Religious Employers Will Have To Provide Birth Control For Employees

Religious opposition to birth control won’t be a good enough reason for church-affiliated employers to get out of having to cover birth control for employees, according to an announcement from the Department of Secretary of Health and Human Services. Several types of companies will have an extra year to come into compliance with the edict, ushered in by the Obama administration’s health care reforms.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports colleges, hospitals and social service agencies with church affiliations are among those that have the extra year to get up to speed.

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops isn’t too happy with the decision:

“Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights.”

When religion clashes with law, there’s never an easy solution. But keeping the same set of rules for employers, regardless of religious affiliation, seems reasonable.

Religious employers must cover pill, Feds say [San Diego Union-Tribune]

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  1. Rainicorn with baby bats says:

    Pathetic.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Of the comments I’ve seen from you so far, I have seen no actual contribution to the topic. “Pathetic” doesn’t really mean anything without some context, now does it?

    • Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

      Awwwww shet…you just got internet-nanny’d by Loias. Piece of advise…(check yo self before you wreck yo self)

  2. maverikv says:

    This is good. This applies to religious affiliated employers. Like hospitals and universities. Churches are still exempt. I have news for them: they were paying for it anyway.

  3. daemonaquila says:

    Fabulous! It’s disgusting that an employer, religious or otherwise, can have a say over the type of care a worker can receive under the group policy. Coverage should be the same for all, including all birth control and abortion options.

    • rmorin says:

      From the article:

      If they fail, some predicted religious employers would drop coverage for their workers, opting instead to pay fines to the federal government under the health care law.

      You are not going to have religions violate their own convictions, you are going to have them simply drop coverage.

      I think birth control should be openly and widely available, however you are pretty ignorant and short sighted if you think violating the Constitution is a good means to an end. Just because you agree with the result, doesn’t mean that violating the Constitution is reasonable.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Who is violating the Constitution?

        • LabanDenter says:

          government.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            So you’re arguing that the health care requirement violates the Constitution?

            You should try saying something to that effect right off the bat.

          • ret3 says:

            Just because something is owned by a church doesn’t make it above the law. If a faith had a tenet forbidding pasteurization, should their dairy be exempt from food safety laws?

            • rmorin says:

              Actually it means just that!

              Exercising religion does trump any laws as so long as the government can’t prove “compelling interest” against it.

              Ritualistic Animal Sacrifice? Legal, and trumps animal cruelty laws – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Lukumi_Babalu_Aye_v._City_of_Hialeah

              Minors drinking alcohol in religious ceremonies? Legal, and trumps state alcohol laws.

              So yes, unless the federal government can prove the two things I mentioned, exercising religion trumps law.

              • ret3 says:

                Both of your examples take place in the course of actual worship. If the animal sacrificers ran a meat processing plant, they wouldn’t get away with inhumane treatment of the critters, nor would Catholics be able to sell booze to kids at a liquor store they owned. A business is different from a church, and must abide by state regulation even if it conflicts with the tenets of the faith.

                • rmorin says:

                  Wrong again!

                  Kosher and Halal butchers can contradict local laws on animal cruelty. Again, this is not illegal because they are exercising their religion. Finally, I don’t think you understand organized religion if you think worship is something people can turn on or off. When you adhere to a certain religious system you worship all the time, not just during ceremonies.

        • rmorin says:

          Well the federal government is forcing a religious entity to buy a product that violates their religious convictions.

          It is still being worked through the courts whether the federal government can force anyone to buy any product, but in particular it is dubious that the federal government can force religious organizations to do much of anything without “compelling interest”.

          Now compelling interest is not “it’s a good idea”, but instead a legal term with many legal precedents. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compelling_interest

          It would be difficult for the government to be able to prove that birth control is a “compelling interest”, as the precedents mostly ruled that things like drug use, and polygamy where things to for the government to step in on. Things such as ritual animal sacrifice have been protected as lacking compelling interest, and I doubt based on precedents that the federal government could win the case in the supreme court.

          Thus it violates the Constitution. :)

          • Kate says:

            Yes and they also force 7th day adventists to take their children to the hospital when they get sick – what is your point?

            • Potted-Plant says:

              I think you’re referring to Christian Scientists. The Seventh Day Adventists run a lot of hospitals as a ministry, and they’re very well regarded. We delivered our first child in one.

          • OutPastPluto says:

            Except this isn’t the Church. It’s a church owned business. The distinction is important.

      • Chuchundra says:

        Yeah, well…good luck trying to run a hospital, social service agency or university without offering medical insurance to your employees.

        Employers don’t offer medical coverage out of the goodness of their hearts. They do it to attract and retain quality personnel.

        • Potted-Plant says:

          Actually, the Catholic Church in the largest non-profit healthcare provider in the U.S. It considers healthcare a ministry. If the bishops stick to their guns and the Federal government decides to come down hard, they’ll be shutting down hospitals that for-profit companies have no interest in replacing, i.e. poor, underserved regions.

          The government is trying to dictate positive and negative actionable morality for a church. This would be a very bad precedent for everyone, whether they agree with the Catholic Church’s position or not.

          • daemonaquila says:

            Unlikely, and others will eventually take their place if they do. It’s no service to a large portion of the poor if their hospital is run on religious ideology rather than good science. If a woman whose pregnancy is killing her goes to a public hospital, she will likely wind up alive and likely without a fetus. If she goes to a hospital that is run by the church, she will likely wind up dead, and the fetus will likely still be just as dead as if it had been aborted. That is the rankest form of religious overreach there is.

            • rmorin says:

              You have a profound lack of knowledge in basic areas of law, healthcare, and economics.

              Unlikely, and others will eventually take their place if they do.

              Do you realize the scale of the gap that would exist if this would happen? Who would step in? What business is going to run money losing hospitals out of the goodness of their heart?

              It’s no service to a large portion of the poor if their hospital is run on religious ideology rather than good science.

              Church owned hospitals are the best rated out of any category for quality of care.
              http://www.nonprofithealthcare.org/resources/StudyFindsQualityinNonprofitHealthSystemsBetterwithChurch-OwnedtheBest.pdf
              (This is published by Thomson Reuters BTW, not a biased organization)

              If a woman whose pregnancy is killing her goes to a public hospital, she will likely wind up alive and likely without a fetus. If she goes to a hospital that is run by the church, she will likely wind up dead, and the fetus will likely still be just as dead as if it had been aborted.

              Do you know how hospitals work? Once it is decided that a women may need a therapeutic abortion, the hospital is required by law to transfer the women to a facility that will provide that service. It is highly illegal to withold information or give misleading information to the patient to make them believe otherwise.

              Literally nothing you said is accurate or makes any sense.

            • prizgrizbiz says:

              Most. Ignorant. Post. Ever.

        • failurate says:

          From my limited anecdotal experience, social service providers and hospitals already offer their administrative employees very limited and essentially useless benefits or no benefits at all.

          This is one of the reasons why hospitals are fairly often a gigantic cluster-fluff to deal with. Even the best workers, when treated poorly, will become poor employees.

      • daemonaquila says:

        No violation of the constitution involved. This issue has long been decided by the Supreme Court, when they said that just because your church uses peyote as a sacrament, doesn’t mean that your church gets to avoid the drug laws. It’s the same deal here – the government is enforcing an law equally throughout all types of employers. It would be far more constitutionally offensive if they decided to let religious organizations avoid the law.

        Incidentally, I’m fine with the religious orgs dropping their insurance policies, so that their staff heads for the greener pastures. If working for a religious organization becomes as desirable as working for McDonald’s or Walmart, that’s fine. They also have the alternative of not dirtying their hands if they provide an allowance to workers to buy their insurance individually, which works out much better for some workers.

        • rmorin says:

          You’re close, but you are missing some important legal issues:

          The federal government is forcing a religious entity to buy a product that violates their religious convictions.

          It is still being worked through the courts whether the federal government can force anyone to buy any product, but in particular it is dubious that the federal government can force religious organizations to do much of anything without “compelling interest”.

          Now compelling interest is not “it’s a good idea”, but instead a legal term with many legal precedents. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compelling_interest

          It would be difficult for the government to be able to prove that birth control is a “compelling interest”, as the precedents mostly ruled that things like drug use, and polygamy where things to for the government to step in on. Things such as ritual animal sacrifice have been protected as lacking compelling interest, and I doubt based on precedents that the federal government could win the case in the supreme court.

          Thus it violates the Constitution. :)

          • daemonaquila says:

            As I’m an attorney, I’m fully aware of the “compelling interest” standard. However, there is no bright-line definition of “compelling interest,” and many people want to use that term to mean exactly what THEY want it to mean – i.e., if it’s not compelling to THEM, it’s not a compelling interest.

            The government does have a compelling interest in the health of its citizens. Preservation of lives has long been considered a compelling interest – and this health law, including provision of birth control to women who otherwise might suffer severe health consequences and even death due to pregnancy or childbirth, for no other reason than the preferences of the employer, qualifies in that area. Abortion opponents, religious folk, and others will certainly argue otherwise, but so far they’ve been losing. A strict scrutiny test also looks to whether the government is using the least restrictive means to carry out its purpose. Again, no problem – the religious orgs can simply choose not to provide insurance.

            You can try to argue the legal points all day, but in the end, legal and constitutional scholars worked out this law. No law is ever iron-clad before the courts, but they’ve done their due diligence and they have excellent arguments regarding why it is absolutely constitutional in preparation for the inevitable court challenges. You can keep saying that the government can’t show “compelling interest” until you are blue in the face, but actually the government likely can and will, using arguments that were briefed and re-briefed, argued and reexamined, until the folks working it all out were satisfied that a challenge would be highly unlikely to go anywhere.

            • rmorin says:

              Your blind “they did due diligence, so everything must be legit” is wrong historically and logically. Politicans on every side attempt to push an agenda, and do so by creating laws that match up with their dogma. They create laws that they believe have the best chance of winning legal challenges, but this in no way guareentees that they will be successful.

