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Justices: Can't make employers cover contraception



Published: Mon, June 30, 2014 @ 10:27 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.

The justices’ 5-4 decision Monday is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. And it means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies’ health insurance plans.

Contraception is among a range of preventive services that must be provided at no extra charge under the health care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010 and the Supreme Court upheld two years later.

Two years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts cast the pivotal vote that saved the health care law in the midst of Obama’s campaign for re-election.

On Monday, dealing with a small sliver of the law, Roberts sided with the four justices who would have struck down the law in its entirety.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion. The court’s four liberal justices dissented.

The court stressed that its ruling applies only to corporations that are under the control of just a few people in which there is no essential difference between the business and its owners.


Comments

1valleypoboy(149 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Corporations are not people. Repeat ad nauseum.

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2DwightK(1300 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

How can a corporation hold a religious opinion? Corporations aren't people. This opinion that corporations are people is leading to more and more trouble.

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3walter_sobchak(1979 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Read the last paragraph. This only applies to closely-held public corporations. The few owners of such companies ARE the business and are virtually indistinguishable. It is a very narrow ruling. What is more telling is that this year, the Chief Justice assigned the opinion writing for the majority to the most junior justice. Mr. Roberts may still be smarting from the backlash he received for his ill-conceived opinion that the payment mechanism for those not complying with the original ACA is a quasi-tax, not a fine.

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4cathylukasko(116 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

AMEN! The First Amendment and our Founding Fathers WON!

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576Ytown(1293 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The Supreme Court got it right. Hobby Lobby is a company OWNED and OPERATED by people with religious beliefs who treat their employees fairly. They pay a decent wage and close their doors on Sunday so that their employees can spend time with their families, they are generous to various charities to help people in need. Their fundamental belief is that birth control and abortion are not acceptable and they should not be forced to pay for it.

Most employer-sponsored health plans are self-funded by the employer. They hire an insurance company to process the claims but the money to pay the expenses comes out of their pocket. No one prevents you from purchasing birth control or having an abortion but you to think you are entitled to being reimbursed for such an expense by your employer is wrong.

What's next? Should your employer pay for your food and shelter because that is a necessity and you're entitled? Go back to the basic reason that insurance plans were created. To protect against catastrophic loss.

If a company's ideals are not aligned with mine I would have a hard time working or supporting them.

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676Ytown(1293 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

If you don't agree with the company or their ideals, you have a choice. I for one will be shopping at Hobby Lobby every chance I get. On the flip side, I won't be one to apply for a job at an abortion clinic.

gdog4766: If my child needed a blood transfusion or any medically necessary procedure not covered by insurance it would not stop me from finding a way to get it done.

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7salem26(13 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

@gdog: In their wildest dreams, I don't think the Founding Fathers would ever believe that one day the federal government would become so overreaching that it would pass a law requiring all private businesses to provide birth control and abortions so their workers could have all the sex they want without any consequences. (Yes, I'm aware birth control pills weren't around in the 1700's) Although, I completely agree with the Supreme Court's ruling on 1st Amendment grounds, am I the only one who sees how completely absurd this law was in the first place? I guess forgot that part of the Bill of Rights stating all Americans have the right to free birth control, and that each employer is responsible to ensure that his or her employees are free from any unexpected consequences of a drunken one-night stand. What ever happen to people taking responsibility for themselves and buying their own birth control. Seriously, are there really people out their with full time jobs, that are still so strapped for cash that they can't afford a $1 condom or $30 a month for birth control pills? (And, if you are one of these people who are struggling to make ends meet because your spending so much on birth control, stop having intercourse!! Abstinence is completely free, and it is not as if sex is essential to stay alive, like food or water.) Personally, I don't feel the federal government should be requiring an employer to provide health insurance, period. (I guess I missed the right to free health insurance in the Constitution, too.) If you don't like the health insurance your employer providers, pay for your own insurance or find a new job. If you can't find a new job, start your own business with the best insurance policy money can buy.

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8Jerry(517 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

For everyone who disagrees with the Court decision today:

If the HHS decided that psychological therapy for the purpose of "curing" people of homosexuality (a.k.a. gay restorative therapy) was something that had to be provided, and coverage must be covered by all employers....................would you then agree that all employers, even those who were gay themselves, should be required by law to provide coverage for gay restorative therapy??

