Obama Caves on (Another) Contraception Exemption

On Friday the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would capitulate to demands of Catholic and conservative Christian non-profit organizations that claimed that filling out a form would make them complicit in the provision of contraception.

The announcement was made despite the fact that the claim is still being litigated in suits filed by the Little Sisters of the Poor and Wheaton College and many legal experts had expressed skepticism that the courts would find that requiring someone to fill out a form, which after all is the raison d’être of the federal government, to qualify for the exemption to the contraception mandate was overly burdensome to their religious freedom.

In her dissent from the Supreme Court’s decision to temporarily exempt Wheaton College from filling out the form to notify its insurance administrator of its intent to opt-out of the contraception mandate, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote, “The government must be allowed to handle the basic tasks of public administration in a manner that comports with common sense.”

Now the employers who object to the contraception mandate will need to send a letter stating their objections to the Department of Health and Human Services, which will then be responsible for figuring out who the non-profit’s insurer is and notifying it of its responsibility to arrange and pay for contraception coverage for female employees of the non-profit as guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act.

Not only does this cumbersome procedure have the makings of a bureaucratic nightmare, but most insurers are incorporated separately in each state in which they operate and often under slightly different names… and I doubt most have a dedicated office to contact when religious conservatives make their own decisions about women’s access to contraception. Plus, it sets the dangerous precedent that religious objections to government mandates are so precious that the objectors can’t even be required to fill out a form stating them.

In the short run it’s likely that the number of employers who seek to duck the contraceptive mandate will be small. But imagine a scenario where a larger number of employers seeks to escape a costly mandate, such as equal access to in vitro fertilization procedures for straight and gay couples, for supposedly religious reasons and hundreds flood HHS with generic opt-out letters that don’t identify a specific insurer. Or a future administration that is less dedicated to contraceptive access. It’s not hard to see how the lack of bureaucratic regularity could undermine access to contraception for women.

But the bigger question is why the Obama administration keeps on giving in to religious conservatives’ demands for exemptions that just keep escalating (click here to see the Becket Fund’s chart of all the revisions the adminstration has made to the mandate). Sure enough, while lawyer Paul Clement indicated during the Hobby Lobby oral arguments that the organization was satisfied with sending a form to HHS to opt-out of the mandate, within hours of the announcement of the new regulation it was denounced by the Becket Fund as insufficent. (The new accomodation was accompanied by the news that the non-profit exemption will be open to small, closely held for-profit employees as per the Hobby Lobby decision).

Predictably, it was also denounced by the U.S. Conference of Catholics Bishops. In a statement on its Facebook page, the USCCB said it was “disappointed” that the new regulation didn’t broaden the exemption to the mandate to simply allow any employer to opt out without any kind of mechanism to ensure continuity of coverage for female employees. The bishops also claimed, by some kind of reverse-bishop-logic, that the move to broaden the exemption for some for-profit employers “would effectively reduce, rather than expand, the scope of religious freedom.”

But by creating an exemption to the mandate in the first place, which basically set-up the Hobby Lobby decision, and now by concurring that filling out a form to qualify for it is a violation of religious freedom, the administration is one step away from giving the bishops the broad exemption for any and all employers that they wanted all along.

What the administration still doesn’t seem to get at this late date is that this isn’t about finding the right formulation that will satisfy religious conservatives. This is about, in the words of pioneering reproductive rights sociologist Kristin Luker, allowing conservative religious employers to make “a symbolic statement (promoting) the idea that women should properly be at home with their families, that motherhood is the most important job for women.”

Even the National Catholic Reporter’s Michael Sean Winters, who was one of the fiercest critics of the initial mandate with its limited exemption for strictly religious employers, writes that despite the fact that the bishops have largely won on this issue, they are unlikely to drop their insistence on a broad exemption anytime soon:

The bishops are no doubt being told by their staff that we are on a role [sic] in the courts, that this litigation will yield a ground-breaking court decision expanding religious liberty. …someone at the bishops’ conference needs to stand up and say that this whole issue has taken on greater significance than it ever should, it has dominated the public actions of the conference, and cast the bishops in the role of pugilistic litigators at a time when the Holy Father is successfully displaying a different, and I would argue more effective, model of evangelization. There are other issues the bishops might wish to attend to, such as climate change, or the on-going challenge of immigration, or creating greater solidarity with our Latin American brothers and sisters, or examining the ways our own U.S. economy creates a society of exclusion of the kind Pope Francis has denounced, or how they intend to monitor their own brother bishops who thumb their noses at the Dallas Charter for the protection of minors with impunity.