              I could literally provide dozens of legal examples where laws after their application were ruled unconstitutional whether via the supreme or lower courts. For you to completely and unquestionably state that both of the components;

              1. The Federal Government forcing anyone to purchase any product is constitutional
              2. That there is a compelling interest allowing the federal government to require the purchase of this specific product is constitutional

              of this law would withstand any and all challenges shows your ignorance or potentially bias in this topic.

          • spazztastic says:

            OK..Animal Sacrifice, not a compelling interest; Polyagmy IS a compelling interest? So again, people’s sex lives trump anything else?

            • kc2idf says:

              Well . . . yeah! I mean, after wall, Puritans were the first ones to settle here and play a role in founding what is now our dominant society in the US. I’m not saying this is right; I’m just saying what I see. Unfortunately, there seems to be a resultant attitude that people’s sex lives are far more important issues than things like murder, theft, war, etc. I don’t get it, but again, I’m just calling it like I see it.

              Here in New York State, there was a candidate running for Governor in a third party called the Rent Is 2 Damn High party. I don’t remember what his name is, but he pulled out a gem in one of the debates. The question put to the candidates was what their stance was on gay marriage. His response was, something to the general effect that it wasn’t important, and that from his party’s perspective, you could even marry a shoe if you wanted to.

              I couln’t have said it better. It’s none of the government’s business.

          • Costner says:

            I love it when people say something “violates the constitution” before it has been decided.

            No… sorry, doesn’t work like that. You can state it is your opinion that something violates the Constitution, but until the SCOTUS states in black and white that it actually does… you’re basically wrong.

            Next, the federal government is NOT forcing a religious entity to buy a product that violates their religious convictions. The government is forcing them to offer coverage for a medical product, but they are not forcing them to puchase said medical product.

            Thus it is up to the EMPLOYEE to decide whether or not they want those services, which is none of the employers business. In theory, if all of the employees feel they should follow the employers line of thinking, then none of them will use those services… but let’s not be naive here.

            Whether an employer is affiliated with a religious organization is not justifcation for ignoring law that applies to all citizens. I can start a religion that is called the “Church of White Saints”, but that doesn’t mean I can legally have a policy in place which refuses membership or employment status to non-whites. That is illegal for obvious reasons, just as rescricting medical coverage should be.

            • coffee100 says:

              >> but until the SCOTUS states in black and white that it actually does

              The Supreme Court disenfranchised an entire state during a presidential election in broad daylight about 12 years ago. Was that constitutional?

              The People and the States can decide on their own what is and is not Constitutional, thank you very much. After all the Constitution was written by the States for the People in the first place.

              • Costner says:

                The Supreme Court disenfranchised an entire state during a presidential election in broad daylight about 12 years ago. Was that constitutional?

                Regardless of what side of that decision you find yourself on, you would have to admit chances are their decision only disenfranchised half the state as opposed to the whole thing correct?

                Either way… yes it was constitutional.

                The People and the States can decide on their own what is and is not Constitutional, thank you very much. After all the Constitution was written by the States for the People in the first place.

                Are you serious or being sarcastic upon principle?

                No – I’m afraid the “people” and the states do not decide what is or is not Constitutional. The US Constitution is not interpreted differently as you cross state lines, which is why all lower courts need to heed the rulings of the SCOTUS. In fact the Constitution is the supreme law of our land, and the Supreme Court has been designated as the sole branch of government that can interpret Constitutional issues. A state might think they are applying a law on a constitutional basis, but if the SCOTUS rules otherwise that state doesn’t have the option of ignoring established law. Ever.

                The only constitutional decisions a state gets to make are those relating to the state constitution… not the US Constitution.

                Unless I misunderstand your comment, I really don’t think you are understanding how our system of government works.

              • Mr. Bill says:

                “the Constitution was written by the States”? What the f**k. It was written by the Constructional Convention.

            • rmorin says:

              You are wrong on a few things:

              I can start a religion that is called the “Church of White Saints”, but that doesn’t mean I can legally have a policy in place which refuses membership or employment status to non-whites.

              Descrimination based on race is legal under some contexts. There are still many legal country clubs for example, that legally decriminate against races, or genders so yes you can refuse membership.

              You’ve probably heard of this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusta_National_Golf_Club

              Next, the federal government is NOT forcing a religious entity to buy a product that violates their religious convictions.

              Yes, they infact are. They are forcing them to buy a health insurance policy that covers a certain group of medications, and for those medications to be available without a co-pay to policy holders. They currently have purchase a policy that does not subsidize that group of medications at all.

              Whether an employer is affiliated with a religious organization is not justifcation for ignoring law that applies to all citizens.

              You are incorrect legally and logically http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compelling_interest . The government must prove that their is a “compelling interest” (This is NOT the same as “a good idea”) to limit religious functions. Ritualistic religious animal slaughter is protected and trumps animal cruelty laws. Minors are allowed to consume wine as part of religious ceremonies, and that trumps liquor laws. As so long as the state can not demonstrate “compelling interest” exercising religion trumps government laws.

              • Costner says:

                “Yes, they infact are. They are forcing them to buy a health insurance policy that covers a certain group of medications, and for those medications to be available without a co-pay to policy holders. They currently have purchase a policy that does not subsidize that group of medications at all.”

                Nice stretch, but that is like saying you can’t dare provide a delivery driver a vehicle because they might use it to buy drugs or drive to an adult book store.

                In the end, it is an argument with no basis in reality. They are attempting to define the personal lives of their employees in a manner which is not tied to their employment and as such they should not be able to regulate it. This law is a step in the right direction for liberty and freedom of Americans… not just their employers.

                As to your compelling interest argument – repeating yourself five or six times still doesn’t mean it is accuarate. Are you aware of a legal challenge to this law that supports your viewpoint or are there are any existing cases that serve as precendent? I haven’t seen any – but I’ll await a final decision by the SCOTUS if it gets that far.

                • rmorin says:

                  Welp, your wrong about not having any precedents for compelling interest:

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Lukumi_Babalu_Aye_v._City_of_Hialeah

                  Secondly, you don’t understand how health insurance policies are negotiated by employers. These organization currently buy a policy that does not subsidize contraceptives. They are being forced to buy a new policy that does.

                  Finally, this has nothing to do with people using birth control. This is about a religious organization not wanting to pay for it. Employees are free to use it, just the church that employs them doesn’t want to pay for it.

                  • Costner says:

                    Again – you posting endless links to wikipedia time and time again is not convincing, especially on matters which are easily interpreted differently based upon who is reading it.

                    Bottom line – there is nobody forcing them to buy the insurance. If they are really that upset about it, they can refuse to offer insurance and can just pay the yearly fine. Everyone is happy, and the religious folks can feel good that their money isn’t going for birth control pills.

                    I suppose now they will just whine that their money is indirectly going to things they disagree with though… sort of how a few years back people tried to get away with not paying taxes based upon a religious objection. How did that work out again?

                    • rmorin says:

                      Bottom line – there is nobody forcing them to buy the insurance. If they are really that upset about it, they can refuse to offer insurance and can just pay the yearly fine. Everyone is happy, and the religious folks can feel good that their money isn’t going for birth control pills.

                      I bet you literally anything that if you asked employees of these organizations “do you want to keep your current insurance without contraceptives, or not have insurance offered through your employer” they’d all select the former. A company can’t offer their employees health insurance because it is not a specific flavor the government approves of. This is “everyone is happy” to you?

                    • Costner says:

                      You can bet all day long, but I’d rather not have exemptions for certain types of organizations because that opens the door to a lot of abuses based upon fake religious exemptions.

                      Plus, if those employees were told they would still have health insurance subsidized by the government (paid in part from the penalty money paid by their employer) and the insurance deductions that were being taken from their checks will now offset the insurance they will be getting… do you think they would really care where it comes from?

                      People just want insurance coverage. Good coverage. Comprehensive coverage. Where it comes from isn’t really as important as long as it is cost effective and quality coverage. All things considered, I’m not sure the employees would care.

                    • rmorin says:

                      exemptions for certain types of organizations because that opens the door to a lot of abuses based upon fake religious exemptions.

                      Religious exemptions already exist in many contexts and are not abused. There are safe guards against all of this. Are you really saying that because some may abuse it, genuine religious institutions should suffer?

          • Raanne says:

            But how does buying insurance that would allow for birth control violate their religion? The insurance itself is not the same as the actual birth control. Presumably they are hiring people who follow their religious laws, who wouldn’t use their insurance for such purposes. Or on the flip side, their employees are using their own money (which they received from salary from the religious organization) to purchase said items. I highly doubt that providing more comprehensive insurance will suddenly cause people who never used birth control before to suddenly use it.

            • rmorin says:

              The federal government is forcing them to buy a health insurance policy that covers a certain group of medications, and for those medications to be available without a co-pay to policy holders. They currently purchase a policy that does not subsidize that group of medications at all. Thus the federal government is focing them to no longer buy a specific product which had no chance at violating their convictions, and forcing them to buy a different specific product which does have a chance at violating their convictions.

            • Gertie says:

              As employer, they pay for a very large percentage of the health care coverage. It is mandated that birth control be FREE to the employee. Emphasis: Free. So, who is paying for it? The employer.

              Even if you think it’s silly for religious people to object to being forced to do something against their heartfelt beliefs, explore the idea that the government has made it a law, without vote, that birth control shall be free for all! Free! Free!

              There’s no such thing as free and there is no way the government should be able to dictate such a thing.

              • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                That’s pretty much it.

                Those kind of coverage are referred to as “first dollar” coverage by insurances, meaning for every dollar of “free” care, the premium will reflect an additional $1.20 in premiums.

            • Lisse24 says:

              As someone who worked for a religious organization, I had a morality section in my contract. For example, I was contractually obligated to abstain from alcohol and to attend the church of their choosing twice a week.
              I believe that it is within a religious organizations right to hire people that match the values of the organization. Just as it is in their right to purchase products, such as health insurance, that match their values.