Personally I would not. I would defend their right to object to this and NOT be forced to provide this coverage.

If the HHS decided that church attendance promotes longer healthier lives (something that is a statistical fact) and therefore enacted an extra fee/penalty to be paid by anyone who does NOT attend a church regularly........would you agree that this is OK??

Personally, I would not. I would defend the right of any individual to choose to NOT attend church without penalties.

Do you recognize that this is the power you are seemingly willing to give to the President and HHS????

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9dontbeafool(1094 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Hobby Lobby still provides coverages for vasectomies and Viagra though. These guys just opened up Pandora's box for all of the other "non traditional" religions to use their beliefs to get out of providing coverage for certain things. I'll use the Fox News view that there always has to be a war on someone or something, so this is definitely a WAR ON WOMEN.

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10Jerry(517 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

@dontbeafool
Are you aware that Hobby Lobby also provides generally superior insurance coverage and wages to their employees?
Are you aware that they provide insurance coverage for the most frequently used forms of contraception used by women?
Are you aware that, of the 20 or so contraception methods that HHS has now arbitrarily mandated, they already provide coverage for 16 (and have for a long time); and that they only object to providing coverage for 4.

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11dontbeafool(1094 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Jerry, I guess we should be happy for the women that the owners aren't Catholic. They wouldn't provide coverage for any birth control except for the rthym method. That is what this ruling has opened up.

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12Jerry(517 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

theoldwrench - your statement about Mike Huckabee is, quite simply, a lie.

dontbeafool - Actually, the court decision in question is far more restricted than this. But even if it were true and a business owner didn't want to provide any birth control coverage, that would be their right. And it would still be the employee's right to procure and use any birth control they want, or go work for an employer who is willing to pay for their birth control.

If your hypothetical Catholic employer has problems hiring and retaining quality employees because of his/her restricted healthcare coverage, that would then be his/her problem.

Why would you suggest that it is legally someone else's responsibility to provide birth control; and why would you suggest that birth control is solely the responsibility of the woman??

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13dontbeafool(1094 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

True, they could just have their husband get a paid vasectomy through hobby lobby, and she won't have to worry about it.
It is her sole responsibility if she chooses it to be that way.
Would you trust a man to be in charge of the BC, or do you think a woman should be more comfortable being in charge of it since she is the one that would get pregnant?

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14steivo(540 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

This decision wasn't about Jehovah's witnesses, transfusions, vasectomies, or Mike Huckabee. It shouldn't even be about religion. The left wing extremist loonies are off the deep end over this. Quite simply, this is about killing innocent babies. As mentioned above, Hobby Lobby has no problem with paying the 16 kinds of birth control that prevent pregnancies, but they are opposed to the 4 kinds of birth control that kill babies after they have been conceived. I applaud Hobby Lobby for standing up to the baby killers and I, too, will start shopping at Hobby Lobby as a result of this stand. Not only Hobby Lobby but all other companies, including atheistic companies, should refuse to pay to kill innocent babies regardless if the method of death is a birth control pill or a pair of scissors. It is just plain wrong. If the Liar and his lying constitutional lawyer can't understand this, then the Supreme Court will just have to set them straight just like they set them straight when the Liar tried to tell the U.S.Senate they were in recess.

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15stievo(17 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm going to Hobby Lobby, but I need a new hobby. Any suggestions?

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16Jerry(517 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

@theoldwrench

I was familiar with Mike Huckabee’s statement; but I appreciate your effort in finding what appear to be his exact words and presenting some of the context in which they were spoken.

By reading the information you present, everyone can plainly see that Mike Huckabee did NOT say “if a woman just controlled her libido we would not have a need for any bc (birth control)”. He did not say anything of the sort, or imply that he believes this in any way; and any indication that he did is an utter fabrication and total misrepresentation of the truth. It is also fairly apparent to me that the misrepresentation in this case is quite deliberate.

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17Jerry(517 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

@dontbeafool

Yes, she could have her husband (mate) get a covered vasectomy, or she could use any of the 16 other birth control methods that are covered by Hobby Lobby insurance, or she could procure one of the 4 methods that Hobby Lobby won’t cover on her own, or she could get additional coverage to cover one of these other four methods, or she could get a job at a company that provides other coverage, or she could insist her husband (mate) use a condom, or she could insist that her husband (mate) shoulder the financial responsibility for any of the above, or ………….

