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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception 1330

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the should-have-gone-with-commie-care dept.
An anonymous reader writes In a legislative first, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that for-profit companies can, in essence, hold religious views. Given the Supreme Court's earlier decisions granting corporations the right to express political support through monetary donations, this ruling is not all that surprising. Its scope does not extend beyond family-owned companies where "there's no real difference between the business and its owners." It also only applies to the contraception mandate of the health care law. The justices indicated that contraceptive coverage can still be obtained through exceptions to the mandate that have already been introduced to accommodate religious nonprofits. Those exceptions, which authorize insurance companies to provide the coverage instead of the employers, are currently being challenged in lower courts. The "closely held" test is pretty meaningless, since the majority of U.S. corporations are closely held.
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

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  • A win for freedom (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NaCh0 (6124) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:04PM (#47355211)

    Go get all the abortions you want, but private businesses have the option to not pay for it.

  • by mattack2 (1165421) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:05PM (#47355231)

    So I hope that a business can refuse to pay for it even without having to pretend to believe in an invisible man in the sky..

    If not, I hope one of them sues, because the government is then preferring one religion over another.

    (I think this, and many other things, should be paid for by the person themselves...)

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:09PM (#47355255) Homepage Journal

    put their religion before the constitution. Shocking.

    Religious fuckers are destroying this country.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:09PM (#47355269)

    Corporations have ONE religion, and that is to make as much money as possible. They are under common law obligations to screw over people to do so. Tto say they have religious convictions is absurdity at its finest.

    Watch the abuse begin. It's the latest slip down the slippery slope started in 1800s when the absurd idea of "Corporate Personhood" started.

  • by alen (225700) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:11PM (#47355275)

    you should learn to read
    SCOTUS specifically said it has to be a closely knit ownership structure with a history of religious beliefs against abortion

    just like aereo, this is a narrow ruling

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:11PM (#47355281) Homepage Journal

    I's insurances, IT goes into a pool. Telling people they can't use it because of someone else's religion is THE single most unConstitutional thing they could have done.
    IT's not freedom, it's religious zealotry. This is the same shit that change the mideast from a open democracy in the 40-5 and 50s into the religious cluster fuck it is now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:11PM (#47355293)

    Unfortunately we can extend that to a variety of things. Do your 'sincerely held religious beliefs' outlaw blood transfusions? Looks like your exployees are going to be paying for that themselves. Organ transplants? I'm sure insurance companies would love that. Like many things, the problem isn't the scenario at hand. Its the precedent and how it will be abused.

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:14PM (#47355321)

    Now one philosophy is paramount in the eyes of the law.

    The philosophy of liberty has only gotten a small win here. One step forward for every two steps back.

  • Bad media coverage (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:18PM (#47355353) Homepage Journal

    To start with Hobby lobby was NOT against contraceptives, and offered it to their employees. They were against 'after the fact' options. Like "plan B".

    Avoiding the truth was a plan to harass and go after them using media bias, much like Chick-fil-A was attacked.

  • We are doomed (Score:1, Insightful)

    by TopChef (1308767) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:19PM (#47355363)
    Superstition trumps health care for women.
  • by raymorris (2726007) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:20PM (#47355367)

    It was a few hundred years before that when corporations were created as legal persons who could purchase ships, undertake voyages, be sued, etc.

    The whole idea of a corporation is that me, you, and a hundred other people can pool our resources to do something big, such as buying and outfitting a ship (or ISP), and if something went wrong a creditor could take the ship and its cargo, but you wouldn't be risking your house. As a legal person, the corporation could be sued, rather than filing 100 law suits against each of the individual investors, none of which could pay the judgement.

  • WTF rich people? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:23PM (#47355391) Homepage

    You bitch about paying for welfare kids, and you bitch about women not wanting kids to abort them. PICK ONE AND STFU!

  • by stoploss (2842505) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:24PM (#47355407)

    put their religion before the constitution. Shocking.

    Religious fuckers are destroying this country.

    Meh. You are complaining about the symptom rather than the cause.

    While I am not religious, I do respect the rights of religious people. It is unconscionable for them to be forced to provide benefits that are in opposition to their morals. However, I am in favor of ubiquitously available contraception (for everyone, not just women, I'm egalitarian that way...).

    The real issue stems from the retarded decision back in the high income tax bracket era of the early 20th century that led to the IRS allowing health insurance premiums to be tax-deductible from payroll. That fucking brain damaged decision led to our current clusterfuck of employer-provided health care.