              I have since left that organization, because even though I thought that the contract would be no big deal since it mostly listed things I did already, I found that I really rebel when something is mandated from on high – but my inability to make peace with the contract doesn’t change the fact that they had the right to impose it.

          • Kate says:

            They aren’t forced to buy insurance, so what’s your point?

            • rmorin says:
              • Costner says:

                Kate is right…. they aren’t forced to buy insurance. If they wish, they can opt to pay the fine instead. This “fine” (shared responsibility requirement )would then be used to help offset the costs of the government providing subsidized health insurance to each employee.

                So if this is really about a moral obligation the simple recourse is to simply stop paying for health insurance and just pay the fee for each employee. Isn’t this an acceptable compromise?

              • SabreDC says:

                Not sure if [i]you’re[/i] a troll but PPACA has religious exemptions. Even under PPACA, they aren’t required to buy health insurance.

                • rmorin says:

                  Not really. Religious exemption is VERY narrow in this case. Catholicism would not be exempt.

                  They used text from the tax code in how exemptions would be handled:

                  g) Members of certain religious faiths
                  (1) Exemption
                  Any individual may file an application (in such form and
                  manner, and with such official, as may be prescribed by
                  regulations under this chapter) for an exemption from the tax
                  imposed by this chapter if he is a member of a recognized
                  religious sect or division thereof and is an adherent of
                  established tenets or teachings of such sect or division by
                  reason of which he is conscientiously opposed to acceptance of
                  the benefits of any private or public insurance which makes
                  payments in the event of death, disability, old-age, or
                  retirement or makes payments toward the cost of, or provides
                  services for, medical care (including the benefits of any
                  insurance system established by the Social Security Act). Such
                  exemption may be granted only if the application contains or is
                  accompanied by -
                  (A) such evidence of such individual’s membership in, and
                  adherence to the tenets or teachings of, the sect or division
                  thereof as the Secretary may require for purposes of
                  determining such individual’s compliance with the preceding
                  sentence, and
                  (B) his waiver of all benefits and other payments under
                  titles II and XVIII of the Social Security Act on the basis of
                  his wages and self-employment income as well as all such
                  benefits and other payments to him on the basis of the wages
                  and self-employment income of any other person,
                  and only if the Commissioner of Social Security finds that -
                  (C) such sect or division thereof has the established tenets
                  or teachings referred to in the preceding sentence,
                  (D) it is the practice, and has been for a period of time
                  which he deems to be substantial, for members of such sect or
                  division thereof to make provision for their dependent members
                  which in his judgment is reasonable in view of their general
                  level of living, and
                  (E) such sect or division thereof has been in existence at
                  all times since December 31, 1950.
                  An exemption may not be granted to any individual if any benefit
                  or other payment referred to in subparagraph (B) became payable
                  (or, but for section 203 or 222(b) of the Social Security Act,
                  would have become payable) at or before the time of the filing of
                  such waiver.

                  Basically, since Catholicism has not had a demonstrated aversion to insurance, they would not qualify for an exemption.

              • UberGeek says:

                Obviously trolling. If they weren’t forced to buy such healthcare, they wouldn’t have to pay a fine for not buying it. Saying things like “they can opt to pay the fine instead” is the financial equivalent of saying “nobody is prohibited from robbing banks because they can opt to serve the time in jail.”

          • Charmander says:

            With very few exceptions, most churches that I am aware of have no prohibition against birth control.

            • rmorin says:

              Uh … the Catholic church?

              It’s the second largest religion in the United States. They operate hundreds of healthcare facilities (often operating at a loss). Try harder on your next comment!

              • Skeptic says:

                Yeah, the RC church operates the only hospital in my town, which means I’m surrounded by crucifixes when I get any of my taxpayer-provided health care (I’m a federal employee), and also means I would have to go elsewhere if I needed a legal procedure like an abortion. Most hospital employees aren’t Catholic. No one is holding a gun to any of the staff who are RC, forcing them to use birth control. But I have news for the Pope: fertility rates for Catholics in the US and elsewhere having dropped to the equivalent of rates for Protestants and the unchurched. Catholic women are using birth control and it’s time that got paid fr by their employers instead of by the rest of us through uncollectable Emergency Room fees.

        • coffee100 says:

          Hey Counselor? The Supreme Court ruled against Dred Scott too. Was that constitutional?

          I get just as emotional as you do at that image of the mighty defenders of our Constitution, black robes ruffled in the wind, hands over hearts before the flag. But I have to ask, in light of the fact medical care has always been under state jurisdiction, under what Constitutional authority does the Federal Government dictate to its citizens their healthcare choices or dictate to employers the medical benefits they offer?

          Please note these two things must, by definition, be justified differently, and further, that at least one Federal Judge has already ruled the entire healthcare law unconstitutional, even though neither his nor any other Federal district or appellate court has jurisdiction.

          Just so you know, I have conclusive and devastating rebuttals of the “necessary and proper” and Interstate commerce clause theories, so let’s see if you can find a better constitutional justification.

  4. Foot_Note says:

    about time, considering all the tax-exempt “perks” said religous orgs get

  5. dolemite says:

    Newsflash: Just because your organization has certain beliefs, doesn’t mean every employee that works for it has the same beliefs.

    • OSAM says:

      Similarly: while the US is largely considered a “good christian country”, government should be separate from the church’s views.

      • Misha says:

        It is extremely possibly to be a Christian – not even a liberal Christian – and not be opposed to birth control. I was super conservative growing up and through my college years but I never had an opposition to birth control. Please don’t over-generalize.

        • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

          Not all Christian variations are against birth control. Roman Catholics are strongly against it, and I think there might be a type of Baptist as well.

          I’ve always thought it was repugnant that religions can be so invasive with a person’s personal life choices. But that’s religion for you–while the members might feel it is all about their relationship with their particular interpretation of God, for the people in charge, it seems like religion is all about controlling their members so that they can stay in power.

          • Rachacha says:

            I was married in the Catholic church and my now wife and I had to attend pre canna classes. I recall going through a variety of subjects but when they came to birth control we were in for a surprise. They started off by telling the official church stance but then said “welcome to the modern world” and talked about the variety of different options (like none of us knew). The class was given by a couple in their late 40s so perhaps they were going a bit rogue.

            • Kuri says:

              So your church is one of the good ones we sadly hear little if anything about.

              I love those stories, especially when they realize what you do off of church grounds is your own business.

            • failurate says:

              Attended a pre-canna retreat about 4 years ago before getting married. One of the strangest experiences of my life.

              • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                We had to do the same thing close to 20 years ago. It was mandatory for a marriage between a Catholic and a non-believer.

                Although we did spend time on rhythm method (“snap test” and calenders), it was taught by a family planning nurse and she discussed many non-sanctioned options. The whole thing was weird but I think we actually got a lot out of the counseling sessions.

                I’m still entertained by the fact that I had to sign a contract where I swore to perform “husbandly duties” on a regular basis in order to get a waiver from the Bishop for the wedding. Apparently, there really are such things as sex contracts.

          • Snowblind says:

            I went to a Seventh Day Adventist high school.

            Full sex ed including a condom on a cucumber. Probably more detail than the public schools, even in California.

            Full discussion of AIDS and how they though you might get it. One of the students, a hemophiliac, had it from blood transfusions and his older brother had already died from it. No BS about it being a “gay” disease.

            This was 1984.

            It was not like “1984”.

    • rmorin says:

      And since no one is forced to work anywhere, you know what you get when signing up.

      I’m not Jewish, but once worked at a Jewish affiliated healthcare facility. The facility was strictly kosher, and as such, employees could not bring in outside food. Should I have asked Obama to allow me to have a ham sandwich in the break room? No, instead I was an adult and just left my lunch in a cooler in my car.

      Would you go to religious college or university and then be pissed you have to abide by their rules?

      • daemonaquila says:

        This is a false argument. People take whatever jobs they can get. If anyone speaks ill of telemarketers, bottom-rung customer service personnel who can only read scripts, etc., people here and elsewhere start screaming that “ZOMG!!! You can’t say that! They have families to feed and it’s not fault what kind of jobs they have to take to avoid living on the street!!!” They also argue that these folks have rights in the workplace, and so on.

        Well sorry, the applies for religious orgs. People also go work for religious orgs because it’s a job that pays the bills, and they don’t give a rat’s patoot about the religion or the mission. They also should be treated respectfully as employees, even if their beliefs, way of dressing, etc. are radically at odds with the boss’s.

        Basically, I’m all for people who, for example, want to wear head scarves, etc. in the secular workplace. However, if they expect that others will show them tolerance and respect, they’d better shut up if the new secretary at their religious charity shows up wearing a short little skirt and a shirt that shows some cleavage. This is even more critical when it comes to employee benefits.

        Sure, I’d go to a religious university (only if I absolutely had to – yuck!) and absolutely flout their rules. They’re getting my money, but they don’t get my belief structure or my agreement to abide by their religious principles. While I likely wouldn’t throw a kegger at BYU or otherwise do things intended to create mass shock and dismay, I would feel free to do exactly as I please.

        • Doubting thomas says:

          Your false argument argument is a false argument.
          Most religious employers and schools have a code of conduct that employees and students are required to sign before starting. If you violate that code you are in breach of contract and they are well within their moral and legal rights to boot you out.
          I also do not buy the “you take the job you can get” line. If you need the job bad enough to work for an employer with these demands then you need the job bad enough to comply with them. So if you were hired as a secretary for a religious charity then you can expect to be counseled and/or replaced if your style of dress does not live up to the employee dress code.

          • Kuri says:

            Does that include them firing you for things that happen off the clock?

            • rmorin says:

              Yes, violating the honor code can get you removed from a University at any time whether on campus or off, whether religious affiliated or not. This is the deal you make when signing up. This is not hidden. This is completely fair, as you engage in a contract with the University to follow certain behaviors during your time there, don’t like it? Don’t go there.

              For employment it depends if you are being fired because you belong to a protected class. If not, then it depends on your state laws in regards to reason for termination. It is highly contextual. There is no bumper sticker answer for this one.