To answer your question directly, I do think it would be best and proper for the woman to make the determination regarding what type of birth control she will or will not use since, as you said, she is the one that may become pregnant. Making someone else pay for it, however, is an entirely different matter.

To clarify my earlier question to you, why would you suggest that the financial responsibility would fall solely to the woman? Where is the husband (mate), and why would you not expect him to be paying for at least half??

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1876Ytown(1293 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

dontbeafool - post # 19,

The ACA mandate must have been written by men since vasectomies are not covered. There is no contraceptive coverage for men.

Where is the outrage!!! Isn't that discrimination?

The fact that Hobby Lobby always paid for birth control but had issue with the emergency contraception drugs like Ella , Plan B and the IUD wasn't even talked about before all this came about. Also the fact that HHS already remedied the situation by allowing insurance companies to step in and pay out of the goodness of their heart these drugs for companies that did not reimburse their employees.

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19NBees(50 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I must be an odd duck liberal because I don't think employers should be forced to pay for birth control. Reproductive decisions should be made between a woman, her mate, her doctor, and her God - it is not the government's business nor is it anyone else's business. When employers are forced to pay for it, they think it is their business and they think they have a right to help make reproductive decisions for their employees. That is what this case was about - Hobby Lobby trying to limit their employee's choices by pre-selecting which methods of birth control the boss finds acceptable.

At the same time, I think Planned Parenthood should be fully funded so all women can have access to affordable women's health care, including contraceptives.

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20steivo(540 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The living have control of their fate, the unborn do not.

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21salem26(13 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

For anyone who is angry by the Supreme Court's decision, I have simple question that I have yet heard an answer to. All religious references aside, how do justify it being Constitutionally correct for the federal government to force a private individual to fund the sex life of another individual?

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22lajoci(374 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Ummm, I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure neither Hobby Lobby, nor any other employer, actually "pays for birth control," in the sense that they shell out money or write a check for any medical expense. That's why they buy group health insurance policies.

Employers like Hobby Lobby provide, as part of the employee compensation package, health insurance. The idea of employer-provided health insurance began in the post-WWII era of economic expansion, when the US, as practically the only global super-power whose infra-structure was not crippled by 6 years of war, experienced an industrial bonanza almost unparalleled in history. By the 1950's and 60's, US workers were collectively bargaining ever more lucrative master contracts with the big national corporations, and management constantly looked for ways to keep costs down, so they turned to fringe benefits as a way to curb the growth of wages while still keeping compensation packages attractive.

Group health insurance was one answer, because employers could purchase for employees (in lieu of wages) what amounted to bulk policies for thousands of workers at cost significantly lower per individual than workers could purchase insurance for themselves. At any point, employers could simply have raised wages by the corresponding amount, and employees would be free to shop for their own policies. Of course, the individual, corporate, and societal benefits to group plans were obvious, but I won't go into that here.

These negotiated benefits were PAID in lieu of wages -- that's the important thing to remember -- so they were part of the pay. Heath insurance wasn't "given" to employees, any more than wages or other benefits were "given." These negotiated benefits were EARNED.

Seen in this light, the thought that employers can now pick and choose what aspects of employee compensation they will grant or withhold based on the employer's religious beliefs seems, on the face of it, absurd.

If health insurance is part of your employee compensation package, and if prescription drug insurance is part of that coverage, what medical procedures or medicine the employee, in consultation with his doctor, chooses to take advantage of is really none of the employer's business, anymore than how that employee chooses to spend his employer-provided money, or where that employee chooses to spend his employer-provided vacation time.

The recent SCOTUS 5-4 ruling is simply flat out wrong, an issue more of ideological bias than actual law.

Seems pretty obvious to anyone who paid attention to business events of the last 50 or 60 years in this country.

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23steivo(540 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

All that psycho-babble aside, the recent SCOTUS decision was exactly right. No person or no company should be compelled to pay to kill babies.

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2476Ytown(1293 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

lajoci: "Ummm, I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure neither Hobby Lobby, nor any other employer, actually "pays for birth control," in the sense that they shell out money or write a check for any medical expense. That's why they buy group health insurance policies"

That's where you're mistaken. Large employers tend to have self funded health plans with the insurance company as the administrator. The money to pay the expenses and for the ins co to process the claims comes out of the employer's pocket.

