White House Tweaks Rule Requiring Employers To Cover Birth Control

Late last month, the Obama administration angered some people when it announced that all employers — regardless of their stance on birth control — would need to provide insurance that covers female preventative care. Today, the President said his people had come up with a compromise that he believes will provide birth control while allowing businesses to not be directly responsible for providing it.

Speaking earlier today at the White House, Pres. Obama said:

Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services — no matter where they work. So that core principle remains. But if a woman’s employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan, the insurance company — not the hospital, not the charity — will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge, without co-pays and without hassles.

The result will be that religious organizations won’t have to pay for these services, and no religious institution will have to provide these services directly. Let me repeat: These employers will not have to pay for, or provide, contraceptive services. But women who work at these institutions will have access to free contraceptive services, just like other women, and they’ll no longer have to pay hundreds of dollars a year that could go towards paying the rent or buying groceries.

Remarks by the President on Preventive Care [WhiteHouse.gov]

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  1. Coffee says:

    I’m guessing this won’t satisfy those organizations because they will contend that requiring insurance companies to cover the cost of contraceptive services will result in an increase in employer-side premium contributions, thus netting the same result.

    • binkleyz says:

      Shhh.. They’ll hear you..

    • castlecraver says:

      I don’t see how anyone could make that argument — clearly providing the pill is way less expensive than providing coverage for a new, unintended dependent.

      • Coffee says:

        I’m not saying I agree with the argument. Hell, I want the federal government to provide all contraceptive services to anyone free of charge for that very reason.

      • Quake 'n' Shake says:

        It’s not about saving money per se. It’s about their contributions as employers going toward something they vehemently oppose.
        Obama simply proposed a shell game. They’d still pay for it, but through a middleman.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          “They’d still pay for it, but through a middleman.”

          And that’s why this compromise isn’t going to please anyone. I really wish he would have stood his ground on this issue.

          • bender123 says:

            He basically did, but waffles on the message. If you know how insurance works, this is exactly how insurance works.

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              It would be nice if he actually took a stand on it and said something along the lines of “…it’s the right thing, it’s the moral decision, and the regulations will stand.”

              • Coffee says:

                That’s a dangerous precedent, and I’m saying this as a liberal. Using morality to justify unilateral decisions is not something I want happening at the executive level, especially when you consider that it’s the Republican party that is more likely to legislate using morality as a justification.

                • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making a stand for something you truly believe in. Back in 2009 & 2010, how many times did Obama or DNC call the ACA a “moral imperative”?

                  • bender123 says:

                    …and this is why he is picking the wrong fight. Moral is not the purview of the government, justice is their purview…moral has traditionally been the ground of the religion in the society.

                    • Coffee says:

                      Exactly. Well said.

                    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                      OK… What about “…this regulation will stand because it is just and the right thing”? Is that better? My issue isn’t the semantics of it all. I would just like the President to make a stand for something he believes in, instead of a bizarre compromise that really doesn’t please anybody.

                    • alSeen says:

                      And isn’t actually a compromise or accommodation in any sense of either word.

                    • Stickdude says:

                      I’m curious to find out how morality-free justice would work out.

                      (Actually not really, as I suspect the end result would not be good. Can I say “good”, or is that too much of a moral stance?)

                    • Coffee says:

                      That’s kind of twisting the issue. Our legislators vote on laws based on their moral views, which, ostensibly, are representative of the views of those who elected them. The laws pass or don’t pass. These laws form the foundation of our justice system. They’re kind of an abstraction of our country’s morals as a whole.

                      If the president comes in and ignores the laws because he feels he’s doing something that’s morally right, that can be dangerous because at times, his moral compass may be at odds with established law. If he ignores the law in favor of his morality…that’s how dictatorships begin.

                    • madmallard says:

                      The founding fathers saw an end-game already when talking about absolute abstraction of morality.

                      “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is WHOLLY INADEQUATE to the government of any other.” -John Adams

                      “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” -Benjamin Franklin

                      “If we are universally vicious and debauched in out manners, though the for of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves” – Sam Adams

      • bender123 says:

        Because it isnt the cost they care about…its their moral stance on the issue.

        • longfeltwant says:

          Exactly. Almost all sex is bad, any anything that is emotionally nearby to sex is bad, therefore human bodies, contraception, physical pleasure, being alone with the opposite sex, female priests, doggy style, and the Washington Monument are all sinful.

          It’s really, really hard to empathize with that point of view. The entire worldview is premised on fantasy. Without the tool of reality to use as a lever, it’s hard to pry open their minds.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            Actually, Catholics really like sex. Their caveat is that it must be done while married and without protection.

            I’m an atheist and when I married my wife, one of the requirements for the Bishop to approve the marriage was for me to sign a piece of paper affirming that I will regularly perform my “husbandly duties”. It’s about as close to a sex contract as you can legally come.

            • bender123 says:

              This is where people get so tripped up with Catholics and gay marriage, birth control, etc…It isnt a biggotted thing, so much as a “sex” thing. Catholic dogma is that it is a sin for two people to get married if they arent producing children…gay people can not do this, people on birth control can not do this, etc…

              It is actually…technically…just as great a “sin” to get married after having your tubes tied or getting snipped. The church is basically against sex for any reason other than getting preggers.

              • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                That’s an interesting point. What exactly is the Catholic Church’s stance on the infertile marrying? Is it OK because it might, miraculously happen?

                When I got interviewed by the Bishop, the words “fruitful” and “husbandly duties” were mentioned more times than I can count. This was 20 years ago, so things might have changed since then. I was young and dumb at the time and had absolutely no idea what “husbandly duties” meant.

                • bender123 says:

                  Traditionally? They dont like it at all. But in practice…I doubt any priest is going to ask for a sperm sample and run the tests or check to see if a woman can conceive. The only reason gay marriage is such a big issue is that it is the most obvious example that can not produce children.

                  The general Catholic stance is that sex for anything other than kids is bad and that if you actively try to block having a kid, you are giving in to carnal feelings that are more in line with animals. Unless you just start dropping that you got your uterus or balls removed, I doubt a Catholic priest will care.

                  • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

                    Wait then why did our priest ask for a sample?!?!? I gave him 11 gallons of it…

                  • sponica says:

                    yeah…my libertarian-ish friend couldn’t stand all the supposed catholics on campus who were having pre-marital sex who were against the gays….he was like, don’t they realize they are violating the same tenant of the faith?

    • alSeen says:

      And they would be correct in saying that.

      Obama’s statement is ridiculous. “These employers will not have to pay for, or provide, contraceptive services.”

      Yes they will.

      The problem wasn’t that hospitals were going to have to give women birth control, it was that they were going to have to add birth control to their insurance plan, which would require the organization to pay a higher premium.

      This is no different than what was already in place.

      • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

        Well, it does make a bit of difference. After all, that means that the hospitals and religious organizations will have to admit that it’s really about the money. It loses any real moral backing for the argument if it’s strictly about money.

        • alSeen says:

          It is not about the amount of money. It’s about the religious organization being forced to pay any money to cover something that is a direct violation of their religious beliefs.

          Best summary I’ve seen is this

          From Greg Mankiw, of Econ 101/102 fame.

          Consider these two policies

          A. An employer is required to provide its employees health insurance that covers birth control.
          B. An employer is required to provide its employees health insurance. The health insurance company is required to cover birth control.

          I can understand someone endorsing both A and B, and I can understand someone rejecting both A and B. But I cannot understand someone rejecting A and embracing B, because they are effectively the same policy. Ultimately, all insurance costs are passed on to the purchaser, so I cannot see how policy B is different in any way from policy A, other than using slightly different words to describe it.