        • rmorin says:

          It’s nice how you don’t respond to any comments that people make back to you, you just move on to the next thread and try (and fail) to tell people they are wrong.

        • rmorin says:

          You’re a child. “I’ll do as I please” What a joke.

      • captadam says:

        You are comparing consuming your own lunch on the company’s premises with being provided with health care coverage?

        • rmorin says:

          Gotcha, certain religious beliefs are more valid then others.

          I think you fail to realize, that this is not about whether an employee takes birth control or not, it is that religious institutions don’t want to pay for it. You are free to take birth control, just you have to pay for it. Just like I was free to eat ham, I just couldn’t do it on their premises.

          • Kuri says:

            And they don’t want to let homosexual couples marry, at all, even if they don’t have to be involved, that doesn’t mean they have a right to involve themselves in the lives of people who don’t follow their faith.

            • rmorin says:

              We are talking about religious organizations be forced to buy insurance policies that provide birth control at no cost the employee.

              What the hell are you talking about?

      • Costner says:

        >>> And since no one is forced to work anywhere, you know what you get when signing up.

        Nice argument, but thankfully labor laws protect people from employers who suggest this should be some type of low-bar standard. daemonaquila did a nice job of showing you how silly your argument is (in fact he appears to have done so on many of your comments), but the bottom line is allowing such arbitrary rules to be placed upon potential employees violates specific freedoms and liberties afforded to us as Americans. To allow employers the right to discriminate upon actions or specific types of people they don’t like or that don’t fit into their particular mold is simply begging for discrimination… which as you know is illegal.

        >>> I’m not Jewish, but once worked at a Jewish affiliated healthcare facility. The facility was strictly kosher, and as such, employees could not bring in outside food. Should I have asked Obama to allow me to have a ham sandwich in the break room? No, instead I was an adult and just left my lunch in a cooler in my car.

        Pretty sure a person’s right to healthcare, a safe workplace, freedom from harrassment and persecution from employers etc is a tad more important than your right to have a ham sandwich. That is like comparing the fabric used to construct the first American flag to the fuzz I pulled out of my dryer’s lint trap.

        >>> Would you go to religious college or university and then be pissed you have to abide by their rules?

        Depends upon what those rules are. I attended a Christian University and as such I knew going in there was a requirement to take one elective course on the Bible. Fair enough. However if they would have required every student to be baptised before graduation or if they would have required every student to pledge their faith to their version of God and then denounce all other religions, or if they would have made students sign a pledge to only vote for Conservative Christian political candidates… you can be your behind there would be a legal challenge in place.

        Being a private organization, business, church, school, etc does not allow that organization to make all of their own rules. Thankfully.

        • rmorin says:

          You really have no idea what you are talking about:

          “To allow employers the right to discriminate upon actions or specific types of people they don’t like or that don’t fit into their particular mold is simply begging for discrimination… which as you know is illegal.

          Not providing a class of medications is not discrimination! What federally recognized group is required to take birth control because of their race, creed, or ability status? Additionally these organizations are not saying their employees can’t take birth control or be fired, they are just saying they refuse to pay for it!

          Pretty sure a person’s right to healthcare, a safe workplace, freedom from harrassment and persecution from employers etc is a tad more important than your right to have a ham sandwich.

          This is not about anything except requiring that an religious organization purchase a product that violates their convictions. You are reading into some weird bias you have that these organizations are actively discriminating in other areas.

          Would you go to religious college or university and then be pissed you have to abide by their rules?

          Depends upon what those rules are.

          Are you a child? If you don’t want to be associated with a religion, don’t frequent their properties. We have free association in this country, it’s great.

          • daemonaquila says:

            We also have the freedom to change what we feel is wrong, which includes advocating against religious biases and evils in all their forms.

            • rmorin says:

              You claim to be an attorney, yet are completely okay with disregarding the constitution because it leads to a positive end in your mind. I have repeatedly through this thread proved many of your statements to be inaccurate, sensationalized, or completely made up. You don’t respond to any of those. You instead make this about some bizarre “fighting for what’s right” instead of respecting the basic tenets of this country.

              I eagerly await for when a politician does something dubious under the constitution where you don’t agree with the ends and you completely contradict yourself.

          • Caveat Emptor! says:

            You, sir (or ma’am), have superior thinking skills. Well done!

          • justhypatia says:

            Yeah, providing medication/contraceptive devices that 95%+ of women will use during their lifetime is not discrimination.

            Because, you know, women don’t actually count as people.

            • rmorin says:

              You really, really, don’t understand discrimination. Just because a lot of women may use contraceptives (here’s a fun fact, men do to!) does not mean that failing to offer them is discrimination.

              • justhypatia says:

                You, really, really, don’t understand discrimination.

                Women are being asked to either forgo important healthcare coverage because they happen to belong to the group that gets pregnant. The other option of course is to pay for it out of pocket, which means women actually have to end up paying 2/3 more than men for things not covered by their health plan.

                You also really don’t understand most contraception if your argument is “what about the mens?” Or drug coverage for that matter.

                If a company refused to pay for coverage of prostate exams for religious reasons, that too, would be discrimination.

                And this is why religious exemptions on the large scale can create unfair and even dangerous situations. For example, religious exemptions for blood transfusions, children often become wards of the state and given medical against a parent’s particular religious predilections in order to save the life of a child. We disallow exemptions if they receive any federal money. We disallow exemptions if there is a public health risk; anti-vaccination activists will probably create a situation where religious exemptions will no longer be tolerated to avoid vaccinations as a result of the abuse of this clause.

                Religious exemption is not this be all and end all trump card. Some states are already requiring birth control coverage and they are offering no religious exemptions.

                • rmorin says:

                  This is not opinion, you are factually incorrect in nearly everything you said.

                  The other option of course is to pay for it out of pocket, which means women actually have to end up paying 2/3 more than men for things not covered by their health plan.

                  Women of child bearing age cost more to insure that men, and are charged more in premiums currently. This is not for debate, this occurs already, so yes women do in fact have to pay more then men. This law does nothing to change that.

                  If a company refused to pay for coverage of prostate exams for religious reasons, that too, would be discrimination.

                  Is this a bad time to tell you that they don’t cover vasectomies? So in your crazy word, they are now discriminating against both men AND women on the basis of gender … wait what? So who are they exactly discriminating against?

                  And this is why religious exemptions on the large scale can create unfair and even dangerous situations. For example, religious exemptions for blood transfusions, children often become wards of the state and given medical against a parent’s particular religious predilections in order to save the life of a child. We disallow exemptions if they receive any federal money. We disallow exemptions if there is a public health risk; anti-vaccination activists will probably create a situation where religious exemptions will no longer be tolerated to avoid vaccinations as a result of the abuse of this clause.

                  Adults =/= children. This has nothing to do with the matter at hand as they are completely different issues. In your examples adults can (and do) sometimes die when they turn down blood transfusions. That is their right. I’m not a big enough bigot to tell adults how to practice their religion, children on the other hand make for a far more complex situation.

                  Religious exemption is not this be all and end all trump card. Some states are already requiring birth control coverage and they are offering no religious exemptions.

                  Unless the government can prove “compelling interest” (google it!) in limiting it, then the freedom to exercise religion does in fact trump law.

          • Costner says:

            “You really have no idea what you are talking about:”

            Your opinion is noted. I however disagree with you.

            “Not providing a class of medications is not discrimination! What federally recognized group is required to take birth control because of their race, creed, or ability status? Additionally these organizations are not saying their employees can’t take birth control or be fired, they are just saying they refuse to pay for it!’

            Note I said [taking certain actions] is BEGGING for discrimination, I did not say that restricting availability of birth control was a protected class, so please don’t make assumptions and then try to argue against those assumptions.

            The point is, why should religious institutions be allowed to restrict healthcare to their employees? Why should they be given an exemption? Just because they disagree with it morally? That doesn’t seem to be a very compelling argument and their opinion on the matter should not trump law. If they want true freedom from government intervention they need to realize it goes both ways.

            “This is not about anything except requiring that an religious organization purchase a product that violates their convictions. You are reading into some weird bias you have that these organizations are actively discriminating in other areas.”

            No not at all, but allowing a religious organization to skirt the law opens up the door to them abusing that “religious exemption”. If you really boil it down, this IS a sexual discrimination case, because it is female birth control options that encompass the vast majority of birth control. I haven’t seen a male birth control pill or a presciption birth control product for men yet, and I haven’t seen an insurance company who covers the cost of condoms (although I’m sure it may exist). I’m sure they will cover surgical options, but for all intents and purposes this really is about restricting women’s right to more conventional birth control options such as the pill.

            In that regard, if you allow a religious organization to dictate what they will cover, why can’t you also allow them to dictate that they won’t cover procedure X or Y? Maybe they will say they have a religious argument against manipulating sexual organs so they refuse to pay for any surgery on a ovary or fallopian tube or testical. Then someone gets ovarian or testicular cancer…. should they be able to refuse to cover treatment on a religious exemption?

            I don’t think so. If they are offering healthcare to their employees, they should offer comprehensive healthcare. They don’t have to agree with every procedure, but they aren’t directly condoning it merely because they are paying for the premiums just as I am not condoning government abuses merely because I pay my taxes.

            “Are you a child? If you don’t want to be associated with a religion, don’t frequent their properties. We have free association in this country, it’s great.”

            In your utopian society where everyone can just have their pick of a few dozen universities without any barriers I’m sure that works great, but in the real world things aren’t quite so simple.

            First, in my area and when I went to college there were no state schools. That left private non-profit, or private for profit options. The degree selection I wished to pursue left me with a few different schools, but having to work a full time job to actually afford schooling meant I had to look for non-traditonal schedules. Then I had to ensure the University was fully accredited and not just a diploma mill in order to qualify for partial-tuition remibursement from my employer.

            Long story short – there was one University in my region that fit into these requirements – and it was a Christian school. I didn’t have a problem with them because they didn’t have unreasonable demands, but if they did I still wouldn’t have had an option. Several years later as state school started a satellite campus in my area – but at the time I had no other options.