The fundamental reason for insurance is to protect against catastrophic loss,

The left forgot to mention that Hobby Lobby already provided contraceptive benefits in their plan but that the issue was the abortion inducing drugs and IUDs. They also conveniently forgot that HHS already solved that issue by mandating insurance companies to pay for those things out of their pocket.

If you are so upset about contraception not being covered, where is the outrage that condoms and vasectomies are not covered by the ACA plans?

BTW: SCOTUS got it right.

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25lajoci(374 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The 4 right-wingnut justices pleased their political constituency, and swing-man Kennedy played his role.

But the 5-4 decision was flat-out wrong, and now they've opened a real legal can of worms declaring that the closely held corporation cannot be separated from those who hold it -- could that open the door to personal liability?

This group of Republican appointees might be the all-time most incompetent block of judges ever.

What a bunch of numb-skulls.

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26steivo(540 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The 4 left wing extremist judges continues the Liar's philosophies of freebies for the freeloaders at the expense of defenseless babies. Fortunately they are in the majority and can't do more damage to this country.

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27lajoci(374 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Learn the meaning of the word "majority."

So things like fringe benefits and wages are "freebies," and workers are "freeloaders?"

(When exactly were you diagnosed with this dementia?)

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28Jerry(517 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

@Iajoci

Well, ummmmm, acttually “Yes” ………If the wages and benefits are government mandated such that the employer has no choice but to give them out; then they are freebies.

Your confusion on this issue exemplifies a tremendous problem with American society. Americans have gotten so accustom to the government doling out freebies, or mandating that someone else dole out freebies; it has become such a normal and ingrained part of our culture; that many people do not even recognize the freebies as freebies any more.

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29steivo(540 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

"So things like fringe benefits and wages are "freebies,"
-
Exactly. Those fringe benefits and wages that are mandated by the government are freebies.

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30lajoci(374 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

So, the minimum wage, mandated by the government, is, by your definition, a "freebie."

Seriously?

OK. You guys are messing with me, right?

Because in the universe I grew up in, one works at a job, and the arrangement goes something like this:
I work for my employer, and my employer, in turn, as a result, pays me my wages, as well as whatever fringe benefits are part of the compensation package, which are likewise paid to me in lieu of wages.

In my universe, the one I grew up in, a so-called "freebie" is something one gets for nothing, which is why it is called a "free-bie." See? The term "free" means you get it for nothing, and the "bie" suffix renders the adjective a noun. So, a "freebie" is, by definition, something you don't have to work for. Wages are something you have to work for, so they're not free. Are we in agreement here?

By mixing the term "freebie" into a discussion of work, wages, and benefits, you have shifted the conversation into the realm of the absurd -- a typical right-wingnut tactic.

My advice to you?

Stop, right now, watching Faux.

It is killing your brain cells such that you are no longer even borderline rational, as evidenced by your free-wheeling misuse of words and language (which, by the way, is the real damage done by Faux, and Rush, and the rest of the right-wingnut bubble, which has created an alternative universe, complete with an alternative, parallel language, designed to rationalize their whack-a-doodle notions about law, econ, gov, civics, etc.. They count on folks like you to take them seriously, as they play their little game of "let's-see-ho-absurd-I-can-be-today." Don't play their shell-game!)

(And, to anyone following this exchange who wonders why I'm even trying to make sense with these koo-koo's, let me add that sometimes I hold out hope -- against all reason -- of redemption for them. As St. Augustine was reported to have written -- later incorporated by Beckett in "Godot" --"Do not despair: one of the thieves was saved." So we keep doing our little bit to push back at the forces of darkness.)

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31Jerry(517 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

@Iajoci

I have the same misgivings about attempting to converse with you also; except I do not so readily resort to name calling and insults.

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32steivo(540 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

"And, to anyone following this exchange who wonders why I'm even trying to make sense with these koo-koo's, let me add that sometimes I hold out hope -- against all reason -- of redemption for them." Funny, that is precisely why I converse with you left wing loonies. I keep hoping that the clouds will part and the sun will come shining through, but all I see so far is more clouds. Any fringe benefits dictated by the government are freebies. The difference between the minimum wage dictated by the government and the amount the job is actually worth is another freebie.

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33Jerry(517 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

BTW - I don't see that anyone has attempted to answer my questions from above:

Do you concur that the President and HHS director should have the arbitrary power to require all employers (including gay employers) to provide coverage for gay restorative therapy?