Winters says that the USCCB is in a “meltdown,” with seasoned staff abandoning ship in record numbers. It appears that even the bishops’ biggest loyalists can no longer stomach the dissonance between the church’s mission and the bishops’ obsession with the pelvic zone.

Patricia Miller is the author of Good Catholics: The Battle over Abortion in the Catholic Church. Her work on the intersection of sex, religion, and politics has appeared in The Nation, Ms., and Huffington Post. She was the editor of Conscience magazine and the editor-in-chief of the National Journal’s health care briefings.

  • moonbug

    Absolutely great article !!! I am a white Catholic who voted for him twice, I was proud of him being the first black President. Considering his first four years, I had to hold my nose to vote for him the second time. Obama Care has so many loop holes in it the Republicans will have little trouble rendering much of it ineffective. And it just isn’t him, his staff has dropped the ball a number of times. I’m sorry to see this happen.

  • rlhailssrpe

    Three thoughts:

    None of this mess would have occurred has President Obama had kept his word to Congressman Stupak. (That is not my judgment; it is ex Congressman Stupak’s.)

    If the SC rules that something is a Constitutional right, how can the federal government demand a written “exemption” from anyone who exercises it?

    The raison d’être of the federal government is Not to demand that everyone fill out a form. The blame for the bureaucratic nightmare is glued to the President’s chair.

  • Frank6548

    Occasionally Obama does do the right things.

  • Jim Reed

    “The government must be allowed to handle the basic tasks of public administration in a manner that comports with common sense.”

    That is Sotomayor’s opinion. Roberts’ opinion is common sense is not required. I think it was a good move by Obama because it shows again the true motives of the other side.

  • mnemos

    Do you still believe that pretending free condoms is a critical medical issue was such a good idea? Why?

  • Mark Byron

    The remaining problem is that employers will still be paying for the contraceptive coverage, since insurance companies will factor that cost in when pricing their policies if they’re stuck with the tab. Thus, this “accommodation” doesn’t change the fact that the employers are still paying for the coverage.

  • Tom Barreras

    What a spiteful, hateful article

  • cranefly

    You have a constitutional right to a day in court, but the government can still charge you a fee to exercise it.

  • Churchlady320

    What, exactly, do you expect him to do in light of this Supreme Court? He’s finding alternatives to give women access while following the dictates of a biased court that itself has violated the Civil Rights Act. Where was the screaming BEFORE SCOTUS made clear that religious preference is perfectly ducky? Now we’re stuck with a bigoted system. I for one salute the president for protecting women’s private rights and choices however he can. To fault HIM rather than the court-supported drive for violations of the establishment clause is insane and petty.

  • Churchlady320

    They never paid for it at all – it was part of the package that included all manner of things the person insured may or may not use. To single out contraception is ludicrous. It didn’t cost extra so no, it won’t save a penny. Not any more than transfusions would for Jehovah’s Witnesses. Get over it. Religious employers have now violated MY rights, morality, beliefs in violation of the Civil Rights Act and good sense. Even getting it all wasn’t enough for zealots, and the rest of us will not forget this.

  • apotropoxy

    If filling out a form stains the souls of these living saints then refusing to pay their employees with that which can be freely exchanged for abortions and contraception can’t be far behind.
    Next: “Money” fungible only within a closed market of devout Catholic businesses.

  • Churchlady320

    Yes, And it’s not your call to say otherwise for anyone but yourself. You don’t have to use a single thing you don’t want.

  • Churchlady320

    OFTEN if you’re paying close attention to policy instead of media hype.

  • Churchlady320

    For those of us deeply engaged in both the creation of the program and its implementation, your observation is superficial and incorrect. The program is working extremely well, and the president and HHS are finding solid and reliable paths past the religious zealotry now ratified by SCOTUS. Bravo for the rest of us.

  • Churchlady320

    Or Pentecostal. It violates the Civil Rights Act and hardly anyone notices that now employers CAN push their views onto their employees. Everyone ought to be very concerned by this.