          Yet it seems that the White House yesterday switched from A to B, and that change is being viewed by some as a significant accommodation to those who objected to policy A. The whole thing leaves me scratching my head.

    • smartypants503 says:

      Of course it won’t. The litteral, vocal minority will not be satisfied because “how dare they”? I think a better stance would be to have health insurance policies be standardized like homeowners and auto policies. If you want to be a Health Insurance company, your policies need to conatain X,Y & Z. If you want to add extras in order to be competetive…fine. That way if an employer wants to offer a health insurance option they have no say in the matter.

      I wonder when “The Church” is going to realize that a bulk of its’ followers don’t actually think like they do? I can’t imagine that more than 1% of Catholics wouldn’t contemplate abortion after being raped, as long as no one found out.

      • Coffee says:

        That’s one way to do it. As I asserted further down this thread, my contention is that we should just wash our hands of this and have the federal government be the entity providing the free contraceptives. That way, it’s not a First Amendment issue with employers and people who cannot afford contraceptives get them, saving the government money in the form of future entitlements they won’t have to pay to support future children.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          I actually think that’s a pretty decent suggestion. As it is, this mandate will just be applied via our own premium dollars. If it’s truly a moral imperative, then it might as well be done via a progressive manner. Health insurance premiums are essentially a regressive tax anyways.

          I’d really like to see all things related to fetuses, babies, and children be handled outside of traditional insurance. At the very least, let pre-natal care, delivery, and pediatrics be handled via an expansion of Medicare. I’d even lump birth control into the mix.

        • c_c says:

          Good call. Would save the gov’t a lot of Medicaid dollars.

      • bigTrue says:

        technically, if the leadership of a church says one thing and a supposed follower doesn’t believe it, then said follower isn’t really a follower at all.

        Roman Catholics, for example, are being led by a group of people who have hidden pedophiles, believe any sex without plans to procreate is wrong, that gays are evil and deserve no rights and a host of other backwards thinking ideals. If you don’t follow these, you aren’t really a Catholic. Humans, though, like labels. So, while religion is a personal choice and you don’t need a church/temple/ring of mushrooms to follow your chosen path, humans like the idea of belonging and want that label, even if it’s not accurate.

    • duncanblackthorne says:

      When are these people going to get it through their heads: No one is forcing them to obtain or use contraceptives if they don’t want them. NOBODY. They need to stop whining and just accept that not everyone wants to live in the Dark Ages anymore.

      • Coffee says:

        That’s not really the issue. The issue is that they don’t want to pay for contraceptives that their employees use. Obama is trying to compromise and say, “Well…okay, you don’t have to pay for the contraceptives. We’ll make the insurance company pay for it.” Problem is, this is a disingenuous solution because the cost will be passed right back to the employer in the form of higher insurance premiums.

        • who? says:

          The dollar cost is a red herring. The insurance companies are perfectly willing to give contraceptives to women they cover for free, because supplying contraceptives is cheaper than paying for the abortions and pregnancies that would result from not paying for contraceptives. The employers were never going to pay extra for contraceptives anyway. The employers are probably paying more to *not* cover contraceptives.

          • alSeen says:

            Where did you ever get the idea that insurance companies do anything for free?

            Employers pay more depending on what items are covered.

            They are not paying more to *not* cover birth control.

            • Firethorn says:

              1. Insurance companies charge on the basis of expected expense, not purely amount of coverage.
              2. Preventive care that is cheaper than covering the resultant condition is normally additionally subsidized. Many insurance companies pay for the flue shot because it’s cheaper than covering the resulting illness.
              3. Pregnancy and a baby, while not an illness, is certainly an additional expense.
              4. A woman who’s NOT using BC is much more likely to end up pregnant, and all the resulting medical needs.

              • tiatrack says:

                Ironically, my birth control wasn’t free with my insurance. But you know what is? Prenatal care! (FTR – yes, this is a planned pregnancy)

          • HogwartsProfessor says:

            HA HA HA HA HA!!

            *Is imagining an insurance company that doesn’t make me pay for my birth control pills*

            I have paid for them every single freaking time I had insurance. There is no company I know of that doesn’t charge for them. Some make you pay more than others, but you still pay.

            My only saving grace now that I DON’T have insurance would be Planned Parenthood, except that I went off the damn things for the first time in twenty years because they were making me sick.

            • who? says:

              New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/opinion/sunday/kristof-beyond-pelvic-politics.html)

              “To understand the centrality of birth control, consider that every dollar that the United States government spends on family planning reduces Medicaid expenditures by $3.74, according to Guttmacher. Likewise, the National Business Group on Health estimated that it costs employers at least an extra 15 percent if they don‚Äôt cover contraception in their health plans.”

              *This* is why insurance companies will cover birth control for “free”.

        • LanMan04 says:

          Well, it’s a disingenuous complaint to begin with because Catholic-affiliated businesses ARE NOT churches, which are exempt from this edict.

          If they want to not offer contraceptives, they can just be like a REAL church and not accept Federal funds. They want it both ways (give us Fed $, but treat us like an actual church).

        • ludwigk says:

          The institutions’ objections to contraceptives are irrelevant. If they really wanted to ban contraceptives at the employee-level, they could do so through the law of contract. This ruling acknowledges that the employees receiving insurance, as beneficiaries of the service, are free to use the service at their discretion, and make decisions regarding their day-to-day lives according to their own personal judgment and needs. It means that employers, even if they are religious institutions, do not get to make those private decisions for you.

    • Fantoche_de_Chaussette says:

      In other news, Jehova’s Witnesses organizations don’t want insurance plans to cover blood transfusions. Muslim organizations don’t want insurance plans to cover circumcisions. And Hindus don’t want insurance plans that cover Mad Cow Disease.

      Oh wait, none of those other religions are actually doing that.

      But the Christians feel entitled to impose religious taboos on employee medical care. Why is that?

    • c_c says:

      Actually, providing contraceptives is a cost-saving action for insurance companies. One less pregnancy to cover offsets the cost of a whole lot of pills. Employer/employee premiums won’t go up.

      • alSeen says:

        Yes, they will.

        I want to live in the world that everyone who says that does. Somehow they think insurance companies will do anything for free.

  2. pop top says:

    What’s funny is that although Obama specifically said that employers won’t have to pay for or provide contraceptive services, and even repeated that statement, people are still going to be upset and confused and moronic about this issue. I wonder why people care so much about what others do in their private lives?

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Employers shouldn’t have anything to do with an employee’s health care to begin with. It’s a ridiculous system.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Having just lost my job and therefore my health insurance and facing the (remote) but real possibility that the stress of unemployment could aggravate my hiatal hernia, thus causing it to become strangulated, forcing me to have immediate emergency surgery that will save my life, and then have to pay something like $45,000 out of pocket…..I totally agree.

    • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

      Because theists tend to believe that it is their duty to enforce their way of thinking upon others who do not believe in the same fictional book as them. And when they are told they are not allowed to force people to accept their value system, they accuse the government of infringing on their rights to infringe on the civil rights of others. But maybe I’m just a cynic.

      • Stickdude says:

        Not a cynic – just flat-out wrong.

        Because theists tend to believe that it is their duty to enforce their way of thinking upon others who do not believe in the same fictional book as them.

        If the hospitals and other organizations were trying to ban birth control everywhere, you would have a point. But they weren’t…

        And when they are told they are not allowed to force people to accept their value system

        If the hospitals and other organizations were trying to force their employees to not take birth control on pain of termination, you would have a point. But they weren’t…

        they accuse the government of infringing on their rights to infringe on the civil rights of others.