            So I suppose you could argue I still had a choice – I could have moved, or I could have just not went to school, or I could have went to a different school or tried an online program etc, etc, but none of these are viable options for me and my life situation. Not everyone has options just as not all employees have options to find employment elsewhere if they don’t like a policy or practice put in place by their employer.

            In a perfect world that wouldn’t be the case… but we live in the real world.

            • rmorin says:

              The point is, why should religious institutions be allowed to restrict healthcare to their employees?

              They are giving them a healthcare insurance policy as part of their compensation. Like all healthcare policies their are restrictions for what it will pay for. Some healthcare policies by private businesses don’t cover maternity visits. Their restriction is they won’t pay for contraceptives. You need to understand that this has nothing to do with limiting your healthcare options. You can take all the birth control you want, you just have to do it out of pocket. Refusing to pay for does not equal telling someone they can not.

              That doesn’t seem to be a very compelling argument and their opinion on the matter should not trump law.

              The law (thankfully) is not written the way you are interpreting it.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Exercise_Clause

              Freedom to exercise religion, automatically trumps law (see the many examples I have mentioned through this thread) unless the government can prove that there is a “compelling interest” for it not to.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strict_scrutiny

              No not at all, but allowing a religious organization to skirt the law opens up the door to them abusing that “religious exemption”

              As I said, there have been religious exemptions for hundreds of years, and they are not widely abused.

              If you really boil it down, this IS a sexual discrimination case, because it is female birth control options that encompass the vast majority of birth control.

              Well looking at the Catholic Church, they do not allow birth control because they believe that sex is for the purpose of reproduction. That goes both ways. They do not believe men should masturbate or use condoms. Discrimination is the treatment of one group different from another. The catholic church is not doing that at all in this case, they uniformly believe that sex should be for reproduction.

              I don’t think so. If they are offering healthcare to their employees, they should offer comprehensive healthcare.

              Well a bunch wrong with this; What is comprehensive exactly? Many “legal” health plans under this law do not cover a whole heck of a lot of things. Also they are not “offering” healthcare they are legally required to provide it or face fines.

              First, in my area and when I went to college there were no state schools. That left private non-profit, or private for profit options. The degree selection I wished to pursue left me with a few different schools, but having to work a full time job to actually afford schooling meant I had to look for non-traditonal schedules. Then I had to ensure the University was fully accredited and not just a diploma mill in order to qualify for partial-tuition remibursement from my employer.

              Long story short – there was one University in my region that fit into these requirements – and it was a Christian school. I didn’t have a problem with them because they didn’t have unreasonable demands, but if they did I still wouldn’t have had an option.

              So the alternative was there is no school for you to go to, so it sounds like you should be very thankful to that church for providing you that opportunity. I’m sorry but your story drips with entitlement. If there was only a chinese food restaurant in my town should I walk in and say “this is my only option in town, so please make me chicken parmigiana”, and get pissed if they say no. Freedom of association is a fantastic thing. Finally with this, do you think the religious organizations will go “yeah screw thousands of years of beliefs systems, this is gonna cost us some money, so we’ll offer it”? No. They’ll pay the fines and not provide health insurance.

              • Costner says:

                TL;DR. Wikipedia lawyering is not convincing no matter how often you do it. Clearly we just need to agree to disagree.

              • Tiffymonster says:

                What about women who need to take birth control for other health reasons?
                My sister is 17 years old, not sexually active at all but has polycystic ovaries as well as several other metabolic problems and needs to take a very low dose birth control pill to regulate her cycle so that when she is ready she might actually be able to conceive. Her hormone levels are all over the place without it.

                Birth control does serve other medical purposes as well and by restricting access to birth control they are also restricting access to non morally offensive legitimate medical services as well.

                I mean if a certain form of birth control could also be given to prevent heart attacks would it be acceptable then?

          • rmorin says:

            The point is, why should religious institutions be allowed to restrict healthcare to their employees?

            They are giving them a healthcare insurance policy as part of their compensation. Like all healthcare policies their are restrictions for what it will pay for. Some healthcare policies by private businesses don’t cover maternity visits. Their restriction is they won’t pay for contraceptives. You need to understand that this has nothing to do with limiting your healthcare options. You can take all the birth control you want, you just have to do it out of pocket. Refusing to pay for does not equal telling someone they can not.

            That doesn’t seem to be a very compelling argument and their opinion on the matter should not trump law.

            The law (thankfully) is not written the way you are interpreting it.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Exercise_Clause

            Freedom to exercise religion, automatically trumps law (see the many examples I have mentioned through this thread) unless the government can prove that there is a “compelling interest” for it not to.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strict_scrutiny

            No not at all, but allowing a religious organization to skirt the law opens up the door to them abusing that “religious exemption”

            As I said, there have been religious exemptions for hundreds of years, and they are not widely abused.

            If you really boil it down, this IS a sexual discrimination case, because it is female birth control options that encompass the vast majority of birth control.

            Well looking at the Catholic Church, they do not allow birth control because they believe that sex is for the purpose of reproduction. That goes both ways. They do not believe men should masturbate or use condoms. Discrimination is the treatment of one group different from another. The catholic church is not doing that at all in this case, they uniformly believe that sex should be for reproduction.

            I don’t think so. If they are offering healthcare to their employees, they should offer comprehensive healthcare.

            Well a bunch wrong with this; What is comprehensive exactly? Many “legal” health plans under this law do not cover a whole heck of a lot of things. Also they are not “offering” healthcare they are legally required to provide it or face fines.

            First, in my area and when I went to college there were no state schools. That left private non-profit, or private for profit options. The degree selection I wished to pursue left me with a few different schools, but having to work a full time job to actually afford schooling meant I had to look for non-traditonal schedules. Then I had to ensure the University was fully accredited and not just a diploma mill in order to qualify for partial-tuition remibursement from my employer.

            Long story short – there was one University in my region that fit into these requirements – and it was a Christian school. I didn’t have a problem with them because they didn’t have unreasonable demands, but if they did I still wouldn’t have had an option.

            So the alternative was there is no school for you to go to, so it sounds like you should be very thankful to that church for providing you that opportunity. I’m sorry but your story drips with entitlement. If there was only a chinese food restaurant in my town should I walk in and say “this is my only option in town, so please make me chicken parmigiana”, and get pissed if they say no. Freedom of association is a fantastic thing. Finally with this, do you think the religious organizations will go “yeah screw thousands of years of beliefs systems, this is gonna cost us some money, so we’ll offer it”? No. They’ll pay the fines and not provide health insurance.

      • Raanne says:

        I worked for a completely secular business that happened to get insurance from a religious organization. Since the insurance itself was catholic-based, it covered absolutely no forms of birth control. The insurance was catholic based because it was owned and operated by the local hospital, which was also catholic based.

      • PHRoG says:

        You forget that you’re cooler and lunch in your car don’t stick around for the next 18 years requiring 18+ years of expensive care.

        Also, I keep hear you screaming from the rooftops that the government is trying to require them to buy something…and as such, it can’t do that. I believe you’re very wrong.

        It’s requiring them to offer the SAME service, without the added restrictions the religious overloads would love to push upon folks.

        • rmorin says:

          It’s requiring them to offer the SAME service, without the added restrictions the religious overloads would love to push upon folks.

          You don’t understand insurance. There is no uniform insurance policy.
          These religious affiliated organizations buy a policy for their employees from an insurance company, and depending the size of the company and amount of coverage they want they get a certain degree of personalization. Right now they have negotiated with a company, to provide a policy for an amount of money. This policy does not include any subsidization of birth control medications as that would violate their religious convictions.

          The federal government is making them do two things both which are of dubious legality under the constitution. They are forcing them to buy a product (health insurance) AND forcing them to buy a specific product which violates their religious tenets.

          People are failing to realize the horrible precendent this sets because they like the outcome.

          • PHRoG says:

            ROFLMFAO…pick one will ya. ;)

            Take all of those employees that work for a religious organization whom don’t practice said beliefs, or employees that work under contract with such an organization. They are discriminated against because they don’t have the same beliefs and are refused what has become the standard for most employer offered health plans.

            Their reasoning for selecting said insurance plan with said restrictions is a moved based on their beliefs not because they just didn’t feel like buying it, or that they couldn’t afford it.

  6. pop top says:

    If religious organizations don’t want the government to force them to offer birth control options, then can we make it so that religious organizations can’t force the government to take away birth control options?

  7. Bsamm09 says:

    I wish we could get healthcare with pricing a la carte. I just want a health plan that covers me if I have to have a procedure that will cost me more than $10k out of pocket. I am not interested in co-pays for doctors, prescriptions, and other things

    • daemonaquila says:

      Glad you’re wealthy enough to be able to say that, but most can’t afford medical care on those terms, especially if they wind up with a chronic disease. Such policies for catastrophic care are available and pretty common, BTW.

      • Bsamm09 says:

        Wealthy enough? If you are paying for a plan with low deductibles and co-pays you are spending far more on health care than I am. Health plans have morphed into more of a Health Service Plan than anything else.

        • daemonaquila says:

          Statistics are against us all. If we don’t get killed in a sudden accident at age 18, we are going to age and have a nice selection of the problems this will eventually cause. We may get into a terrible accident and survive, with months or years of surgeries and (possibly never full) recovery. We may get diabetes, severe heart disease, autoimmune disorders, or other chronic illnesses even at a young age. I’m ok with paying more as a bet against the day that I’ll be utterly screwed without the coverage. In fact, I’ve already had that “last laugh.” Sure, I spent a bunch of money paying for a great policy that I never used even once, some years. Then, I had a rare, weird, chronic condition pop up that took 2 years for docs to even figure out, much less stabilize it. It cost so much in doctor visits, surgery, etc. over those 2 years that I consider I’ve gotten the last laugh on the insurance companies.