  • phatkhat

    But not on the all-too-frequent occasions when he capitulates to the religious right.

  • phatkhat

    nm

  • phatkhat

    A lot of us are. New Gilead is looming ever larger.

  • lives7

    What about the rights of the unborn human child created in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ? Sin will never become a virtue. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE. Mother’s will never be praised for killing their children. Just the biological facts of human life.

  • cranefly

    If it’s a female child, it is not in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. At least according to the Catholic Church that raised me.

    Whatever your religion is, you can’t use it to require mandatory organ donation by law, at the expense and medical risk of the donor. Find a non-religious reason to enslave women, and we’ll consider it.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Well said.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    There is no such thing as an unborn child. Are you an undead corpse?

    These are the rules that Jesus followed. I will stick with Jesus. You have the brains of a doorstop.

    Jewish law not only permits, but in some circumstances requires abortion. Where the mother’s life is in jeopardy because of the unborn child, abortion is mandatory.

    An unborn child has the status of “potential human life” until the majority of the body has emerged from the mother. Potential human life is valuable, and may not be terminated casually, but it does not have as much value as a life in existence. The Talmud makes no bones about this: it says quite bluntly that if the fetus threatens the life of the mother, you cut it up within her body and remove it limb by limb if necessary, because its life is not as valuable as hers. But once the greater part of the body has emerged, you cannot take its life to save the mother’s, because you cannot choose between one human life and another. – Judaism 101

  • Bill Beckman

    Contra Miller — http://www.nationalreview.com/%2Farticle%2F386283%2Fsmoke-and-mirrors-hhs-l-martin-nussbaum Obama has not caved. His administration is as ideological as ever.

  • moonbug

    I don’t think it is working as well as it could have if it had been predicated on a “One payer system”. That’s what Hillary pushed because she knew it would be the easiest to administer. Every industrial country in the world has a “One payer system,” but Obama “Just wanted to get along” so he tried to bring all the profit oriented players into the picture. Everyone had a chance to put in their two cents, and the result is a bill loaded with loop holes. Obama had both Houses when this bill was passed in Congress. The Republicans have not been able to water it down yet, but stay tuned and see what happens when they get both houses. I believe what he has done is good, but he is dealing with sharks, and he and his staff just don’t have the savvy to deal with them.

  • Lamont Cranston

    Thank God!

  • Lamont Cranston

    Contraceptives don’t cause abortions, and abortions don’t kill a child. What about the sin of lying? Aren’t you worried about burning in hell forever?

  • Lamont Cranston

    Silly name, stupid human.

  • Lamont Cranston

    You said there would be “thoughts” in your comment, but it contains naught but bullshit.

  • Lamont Cranston

    I myself would prefer that the United States join the civilized world and have single payer. However, it’s not Obama’s fault that we don’t have it. Even assuming the votes for single payer were there in the Senate (and they weren’t), it definitely would never have gotten out of the House. How can you blame Obama for that?

  • moonbug

    I believe it would have gotten out of the House and passed the Senate. You forget the public sentiment at that time. The public was sick of the inequality so prevalent when it came to health care. The number one cause of bankruptcy in America was catastrophic illness in the average family. We had over thirty million Americans without any form of health care. Some say it reached forty million by the time of that election. It was the main spoke in Hillary’s campaign, and people embraced it.
    But the stars ordained it was time for America to elect a black President. The Blacks, the Hispanics, and all the rest of the minorities got behind it because it affected them. The white liberal establishment (of whom I am one) added their support, and there you have it. I still think it was a good thing and still support it, but I don’t think he has been a terribly effective President. I hope History will prove me wrong.

  • Vince

    There is no constitutional right to have someone else pay for your birth control.
    Honestly, this problem will only be solved when there is single-payer.

  • Vince

    How is it pushing your views onto your employees to not pay for their birth control? It seems to me that YOU’RE the ones pushing your views on employers by making them pay for other people’s birth control. Nobody is preventing anyone from buying birth control with HER OWN MONEY.

  • Vince

    How exactly have they violated the Civil Rights Act?

  • Vince

    Hardly anybody is arguing that abortion isn’t okay when the mother’s life is in jeopardy.
    Also, the Talmud is not an official part of the Bible.