    Fix the underlying cause, and this problem becomes a non-issue. I prefer the UK's approach, with public & private healthcare systems. Besides, do you really want to undermine the First Amendment simply to try to hack on yet another kludge for the collapsing employer-provided approach to health care in this country?

    You can probably go a long way toward convincing the conservatives by pointing out that a large portion of our population is already on socialized healthcare programs that won't ever go away (Medicare, Medicaid, TriCare, the VA, all governmental employees, et al) unless we replace them with universal healthcare, and that countries with socialized health care pay *less* in health care costs/taxes than we do for our "free market" (but not really) solution.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:25PM (#47355411) Journal

    I'll be cool with the ACA mandating equal pricing for the genders when my auto insurance company is held to the same standard [esurance.com].

    Shakrai, male, 32, 790 FICO score, zero moving violations, zero accidents, six month premium for 2012 Honda Civic: $450
    Shakrai's ex-gf, female, 31, 710 FICO score, three moving violations, two at fault accidents, six month premium for 2011 Honda Civic: $390

    Same liability limits, I had higher physical damage deductibles, and a 10% discount for defensive driver training that she lacked, both through Progressive.

    I wonder when the big man at 1600 Pennsylvania is going to fix this gender disparity?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:26PM (#47355415)

    Healthcare is a form of compensation, just like your wages, your employer can not tell you how to spend your wages, why can they tell me what healthcare services I can utilize? Also, companies don't "pay" for healthcare like its some sort of charity they generously give to there subjects, employees pay for it themselves by providing work for the company!

  • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:27PM (#47355421) Homepage Journal

    Exactly. It is a good idea going completely out of control. I am for corporations having legal rights, but it was intended to be limited.

    When you say corporations have the same legal rights as people, you're giving them the cake and letting them eat it, too. Saying they ARE people is a power grab, and all of a sudden there is no trade off for the idea of limited liability.

    Again... the idea that corporations can have religion is absurd. The limited liability company makes profit their religion. The door is wide open for all types of abuse. The right wing anti-gay zealots are already lining up to use this decision to try to roll back civil rights gains.

  • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:28PM (#47355431) Homepage Journal

    Healthcare is earned and part of pay. It is NOT paid for by the company. Another absurdity in this whole mess.

  • Bad Precedence (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:29PM (#47355439)

    This is really bad.

    Lets see how quick other companies jump on this bandwagon and try to push it further.

    I am betting we will actually see a few companies trying to say that modern medicine is against their religion and opt for prayer healing instead. Or maybe a few companies may use this to force their employees to follow their religious dress codes to deter employees and a whole other barrel of monkeys on this one.

    Honestly, what CAN'T you do based on a religion? Especially when people can actually make up their own religion if they can get enough support, and I am betting that if enough rich people get behind one, they can make an official one with all kinds of cost effective religious practices.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:32PM (#47355463) Journal

    However, I am in favor of ubiquitously available contraception (for everyone, not just women, I'm egalitarian that way...).

    We had it before the ACA's mandate. 85% of group health plans provided it. Non-profits in all 50 States and many local governments make it available to those who can't afford it. The cost is not prohibitive even for those without insurance who don't wish to avail themselves of the aforementioned options.

    The mandate was a solution looking for a problem, or if I'm more cynical, it was an effort to throw red meat at the base and distract them from the shitty economy. "Sure, we can't get you a job, but don't for the other guy because HE HATES WOMEN!!!"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:36PM (#47355505)

    Right, because running a corporation is a religious practice. Give us this day our daily board meeting.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:42PM (#47355545)

    Perhaps I misunderstood.

    Who said the employee couldn't use contraception? The employee is still free to obtain and use contraception on their own or through a provision - it just isn't forced upon the company to purchase it which seems equally fair. In addition to the employee purchasing (or using the provisions) for the contraception, then they are also free to work in another with/without religious beliefs who will purchase it.

     

  • by Lord Kano (13027) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:42PM (#47355549) Homepage Journal

    Chick-fil-A were attacked because they were openly bigoted.

    Were there any documented cases of Chic-Fil-A refusing to serve someone because they were gay? Refusing to hire someone because they were gay? Attacking someone because they were gay?