Do you concur that the president and HHS director should have the arbitrary power to enact an extra healthcare fee for anyone who does not attend church regularly?

If not, why not?.......the ACA that you are defending grants them this power.

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34lajoci(374 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

A fee for not attending church?

See? One absurdity after another.

And just what in the name of Bill O'Reilly is "gay restorative therapy?"

(You're heading right off the deep end, Jerry.)

And now have Steivo, Professor of economics specializing in wages, who knows the worth of every job out there.

(Let us be enlightened by these wise ones!)

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35Jerry(517 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

@Iajoci

If you seriously do not know what the term “gay restorative therapy” means all you had to do was read my original comment above or google it; but just for you, I will repeat the explanation.

Gay restorative therapy is terminology used to refer to psychological therapy for the purpose of "curing" people of homosexuality.

The ACA gives the President the sole authority to arbitrarily decide what drugs and therapies will be covered and which will not; and which will be required and mandated by law. (This is how we got the birth control mandate.) Therefore, it is very clear that the ACA also gives the President the arbitrary authority to mandate coverage for gay restorative therapy if he/she so chooses; and to require all employers (including the PFLAG and LGBT organizations and employers who are homosexual themselves) to provide coverage and/or pay for gay restorative therapy.

Do you agree that the President should have this power? Personally I do not. I would defend the right to object to this and NOT be forced to provide this coverage.

And, BTW, if all you want to do is talk about birth control……………..…if this President can mandate it, then the next President can un-mandate it; and since the President now has sole arbitrary control of what will and will not be offered by “acceptable” coverage, if it is un-mandated it will be darn hard to get.

Further, the ACA establishes the precedent of giving the President the arbitrary authority to assess taxes/fees/penalties (whatever it is we’re calling them today) to coerce the American people to buy things or do things as the President sees fit to promote the general good health of the American people. Since there is very strong statistical evidence that people who attend a church on a regular basis live longer healthier lives, why would some President not consider imposing a fee/tax/penalty to coerce this behavior?

Do you agree that the President should have this power? Personally I do not.

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36Jerry(517 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

And now to wages.........you are entirely correct, no one knows the value of every job. That is why it should be left to the employer and employee to reach that agreement.

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37steivo(540 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

@Iajoci,
I don't even begin to think that I have the ability to determine the value of every job. The market should determine that, not some government bureaucrat.

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3876Ytown(1293 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

And for the President to continue to bypass Congress is a slippery slope. The President's job is to faithfully execute the laws of our country. Democracy is defined as a government of the people, for the people, and by the people. Democracy lays emphasis on the rights of the individual, whereas dictatorship emphasized duties

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39lajoci(374 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Right-wingnut Republicans, led by the neo-John Bircher Tea-Baggers, are destroying our country with their lies, distortions, half-truths, and innuendo, all in the name of blocking any attempt by Barack Obama to do his job.

The latest is the flap over the prescription drug mandate, which is simply prescription drug coverage that happens to include certain prescriptions that Republicans object to.

The whole Hobby Lobby fiasco was a test case -- that failed, by the way. HobLob had no trouble paying for prescription drug coverage as part of its employee compensation package before the ACA was passed, before they were approached by the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty.

The 5 Catholic judges on the Supreme Court voted their religion, not the law.

They voted their religion. And they have violated the Constitution by favoring one religion over all others.

In the end, the only remedy may be a single payer system, such as expansion of Medicare to cover everyone -- with the unintended consequence of killing (to death) the for-profit health insurance industry.

Looks like dats where we headed . . .

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40steivo(540 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

"Looks like dats where we headed . . ." No, wes not. After November, we will pass a repeal of this whole monstrosity.

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41steivo(540 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

What really happened in the HobbyLobby case was that the SCOTUS told the Liar that he was not going to require anyone or any company to pay to kill innocent babies. Unfortunately, 4 left wing extremist judges voted pro-death.

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42peacelover(791 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

Woman: Why doesn't your health care insurance policy cover my birth control?

Big Corporation: Hey, that's against our religion! We're not going to pay for your lustfulness!

Man: I need some Viagra so I can be lustful.

Big Corporation: Certainly, no problem.