  • Vince

    Abortions do kill. However, I do believe you’re probably correct about contraceptives, even emergency contraceptives, not resulting in abortion. Eventually this problem will be solved when there’s single-payer. Then employers won’t be forced to pay for their employees’ birth control.

  • Vince

    There’s no way it would have gotten out of the House.

  • Vince

    Not every industrialized nation has single-payer. To my knowledge, there are still co-payments in France.

  • Vince

    You’re forgetting that you’re forcing other people to pay for these contraceptives. Nobody is denying that you can buy contraception with your own money.

  • Vince

    Please explain how the Civil Rights Act has been violated.
    The USSC’s ruling was in line with a religious freedom law passed in 1993 (apparently signed by Clinton).

  • cranefly

    They aren’t arguing that, but they are stuffing their fingers in their ears and trying to make laws that would compromise women’s safety nonetheless.

    Pregnancy is medically dangerous and has an irreversible impact on a person’s body, always. I don’t think it is ethical to have abortions, but I think it is even less ethical to force people by law to compromise their bodily integrity for other people. We don’t even have mandatory organ donations for dead men, but we’re fine with requiring body parts of live women against their will. I’m not comfortable with that.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Quote: “Hardly anybody is arguing that abortion isn’t okay when the mother’s life is in jeopardy.”

    You have not posted on reproductive rights boards often, have you? Liar liar pants on fire.

    ‘Also, the Talmud is not an official part of the Bible.’

    Your ass is not an official part of the Bible, but I am paying attention to what YOU have to say right now. But probably not for long. In the battle of wits, you are unarmed.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Health insurance is part of my pay. The Bishops and the SCOTUS are picking my pocket. Theft is a crime and a sin.

  • Guest

    These are the rules that Jesus followed. I will stick with Jesus. You sound like a nut.

    Jewish law not only permits, but in some circumstances requires abortion. Where the mother’s life is in jeopardy because of the unborn child, abortion is mandatory.

    An unborn child has the status of “potential human life” until the majority of the body has emerged from the mother. Potential human life is valuable, and may not be terminated casually, but it does not have as much value as a life in existence. The Talmud makes no bones about this: it says quite bluntly that if the fetus threatens the life of the mother, you cut it up within her body and remove it limb by limb if necessary, because its life is not as valuable as hers. But once the greater part of the body has emerged, you cannot take its life to save the mother’s, because you cannot choose between one human life and another. – Judaism 101

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    The pay and other benefits I receive from working ARE MY MONEY.
    You sanction theft because you are a sexual weirdo. Ewww.

  • Vince

    Wrong. The law says they don’t have to cover your birth control. It seems to me that you’re the one advocating theft. You want to force your employers against their will to pay for your birth control. Last time I checked, in a capitalist society, an employee’s pay is mutually agreed to by both the employee and the employer.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    You do not understand conscientious objection, religious or otherwise. You endorse the opposite of religious freedom. You are a sheep and you want me to BAA with you. When sexpigs like you fly.

  • Vince

    You don’t seem to understand that there is no constitutional right to have other people pay for your birth control, including your employer. Federal law does mandate that many employers cover it, but there are exceptions. If you work for one of those excepted businesses, then find another job. It’s THEIR money, not yours. They’re free to cover your birth control or not. None of your rights have been violated, including religious freedom. You’re free to buy birth control with your own money. Sorry. It’s all about “me me me” with you people. In a capitalist society, you NEGOTIATE for your wages.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    No thank you. I will work to repeal Citizens United. Every patriotic American should do the same IMO. I think we need to repeal the Religious Freedom Restoration Act too.

  • Vince

    Where did you get this idea that you, as an employee, are ENTITLED to have your employer pay for your birth control as part of your wages? That’s not how capitalism works. In a capitalist society, the employer decides what the wages will be. If you don’t like it, don’t work for him.

  • Vince

    What does Citizens United have to do with this?

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    If you do not know the answer to that, why in hell are you debating the corporate personhood issue?
    Why are you coming down in favor of a corporation’s religious freedom rather than a woman’s religious freedom?

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Health insurance is part of my pay. My pay is MINE. I will not put a condom on my boss’s johnson if he will keep his hands out of my pocket.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Wrong on all counts. Minimum wage is set by the government. I can negotiate further. You do not understand how insurance works. So stop ‘calling me to task.’
    Go mansplain to someone else.