          At this point, my net insurance cost has been less than $0, and that’s the case for a huge number of insured people. The only question is whether that will happen early or late in life. You may be proud of all the money you’re saving now, but you’ll be singing a different song if you suddenly find yourself with a medical nasty, and have to pay for emergency care, hospitalizations, ongoing medical monitoring by a doctor, devices, meds, etc., out of pocket because you thought having insurance was for suckers.

          • Bsamm09 says:

            I have an HDHP. Once I hit my deductible, I pay no more costs. So why would I pay thousands more every year to have a plan that has a deductible a little higher than mine but has copays and prescription drug benefits that I don’t need. A lot of those plans have something like an 80/20 payments after the deductible is met too. Mine doesn’t. If I have a $300k hospital bill, I pay nothing after I hit my deductible.

            I have had both and prefer the HDHP the most. I want health insurance not a health service plan.

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              “I have had both and prefer the HDHP the most. I want health insurance not a health service plan.”

              I share the sentiment. It makes absolutely no sense to insure against day-to-day medical expenses like occasional appointments, physicals, or for known expenses like birth control. Those kinds of coverages are directly reflected in higher premiums.

              At least with a HDHP, you can deposit the difference in premiums into an HSA and you don’t lose it at the end of the year. If you’re saving $5,000 – $10,000 in premiums, this money can pay for a lot of regular doctor’s appointments and prescriptions.

              Low deductible, comprehensive PPOs don’t come cheap.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        “Glad you’re wealthy enough to be able to say that, but most can’t afford medical care on those terms, especially if they wind up with a chronic disease. Such policies for catastrophic care are available and pretty common, BTW.”

        You’re joking, right?

        With health insurance, there are two options:

        1) High deductible & low premiums OR
        2) Low deductible & high premiums.

        That’s it. My former (group) insurance was bumped up to $15,000/year for my family with a $5,000 deductible. I dumped it for a policy with a $5,000/year premium and a $10,000 deductible. I’m saving roughly $10,000/year in premiums and my deductible only increased by $5,000.

        Unless someone is subsidizing your premiums, low deductible, PPO plans almost never make financial sense.

    • mikedt says:

      Don’t worry, very soon that will be the only option. My company, a fortune 500 company, has reduced our health care options to one – a company self insured option. They pay for nothing until you hit a $2500 deductable. And yet I still pay more than I did a few years back for better coverage.

    • blueg3 says:

      That’s not really a la carte, it’s a high-deductible plan. I think the only wrench in the gears is that by next year, all plans (including them) will be required to cover preventative care at 100%. Otherwise, high-deductible plans are readily available. Unfortunately, your employer may not offer things like funded HSAs that make them more attractive.

      • frank64 says:

        I think it is a la carte if you an employee can have that and add other lower costs coverage. He is not asking that his policy be a la carte, but that his choices are. He can save money by not having the lower costs options, or he can elect to have them. His point beyond his definition is valid and it was this idea that he wanted to post.

        I wish this option was more available, and they had doctors/hospitals that priced so people could smoothly use this as a valid option. Now you would get the not insured pricing and it would cost you much, much, much more. We are forced into higher priced insurance due to this. Hospitals and doctors complain about insurance, but they force us there.

        • Bsamm09 says:

          Exactly. I have an HDHP plan now and want to keep it bare-bones. In the future I may need to add some more things as certain risks increase. I don’t need to pay thousands more per year to get less in return. I negotiate with my doctor and get office visits for $50 now since I pay cash and I bet the forced preventative visit will increase premiums way more than the visit would cost.

          • frank64 says:

            Good for you in finding a doctor that will take cash at a good rate. This to me is one of the biggest problems. It is very hard to do, and one must do it for every doctor and specialist, and good luck at the hospital, especially with all the doctors and procedures that are billed separately. If you ask costs, beforehand, they tell you they don’t know! I

            • Bsamm09 says:

              Thats why I have insurance for the things that are unknown. I can live with my deductible so if something catastrophic happens, I’m covered. In fact, I have put more than my deductible in my HSA. Depending on the price difference in the plans, it doesn’t take long to accomplish. Now I don’t really worry at all. If my doctors visit costs $50 I pay with my HSA. The account goes down $50 but so does the deductible.

              • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                I agree.

                I pay roughly $80 for a regular doctor’s appointment. If we each go a few times a year, our medical spending is typically less than $1,000/year. The price difference in premiums between a PPO and a HDHP are way more than $1,000/year (for us, it’s closer to $10,000/year).

                My wife just called me 10 minutes ago and told me our daughter has an ear infection and is going into the doctors this afternoon. This appointment will cost $80 and she’ll probably prescribe a $10 antibiotic. It would be insane for me to pay an extra $800/month for insurance that would cover this doctor’s trip with a low co-pay.

                Those low deductibles and co-pays don’t come cheap.

          • frank64 says:

            Also, you negotiated $50, my co-pays are $30! What is my expensive all inclusive insurance really paying for? A $20 discount?

      • baristabrawl says:

        Get your own HSA if you can. You’re a fool not to.

    • Firevine says:

      I’m not interested in having to pay for cervical cancer coverage when I don’t have a cervix. Nor am I interesting in having to pay for male pattern baldness treatment when that ship has sailed long ago. But I have to do so in Georgia. Fun times.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      That sounds like the policy that my family has.

      We have a $10,000 deductible HDHP with no additional riders. It doesn’t cover maternity, prescriptions, or dental/vision. It protects us against hospitalizations and we pay everything else out-of-pocket. We had the option of buying additional riders, which cost roughly $200/month for maternity, $150/month for prescriptions, and $150/month for dental/vision.

      Comprehensive, low deductible insurance only makes sense when someone else is subsidizing your premium (or you are rich).

  8. brinks says:

    If your employer has a religious affiliation, there’s a good chance many employees do too, and won’t want birth control. The employers might be forced to provide it, but it’s not like the employees are forced to take it.

    • HoJu says:

      You seriously think that people that go to work for catholic hospitals and universities do so because they believe in the church’s mission???
      Wanna buy a bridge??
      It’s a job. They work there because the HR rep responded to their application.

    • TheUncleBob says:

      On the off chance that every employee doesn’t want access to that method of birth control, then all you’re doing by forcing the plan to cover it is raising the cost of the plan.

      So, basically, not only does this have questionable repercussions on the religion/state aspects, but it’s going to raise plan costs – giving health insurance providers an easy excuse to raise rates and get more money.

      How much did these health insurance providers give to the Obama campaign again?

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        How much does birth control really cost the employer?

        • aloria says:

          Probably a lot less than the associated costs of pre/postnatal care.

        • HoJu says:

          My wife pays full price because she works for a catholic hospital. Her generic pill costs us, at FULL price, $3.30 a month.

          • Raanne says:

            Back when I was actually pricing these things out, generic pills were around $25/month, Name brand upwards of $60/month…

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            A lot of it just depends on the type of insurance. It’s been close to a decade since we had good insurance, so we just pay out-of-pocket for everything. With the NuvaRing, we were spending about $35/month on it (from Canada) and before that, close to $60/month from CVS.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          First dollar medical coverage costs the insured $1.20 for every $1 in anticipated insurance outlays. It’s fairly safe to assume that premiums reflect roughly $40/month per insured, fertile female in the group.

          When buying individual insurance, female policies cost roughly 40% more than a male policy for a person of the same age. If opting for maternity coverage, the difference is even more significant (the rider cost between $200 – $250/month).

      • kobresia says:

        By that reasoning, maybe they should exclude all other coverage too, because it’s very likely that, given one aspect of coverage, only a few percent of employees might actually have a need for it, yet everyone pays.

        What if 95% of the employees are men? Should the employer just be able to exclude all coverage on things that don’t apply to men, but that the 5% of female employees might need?

        Health insurance benefits just aren’t something that should be picked or chosen based on anyone’s needs other than the employees’, and in this specific case, the government just stepped in and said that superstitions can’t trump requirements that apply to every other employer. Oh, and it’s probably not going to cost any more; the religious employers were probably paying about the same for standard plans that just blocked-out access to certain types of care.

    • coffee100 says:

      Got news for you. If the Federal Government can force you to buy health insurance, they can also force you to buy birth control.

      • Raanne says:

        health insurance != health care. That’s like saying because the government can force you to buy home insurance, they can force you to have a certain style sofa in your living room.

        • rmorin says:

          The federal government has no business, legally or practically to require it’s citizens to purchase ANY product, regardless of how much of a good idea it may seem.

          • LanMan04 says:

            Yes it does, because EVERYONE consumes health care, whether they like it (or have the ability to pay for it) or not.

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              Is it safe to assume that you’d like to replace Social Security with mandatory, private retirement accounts with BOA, Chase, and Citi?

              With the mandate logic, every social service could be replaced by private, for-profit corporations. Why pay taxes at all, everything could be funneled through whichever companies donate the most money to Congress for those lucrative contracts.

    • TexasMama37 says:

      Not always true. My sister used to teach at a Catholic school. The other teacher in her grade level was not Catholic. However, she knew that her health plan would not pay for BC pills when she took the job. I don’t like the idea of a religious organization being required to pay higher insurance costs for coverage that they are philosophically opposed to.

  9. Fantoche_de_Chaussette says:

    The fine folks at the Church of No Pain Medicine Ever are also outraged by this.

    Whatever happened to the rule that churches can flout laws that apply equally to everyone else?

    • Misha says:

      Read the article. This is only applying to colleges, universities, and other such organizations with a religious affiliation – churches are not (yet) affected.

    • rmorin says:

      Yeah man! F#$% the 1st amendment, let’s just get rid of it!

  10. ThunderRoad says:

    Keep it simple then. If you don’t want to provide, you DON’T GET THE MONEY – any of it. You either provide all services and drugs or you get zero of the government money.

    Make a choice, and STFU.

    • TheUncleBob says:

      I was thinking something like this.

      After all of the new Health Care Reform bill goes into effect, only employers of 50+ people are required to offer any kind of health care benefits. It’d be interesting to see if any of these 50- employers just say “Well, we’re still not paying for it. Go get health insurance elsewhere.”