        Is there a civil right to free employer-provided birth control? If not, then exactly what “civil right” were the hospitals and other organizations infringing on?

        There’s only one group here forcing its belief (that birth control should be free) on others, and it’s not the hospitals and other organizations.

        But thanks for playing.

        • Kate says:

          And so if the religion believed that seeing real doctors was sinful would it be OK if that business doesn’t have to follow the law for providing insurance at all like every other business?

          Your religious freedom doesn’t give you freedom from the law, and if it’s the law that as an employer you have to provide insurance with free birth control, then you have to follow that.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            As it is, no business has to provide a health plan to their employees. In many instances, the 2014 employer mandate will be cheaper to pay than paying even a modest health insurance subsidy. It’s also unclear (according DHHS) if the employer mandate will even apply to non-profits.

            • sponica says:

              most non-profits I’ve either worked for or interviewed at offer health insurance (some of it better than the insurance my for-profit counterparts get)…the variation is who is eligible for the benefits. at my old employer, you had to work OVER 35 hours to be eligible for any fringe benefits, however the bulk of employees worked 35 hours. part of it had to do with what grants would pay for…as they can be very specific in how they can be utilized. one of the grants I was on would only pay for salary costs, and would not pay for fringe benefits. then there are other non-profits that allow pro-rated access to benefits.

              which leads me to believe that the non-profits should just band together and self insure like school districts do….

              • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                When I worked for a non-profit, they offered insurance, they just didn’t subsidize any of it.

                That’s also how it is where my wife works. Before they dropped their insurance, the rates were something ridiculous like $700/month for an individual policy with a $6,000 deductible. So few people bought into it, they wound up dropping it entirely last year.

                • sponica says:

                  ours were subsidized about 80%….at least the HMO was. The HDHP was subsidized about 50% (when you calculate how much was deposited into the HSA by the agency)

                  we were paid horribly and there were no matches into the 403b and every other perk had been eliminated…

                  not sure what it looks like now since the agency lost all its Medicaid funding last year, and is no longer a state Dept of Voc Rehab servicer

          • Stickdude says:

            if that business doesn’t have to follow the law for providing insurance at all like every other business?

            And what law would that be? I’m really curious.

        • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

          Since I was responding to Squinko’s question “I wonder why people care so much about what others do in their private lives?” your own analysis of my response is arguing points I wasn’t making.

          Never mind the theistic attempts at legislation that attempt to outlaw same sex marriage and abortion, or the refusal of towns who continue to eliminate dated anti-sodomy laws on the books because they are used as a tool to prosecute homosexuals.
          Always remember, Leviticus isn’t law, it’s simply ludicrous misogynistic scribblings in a 2000 year old fantasy novel.

        • LanMan04 says:

          Is there a civil right to free employer-provided birth control? If not, then exactly what “civil right” were the hospitals and other organizations infringing on?
          ———–
          Yes, yes there is! Birth control falls under “preventative care”, which is now mandated to be “free” under all insurance plans. I don’t know if it’s a “civil right”, but it’s the LAW.

      • Skyhawk says:

        No, Doc, you pretty much nailed it.

    • Bsamm09 says:

      I agree that people shouldn’t worry about what others do in their private lives but why should contraception be included in health insurance? Or anything else that that isn’t emergency care or long-term diseases like cancer and such?

      Hell, I am as fiscally conservative as anyone and would now welcome a universal plan that was a $5,000 (or whatever) HDHP. Nothing covered until you hit the $5,000 mark. Then have insurers sell maintenance plans for office visits, prescriptions, babies, etc.

      • Jules Noctambule says:

        Why shouldn’t it be included? Family planning is a hell of a lot cheaper to cover than pregnancy, pre-natal care and post-natal care. Besides, for many women taking hormonal contraceptive pills is the only way to regulate their bodies; for others, pregnancy could be a risk to their lives or overall well-being, and speaking from experience, before a certain age it’s hard as hell to convince a doctor that you really would prefer to be alive and without a uterus than the alternative.

        • sponica says:

          I think most of the good Catholic women I know (meaning they cashed in their v-card when they got married) took it for reasons OTHER than contraception when we were in college

          A) it makes life tolerable and you don’t feel like curling up in a ball and dying 3 days a month
          b) moods become stabilized (they are learning A LOT about the interplay between female sex hormones and neurotransmitters, there was even a paper published about hormonal contraceptions alleviating the symptoms of psychosis)
          c) preventing ovarian cysts and thus preserving fertility

      • little stripes says:

        Do you understand how birth control works and how preventing pregnancy before one is ready (if they even want children at all) can save a lot of money? Not to mention that A LOT of women take it for preventative health care purposes, or so they can get a handle on certain symptoms for certain diseases (like PCOS).

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          A lot of people, myself included, think it’s silly to insure against relatively small and highly predictable medical claims.

          The difference in cost between a PPO and a HDHP is enough that it makes financial sense to pay for little things (like prescriptions) out-of-pocket.

          • sponica says:

            does anyone even have a PPO anymore? my old employer had to drop it because it was financially not feasible. they had an HMO and an HDHP/HSA (although the high deductible really wasn’t that high…maybe 2000 dollars and they funded 1000 dollars of the HSA)

            I really wish the non-profits would just band together and self insure like the school districts in the state do.

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              They’re still fairly common for those with heavily subsidized plans. In my state, they seem to be more common than HMOs, which were pretty much phased out back in the 1990’s.

              But most people that I know, who don’t have a luxury of a big employee subsidy, typically have HDHPs.

              • sponica says:

                i feel like in these parts, HMOs rule the world. places might offer a PPO, HMO, and HDHP but the bulk of subscribers use the HMO because the employee contribution is generally affordable and doesn’t have as many up-front costs.

                • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                  It was that way back when I lived in central Pennsylvania. The Geisinger HMO truly ruled that area.

          • Bsamm09 says:

            100% correct. The insurers are going to raise rates accordingly because they are required to cover 100% of women. The women who are covered now will pay about the same or maybe more. The women who don’t have it in their plan will have rates increased to cover these mandated costs. If you couldn’t afford to be in a plan that covered it before, guess what? You still can’t but now that plan is mandated for you to have.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Bsamm, I completely agree. With our current, broken insurance system, I think what you suggest would be the best option. It’s silly to insure against relatively small and predictable things, while having the insurer take their 20% cut off the top.

        We just switched from a $5,000 HDHP to a $10,000 HDHP and are saving around $8,000/year in the process. That pays for a lot of doctor’s appointments and prescriptions over the course of the year.

      • Stickdude says:

        Personally, I think we should stop calling it “insurance” and just call it “pre-paid health care”.

        The system we have now is so warped from the original purpose of insurance that it’s not fair to call it insurance any more.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Good point. That’s pretty much what any insurance that involves co-pays is. You’re just paying up front for medical care, with an insurer who takes a 20% cut, and forfeiting unused premiums at the end of the year.

          Low deductible insurance doesn’t make much sense for anyone who doesn’t have a hefty subsidy from a 3rd party.

    • alSeen says:

      He can say it all he wants, but the end result is still that religious orgs that provide insurance are still going to have to pay to provide birth control.

      There was absolutely no change in the situation with Obama’s “accommodation.”

      Sometimes I think people here don’t understand how insurance works.

    • SideshowCrono says:

      Obama, as much as he would like to believe, does not have full control over microeconomic behavior.