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43steivo(540 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

Yeah, I know but we can pass a repeal and let the Liar veto it. Then attempt an override and force all the Dumocrats to go on record as supporting something that nobody wants or needs.

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44lajoci(374 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

Right, you geniuses!

Repeal the ACA, because we all want to go back to a system that allows insurance companies to deny coverage due to "pre-existing conditions" and to impose lifetime limits on coverage, because everybody wants to return to a system that allows high deductibles and outrageous co-pays and unrealistic limits.

Repealing the ACA ranks right up there with that other right-wingnut wet dream, impeaching Obama, both of which are popular only with the most ardent worshippers at the United Church of Anti-Obama.

Who are, thankfully, in the tiny minority.

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4576Ytown(1293 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

lajoci: The ACA policies do have high deductibles and limits.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), four tiers of health insurance will be offered in the health insurance exchanges and throughout the individual and small group markets beginning in 2014. Under the minimum coverage plan, the “Bronze” plan, the insurance plan will pay for 60 percent of the costs of covered benefits on average while the individual enrolled will pay the remaining 40 percent in deductibles, copays and coinsurance. Individuals will have the option to purchase plans with more comprehensive coverage at higher premiums.

The study projects what deductibles and coinsurance would meet the requirements of a Bronze plan, presenting two alternatives: One with a deductible per individual of $4,375, with consumers paying 20% of their health care expenses once meeting the deductible. The other with a deductible of $3,475 and patient coinsurance of 40%. Under both plans, total patient out-of-pocket costs would be capped at $6,350, as required by the health reform law. Deductibles for families would be double these amounts.

Maybe all you hear is free and think it's all wonderful.

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46lajoci(374 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

I never said it was free -- that is another right-wingnut fantasy, that proponents of the ACA (and health insurance reform in general) love it because it's free.

All government sponsored health insurance plans cost money, money that is used to subsidize those who cannot pay. Medicare, for example, is not free -- taxes run the program and beneficiaries pay a certain of he expenses.

Nobody ever said it was all free, so drop that red-herring once and for all.

The point is to cover people so that they don't die from treatable injuries and illnesses because they can't afford treatment or insurance.

The point is that people in the richest country in the world do not have to go bankrupt over a triple by-pass, or chemo, or any of dozens of procedures that exceed the limits of their bare bones policy.

And workers don't have to lose their insurance because they switch jobs. And college grads don't have to lose their coverage upon graduation while they are looking for employment.

These are all issues dealt with by the Affordable Care Act, issues that Republicans failed, miserably, to address, because Republicans would rather see ordinary people suffer than work with President Obama to solve these problems. Republicans are useless!

For them, it's all about politics. It's all about who wins at the polls. They don't give a healthy crap about anybody but themselves.

And ya know what? It's about time people didn't give a crap about them. I don't.

You seniors out there, the ones over 65 on Medicare -- you should be raising holy hell to get the Medicare age lowered to a point at which it covers everybody. That would be to your advantage, see, because then the pool would encompass everyone, not just the elderly, who are some of the most expensive to cover. And that would drive down costs.

But no!

I'm embarrassed to say that my generation thinks they will lose if somebody else gets covered. I talk to more seniors who hate Obama, and believe the Faux lies about birtherism, and Bill Ayers, and Saul Alinsky, and all that other tabloid BS you see on Faux to the point that I can't even have a sensible conversation with anyone my own age.

It's disgusting, and embarrassing.

And self-defeating.

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47dontbeafool(1094 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

well said lajoci

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48steivo(540 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

"I'm embarrassed to say that my generation thinks they will lose if somebody else gets covered. I talk to more seniors who hate Obama, and believe the Faux lies about birtherism, and Bill Ayers, and Saul Alinsky, and all that other tabloid BS you see on Faux to the point that I can't even have a sensible conversation with anyone my own age"
--
It has nothing to do with Obama, Fox News, birtherism, Bill Ayers, Saul Alinsky, George Bush, or global warming. The seniors you are talking to are probably people who worked hard all their lives and paid into Medicare over a lifetime. They probably don't think it is right to just give away the same benefit to those who have and are still refusing to work. Instead of this attitude that "I am all right, the world is all wrong", maybe you should consider that the world is right and YOU are wrong. Otherwise there is no way you can have a sensible conversation with anyone because you make no sense.