      Even when the requirements go into effect, for many businesses, it may just be cheaper to pay the fines than provide health insurance… so that’d give them another reason to just stop offering insurance as a benefit.

      • Snowblind says:

        Well, yes, that is exactly how it is supposed to work.

        That way, the health plan shifts to government control and single player plan as companies decide to pay the fine.

        Which is what the supporters wanted in the first place, but this is a little more “invisible hand”ish and has the bonus of making the corporate overlords look cruel.

    • jasonq says:

      Pretty simple, innit? Yet you’d think that it’s some unsolveable puzzle.

  11. brinks says:

    If your employer has a religious affiliation, there’s a good chance many employees do too, and won’t want birth control. The employers might be forced to provide it, but it’s not like the employees are forced to take it.

  12. brinks says:

    If your employer has a religious affiliation, there’s a good chance many employees do too, and won’t want birth control. The employers might be forced to provide it, but it’s not like the employees are forced to take it.

  13. brinks says:

    If your employer has a religious affiliation, there’s a good chance many employees do too, and won’t want birth control. The employers might be forced to provide it, but it’s not like the employees are forced to take it.

  14. rmorin says:

    If the government wants people to have universal access to birth control, why don’t they supply it? Church’s are tax exempt, so it’s not like they’d be paying for it by proxy.

    It is pretty terrible for the government to make ANY religion do something that they believe is morally wrong.

    • maverikv says:

      Churches are exempt

      • rmorin says:

        Read my comment again.

      • sponica says:

        and the last time I went to the church’s offices, I’m pretty sure the only women working there were way too old to be on birth control anyway. I don’t think I’ve met a church secretary younger than 50…but perhaps they do exist.

    • daemonaquila says:

      Some churches believe that women should not even go out of the house without male supervision, or drive. Some believe that women should not work. Some believe that only god should heal, and no standard medicine should be used by their followers. Some believe that people (usually women) should not be “harmed” by education. The list goes on and on. I, for one, CELEBRATE that these religions are forced to do things that fly in the face of their beliefs. We live in a secular society, where religions can not be allowed to destroy the lives of their employees, or even the people unfortunate enough to be born into that kind of faith.

      • lawnmowerdeth says:

        “I don’t agree with these people, so it’s ok to make them do something I approve of and they don’t.”

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Not quite. It’s more like “Every human being deserves a certain level of freedom, despite how much old, male, religious leaders want to supress that freedom.”

          • kobresia says:

            Well put. The way I see it, religious freedom ends where another person’s right to exist and choose his or her own destiny begins. If folks want to opt-in to religious repression, I guess that’s fine.

            I can’t really say I can even muster too much outrage over some European countries’ bans on Islamic headscarves and such that are worn in public– in many cases, it’s probably fear of religious authorities & family, or other coercion, that cause women to “choose” to wear their coverings in public.

            • VintageLydia says:

              Not as often as you think. I know a few women Muslims who wear head coverings. They all do it by choice. They come in a lot of pretty colors and patterns, too, which they coordinate with the rest of their outfit.

              • kobresia says:

                Yeah, that’s understandable too, it’s a shame that the coercion under threat of being beaten by vigilantes and morality police ruins what should be a fundamental right for the individual to express themselves according to their religious traditions. The bans seem to be a way of protecting the women who might want to opt-out by just taking the decision out of their hands.

                I’d bet that yarmulkes aren’t subject to the various religious headwear bans, but only because observant Jewish men aren’t wearing them under the threat of violence against their persons.

          • rmorin says:

            Not quite. It’s more like “Every human being deserves a certain level of freedom, despite how much old, male, religious leaders want to supress that freedom.”

            Not quite. It’s more like “Every human being deserves a certain level of freedom, despite how much old, male, political leaders want to supress that freedom.”

            FTFY

            I can not believe that when discussing a federal law that makes every person or company purchase a product or face fines you dare bring up the word freedom. Use “better good”, but don’t for a second think this law has anything to do with encouraging freedom.

        • AstroPig7 says:

          So I take it you support religious killing, as well? I mean, if you’re against it then you simply don’t understand it.

      • Potted-Plant says:

        “I for one, CELEBRATE that these religions are forced to do things that fly in the face of their beliefs.”

        Everything that is not forbidden is compulsory! That which is not compulsory is forbidden!

        Yeah, that’ll end well.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      The problem with this absolute statement is it also allows pharmacists to refuse to do the jobs they were hired for. If birth control is against their conscience, then they can’t supply it, but they also can’t be fired over this act since it would violate their religious rights.

      • kobresia says:

        If the courts had supported the idiot pharmacists who refused to dispense certain types of medicine, I was thinking it might’ve been funny to go to pharmacy school and then claim to be a faith healer, arguing that to dispense any medications whatsoever was against my religion.

        • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

          Scientologist Pharmacist? You’d have to be rich already to get in on this sort of profession though.

    • sew12 says:

      I was thinking its pretty terrible for any religious group to have the government force people to do things in line with their view of morality, but hey they seem to have no issues with that.

      • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

        Can’t I have issues with both?

      • rmorin says:

        You don’t understand this issue at all. This is not about an employees right to take birth control, this is simply that a religious institution does not want to pay for it.

    • duncanblackthorne says:

      I’ll tell you what’s terrible: ANY religion taking away the FREE WILL of ANY person because their so-called “beliefs” demand it. Are you such weak-willed people that you think because your health plan covers contraceptives and birth control pills, that your members are going to suddenly start using the stuff like it’s candy? You people make me SICK. A WOMAN’S PERSONAL HEALTH CHOICES ARE NOT YOUR DAMNED BUSINESS!

      • rmorin says:

        That’s not how bold works.

        Secondly, this has not a single thing to do with women using birth control. This is about who is going to pay for it. I don’t understand where this “lack of free will” aspect comes from. This has nothing to do with the healthcare people can access, just who is going to pay for it. You are strongly mistaken if you think that “not covered by insurance” = “can’t have”.

      • Gertie says:

        I addressed you on another boldface-loving comment you made.

        This is about religious organizations paying 100% of the cost of birth control for all their employees. It’s NOT about barring their employees from using it. The mandate Obama made makes birth control FREE for everyone with health insurance, requiring employers to pay 100% of the cost.

        Surely, you understand that birth control pills are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies and not grown in batches on mulberry bushes? They cost money to package, distribute, advertise. Someone has to pay for it. You are a-ok that people with heartfelt beliefs against the use of birth control are forced to fund it 100% for others?

        Again: Nobody is stopping anyone from using birth control. They must pay a co-pay or buy it on their own. What is wrong with this?

  15. Rainicorn with baby bats says:

    So much Buttercup! :D

  16. olderbudwizer says:

    Well, this is sure to cause an uproar – – –

  17. fsnuffer says:

    I think if someone goes to their priest, rabbi, or imam then all group policies, including medicare and medicaid, should have to pay the above priest, rabbi, or imam for counseling services.

  18. galm666 says:

    Look, if a religious group wants to be tax exempt and ride on the backs of the taxpayer, then they probably need to abide by what the rest of the taxpayer base would probably want.

  19. pgr says:

    Its about time these assholes realized this is the USA not the US of Jesus!
    I couldn’t care less about their religious BS nonsense if they are going to hire people they should have to include full insurance coverage! The Middle Ages ended a long time ago wake up folks and smell the coffee!

  20. pop top says:

    ‚ÄúI don’t know how you feel, but I’m pretty sick of church people. You know what they ought to do with churches? Tax them. If holy people are so interested in politics, government, and public policy, let them pay the price of admission like everybody else. The Catholic Church alone could wipe out the national debt if all you did was tax their real estate.‚Äù
    ― George Carlin

  21. PadThai says:

    Best. Photo. Ever.

  22. MrEvil says:

    I don’t see where the bitching is coming from personally. These religious universities and hospitals can’t exclude anyone from employment based upon religion, so their health insurance should provide comparable benefits to those of a secular employer.

    For example, my sister works at a catholic hospital but is among the ranks of the non-believers. She takes birth control. If the hospital can’t deny her employment because she’s not Catholic, then they can’t deny her healthcare based upon a religious decision either.

    Ironically though, these same Religious employers have no hangups about their insurance paying for ED treatment for men whose testes are well beyond their expiration date.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Does it really pay for ED drugs with no cost share or are they treated like any other prescription?

      They must provide some kind of Cadillac plan because most policies explicitly exclude ED drugs, unless the impotence is a side effect of surgery. It’s treated a lot like breast implants, where they normally aren’t covered unless it’s reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy.

  23. exconsumer says:

    You know theres the whole state/church/reach of services/healthcare costs aspect of this. How about the rank, rank hypocrisy?

    Who needs birth control? Everyone. Everyone who is not celibate or strictly homosexual. But that’s not the kicker. The kicker is . . . Who uses birth control? EVERYONE. Everyone who is not celibate or strictly homosexual, with very few extreme exceptions. So all those lay people staffing the home office and board room with 2 kids . . . yeah, you can’t do that without some form of effective birth control; which means they are using it. This, I think, exposes the reality, that it has very little to do with religion and more to do with class warfare.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      Actually, I know quite a few lesbians who take hormonal birth control pills to fix other gynecological issues. There’s more to some forms of birth control than contraception!

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      My wife and I always paid for birth control out of pocket because the cost was nominal compared against upgrading our insurance to something that would cover prescriptions. We even paid for a vasectomy out-of-pocket for the same reason.

  24. JosephFinn says:

    Bwhahahahahahahahahahahaha

  25. ianmac47 says:

    No one is forcing religious organizations to participate in commerce. If they are interested in providing birth control, they could also cease operating businesses.

  26. Clevelandchick says:

    Most churches, especially those affiliated with universities and hospitals receive federal money. They are also tax exempt. So no, they shouldn’t be able to deny coverage for birth control for their employees. If they decide it’s that important they can refuse the federal money and start paying taxes.