  • moonbug

    Years ago I worked for a newspaper in Washington. I got to know the Hill rather well. If Obama and his people had pushed a one payer bill hard, he could have gotten it passed in both Houses, even with some Republican votes, but he and his staff did nothing. For the first twelve months of his Presidency, he had little personal contact with Congress.

  • moonbug

    Oh, poo, Vince ! Don’t you know the Talmud (also known as the Pentateuch ) is the first five books of the Old Testament. Your scurrilous description of removing the fetus from the mother’s body gives us nothing. Incidentally, if you are going to hit us with this “Unofficial scripture” (your implication), why don’t you giver us bible references for it.

    This is a shaky teaching of the Church that Rome has tried to foster on us in recent years, but has not been proclaimed “Ex Cathedra–From the Chair of Peter,” therefore,

    The proclaimed teaching that the soul is infused at the moment of conception is a tad difficult to swallow when we consider the scientific fact stated by the American Obstetrics Society that between 30 to 50% of all the fertilized ovum fail to attach to the uterus wall, and are passed from the body in ministerial discharge.

    In other words, between 30 and 50% of all just conceived are killed before they are born. What kind of Theology is that?
    Now, is this scientific fact going to change, or is Rome going to admit they got it wrong?

  • moonbug

    Bill! I don’t think they have caved. Their problem is they are just not very effective. They came in inexperienced, and they have some people who drop the ball too often.

  • moonbug

    I think you are right about this, but it is the ONLY one.

  • Vince

    The Hobby Lobby ruling was based on a 1993 law. It had nothing to do with Citizens United. BTW, corporations have been legally recognized as persons since an 1868 SC decision, not Citizens United. Get your facts straight. Corporations are ultimately owned by people. When you infringe a corporation’s rights, you’re infringing the right of actual people.
    A woman’s religious freedom? I think you mean her reproductive freedom. Hobby Lobby isn’t infringing its employees’ freedoms. Their female employees can still buy birth control with their own money. There is no right to have other people pay for your birth control, so no rights have been infringed. Get it through your head: there is NO RIGHT to have OTHER PEOPLE pay for YOUR healthcare.

  • Vince

    That’s not how capitalism works. In a capitalist society, the employer decides what the wages will be. If you don’t like it, don’t work for him. You say “health insurance is part of my pay.” It is, but not for birth control if you work for a closely held religious company. Get over it. Unless the government mandates otherwise, your wages (which birth control is a part of) are totally up to the employer. You don’t have a right to demand something like birth control coverage as part of your wages.

  • Vince

    Unless the government says otherwise like regarding minimum wage, it’s totally up to the employer. Get over it. Some businesses don’t cover any health insurance at all. You don’t get to demand what your wages are in a capitalist society. It’s negotiated between you and your boss. Get a clue.

  • Vince

    You’re confusing the Talmud with the Torah.
    I’ve said here before that I’m an atheist.

  • Vince

    Most Christians support abortion in that case.

  • cranefly

    You perpetually miss the point and reframe this issue to make your opposition sound as selfish as possible. This is not about women making special demands on employers. This is about employers having special exemptions to discriminate against women in the standard health care coverage they have been required by law to provide. There is no male health care need that your employer has a right to deny you for religious reasons (as yet). But employers have obtained to the right to discriminate against women and deny them coverage for certain prescriptions based on their corporate “religious beliefs.” That is legalized gender discrimination.

    There are all kinds of medical situations that may impact the kind of contraceptive a woman needs, which she may need for medical or safety reasons even if celibate, and the fact that many working people can’t afford or can barely afford health care is the reason why the attempted reforms of the ACA were enacted in the first place. A person’s boss’s religion should have nothing to do with the kind of health care coverage he or she receives. If you are male, it won’t. If you are female, it might. We all have the freedom to save up for expensive toys. Birth control is not a toy.