      Of course they will pay for it. It will just be bundled with a bunch of other costs and not specifically broken out. I’m one of the least religious folks out there and I think its very wrong.

      And I agree with (pretty much) everyone else that healthcare should not be tied to the employer.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      …although Obama specifically said that employers won’t have to pay for or provide contraceptive services…

      Yep, he said they would be free free FREE! No one will have to pay! Hooray!

    • longfeltwant says:

      “I wonder why people care so much about what others do in their private lives?”

      Probably because what people do in their private lives affects others in society. No man is an island.

      • DariusC says:

        That is none of your business as long as I’m not affecting you or your family with my “private business.” You have absolutely NO basis to dictate my life. I hope you didn’t intend for your comment to be interpreted in that way because it sounded incredibly fascist.

        • Coffee says:

          I assume you’re pro-choice, pro-marijuana legalization, and pro-gay marriage then, correct?

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            It’s really not that much of a stretch. I consider myself conservative and support all of those things. I’m all for people marrying who they want, smoking what they want, as well as eating what they want, using whatever light bulbs they want, and buying whatever health insurance they want.

            • Coffee says:

              Well and fine. I don’t agree with libertarians on many fiscal issues, but I appreciate when someone is consistent with their beliefs. The one thing I can’t stand is when people take the position of “keep the government out of my personal life except when it’s something I happen to disagree with.

    • arcticJKL says:

      Because they dont want to feel they have to pay for what other people do in their private lives. Especially when they are asked to support and finance something they think is immoral.

      Its like having taxpayer funded capital punishment.

  3. dush says:

    If the govt didn’t fund anything and didn’t mandate anything then there wouldn’t be these arguements.

    • MutantMonkey says:

      You spelled your name wrong.

      • dush says:

        Not following how my name spelling has anything to do with central govt role in society.

        • MutantMonkey says:

          It didn’t. I just found it your name + your comment to be rather ironic. Given your name and your comment, there is really no point in attempting a retort to said comment, so I just decided to point out that you misspelled it.

          • dush says:

            Not following how it is ironic.

            How are you thinking it should be spelled?

            I sure hope you’re meaning you agree with my comment otherwise you’re saying you love government intrusion.

            • mindaika says:

              Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

              • dush says:

                Wow you really proved your level of intelligence with that comment.

                Everyone likes to make snide comments but why don’t you just come out and say that you love taxpayer funded central government madates? Just be clear and intellectually honest about your position.

                • teamplur says:

                  I sure as fuck do love my taxes going towards the govt doing something useful. Instead of it being squandered or taken by corrupt polititions. (i know it can seem that way A LOT). Of course if you think it is that bad you could always go to Mexico and see how bad it really CAN be.
                  I know the whole “others have it worse” argument isn’t really the strongest, but it’s still usfull to compare.

    • Conformist138 says:

      Trollin’ trollin’ trollin’, gotta keep on trollin’…

      • dush says:

        Conformist138, another person who apparently loves taxpayer funded federal mandates.

        The federal goverment shouldn’t prohibit birth control and the federal government shouldn’t impose on religion. How sad that position is now considered trolling.

    • CanadianDominic says:

      You wouldnt have this argument either if you had nationalized healthcare like every other sane country in the world.

      • dush says:

        Yeah well that’s a whole other debate between “get the govt out of it” and “give the govt control of all of it.”

  4. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    This seems like one of those kinds of compromises, while intended to please everyone, will just end up pissing everyone off.

    Catholic charities/hospitals will still be charged higher premiums to cover this non-covered service (nothing is free with insurance companies). And Obama, yet again, caved to pressure and failed to make any kind of ideological stand.

    Linking one’s health care to their employer is beyond idiotic and system that is based on this relationship is destined to fail. In the meantime, we’ll get into these kind of situations over and over again.

    • OutPastPluto says:

      Well, we all know that no one wants to upset that part of the status quo. Everyone in Washington seems content to keep the populace dependent on the state or the company they work for. Either one of those is really an unsustainable situation. Corporations aren’t as stable or reliable as they once were and the last thing you want is a civil servant in charge of your healthcare.

      The disasters that are medicare and workers comp should be warning enough for anyone.

      If the “solution” doesn’t make it easier for me to fend for myself then it’s not really a solution.

      • waicool says:

        “If the “solution” doesn’t make it easier for me to fend for myself then it’s not really a solution.” NICE, thank you for that.

  5. Momma Volcano says:

    What about the institutions that self-insure? What then? (BYU’s insurance is DMBA, an insurance company owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

    • humphrmi says:

      I think that any entity that goes into the business of insurance has to accept the federal regulations imposed upon insurers, whether they are a religious organization or not. I understand that religious organizations have been running schools and hospitals for eons, and I give them some slack because those organizations have a deep history. But when they decide to save a few bucks or make some profit by getting into other businesses, then they must be prepared to accept the regulatory rules that apply to those businesses.

  6. vliam says:

    But if a woman’s employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of their health plan

    Then they should stop taking federal money and tax exemptions.

    • Mark702 says:

      Amen to that.

    • Gertie says:

      Maybe they should. Then all the Medicaid and Medicare patients can go elsewhere…oh, wait. In many places, Catholic hospitals are the ONLY hospitals, like in my hometown. So, if you wish to stop the flow of government money/taxes to these hospitals, you’ll have to tell the poor and elderly they’re out of luck, so sorry.

      The reason these hospitals receive gov’t money is because they treat the poor and elderly when many other places simply won’t.

      • LanMan04 says:

        So, if you wish to stop the flow of government money/taxes to these hospitals, you’ll have to tell the poor and elderly they’re out of luck, so sorry.
        ————-
        Nope. Hospitals have to treat you, regardless of your ability to pay. It’s the LAW.

        • Coleoptera Girl says:

          Okay. So the religious hospitals lose gov’t funding and are forced by law (not saying this is bad) to treat the poor and elderly… leading to large losses of money and the hospital closing down.

          In an area where the only hospital is a Catholic Hospital, everyone loses in this scenario.

          • dush says:

            I think that’s the point. Some people would rather see a hospital close down than have a faith based organization be a care provider. Some people really just don’t like religion that much.

          • LanMan04 says:

            Just pass around the ‘ol collection plate! Problem solved!

            This is why it makes no damn sense for a hospital to be religiously-affiliated in the first place. I go to a hospital for medical care, not a sermon.

  7. sqlrob says:

    So let me see if I have the implications of this straight.

    So EVERYBODY ELSE with the insurer ends up covering the cost, and religion gets a free ride yet again. Am I missing something?

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I doubt the charities & hospitals will be getting a free ride. It’s not like the insurer is going to eat the cost.

      • sqlrob says:

        Right, I doubt the insurer is going to eat the cost. The question is, who is it going to be passed on to? Passing it on to the institution will probably result in a lawsuit, unless they find some really subtle way to do it. The easiest way is to pass it on to everyone else.

    • exconsumer says:

      Yes and no . . .

      The insurer will have to just provide for free as per the mandate; and any increase in costs will have to be spread to the others insured by the same company. But that’s only if an increase in costs actually takes place: it’s my understanding that the cost of pregnancies and/or coverage for new dependents (babies) for any given group of insured people would be far more expensive than the cost of supplying the birth control in the first place. Insurance company should come out ahead.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      No one pays. It’s free! The prezdint said so!

    • who? says:

      No, because it’s cheaper for the insurance company to provide contraceptive coverage than it is to pay for the resulting abortions and births when they don’t provide coverage.

  8. itsdotcom says:

    Religion really needs no say in health care.