  27. Samuel H. Dighan says:

    Many religious organizations already offer birth control to employees on their insurance (gasp!). An employer shouldn’t have the right to penalize those employees who need contraceptives. This does NOT infringe on an individual (employee) rights.

  28. kmz says:

    Look, my religion strictly forbids us from paying higher than $3/hr to our employees, who by the way are also required to be underage and work 80 hours a week. Your labor laws are clearly a violation of our First Amendment freedom of religion rights.

  29. thomwithanh says:

    Here’s my solution: give a certain number of “flex dollars” each year as part of a health insurance plan, similar to an HSA. These can be used for things like birth control or other optional services beyond basic health coverage as needed. This way, the religious organization isn’t directly condoning it if they don’t want to.

  30. axiomatic says:

    Intolerant people are intolerant.

    I am morally against religion, but I put up with religions incessant bleating with a smile. Doesn’t the Christian bible (Matthew 5:43-48) preach to “turn the other cheek”? I don’t see anywhere in that passage where you get to ignore this consideration if you are a religious leaning business.

    • Gertie says:

      It’s so cute when people who are morally against religion read the Bible and expound on it as if they know what they’re talking about it. Turn the other cheek means don’t repay hate with hate. If someone kicks you in the junk, you don’t kick them back.

      If Christian businesses and organizations fight this, they are well-within their rights to do so in a Biblical and legal way.

  31. cecilsaxon says:

    Sigh- too many posts made by folks that have no sense. The simplest way to look at this is that it is simply not one of the enumerated powers found in Article I, section 8 of the US Constitution.

  32. BigDragon says:

    So I can get free condoms for myself and birth control pills for the wife, but if one if us gets brain cancer we’re screwed and totally bankrupt? Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  33. frank64 says:

    I understand both sides to a degree, I actually think birth control is something that should be paid out of pocket anyway. In the same vein, why not aspirin, cough medicine, vitamins. The more we pay out of pocket the more flexible we can be with spending.

    A good compromise would be for churches to reduce the cost of the insurance so that people could pay on their own if they want. I wish I had that option and I have no moral qualms about birth control. My sympathy for the churches, is they are being forced to pay for something they find immoral. I have a choice if I want to work for an organization such as this. I

    • msbask says:

      I tend to agree with you, however, birth control is not only used to prevent conception, it’s used to treat a variety of female problems. Plans that don’t cover it won’t cover it even for medical issues. That’s a no-no as far as I’m concerned.

  34. coffee100 says:

    It’s amazing how many people are willing to toss the Constitution overboard just to score points against their least favorite religion.

  35. FatLynn says:

    Lots of women are on “birth control” for reasons other than birth control. Lots of women have medical procedures related to miscarriage that are medically coded as “abortions”. Providing these women the access they need is critical.

  36. Gertie says:

    I have noticed something odd. The people I know who are cheering for this the loudest are also suspicious of “Big Pharma.” Exactly who do you think is going to benefit from this, oh contradictory ones?

    Last time I checked, pharmaceutical companies manufacture, package, and distribute birth control pills to pharmacies. Since their goods will be free, what is to stop them from raising a $30 pack of pills to $40? Why not? Why not go higher? Why not $100 a pack! That would be awesome. To justify the price increase, the little compact case will be decorated with Swarovski crystals.

    The consumer won’t have to pay for them. Just those awful, backward charities, hospitals, missions, and universities. Stick it to them!

  37. Ayla says:

    I can’t wait for the day when people wake up and realize the sham that is “birth control.” Condoms are actually about 70% effective at best and 1% more effective than pulling out both in preventing pregnancy and STDs. Hormonal contraceptives are slowly poisoning us to death and surgery has numerous health effects and complications. Sex equals consequences, both in terms of STDs and pregnancy. It can’t be played around with willy nilly and the sooner we realize that the better off humanity will be.

    Essentially, if you aren’t in a committed, monogamous relationship in which you are prepared to care for a child. Don’t have sex. It’s that simple.

    I’m SUPER uncomfortable with the government forcing anyone to go against their religious beliefs for any reason. It’s a slippery slope.

    • RedOryx says:

      Women take hormonal birth control for more reason than to just not get knocked up, y’know. There are even women on BC who — gasp! — aren’t even having sex.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      “Essentially, if you aren’t in a committed, monogamous relationship in which you are prepared to care for a child. Don’t have sex.”

      Wow. So much dumbness. My head is spinning. Right, just don’t do it… cause abstinence-only has worked SO WELL!

      I just hope you take your own advice, and that you never, ever breed.

    • queenofthemountain says:

      Welcome to 2012. Pregnancy/children are not the punishment for being sexually active. Birth control and family planning are key factors in social and economic gender equality, as well as critical to women’s health. There are multiple, proven effective methods of contraception, and your statistics on condoms are BS according to WHO and others.

      In 2009 46% of high school students reported ever having sexual intercourse. The percentage of adults 25-34 who have never been married has increased steadily to 46 percent, now exceeding those who are married. People are going to have sex, and they are going to do it outside monogamous relationships. Early science-based sex education and easy access to birth control are the path to lowering unwanted pregnancy and disease transmission rates.

      Abstinence-based sex ed and moralistic judgment accomplish nothing, other than helping people feel morally superior.

    • whylime says:

      So you’re saying that if a married couple already has 2-3 kids, and aren’t in a financial position to raise another, they just shouldn’t have sex? Ok, great, thanks, that’s super helpful and realistic.

    • Kuri says:

      So, basically “It’s not 200% effective, so it’s pointless”

      “I’m SUPER uncomfortable with the government forcing anyone to go against their religious beliefs for any reason. It’s a slippery slope. “

      So, like telling someone they can’t build a community center that happens to have a mosque in it?

  38. Dallas_shopper says:

    Yet another excellent argument in favor of a single-payer, universal system.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Yup, or anything that breaks the link between one’s employer and their health care.

  39. daynight says:

    I am not clear how a religious organization can legally require their employees be follow every letter of their religious doctrine. I am not clear about what legal requirements there are for what must be in health care, but birth control is definitely a significant issue. Would the same policy be able exclude something like delivery of a baby? That doesn’t sound like it would fly.

  40. duncanblackthorne says:

    “Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience.”

    Memo to religious people: GROW UP, ALREADY.

    NO ONE is forcing you to obtain or use contraceptives!
    Is your “faith” so weak, or do you think the other followers of your religion have such weak “faith”, that they will go against their own beliefs and use contraceptives, if your religion says it’s not OK to do so?

    You complain that you’re having something “forced” on you; yet you gleefully remove an individuals’ free will in a matters of their own personal health!

    • Gertie says:

      How? How is an employer not paying for birth control FORCING their employee to go without? The employee can purchase birth control any time he or she wishes…just not on the dime of those who conscientiously object to it.

      Refusing to pay for someone’s birth control isn’t the same as not allowing them to use it. They simply have to pay for it via co-pay or out of pocket.

      If we eliminate conscientious objections to this, then what is to stop the elimination of conscientious objections to war or vaccinations?

  41. RayanneGraff says:

    GOOD! I’m so damn sick of religious people being exempt from the rules & having special privileges. And this goes for ALL religious people, from anti-gay biblethumpers to anti-birth control catholics to muslim cashiers who refuse to scan bacon to people who wanna take drugs to ‘see god’. You wanna live in this society, you follow the same rules the rest of us do or else GTFO. And seriously- TAX THE CHURCHES ALREADY. I have never understood why they’re exempt to begin with, and we could solve all our financial problems in this country if we’d just tax the damn churches!

  42. bard329 says:

    “This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights.”

    True… but religion shouldn’t govern the country either. I’m sick of seeing laws enacted because they follow the tenants of one of several religions in this country….

  43. nkykingnak says:

    To the Bishop:

    Your beliefs deny millions of United States Americans civil rights laid out in that very document…
    Marriage is a religious act with 1,400 civil benefits you deny the gay community. Your proud ignorance and circular logic are a blight on this country and our society.

  44. ARVash says:

    This is just an ever bigger reason to have better federal health care coverage. That way the burden of conscience is on the employee, not the religious organization.

  45. pattymc says:

    I used to work for the publishing arm of a church. I was not a Christian and many of the other employees were not of that church. My boss was devout, but at the same time we heathens never felt any pressure to conform or change the way we lived. One of the foreman even ran numbers. I think things have become so much more polarized today what with Christians feeling so threatened. Ironically, this causes them to act in ways that alienate people who, in another time, would have been all live and let live. Now those people are avid participants in r/atheism.

  46. dush says:

    Get rid of obamacare and get the federal government out of mandating medical decisions.

  47. waicool says:

    i run a business and i am prolife and anti-abortion and i refuse to do this. let ‘em shut me down. i will join the ranks with my employees at the food stamp counter, talking on my government phone, living in my government subsidized home, collecting unemployment and riding my bike on the government’s bike trails. dear leader would be so proud. it would be so much more rewarding than paying for someone’s murder.

    • whylime says:

      As someone who is anti-abortion, you should be for this. Do you know what prevents abortion? Birth control. More people using birth control means fewer unwanted pregnancies, meaning fewer abortions.

      I think it’s funny how many people don’t seem to realize that birth control does not equal abortion. They are two different things. Abortion is terminating a fetus during pregnancy. Birth control is used to prevent pregnancy from even happening. For people who believe life begins at implantation, almost all hormonal birth controls are used to prevent implantation. For people who believe life begins at conception, there are several birth control methods that help prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. In fact most hormonal birth control methods are used primarily to prevent ovulation or immobilize sperm, and only prevent implantation as a last ditch effort. There are many birth control options that don’t result in “murder,” by any definition of the word.

      • RayanneGraff says:

        But birth control is wrong too, because if a woman dares to spread her whore legs she deserves to be punished with the horrific pain of childbirth. It even says in the bible that periods & the pain of labor are womens’ punishment for Eve’s sinfulness.

  48. frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

    Good. It’s about time religion starts to pony up.

  49. somegraphx says:

    I’m assuming the churches are also upset about covering male enhancement drugs…oh wait, you mean that doesn’t bother them…hmmm…