  • Vince

    I actually believe that employers should be required to cover birth control with some exceptions for religious organizations. (The Catholic Church, for example, which has long stood against birth control for deeply held moral convictions, should not be forced to go against its views.) I think Hobby Lobby should have to cover birth control, but the law says otherwise. If you don’t like it, get that religious freedom law repealed. My point simply was that there’s no constitutional right to free birth control. I’ve had enough of people complaining that their rights are being infringed when they’re not.
    I agree that a boss’ religion should have nothing to do with the kind of healthcare a woman receives, which is why we should have single-payer. Single-payer will eliminate that problem, but presently we have to deal with this problem.
    I don’t know if I agree with you that this is gender discrimination, though. Gender discrimination would be if men could get birth control covered but women couldn’t. Also, the issue of birth control does affect men, too. If I’m a man and my wife can’t get birth control coverage, it affects my life as well, so it’s not as if men are totally unaffected by this.
    Hobby Lobby employees who are offended by this policy should simply quit.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    I get to demand anything I want. You do not get to tell me what to think or how to live. In the battle of wits, you are unarmed.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    95% of corporations in the USA are ‘closely held.’ You are a corporate stooge. Corporations before women for you. You gay? Most gay men have more respect for women.

  • Vince

    You can demand anything, but your boss doesn’t have to listen.

  • Vince

    Where did you get this idea that you somehow have a right to your boss covering your birth control?

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Where did you get the idea I do not? You know nothing at all about this subject, but that does not keep you from bloviating all over the board.

  • Vince

    Where does the Constitution say your boss owes you birth control coverage? That’s where we get our RIGHTS from, the Constitution.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Where does the Constitution say the State can force you to purchase auto insurance?
    You are stupid and you want me to be stupid with you. That will happen when sexpigs like you fly.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    My boss can demand anything, but I do not have to listen.

  • Vince

    Why do you always change the subject? We’re not talking about auto insurance, you old seahag. Where does the Constitution say that your boss owes you birth control? Answer: it doesn’t. Therefore, it’s not a right. So stop whining about your “rights” being infringed. Speech is a right. Having others pay for your stuff, isn’t.

  • Vince

    Well then he can fire you for insubordination.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    I was making an analogy. I have a hard time thinking of anyone being dim enough not to get a simple analogy. And here you are to remind me.
    How old are you? Is senile dementia an issue?

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    You come off as never having had an intimate affectionate relationship with a woman, not even your Mother. So are you gay?

  • Vince

    I know what an analogy is. Yours just didn’t make any sense. I still don’t get what kind of point you’re trying to make.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    I did not know this below. Thank you.
    Quote: This is a shaky teaching of the Church that Rome has tried to foster on us in recent years, but has not been proclaimed “Ex Cathedra–From the Chair of Peter.”

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    What is the fault in the analogy? It is perfect. The fact that you do not understand it does not impeach it.
    a·nal·o·gy
    noun
    a comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose of explanation or clarification.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Thank Republicans for this structure. Dems worked for single payer.

    My boss could not decide for me how to spend my pay or use my benefits until the Hobby Lobby decision. Now a corporation’s religion trumps my ethics/religion because they employ me. I thought we did away with slavery?

    The SCOTUS has now pierced the ‘corporate veil.” There will be no end of tsuris because of this decision. Nobody likes it. Everybody hates it.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    That act will soon go the way of the dodo.
    http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/07/10/reid-hobby-lobby-bill-taken-next-week/

    “After calling the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case “certainly the worst in the last 25 years,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced on Thursday that the Senate will take up the Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act next week.

    The bill, introduced by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Udall (D-CO), would prohibit employers from using the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) or any other federal law to keep their employees from accessing health-care coverage guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act.”

  • Vince

    Well then, genius. Explain how your analogy is perfect.

  • Vince

    I never said I loved Republicans, but this religious freedom law was passed in 1993. Wasn’t Clinton president then?
    Your boss still can’t decide how you spend your pay, but he can decide how MUCH your pay is, which means he can decide that he won’t pay for your birth control coverage as part of your wages. I don’t see how that’s slavery. Slavery is forced labor. Who’s forcing you to work for him/her? You know that some businesses don’t even have to cover any healthcare at all, right, so why are you complaining? The point I’m trying to make is that you don’t have a constitutional right to have your boss pay for your birth control coverage, so none of your rights have been lost. Quit crying. When your employer did have to cover your birth control, it was a PRIVILEGE, not a right. That’s the ONLY point I’m trying to make here. Personally, I’d have no problem if congress repealed this law, but the law is the law as of now.
    The Hobby Lobby decision isn’t related to the Citizens United decision in any way. It’s based on a religious freedom law, not the Constitution. Simply repeal the law if you have such a big problem with it.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Explain how it is not. Go away, Vince. You are boring.
    All your arguments boil down to:
    1. Nuh uh.
    and
    2. … because I (or some authority figure) say so.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Go away, Vince.