  9. mstrmike says:

    This seems reasonable and workable, which means it will be met with scorn and derision. It’s really irresponsible that the socialist, Jebus-hating administration continues to remove the distractions that we fixate upon to distract everyone from our failure to deal with real issues that matter. Look- a squirrel that hates job creators. Get it!

  10. little stripes says:

    98% of catholic woman use some form of birth control. This is all just political bullshit.

    • rmorin says:

      This is a terrible argument. 85% of Jews don’t keep kosher. Does that make it any less valid of a religious practice?

      http://kosherfood.about.com/od/kosherfaq/f/jewskeepkosh.htm

      Yes food and birth control are very different things, but your argument of “meh, most people do it anyway, so it’s not valid” is a poor one.

      • little stripes says:

        Strawman!

        I didn’t say that it wasn’t a valid religion (though as an Atheist, I could certainly make an argument against any religious practice), but the thing is: These women are already choosing to take birth control. They can also choose not to. The woman should have the choice and that choice shouldn’t be forced on them by some organization.

        • bender123 says:

          They also choose to accept a job with a company that does not cover this…Or is there no choice made until it becomes politically convienient?

          I am agnostic and see this argument as a poor move. If we want religion out of government, then turn about is fair play and the government should be out of religion.

          • RandomHookup says:

            Actually, if you look at current law, women who work with a Catholic charity did have birth control provided under their health insurance plans, just there may have been a deductible for it.

        • Coleoptera Girl says:

          Pause and think a moment. Who is making the stand against this requirement, organizing it? Catholic Bishops. A group of men with Religious power (which women are not allowed to join) are catalyzing this. Yes, some unknown number of women are on the Bishop’s side, but how many Catholic women would actually like to have their birth control prescription covered?
          There are better issues for the Catholic church to address… like following the laws of the land when it comes to their pedophile priests.

      • longfeltwant says:

        “Does that make it any less valid of a religious practice?”

        Yes, of course it does.

        The fewer people who practice it, the less of a responsibility the rest of us have to tolerate nonsense beliefs. If I claim that my personal one-man religion has some crazy requirements, I would be laughed out of court and society, but suddenly an infinitesimal number of Catholic women control the national dialogue over appropriate sexual behavior?

        If I say my religion requires me to own slaves and never pay taxes, that would hardly fly. But if your religion requires you to disparage homosexuals and prevent employees from receiving baseline benefits, then suddenly that’s religious freedom? Nonsense.

        • rmorin says:

          I’d guess that 99% of people that have had a drivers license have sped in their lives. According to you speeding is a not a valid law.

          Just because people deviate from laws, whether religious or civil, does not take away the intent behind them.

        • dush says:

          Let’s split it down the middle and make a religion that wants to enslave homosexuals and prohibit people from ever paying for baseline benefits.

    • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

      *sexually active Catholic women.

      I had to look it up yesterday since 98% of *all* seemed like a very high number.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        The statistic is for at some point over the course of their life.

        • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

          Ah, that makes even more sense… that’s what I get for only reading 1 sentence of my google search!

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            It still seems high for me too, even with that caveat. I’m guessing more than 2% of Catholic women are old enough to have hit menopause prior to the legalization of the pill.

            • The Twilight Clone says:

              Birth control existed before the pill.

              • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                I’m just basing my interpretation of the “98% statistic” on what I heard on NPR, which specifically mentioned hormonal birth control.

    • Bsamm09 says:

      Then a better argument is why would you want this mandated at all? If more than 90% of women who are forbidden by religious beliefs take it, then I’d assume percentage is higher for women without this restriction.

      With a likelihood this substantial, every insurer WILL raise all premiums to cover this. So if you were on b/c before but were paying a co-pay, your co-pay will be zero but your premiums will increase to offset the new cost. You are now worse off. Congrats.

      If you are not able to have kids and didn’t buy a policy that covered b/c, your premiums now raise to pay for this. Congrats, you are now worse off.

      If you are an insurance company, you have raised rates on everyone but not everyone can or chooses not to use b/c. Now, you can charge everyone for b/c. Congrats, you are better off.

      • thefncrow says:

        They’re going to raise premiums to provide coverage that they’re already required to provide? How do you figure that?

        I mean, you do know that insurance plans are already required to provide this as a standard part of a prescription drug benefit plan in 28 states, right?

        Talking to someone I know in the insurance industry, the typical prescription drug benefit plan covers birth control by default. If an employer is in one of the minority of states that doesn’t require it and asks to have that coverage removed, the coverage is removed but the premiums don’t change. Why? Well, because the cost of covering birth control is small, particularly when contrasted against the cost of covering pregnancies resulting from the non-use of birth control. In reality, premiums for any employer who chooses to opt out of the birth control coverage should be higher, but this is ultimately covered by simply striking the coverage without changing the premium in either direction.

        So, what we have is that, in the minority of states where you can actually legally opt-out, the cost of coverage that includes birth control is no different from the cost of coverage that excludes it. So, again, why would premiums necessarily increase if everyone shifted to the former?

        • Bsamm09 says:

          Every woman is required to have a prescription drug plan? I did not know that. My ex was complaining that her b/c was expensive on her HDHP. Didn’t know it was free.

      • LanMan04 says:

        So if you were on b/c before but were paying a co-pay, your co-pay will be zero but your premiums will increase to offset the new cost. You are now worse off. Congrats.
        ————
        You have a funny definition of “worse off”. Yes, my premium will go up because of paying for birth control, but it will go DOWN more because I’m paying for less births, less childcare, etc.

        Having a baby with no insurance costs like $15,000 in hospital bills. How many months of birth control will one less baby pay for?

  11. FreeMarketFan says:

    What’s next – forcing employers to pay for condoms?

    What’s the difference?

    • little stripes says:

      Condoms and hormonal birth control are not the same. Hormonal birth control is more accurate, or can be used in addition to hormonal birth control. Additionally, it is a LOT more expensive, requires a prescription (which condoms do not), and generally requires one get an exam as well. Finally, many women take birth control for other reasons other than preventing pregnancy.

      You cannot compare the two. Nice try, though.

      • little stripes says:

        or can be used in addition to hormonal birth control.**

        Condoms. Can be used in addition to condoms.

      • msbask says:

        Sorry, I agree with FreeMarketFan. I don’t understand how my health insurance has to cover very specific types of birth control. Condoms and The Pill do the same thing: they prevent pregnancy. I think it’s absolutely accurate to compare the two.

        • sponica says:

          but the pill does MORE than prevent pregnancy and most of the women I know who are prescribed the pill take it for reasons other than contraception. it regulates our hormones so that we don’t curl up into a ball and cry in agony for 3 days straight (not all women have this problem but when I was a teen and young woman, my PMS/Menstrual symptoms were horrific…birth control made me a functioning person). it’s also used by women who are prone to ovarian cysts and want to preserve their fertility.

          that being said, I always had dirt cheap copays on birth control (5 bucks generic, 15 bucks name brand)

        • Solkanar512 says:

          You should feel sorry for being ignorant to the differences in birth control. I feel sorry for you as well.

    • sqlrob says:

      Well, other than BC pills are used for other purposes too in the majority of cases?

      Or that BC is a heck of a lot cheaper than paying for pre-natal and delivery costs for the insurer?

  12. stebu says:

    I predict my employer will soon find the lord to decrease their healthcare costs by 0.0001%

  13. CrankyOwl says:

    Supposedly 90+ % of Catholic women use some type of contraception, but the only ones who seem to be vehemently against this insurance are the male Church hierarchy, plus people who hate anything & everything Obama says/does.