    LK

  • by I'm New Around Here (1154723) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:44PM (#47355575)

    Several reasons.
    1. There is no such church
    2. If you invented such a church, it would not be a legitimate church
    3. You are too honest to invent a church just to cheat someone out of health care
    4. The decision was limited to this issue of abortion drugs
    5. You actually do think businesses have to pay for things people could pay for themselves

    Anything else you are unsure of?

  • Distinct DNA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmaiBLUEl.com minus berry> on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:48PM (#47355603) Homepage Journal

    the idea of "when life starts" which is a philosophical, not a scientific problem

    Pro-life scientists point out that an embryo is a distinct organism because it has distinct DNA. The life associated with that DNA thus begins when sperm meets egg.

  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:50PM (#47355621)

    Coupling the two has always been a cluster fuck. This is just one more reason to abolish this particular linkage.

  • But now... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pollux (102520) <speter AT tedata DOT net DOT eg> on Monday June 30, 2014 @08:59PM (#47355713) Journal

    Corporations are people too. [wikipedia.org]

    As in the Citizen's United case, this ruling is a complete perversion of constitutional rights on the American Public, and both as abominable as Plessy v. Ferguson. Here's the train of logic that the majority took:

    1) Take a piece of legislation [wikipedia.org] originally designed to protect sacred American Indian worship sites, though more broadly individual religious freedoms,
    2) And extend those freedoms to corporations with this hocus-pocus incantation: "The purpose of extending rights to corporations is to protect the rights of people associated with the corporation, including shareholders, officers, and employees." (573 U.S. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Syllabus, pg. 3)

    And while I was never a fan of Ginsburg in my younger years, given the recent evolution of the SCotUS, that opinion is rapidly changing, especially when she has this to say on the matter (573 U.S. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Ginsburg dissent, pg. 14):

    Until this (Citizens United) litigation, no decision of this Court recognized a for-profit corporation’s qualification for a religious exemption from a generally applicable law...the exercise of religion is characteristic of natural persons, not artificial legal entities. As Chief Justice Marshall observed nearly two centuries ago, a corporation is “an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law.” (Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 4 Wheat. 518, 636 [1819]).

    Should just rewrite the Preamble of the Constitution now to read, "We the Corporations of the United States..."

  • Re:Distinct DNA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:01PM (#47355727)

    Then I guess full-clone parthenogenesis isn't real reproduction.

  • by skywire (469351) on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:02PM (#47355731)

    But an employer has no more right to say how an employee uses a benefit as they do their earned money.

    Oh, really? They do it all the time. An employer's very choice to give you a particular defined benefit rather than the money they pay for it is itself saying how you can use it. Just try to get a large employer to give you the money in lieu of the benefit. Or even to buy a different kind of insurance plan than the one they dictate. Good luck with that.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:05PM (#47355755) Homepage

    on the one hand it means religions, er, corporations, can discriminate against everything from blood transfusions to births without circumcision, but...it also means the opinion shreds whatâ(TM)s known as the corporate veil (the principle that establishes a corporation as a distinct entity from its owners or shareholders). This would mess with a lot of businesses and how they do business.

    Hobby Lobby 'also for all its piousness' has a retirement plan that invests very heavily in the manufacturers of the forms of contraception it claims to abhor so much. make of that what you will.

  • A loss for freedom (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:07PM (#47355777)

    This is not the philosophy of liberty; this is the philosophy of a religious oligarchy.

    If we indeed has 100% employment and people could easily float between jobs it would be a win for freedom. But since people are frequently stuck with the job they have it is a loss. Because now the people with the money get to impose their religious doctrine on their employees.

  • by perpenso (1613749) on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:09PM (#47355801)

    Saying they ARE people is a power grab ...

    The US Supreme Court did **not** say that corporations are people. A spokesperson for the losing side in the court case gratuitously characterized the decision that way, in other words it was just political spin on the decision.

    What the Court actually said is that
    (1) Groups of people have the same free speech rights are individual persons.
    (2) It doesn't matter what the nature of the group of people is; corporation, labor union, public interest group, etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:10PM (#47355815)

    How about I choose women to have personal responsibility? Why does them having sex instantly mean I have a bill to pay?

  • Re:Distinct DNA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:12PM (#47355825)

    I don't see these same scientists doing research to prevent the high number of fertilized eggs that fail to implant (so called self-abortions). These are all unique "organisms" according to this philosophy. If birth control causes fertilized eggs to pass through, and they naturally do this quite often, then we should rush to research how to prevent all of these natural abortions, right?