  • Vince

    You seem to think you have a right to demand certain benefits from your boss. According to that logic, if you demanded that your boss double your salary, he’d be obliged to do so. Why don’t you understand that the boss decides what your wages are? It’s something you negotiate. You don’t have the RIGHT to a particular wage or benefit. You say that a corporation’s religion trumps yours. Well it seems to me you think that your religion trumps your employer’s. Why the hypocrisy?
    Again, where does the Constitution say your boss has to pay for your birth control coverage, since you seem to think it’s a God-given right?

  • Vince

    The GOP controls the House.

  • Vince

    How did the Supreme Court violate the Civil Rights Act?

  • Vince

    Maybe I’m confusing you. I’ll make it simple. It’s fine that you want your boss to cover your birth control. All I’m saying is that it’s not a God-given, constitutional right. So please quit acting like your rights have somehow been violated.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Go away, Vince.

  • Vince

    I don’t even understand your analogy, so it’s kind of hard to explain how it doesn’t make sense.
    All I’ve said here is that making others pay for your birth control coverage isn’t a right. It isn’t. Personally, I think birth control should be covered. That’s just my opinion, though.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Once again. Go away, Vince.

  • Vince

    Will do, but I take that as a surrender on your part. It’s the “me generation” with you people. Everybody else owes you something.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    What is it about ‘go away’ you do not understand?

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Show me a ‘right.’ Hold one up so I can see it and touch it. You cannot. That is because a ‘right’ is what we say it is. In the USA, one of the rights enumerated in our Constitution is equal treatment under the law. Insurance pays for your penis pump and it pays for my contraception.

    I will not put a condom on the Hobby Lobby corporation’s penis if they will keep their cold wet corporate nose out of my pudenda. I wonder where the corporate zipper is.

    They have messed with women. And now they are paying and they will keep paying. And it is getting funnier and funnier as the days go by.

  • Vince

    How does it violate the Civil Rights Act?

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    I don’t even understand your analogy, so it’s kind of hard to explain how it doesn’t make sense.
    ……………………………………….
    Well, that is honest.

    All I’ve said here is that making others pay for your birth control coverage isn’t a right. It isn’t. Personally, I think birth control should be covered. That’s just my opinion, though.
    ………………………..
    Why should birth control be covered?

  • Vince

    I wouldn’t be mad if Hobby Lobby was forced to cover birth control. All I’m saying is that the law says they don’t have to, and the law should be respected. Work to change the law if you don’t agree with it instead of complaining.

  • Vince

    I think it should be covered because more birth control will reduce the number of abortions. That’s my personal opinion.

  • Vince

    How has your religious freedom been violated? Nobody is stopping you from buying birth control.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    You do not actually read anything I type to you, I think. A picture is worth a thousand words.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Citizens United expanded corporate personhood. That expanded person went after my contraception because Jebus.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    You are correct. Contraception reduces the need for abortion.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Stop telling me what to do, Vince. So obnoxious.

  • cranefly

    I appreciate you meeting me halfway, at least. I also don’t believe in an unalienable right to free birth control. I only believe in a right to gender equality, and I think most liberal women will ultimately agree that birth control is only a right insofar as health care is a right granted by law. It is very clear to me that birth control (and/or the variety of drugs that can be used as birth control) is a part of basic women’s health care.

    Not all people are married, and obviously, men can’t get pregnant, so the risks associated don’t affect their bodies. But the way I see it, men have been given a right to preventive care for those things that are most likely to kill them or hurt them. Women deserve the same right.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Snore.

  • toptwome

    This republican Supreme Court is all over the place with their decisions. Now Hobby Lobby can get away with not providing birth control in their heath insurance policies. This is wrong. All women should be able to have birth control covered by health insurance they pay for.