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49tnmartin(306 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

and a small correction to lajoci's post above if I might.
the phrase used was "the richest country in the world". We've all heard it often, so often that it seems to be self-evident and true beyond doubt.
It may have been true at one time. That time is in the past.
America is in fact probably the BROKEST country in the world, quite possibly the brokest in history.
Repeat: The United States of America is bankrupt.
there are unfunded and unfundable mandates out there further than the eye can see. Trillions of dollars. Tens of trillions of dollars. HUNDREDS of TRILLIONS of dollars! Do you realize how much a trillion dollars is? Do you actually understand a billion? Can you reliably count your own fingers and toes and expect to get the right answer most of the time?
Our own once vibrant economy is now best described as borrowing money from the ChiComs and using it to buy more and more ChiCom junk in the season's new colors. Sound like a plan for success? All on a credit card and no thought of the bill coming due.
And more and more and more debt every single minute. It's what happens when you adopt a habit of "I want it all and I want it now!". Babies born today are born owing thousands of dollars, money spent to buy the votes of people who are dead already, or who will be before that baby can vote. Dollars spent on programs that no rational person could or would support.
The un-Affordable non-Care Act is part of that disaster, but not the only part. And it has been, largely accumulated by the same sort of slimy liars and creeps who stuck the nation with the abomination of Obamacare, against the express wishes of the overwhelming majority of the people. A pox upon the lot of them!
I just shake my head at the idiocy of so many people around here. WHEN -- not if -- the roof falls in, they'll be blaming everyone but themselves.

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50cambridge(3099 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

When bush became president the government had a revenue surplus which is the key for paying off the national debt. If he would have just stayed on the path given him and did nothing we were on or way to being debt free as a nation. Instead his policies wrecked the economy and ran this country so far in debt that the revenue the country takes in won't cover the interest on bush's debt and now the people that voted for that clown blame it on Obama. If you're going to talk about the idiocy of people you should start by looking in the mirror.

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51steivo(540 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

How about the $22 billion that is wasted chasing the global warming hoax.

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52lajoci(374 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

First of all, Steivo, you can't start with the premise that I'm wrong, and then argue from that angle. Or, you can, but all you seem interested in, then, is a mud fight, so nobody is obliged to take you seriously.

And I'm not sure which "world"
you're measuring me up against, other than your "world" and the Faux/right-wingnut/tea-bag bubble.

Again, another typical tea-bagger response, mischaracterizing the ACA as a law that gives people stuff for free. Where in the "world" did you ever get that idea?

Do you really think that the ACA exists to give people who refuse to work free health care? Seriously?

Have you seriously NOT been paying attention to the detailed explanation of the health care crisis in this country?

There is really no excuse for such an ignorant comment like that other than an irrational hatred for the President and anything he does.

Irrational.

It is irrational to argue that the situation before the ACA (when the poor received health care by means of the emergency room, at costs many multiples of what it should have been)was better.

That's all I get from you. Irrational responses.

Do you really hate your president that much?

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53steivo(540 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

"Do you really think that the ACA exists to give people who refuse to work free health care? Seriously?" YES, do you seriously think it is anything other than that?

"Have you seriously NOT been paying attention to the detailed explanation of the health care crisis in this country?" Just like global warming, it was a completely made up crisis. There was nothing wrong with the health care system we had before this massive new entitlement program in the face of runaway debts.

"It is irrational to argue that the situation before the ACA (when the poor received health care by means of the emergency room, at costs many multiples of what it should have been)was better." Those emergency room costs are sunk costs. The emergency room is not going to be shut down as it has to be open around the clock. Whether the poor received their health care from the emergency room or some other provider, the net costs will be approximately the same.

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54stievo(17 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

"Are you that irrational". YES
"Do you live in the Fox News bubble world" YES
"Do you hate the POTUS and poor people that bad". YES I DO!

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55steivo(540 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

stievo,
Are you an idiot? YES
Are you a nitwit? YES
Are you a freeloader? YES

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56dontbeafool(1094 comments)posted 5 months ago

Why are you arguing with yourself and calling yourself names Steivo? Split personality or something?

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57Jerry(517 comments)posted 5 months ago

@dontbeafool

I guess you didn't notice that steivo is not the same as stievo which, of course, is the confusion that was intended.

Hiding behind false identities to add confusion, attempt to discredit the opposition, and smear people are typical tools of the coward who cannot debate openly.

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