    Instead, you see nothing about this. That's because they don't give a ... about the fertilized eggs at all.

  • by Qzukk (229616) on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:17PM (#47355861) Journal

    If this actually sticks:

    there's no real difference between the business and its owners.

    Oh, wait, nevermind, as soon as someone sues them there'll suddenly be a "real difference" again and mommy government will ride in to save them from their actions.

  • Re:Distinct DNA (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:22PM (#47355903)

    Pro-life scientists point out that an embryo is a distinct organism because it has distinct DNA. The life associated with that DNA thus begins when sperm meets egg.

    Even pro-lifers know they are totally full of shit on this, since they aren't out protesting IVF clinics that throw embryos into the trash by the thousand.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:25PM (#47355921)

    Hobby Lobby did not want to pay for contraceptive drugs that created a condition they consider to be abortion.

    Yet they have no problem getting their wares from the force abortion capital of the world, China. Maybe they should change their name to Hobby Hypocrisy.

    Others may have a different view as to what they consider objectionable.

    Yes; Scientologists object to psychiatric medication, and JW's object to blood transfusions. By "carefully" limiting their bullshit rationalizations to contraceptives - just as their bullshit Bush v Gore ruling was "limited" to that one election - they favored one religion over another. This is the most blatantly unconstitutional ruling since Citizens United.

  • by kwbauer (1677400) on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:31PM (#47355977)

    They can still get the drug. hobby Lobby pays them and they are free to us that money or any other money they have. What they cannot do is ask Hobby Lobby to buy it for them. Ginsburg's theatrics aside, nobody is telling anyone they cannot have access to the drug. My insurance plan has all kinds of drugs listed that they will cover and mentions others that it won't. Why should these particular drugs be anymore special in the eyes of the law?

  • Re:Distinct DNA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:36PM (#47356021) Homepage Journal

    A blade of grass is a distinct organism. Would you then never walk on a lawn?

    A single sperm or egg has DNA, regardless of fertilization. Those sperm have relatively equal potential, too, but too bad for them that last little bit of motion by the coupling partners that made sperm number 43,235,22 win the race. Are you a mass murderer for those sperm that don't meet and proceed to spawn a new organism? Of course not. It's not about DNA.

    And further, the question isn't, or at least should not be, about "life." That's just too simplistic to be useful unless you're quite insane. Moss is alive. Bacteria are alive. Etc, ad infinitum. What are you going to do, off yourself so you can't interfere with any of them?

    The question is, and or at least definitely should be, are you doing harm to something that can suffer? here's the key issue: Does it have a nervous system, and does that nervous system couple to something sophisticated enough to convert those signals into suffering?

    Just think about it. The question's really not that difficult, and you don't have to invoke either the hucksterism of philosophy or the juju of religion to resolve it cleanly and ethically.

  • by AuMatar (183847) on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:41PM (#47356055)

    The first day we formed tribes, so about day 1 of our species. The day you pay back everything you've ever gotten from society (education, protection, medicine, roads, etc) with interest, forget everything you've learned and experienced due to society and move to somewhere where you'll never interact with humanity again. Until then take some fucking responsibility for once in your life and do what's right by humanity you self-entitled asshole. Or drop dead and improve the human species.

  • by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:43PM (#47356077)

    . If you invented such a church, it would not be a legitimate church

    Try telling that to Scientologists. Or Mormons. Or Seventh Day Adventists. Or, for that matter, Catholics. All of them were invented at one point in the recent (or not so recent as the case may be) past.

    The only thing that makes a church "legitimate" is that it has enough "followers" to be politically influential. Anything else is just post-facto rationalization.

  • 28th Amendment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bl968 (190792) on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:44PM (#47356079) Journal

    We need a 28th Amendment to the Constitution - All rights specified in the Constitution of the United States and all Amendments thereto shall apply to Natural Persons only.

    We can call it the Commonsense clause.

  • Atheism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:53PM (#47356147) Homepage Journal

    Atheism is ... rather a philosophy opposed to [religion].

    Completely, 100% wrong. Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or gods. That's all it is. Anything else, *anything*, is an add on from some other idea. I'm absolutely, completely, atheist -- I hold no belief in a god or gods whatsoever -- but I am not opposed to religion, in fact, I can cite you chapter and verse as to many of the benefits religion brings, and has brought, to our society. I live in a church. What I am opposed to is any particular religion getting control of law and/or government. Because that has demonstrably caused harm almost without surcease. But again, even this is not a consequence of my position that the idea of god or gods is ridiculous, rather it is a consequence of my observation that every religiously influenced law I know of is extremely bad law, and furthermore, tends to favor group A over group B in such a way that there is no sane basis for it.