    • little stripes says:

      EXACTLY. It’s political bullshit.

    • KyBash says:

      “The only women who are opposed to birth control are ones you wouldn’t want to sleep with in the first place.” — Anon

      I’m pro-choice, but I don’t want anyone to pay for something that’s against their religion.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I grew up Catholic but I’ve been staying away from the church lately because of this issue. For years and years I took birth control to keep from being sick every month. I never understood the whole natural family planning thing either. It doesn’t work very well, and I didn’t want to end up having a bunch of kids even if I did get married. Just a couple is all I wanted.

      I didn’t care, and still don’t, that I’m “sinning.” Somehow I seriously doubt that God cares much about that when there are far worse things going on in the world.

  14. rmorin says:

    I am 100% for easy to access birth control.

    I have a problem with the government mandating companies providing it. If the government deems it essential, it should foot the bill. Religious organizations pay no taxes, so anti-birth control religions would not be funding it whatsoever.

    It is a bizarre move by the government to say “This is of such great importance (it is, I don’t disagree) to the public they need it without direct cost, but we’re not gonna pay for it”.

    • little stripes says:

      The government makes mandates on what should be covered by insurance all the time. This is just forcing insurance companies (who do NOT give a shit about humans, but only care about the bottom line) to do what they should already be doing. They wouldn’t do it on their own. You’re naive if you think they would.

      And can you imagine if the government paid for this?! Please. Imagine the shit-storm from that.

      • rmorin says:

        Your comment provided little information and did not address my point whatsoever instead going off on a tangent vilifying insurance companies, which I did not speak to at all.

        If the government says a service is necessary, then it should pay for it.

        Let’s say they did this with SNAP? Instead of funding it, they said that every grocery store had to provide anyone who wants it basic staples for food totalling $15-$50 (http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control/birth-control-pill-4228.htm) varying depending on their health needs a month.

        Well grocery stores would be pretty pissed, but I don’t really like grocery stores so it’s okay. Also food makers of these staples would love it, because now their orders to the grocery stores will go up, and regardless of what they charge, the grocery store has to pay it and provide it. But, then grocery stores realize that they can charge a little more on every other product to keep themselves equally as profitable.

        So, in the end big pharma gets a boost, big insurance gets to charge everyone a little more, and the government doesn’t have to pay for anything.

      • Bsamm09 says:

        You do notice that insurers are not complaining, do you? Mandates help their bottom line. The reason it wasn’t included in all plans before is that some people didn’t want it or want to pay for it. In order to get these people, they made plans for them and didn’t factor this cost in. Now they are forced to include it. The people who didn’t want it or need it before don’t have to use it but now they all have to pay for it.

        The ONLY winner is insurance companies here.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Who do you think the government is and where do you think it gets its money?

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Who do you think the government is and where do you think it gets its money?

      • rmorin says:

        The federal government deems plenty of services neccessary for society, I should not have to explain this to you.

        If the federal government deems a service neccessary for society, it should be paid for by them and funded by tax payers.

        Defense? Necessary – Taxes pay for it.
        Environmental Protection? Necessary – Taxes pay for it.
        Interstate Highway System? Necessary – Taxes pay for it.
        Birthcontrol at no direct cost to the consumer? If necessary – Taxes should pay for it.

        This is fundamentally how our federal government works, and we are going against that with this measure. This is not political left, or right, it’s that the government is acting as a giant hypocrit.

        • Mark702 says:

          The problem is that the spending gets out of control way too easily. Our supposed “defense” spending, is instead use for nation building, proping up or destroying dictators, and protecting borders of countries in the middle east instead of our own. Same with the EPA the Fed Dept of Education, and tons of other Federal garbage.

          And you’re argument that “birth control is at no direct cost to the consumer” is a fallacy. As others have said, the cost will be on the insurance companies, who pass it on to the employers, who pass it onto their employees via lower pay, fewer jobs, or whatever they can do to avoid the supposedly “free” birth control mandate.

          • Coffee says:

            I obviously don’t have the numbers in from of me, but I don’t think you can look at the spending in a bubble and just say “It will cost X $ to provide everyone free birth control.” Sure, it will cost money in the short-term, but preventing pregnancies among women who do not want or cannot financially support children is a huge long-term return on initial investment. For the cost of birth control, you prevent having to pay for schooling, medicine, food stamps, housing, etc. etc. etc.

          • rmorin says:

            “birth control is at no direct cost to the consumer” is a fallacy

            No It is not. Notice the words “direct cost”. That does not mean free. It means there very well could be indirect costs. How you could infer no direct cost is equal to free, shows either ignorance or bias by yourself.

            You are also trying to interject slanted political fodder in my apolitical statement. I did not comment about government spending. I simply commented that it is bizarre for a government to say something is such a necessity that it must be provided with no direct cost to it’s citizens, yet they are not actually covering the cost, instead shifting it to private enterprise. You then ran with some slanted political crap that had nothing to do with my very basic statement.

    • Coffee says:

      This is what I’m for as well. I’m not happy with this settlement because contraceptives should be provided free of charge by the government and employers shouldn’t be involved at all. The funny thing is that it even makes sense fiscally; contraception is just another form of preventative medicine that will save the taxpayers a ton of money in the long run.

    • LanMan04 says:

      Religious organizations pay no taxes, so anti-birth control religions would not be funding it whatsoever.
      ———–
      CHURCHES pay no taxes. I assure you that you local Catholic hospital most certainly does. Which is exactly why they should be subject to this mandate like every other *business*.

      Catholic-affiliated hospital does not equal Church.

      • rmorin says:

        I assure you that you local Catholic hospital most certainly does.

        And I can assure you, that you are incredibly ignorant, because my local catholic hospital is a non-profit.

        As so long as the catholic affiliated hospital operates as a non-profit then no, they don’t pay taxes regardless of their religious affiliation.

        The only way a religious organization would be taxed is if they operate a for profit business. By operating for profit it becomes less of a religious organization and more of a business and they are taxed appropriately. The vast majority of religious organizations operate as not-for-profit, and are thus not taxed.

  15. AldisCabango says:

    My only problem is they call it “Free Contracaptive Services” Lets be honest there is nothing free about it.

    • longfeltwant says:

      Okay, well then let’s be honest, and completely ban the word “free” from the English language. Nothing is free, ever.

      If you agree to my absurd pedantry, I’ll agree to yours.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      The true term is “no cost share”.

      Like all “first dollar coverages”, the anticipated cost plus 20% for overhead is added to premiums. There’s nothing free about it, you just pay more upfront in premiums in order to get more comprehensive coverage.

  16. bender123 says:

    Soooooo…this shows a complete lack of knowledge about how insurance works and doesnt even address the issue of self funded plans (TPA). Many religious groups and employers do not provide “insurance” in the standard sense, but pay claims themselves up to a cetain stop loss attachment point, so the rule is not changed at all, and slightly changes the wording into a nonsense version of the insurance and self funded industries.

    If he would just admit he has no idea how this system works, it would save us all a lot of time and effort.

    BTW: I am a statistician that works for a large third party administrator.

  17. John Gage says:

    I work for an insurance company and see a couple of problems with this.

    1. For companies that are self insured, the employer themselves is the insurance company. They hire someone (typically an insurance company) to manage and administer the plan for them, but the employer is paying the bills. How will this work for companies who are in essence the insurance company?

    2. While the religious organizations will not be directly paying for contraceptive services, they will be indirectly because insurance companies will not be doing this for free. They will have to raise the premiums on all plans to help pay for this.

