers" is premised on the absurd notion  women with jobs that pay enough to have employer provided insurance are having unplanned pregnancies because they don't have "free" birth control. It's funny, you point out lots of Catholic women use birth control despite being told not to, but you also say women intelligent enough to be employed are incapable of using birth control unless it's "free".

 

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 03:48:49 PM EST

none

We aren't talking about the poor.

Sorry, but moving the goalposts doesn't help you any. We most certainly ARE talking about the "poor", unless you're simply defining "poor" as "unemployed", which doesn't seem particularly smart to me, given the actual demographics.

The claim contraception is "cost-saving for employers" is premised on the absurd notion women with jobs that pay enough to have employer provided insurance are having unplanned pregnancies because they don't have "free" birth control.

I'm sorry that you don't like the results of the quoted studies, but that you find the notion "absurd", or even that you label the notion "absurd", does nothing to refute the results of those studies. "free" birth control results in fewer unintended pregnancies. Waving that fact away isn't a good rebuttal.

It's funny, you point out lots of Catholic women use birth control despite being told not to, but you also say women intelligent enough to be employed are incapable of using birth control unless it's "free".

Sorry, I said nothing of the kind. Please, leave your straw men at home.

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 03:59:17 PM EST

none

I'm not "moving the goalposts", we aren't talking about the poor, and you want to shift the discussion to them. The anecdotal evidence about employer cost savings is absurd. None of those surveys provide any evidence whether the pregnancies involved were ""unintended", and there is no reason to think they were. It also makes no sense to believe both employers and insurance companies choose not to do things which are profitable.

"Sorry, I said nothing of the kind."

You did in comment 57.

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 04:35:28 PM EST

none

I'm not "moving the goalposts", we aren't talking about the poor, and you want to shift the discussion to them.

Lol.. sorry, but you don't get to redefine this, now that your footing is slipping. "The poor" includes people who are employed and who have 'employer provided' insurance. I can't help it that this makes hay of your argument, but that's your problem, not mine.

The anecdotal evidence about employer cost savings is absurd.

Your knee-jerk dismissal is what's absurd. We're not talking about rocket science, here.

There is no mystery, here. Contraceptive coverage reduces unintended pregnancies, and saves more money than it costs. Attempt to redefine things as you will, however your argument doesn't hold a lot of weight.

It also makes no sense to believe both employers and insurance companies choose not to do things which are profitable.

I reject your fallacy.

You did in comment 57.

Quite obviously, I did not. I can't be held accountable for your inability to read. It'll be interesting to see you try to stretch anything in comment #57 into some tortured version of your claim that "women intelligent enough to be employed are incapable of using birth control unless it's 'free'." Knock yourself out.

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Re: How refreshing!

Ephraim Gadsby.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 04:52:37 PM EST

none

Your first link is a paper comparing of costs of various types of contraception to costs of not using contraception, which is irrelevant. Your second link compares the  economic impact of 15 types of contraceptive methods, concluding "Contraceptives save health care resources by preventing unintended pregnancies," which is true, but also irrelevant. Your third link admits providing contraception as part of a health insurance plan does have costs, but makes the same absurd claim you do that the costs are outweighed by "savings" from the prevention of unplanned pregnancies. I see no reason to examine the rest of your links.

"It also makes no sense to believe both employers and insurance companies choose not to do things which are profitable.

I reject your fallacy."

It's not a fallacy that employers and insurers are profit seeking entities.

"It'll be interesting to see you try to stretch anything in comment #57 into some tortured version of your claim that "women intelligent enough to be employed are incapable of using birth control unless it's 'free'."

That's the premise the idea mandating insurers provide contraception prevents unintended pregnancies rests on.

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 06:20:25 PM EST

5.00 (devastating)

Your first link is a paper comparing of costs of various types of contraception to costs of not using contraception, which is irrelevant.