    Theism: Belief in a god or gods.

    Atheism: Without belief in a god or gods.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2014 @09:58PM (#47356199)

    The solution to the problem is to not incorporate. Then one can run the business however they want.

    Keep in mind that a corporation is a government-created entity in the first place. The charters are granted by state or federal government. Essentially, they can (should) set the rules by which the corporation's extra-legal benefits are given.

    Essentially, if your own skin isn't in the game (your personal assets are shielded from your failed company), it isn't "your" business anymore.

  • by radarskiy (2874255) on Monday June 30, 2014 @10:20PM (#47356333)

    "should be paid for by the person themselves"

    An employee's compensation comes in the form of direct wages and benefits that include medical insurance. One way or another the employer is paying for it.

    Does the employer have a say in how the employee spends their direct wages? If not why is come compensation privileged and some not?

    Does the employee receive some other compensation to make up for the reduced medical insurance coverage? If not why should some employers be entitled to compensate their employees less on the basis of religious beliefs?

  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) on Monday June 30, 2014 @10:21PM (#47356341)

    Why is this story posted here? How is this news for nerds?

  • by stoploss (2842505) on Monday June 30, 2014 @10:22PM (#47356351)

    No, you've made the same stupid leap the religious lobbisits want you to make.

    Ah.

    No doubt you would be fully in favor of laws to force Muslim employers to provide bacon to their employees as long as the majority votes that way. Or maybe a Supreme Court mandate in favor of forcing Jewish businesses to be open on Shabbat, or forcing Jewish restaurants to serve meat with dairy. I don't support any of these either, and those scenarios make just as much (non)sense as forcing employers to pay for employee contraception or abortion in violation of their conscience.

    You have failed to establish a compelling rationale for why employers' beliefs need to be suppressed simply in order to provide birth control to people. Unlike many other aspects of politics, this is an artificial point of contention because these two positions are orthogonal in any rational scenario. In order for you to make a compelling argument in support of suppressing religious rights in this regard, you have to establish a rational basis for why these positions (i.e. availability of contraception and employer religious beliefs) are logically in tension.

    You have fallen into the trap of believing that there are only two alternatives in this debate (suppressing religious beliefs or suppressing access to contraception). You are too blinded by your political agenda to realize you are defending the party line on a pointless wedge issue rather than advocating for a real solution: ending the employer-provided health insurance paradigm in this country.

  • by perpenso (1613749) on Monday June 30, 2014 @11:10PM (#47356687)

    "Citizens_United" Corporations are people too.

    In the Citizens United case the US Supreme Court did **not** say that corporations are people. A spokesperson for the losing side in the court case gratuitously characterized the decision that way, in other words it was just political spin on the decision.

    What the Court actually said is that
    (1) Groups of people have the same free speech rights as individual persons.
    (2) It doesn't matter what the nature of the group of people is; corporation, labor union, public interest group, etc -- any organization will do.

  • Re:Distinct DNA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by quantaman (517394) on Monday June 30, 2014 @11:31PM (#47356817)

    the idea of "when life starts" which is a philosophical, not a scientific problem

    Pro-life scientists point out that an embryo is a distinct organism because it has distinct DNA. The life associated with that DNA thus begins when sperm meets egg.

    Then pro-life scientists are abusing scientific terminology to justify their philosophy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @12:13AM (#47357059)

    WRONG.
    It doesn't matter what license or charter you get from the government, whether sales tax license, medical license, bank charter, corporate charter, or drivers license - your rights are your rights and they cannot be separated from you. A charter or license cannot come with a "speech code," or a religious requirement, or waiver the government to get a search warrant.

    A moments reflection would reveal how undesirable it would be to live under such a government.

  • by hsthompson69 (1674722) on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @12:20AM (#47357113)

    Medical insurance provided as compensation was essentially a dodge against wage controls - so yeah, ideally, we'd end the practice of employer-based insurance, and let people buy on the open market, or pay fee for service. COBRA portability was an attempt to deal with the problem, but the *real* issue is that employers shouldn't be in the business of providing insurance.

  • by hsthompson69 (1674722) on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @12:28AM (#47357165)

    a real solution: ending the employer-provided health insurance paradigm in this country.