  18. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    BullS#!t!!!

    The insurance company is not donating the funds to cover these out of the goodness of their hearts. The money to pay for these are going to come out of the premiums that the organizations pay.

    Only political accounting logic could come up with this. That is part of the reason we are in the mess we are in.

    If you are a hard core vegan card carrying PETA member, don’t work at the Pork Producers board and complain when they serve BBQ ribs at events.

    If you truly believe that auto emissions are evil incarnate and are the major cause of global warming, don’t work for NHRA and complain about drag racing.

    If you strongly believe in the right to an abortion, free sex/love etc, don’t go to work for an organization who for, I don’t know, 1,000 years, been against it and expect them to go against everything they profess.

    • Misha says:

      Because also everyone has control over where their insurance-carrying spouse works, and should be subject to the rules of an employer they didn’t sign a contract with.

      • Doubting thomas says:

        They have a choice in who they marry, and that spouse has a choice in where they work. There is also a difference in having to follow a rule and having something bought for you, but you go ahead and twist that logic all around until it says what you want it to say.

        • who? says:

          So my husband of 10 years, who’s been unemployed for the last 2 years, gets a much needed job at a catholic hospital. I don’t like the insurance, because it doesn’t cover contraception. I think you’re saying that he should turn down the job, or if he doesn’t turn down the job, I should divorce him. Do I have that right?

  19. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    BullS#!t!!!

    The insurance company is not donating the funds to cover these out of the goodness of their hearts. The money to pay for these are going to come out of the premiums that the organizations pay.

    Only political accounting logic could come up with this. That is part of the reason we are in the mess we are in.

    If you are a hard core vegan card carrying PETA member, don’t work at the Pork Producers board and complain when they serve BBQ ribs at events.

    If you truly believe that auto emissions are evil incarnate and are the major cause of global warming, don’t work for NHRA and complain about drag racing.

    If you strongly believe in the right to an abortion, free sex/love etc, don’t go to work for an organization who for, I don’t know, 1,000 years, been against it and expect them to go against everything they profess.

    • dolemite says:

      Psst…not everyone works at a place that supports their religious and political views. For instance, not everyone that works at Target or Chik-Fil-A is anti-gay.

      • Doubting thomas says:

        Target is not anti-gay. A few executives at Target made a one-time small donation to a pro-business PAC that gave a portion of that money to a politician whose stances included an oppostion to gay marriage.

    • Draskuul says:

      No, the vegan is free to work for the pork producers. The pork producers, however, can’t tell the vegan employee that they must eat meat.

      I’m 100% for requiring equal health care for employees regardless of the employer’s beliefs.

      I’m also 100% for a complete separation of church and state, and this means no more special treatment for religious organizations–no tax benefits, etc. Remove the bibles and religious references from ‘swearing in’ ceremonies for government officials, remove the religious references on our money, and so on.

      • Doubting thomas says:

        This situation as reversed from that thought. This is like a carnivore going to work for PETA and forcing them to pay for his hamburger.

        • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

          Thank you, that is the correct analogy. They are not stopping you from using birth control. They just are not going to pay for it.

        • longfeltwant says:

          If the law required employers to buy steaks for their employees, then yes, yes it would. And that would be fine.

          We could still discuss whether or not the policy is GOOD or BAD, but without all this nonsense about the rule being categorically unacceptable.

      • tooluser says:

        You do not know the definition of vegan.

  20. DonnieZ says:

    This affects such a small number of employees and employers, I don’t see why it’s such a huge deal.

    If you go to work for Catholic Charaties and you know that they are morally opposed to birth control and it’s that big of an issue to you, find another job. It’s the same thing as saying If you don’t like abortion, don’t work for Planned Parenthood.

    All I hear is about how people want religion to stay out of government when it comes to abortion law, but when it comes to government getting all into how religion operates, it’s totally fine.. The hypocrisy is astounding.

    • Stickdude says:

      The hypocrisy is astounding.

      But religion is bad and Obama is good.

      So that makes it ok.

    • Stickdude says:

      And if you want to see hypocrisy, just imagine what would happen if a Catholic became President and made a rule that employer-provided plans could not provide birth control at all.

      It’s the exact same thing that’s happening here – government telling employer-provided insurance plans what they can and cannot cover – but the free-birth-control-for-all side would go ballistic.

      • longfeltwant says:

        Yeah. Sheesh. That would be… like the previous President, and two Presidents ago. You remember, right? The Presidents who made it illegal to give out family planning advice to certain women? The famous “gag rule”? Yeah, man, that shit would never, ever fly in this country.

        • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

          I’m gonna bake you a +10 pie for that.

        • Stickdude says:

          That was just the Government messing with Employment, which is fair game for Government.

          • longfeltwant says:

            Great! Thank you for your apology. Now we can dispense with this nonsense about whether or not there is a theoretical constitutional issue, and simply discuss whether or not the policy is Good or Bad. That’s where the national conversation (on all issues) should be.

            I think this policy is Good. It is part of the framework of allowing women to participate in society, part of the framework of encouraging family planning, so that all children can be wanted and loved. It is part of the framework which allows free modern adults to engage in sexual pleasure while mitigating the potential negative effects, such as pregnancy or STD.

            Now your turn. Good or bad?

            • Stickdude says:

              Whether I think it’s Good or Bad is irrelevant. If I think it would be Good for everyone to attend church every Sunday, it doesn’t mean the government has the authority to force everyone to do so.

              But getting back to the hypocrisy angle – if the government has the authority to tell employers/insurance companies to provide certain services, then the government also has the authority to prohibit employers/insurance companies from providing certain services.

              Agree or disagree?

    • longfeltwant says:

      I don’t see the hypocrisy.

      1.) when it comes to abortion law, I don’t want religion interfering with the secular functioning of government coming to the best solution for America.

      2.) when it comes to employment law, I don’t want religion interfering with the secular functioning of government coming to the best solution for America.

      What’s the hypocrisy? I see that as 100% consistent.

      You have misrepresented this as Government messing with Religion. That is false. This is Government messing with Employment, which is fair game for Government.

      • DonnieZ says:

        If you can’t see the hypocrisy, it’s because you are blinded by leftist rage.

        This isn’t an employment law – it’s government interfering with the practices of a religious institution. It’s not the employer stating that they just aren’t paying for contraception because it’s too cheap, it’s because they have a stated religious opposition to it.

        If the state of Illinois can pull funding from Catholic Charaties for not providing adoption services to same-gender couples based on a religious opposition, the only difference I see in this policy is that it’s being enforced on the side of the religious organization rather than the Government.

  21. Dallas_shopper says:

    We need a goddamn universal single-payer system already. Fuck this stupid bureaucratic patchwork of nonsense.

  22. SamiJ says:

    If this healthcare is supposed to be government mandated, then why are they letting religious insitutions alter this legal right? Either the employees of religious hopsitals, groups, etc. have full access to government programs, or they don’t. Whether or not that religious group considers it moral is not germane to the right of their employees to those services.

  23. framitz says:

    Still bowing to the catholic cult. Still so WRONG to do so.

  24. gspdark1 says:

    TRUE: Most Catholics disagree with most Catholic dogma (myself included)

    EVEN TRUER: No one likes it when the government tells us what to do (Catholics included).

    It’s Freedom OF Religion, not Freedom FROM Religion. Think about it.

    • kayfouroh says:

      It’s also Freedom Of (Not Believing In) Religion.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      It’s Freedom OF Religion, not Freedom FROM Religion. Think about it.