Since it compares the cost to the payer of the method of contraception versus the cost of the unintended pregnancy, it is directly relevant. Any unintended pregnancies prevented represent a net savings. But if I were you, I'd want to sweep that under the rug, too.

second link compares the economic impact of 15 types of contraceptive methods, concluding "Contraceptives save health care resources by preventing unintended pregnancies," which is true, but also irrelevant.

Lol... sure, keep squirming. Again, since there is ample evidence that improved access to contraception reduces unintended pregnancies, and since the math shows that the cost of contraception is more than offset by the reduction in cost due to the prevention of unintended pregnancies, the math is entirely relevant. And, again, I can see why you'd try to ignore it, since it more than adequately rebuts your position.

Your third link admits providing contraception as part of a health insurance plan does have costs, but makes the same absurd claim you do that the costs are outweighed by "savings" from the prevention of unplanned pregnancies.

Allow me to quote what you so blithely dismiss, and anyone reading this discussion can make up their own mind about the legitimacy of your focused attempt to ignore the obvious:

...as indicated by the empirical evidence described above, these direct estimated costs overstate the total premium cost of providing contraceptive coverage. When medical costs associated with unintended pregnancies are taken into account, including costs of prenatal care, pregnancy complications, and deliveries, the net effect on premiums is close to zero.[10],[11] One study author concluded, "The message is simple: regardless of payment mechanism or contraceptive method, contraception saves money."[12]

When indirect costs such as time away from work and productivity loss are considered, they further reduce the total cost to an employer. Global Health Outcomes developed a model that incorporates costs of contraception, costs of unintended pregnancy, and indirect costs. They find that it saves employers $97 per year per employee to offer a comprehensive contraceptive benefit.[13] Similarly, the PwC actuaries state that after all effects are taken into account, providing contraceptive services is "cost-saving."[14]

Yeah, those silly actuaries. Hell, you'd think they thought they were experts on that whole "insurance" thing, the way they toss those numbers around.

I see no reason to examine the rest of your links.

LOL! Well, then-- I bow to your willful ignorance.

It's not a fallacy that employers and insurers are profit seeking entities.

No, it's a fallacy to think that calling something "absurd" because you refuse to believe it actually says anything about whether the thing under consideration is true. But, I can see where that would invalidate your whole approach, so by all means, continue.

That's the premise the idea mandating insurers provide contraception prevents unintended pregnancies rests on.

Well, no... it isn't. But, again, I can see why-- for a person who is determined to remain ignorant and who isn't afraid of firmly embracing fallacious arguments in pursuit of that end-- presenting a straw man seems so tempting.

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Re: How tedious

Ephraim Gadsby.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 06:32:43 PM EST

none

"Since it compares the cost to the payer of the method of contraception versus the cost of the unintended pregnancy, it is directly relevant"

It's not relevant at all to a mandate for employers to provide contraception. It's like if we were discussing a government mandate requiring employers to provide lunches for employees, and you linked to one study showing people starve if they don't eat, and another study about the nutrition of various foods.

"there is ample evidence that improved access to contraception reduces unintended pregnancies"

Out of wedlock births increased as contraception became more available. There's zero evidence an employer insurance mandate has any effect on unintended pregnancies. Neither you, nor the actuaries you cite, have provided any such evidence.

"it's a fallacy to think that calling something "absurd" because you refuse to believe it"

Your argument is premised on absurd notions. There's no reason to believe insurers and employers are acting in ways that are unprofitable.

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Re: How tedious

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 11:00:44 PM EST

none

It's like if we were discussing a government mandate requiring employers to provide lunches for employees, and you linked to one study showing people starve if they don't eat, and another study about the nutrition of various foods.

You should stay away from attempting to compose analogies-- you're clearly not very good at it.

I'd keep discussing the topic with you, but since you went ahead and ruined the illusion by admitting that you have no interest in paying any attention to facts, I've lost interest. You have a nice night. And keep clicking those ruby slippers together. They'll work, eventually.

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Re: How tedious

Ephraim Gadsby.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 01:51:08 PM EST

none

I was hoping you would provide some more irrelevant links, maybe to the chemical compounds in birth control pills, or to a history of birth control, or to some pictures of some slowly leaking gasbags.