  • toptwome

    Only that it was another terrible decision by the republicans on the Supreme Court. Instead of making our elections fair and just. They are making it the more money you have the more influence to can have all over this country.

  • toptwome

    No corporations have never been a person and they will never be a person. You really are extremely uninformed or just want to be the know it all that most republicans think they are and they are not.

  • toptwome

    President Obama has not caved. He is trying to make sure that women have birth control. If their employers refuse to cover birth control, the government will provide the birth control to them for free. That is why I have always supported this President. He wants to be fair and he wants to be the one who cares about the women the republicans did not want to cover.

  • toptwome

    President Obama does the right thing all the time. I wish that could be said of the republicans in our government.

  • toptwome

    What about their rights? They should only be born when they will be loved and wanted. That is what birth control offers to women. They no longer have to have 12 children that do not get any attention or love. This is not long ago. This is now.

  • toptwome

    Seems they really have been violated and Hobby Lobby started this rotten ball rolling.

  • toptwome

    Republicans have already argued that the mother’s life being in jeopardy is not important to them.

  • Vince

    Hobby Lobby can get away with it because of federal law. Work to get the law repealed if you don’t like it.
    Nobody is stopping any woman from forking over her own money to buy insurance that covers birth control.

  • Vince

    No, it was a correct decision. When you ban corporations from making political speech, you are banning people from making speech. Corporations are owned by people.

  • Vince

    Citizens United wasn’t about corporate personhood. It was about the fact that corporations are associations of people.
    You are really uninformed. The Supreme Court ruled back in 1868 that corporations are people (Santa Clara Co. vs. Southern Pacific Railroad).
    Finally, I’m NOT a Republican. Stop assuming what my political views are just because of one issue.

  • Vince

    Corporations are owned by persons.

  • Vince

    When did I say Obama has caved? I haven’t said anything about Obama.
    If the government is providing them birth control for free, why are they still complaining?
    The government shouldn’t pay for a rich woman’s birth control. If she can afford it, she should pay for the insurance herself.

  • Vince

    What I meant by “it affects men” is that the man in the relationship may also not want children and have an interest in his wife/girlfriend having birth control. If a woman’s birth control isn’t covered, it may very easily hurt both women and men.
    I think women should have birth control, but I can see why a religious organization may not want to cover it.

  • Vince

    I agree with you that birth control is a good thing. “lives7″ is talking about abortion, not birth control.

  • Vince

    No. There’s not constitutional right to have birth control coverage as part of your wages. It’s not in the Constitution.

  • Vince

    SOME extremists have. No GOP presidential candidate in recent memory has opposed abortion when the mother’s life is in jeopardy.

  • Vince

    You know that many businesses don’t have ANY healthcare plan, right?

  • Vince

    He does the right thing all the time? So you’re okay with him being for the death penalty and using drones? I thought that liberals were against those things.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Corporations are persons who will never die. Unlike stockholders.

  • cranefly

    Sure, it may affect men, but not their bodies, not their health, not their safety. This is no insignificant distinction.

    As a religious person, I have been forced to pay for things that deeply violate my conscience since the day I spent my first penny and was charged a tax. There is no conceivable way to have a government without someone’s money being used in an unsatisfactory way, and some of these “religious” organizations (USCCB and Hobby Lobby in particular) have obviously and deliberately misrepresented their religions to wield political power. In my opinion there is nothing to their case but selfishness and misogyny.

  • Vince

    Well then you should petition to get this religious freedom law repealed.
    Personally I think that non-religious organizations like Hobby Lobby should be forced to cover birth control. However, I think that innately religious organizations like the Catholic Church should not.

  • http://practicingresurrection.wordpress.com/ Bill

    It seems unlikely to me that the Obama administration is caving in to religious conservatives. Why would it? It seems much more likely that the administration’s lawyers have concluded that based on the developing precedent they are required to grant the exemptions. In other words, they’re making the calls that they have concluded put them in compliance with (and in obedience to) the law. As they should. That doesn’t mean they agree with the law as interpreted by the USSC, but if the interpretation is reasonably clear, they don’t have the option of choosing to violate it.

  • phatkhat

    Most gay men I’ve known really like women – just not as sex partners. The best friends I’ve ever had were gay men.

    Vince is just a troll, LOL.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Agree. A troll who is enjoying the attention he is getting for being a troll.