      Ok, I thought about it, and this is just another way of saying “You can believe whatever you want, but you must BELIEVE”.

      Fuck that. Keep your superstitions to yourself. You can believe whatever stupid thing you want, as long as it doesn’t affect other people and what these catholic bastards are doing DOES affect others, so therefore it’s wrong & the govt. has every right to step in & regulate.

  25. longfeltwant says:

    In America, we expect employers to follow the rules of employment.

    In America, we expect everyone to follow the law.

    Wearing a crucifix doesn’t exempt you from slavery laws (even though your Bible endorses slavery) nor does it mean that Catholic men corporeally own their wives (even though your Bible says they do) nor does it excuse Catholics when they murder homosexuals (even though your Bible says to do that).

    No, religion is not an excuse. We expect you to follow the law, period.

    FFS, in this case, there isn’t even a Biblical prohibition against the birth control. This is just pure dogmatic nonsense.

    If a Catholic doesn’t want to pay for birth control pills for his employee, then it’s easy, he should not have employees. If he chooses to have employees, then obviously he must follow the law. The fact that this surprises you, surprises me. Do you really think religion should be an excuse for breaking the law?

    • longfeltwant says:

      That was supposed to be a reply to gspdark1, above.

    • The Twilight Clone says:

      Oh please stop pointing out the rank hypocrisy that has run amok in the Catholic Church. They can’t take any more of it.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      I wish I could “like” your comment and add you to my friends list, because you are awesome :3

    • tooluser says:

      No. Just because something is the law, does not mean it is moral. The health care law is immoral. Particularly in this application. You are indeed a silly goose.

    • proliance says:

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

      Telling a church that it must spend money on something that it strongly opposes clearly violates the constitution.

  26. cornstalker says:

    This still doesn’t answer the question of why I have to pay for someone else’s birth control. I don’t force other people to pay for my ibuprofen, because God knows I need it right now.

    • longfeltwant says:

      I can answer that.

      You have to pay for someone else’s birth control for the same reason I have to pay for someone else’s war. There are only two differences:

      1. You don’t actually have to pay for someone else’s birth control. People pay for their own, through their insurance premiums. On the other hand, I do actually have to pay for someone else’s war.

      2. Only a jackass would say that it is right for me to have to pay for soldiers to shoot innocent civilian women and children, but wrong for me to have to help Americans stay healthy.

      • Kuri says:

        Well said.

      • proliance says:

        Raising an army and declaring war are both enumerated powers granted to Congress by the constitution.

        Look under article 1, section 8 of the constitution and tell me which of the enumerated powers specify free birth control.

  27. Matthew PK says:

    So basically they’re still paying for it.

  28. thomwithanh says:

    Two words…. FLEX DOLLARS

  29. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    But…it’s still SOCIALISM1111!, amirite.

    Methinks that there will still be a plethora of controversy over this, and perhaps more so, now.

    Side note: since drugs like Viagra or Cialis can be used for “sexual libertinism”, as Mr. Santorum would say, should the Catholic Church be supporting those things as well?

    • longfeltwant says:

      Ew. Please don’t say “santorum” in a family forum. There could be children present, and we don’t want to teach them bad words — or bad religion.

    • proliance says:

      The Catholic Church is all for a person suffering from sexual dysfunction being able to seek treatment. That happens to be a disease. Pregnancy is not.

  30. pegasi says:

    well, I argue that if insurance plans for christian or charitable organizations will pay for viagra etc, then they should also pay for the opposite for those who choose to be responsible and NOT have more kids than they can pay to support.

  31. waicool says:

    socialist democrats now have society funding their own destruction, brilliant!!!

  32. Saskiatas says:

    Okay….so the charity isn’t going to pay for the service, and the woman will not have to pay for the service. The insurance company has to provide the service free of charge. Unless the insurance company has an idiot running it, they will get the money for the services somewhere. By embedding the cost into everyone’s premiums. So really, the charity and insured WILL end up paying for it; it just will not be itemized. I’m getting seriously tired of all the nonsense logic in our government these days.

  33. Ayla says:

    Another kick in the pants to individual religious freedom. *sigh*

    • RayanneGraff says:

      Wrong. So, so wrong. Individuals can believe & practice whatever religion they want. What they CANNOT do is apply their religious beliefs to other people, and that includes any employees they might have. If birth control is against your beliefs, you have every right to not use it, but you do NOT have the right to try to prevent others from using it.

      Why is this so hard for people to understand?

      • tooluser says:

        No, the first poster was right and you are wrong. Nobody’s preventing anybody from doing anything they want. They just refuse to pay for it. You want something, you pay for it yourself. That’s the essence of Liberty. All sorts of very good things derive from that principle. All sorts of very bad things derive from suppression of free thought and action.

        • crashfrog says:

          But that’s exactly wrong – the health insurance benefit belongs to the employee, not to the employer. The employer has no more “religious freedom” to control the terms of the employee’s health insurance plan than they do to control what the employee does with his or her wages.

          The employer isn’t “paying for” contraception under any circumstances unless they buy it and put it in the company breakroom. And it doesn’t violate your religious freedom for me to take the wage I made working for your non-profit and then spend it any way I choose. You’re not “paying for contraception” any more than you’re “paying for booze” if I decide to blow my wages at the bar.

  34. proliance says:

    Pregnancy is a natural act. It is not a disease that needs to be prevented and paid for by insurance. Save the insurance for preventing or curing an actual disease. Why not free Viagra? Not being able to get it up IS an actual medical condition.

    • crashfrog says:

      That’s just your religious belief. Mine is that pregnancy is a sexually transmitted disease, and impotence in men is natural part of God’s plan for older men (who are gross and should stop having sex.)

      What about my religious freedom? Why should the law enshrine your prejudice but not mine?

  35. Gertie says:

    Then all the Catholic hospitals should go away. Bye, only hospital in my hometown, the only Level 1 trauma center in a 250 mile radius. Bye, specialists! You don’t seem to realize that in much of the country (think: Western US), Catholic hospitals are the only option not only in town, but in the region. We NEED them.

    Those dumb nuns, the Sisters of Charity from Leavenworth, Kansas and their hospitals! Saving lives, treating the poor, going to towns where there was no hospital at all and opening them. How DARE THEY?

    Without religion, many people would go without health care, period. There is nothing wrong with the belief people should pay for their ~own~ birth control. I am not Catholic, I don’t have any problem with birth control. I just happen to belief I shouldn’t pay for yours and you shouldn’t have to pay for mine.

  36. tooluser says:

    It was clearly a violation of the Constitution. There will be more attempts to do so in the name of compassion for some people, but not others.

  37. makoto says:

    Does this mean that regardless of employment–be it religious or not–there will be no copays what-so-ever on birth control? Because that’s the way the article reads. I would like my $10 per pack back from the last year and half worth’s of birth control co-payments to the pharmacy….

  38. ktbeta says:

    My mom works for a Catholic school and the administration is telling staff that the law would have required health insurance that covers contraceptives AND abortion. No wonder so many people are upset about it!

  39. who? says:

    New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/opinion/sunday/kristof-beyond-pelvic-politics.html)

    “To understand the centrality of birth control, consider that every dollar that the United States government spends on family planning reduces Medicaid expenditures by $3.74, according to Guttmacher. Likewise, the National Business Group on Health estimated that it costs employers at least an extra 15 percent if they don‚Äôt cover contraception in their health plans.”

    *This* is why insurance companies will cover birth control for “free”.

  40. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    Holding my breath for the day religion no longer influences policy.