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Re: How tedious

iarnuocon.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 10:37:40 PM EST

none

Sorry, I don't have any pictures of you handy, at the moment.

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Re: How tedious

Ephraim Gadsby.

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:32:52 PM EST

none

You're quite the wit.

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^ 71

Re: How refreshing!

HidingFromGoro.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:14:58 PM EST

none

I'm sorry you got sand so far up your vagina.

Gendered insult in a women's health thread.

hmmmmmmm

I got more styles than prison got bricks- ain't that some shit?

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^ 89

Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:54:09 PM EST

none

Oh, the horror! Feel free to substitute any other graphic depiction of an incident which makes one irrationally uncomfortable, at your leisure.

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Re: How refreshing!

HidingFromGoro.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:04:25 AM EST

none

lol no, i wouldn't want to mess up your flow- you seem to be doing pretty good on your own there, champ.

I got more styles than prison got bricks- ain't that some shit?

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Re: How refreshing!

tjb.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 04:06:22 PM EST

none

If you believe that citizens have a perfect right to highly expensive, critically needed health care, even when they cannot pay for it

No, nobody has the right to anything of the sort.  If you can pay for it, or you have a proxy like an insurance company that will pay on your behalf, go nuts.  If not, tough tits - life isn't fair, get used to it.

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 04:40:12 PM EST

none

So I should chalk you up under the "Fuck 'em, let 'em die" column, then? Thanks for speaking up.

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Re: How refreshing!

tjb.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 04:49:42 PM EST

none

So I should chalk you up under the "Fuck 'em, let 'em die" column, then?

I prefer the "the world doesn't owe me (or you) anything" column, but close enough.  Can I put you in the "I feel entitled to expensive shit because I am so precious" column?

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 05:28:12 PM EST

none

Can I put you in the "I feel entitled to expensive shit because I am so precious" column?

Not unless you make the heading a lot more accurate.

125

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Re: How refreshing!

tjb.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 05:35:44 PM EST

none

Why do you believe that you are so important that other people should be forced by law to pay for your medical procedures?

How about "Feels entitled to other people's money" for a column header?

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 10:53:49 PM EST

none

Why do you believe that you aren't? And, no.

145

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Re: How refreshing!

tjb.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 11:32:05 AM EST

none

Because I'm not a self important douchebag who feels like he is owed something by society.  I don't expect taxpayers to buy me a $200K surgery any more than I expect them to buy me a $200K Ferrari.

Now how about you answer my question - what makes you so important?  Do you believe that you should be given a Ferrari at taxpayer expense?

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 05:48:18 PM EST

none

"Because I'm not [...] owed something by society." There, fixed that for you.</p? <p>Now how about you answer my question - what makes you so important? Do you believe that you should be given a Ferrari at taxpayer expense?

I don't think I'm any more important than you are. And, no... I don't feel I should be given a Ferrari, although I wouldn't turn one down. I also recognize an inherent difference between a Ferrari and life-saving surgery, which apparently puts me a step ahead of you, both intellectually and morally. Go figure.

151

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Re: How refreshing!

tjb.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 06:29:23 PM EST

none

life-saving surgery

There is no such thing.  There is life-extending surgery, but that's about it.  The mortality rate remains at 100%, despite some people's delusions.  

Depending on the situation, I may value a Ferrari more than the surgery.  If a universal healthcare system were willing to shell out $200K to extend my life for some amount of time, why shouldn't I be allowed to forgo the surgery and get a Ferrari instead?

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Re: How refreshing!

iarnuocon.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 10:40:05 PM EST

none

The mortality rate remains at 100%, despite some people's delusions.

In other news, human saliva causes cancer. But only when imbibed in small amounts over a long period of time.

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Re: How refreshing!

tjb.

Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 06:32:17 PM EST

none

I don't think I'm any more important than you are.

I would also like to add that, as a person of little consequence, my passing would be virtually meaningless to the vast, vast majority of the other 300-some million citizens of this country.  What right do you or I have to impose on them for healthcare?

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