    I agree with you with one caveat - health insurance should be for catastrophic matters, not routine ones. Routine medical care should simply be fee for service. Chronic medical care is probably a wobbler, depending on the condition, but acute medical care should be where insurance kicks in.

    We have car insurance for accidents. We don't have gasoline insurance, or oil change insurance, or tire rotation insurance - we save the insurance for the catastrophic incidents, not the routine ones.

  • by buybuydandavis (644487) on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @01:36AM (#47357499)

    Again... the idea that corporations can have religion is absurd.

    Corporations are groups of people getting together under a charter. Many corporations are based in religion and conscience. Many for profit corporations have elements of religion and conscience. Non profits are generally incorporated as well.

    It's funny. Progressives complain that corporations only worship profit, and then when they act on other values, they demand they only worship profit.

  • by AuMatar (183847) on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @02:07AM (#47357661)

    So they were forced to by the government. So the government intervention was required. Thanks for proving my point. Although you're still wrong, because the amount of roads outside of suburban subdivision dwarfs the amount of in subdivision roads.

    As for the turnpikes nonsense- there wasn't even a real nationwide freeway before the Eisenhower system. The closest thing was route 66, which was mostly small local roads. If your statement was even close to true there'd be remains of private highways made useless by the interstate system. There aren't. You're just totally wrong.

  • by TimboJones (192691) <<ten.senojobmit> <ta> <senojobmit>> on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @02:34AM (#47357787) Homepage

    now the people with the money get to decide how its spent.

    This would be meaningful if any of the following were false:

    • The money is being spent on employee benefits, not corporate resources
    • The medical industry in the United States relies heavily on insurance
    • The vast majority of insurance coverage in the United States is provided by employers

    To my mind, this money belongs to the employees as part of their health benefits package, and the employees should have the ultimate decision on how money is spent on their health.

  • by ClickOnThis (137803) on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @02:40AM (#47357805) Journal

    you should learn to read
    SCOTUS specifically said it has to be a closely knit ownership structure with a history of religious beliefs against abortion

    just like aereo, this is a narrow ruling

    It seems to me that companies owned by Scientology members can now opt-out of health insurance plans that include psychiatric treatments.

    Or companies owned by Jehova's Witnesses can opt-out of health-insurance plans that include blood transfusions.

    Or companies owned by Orthodox Jews can opt-out of plans that include medications derived from pork products.

    Or companies owned by Hindus can opt-out of plans that include health products derived from cows.

    We all want our friends and neighbors to have religious freedom. But when they become our employers, shouldn't there be a limit to their expression of it when it affects our access to health care?

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @06:05AM (#47358413) Journal

    Personal responsibility. Some don't believe in it, they think it's the Government's job to use your money and mine to help people who aren't capable of engaging in it.

    The GP isn't worth replying too, but here's food for thought for anybody who might be suckered in by his nonsense: The combination of pill and condom has a typical use failure rates of less than 1%, with a perfect use failure rate that's less than 0.1%. You are using condoms if you're sexually active, right? Last time I checked you can't cure AIDS with a visit to the abortion clinic....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @07:09AM (#47358569)

    No, you've made the same stupid leap the religious lobbisits want you to make.

    Ah.

    No doubt you would be fully in favor of laws to force Muslim employers to provide bacon to their employees as long as the majority votes that way. Or maybe a Supreme Court mandate in favor of forcing Jewish businesses to be open on Shabbat, or forcing Jewish restaurants to serve meat with dairy. I don't support any of these either, and those scenarios make just as much (non)sense as forcing employers to pay for employee contraception or abortion in violation of their conscience.

    You have failed to establish a compelling rationale for why employers' beliefs need to be suppressed simply in order to provide birth control to people. Unlike many other aspects of politics, this is an artificial point of contention because these two positions are orthogonal in any rational scenario. In order for you to make a compelling argument in support of suppressing religious rights in this regard, you have to establish a rational basis for why these positions (i.e. availability of contraception and employer religious beliefs) are logically in tension.

    You have fallen into the trap of believing that there are only two alternatives in this debate (suppressing religious beliefs or suppressing access to contraception). You are too blinded by your political agenda to realize you are defending the party line on a pointless wedge issue rather than advocating for a real solution: ending the employer-provided health insurance paradigm in this country.

    You've again missed the point by changing the goal posts. A Muslim businessman chooses to open a halal butcher, pigs never enter his shop. You cannot buy what is not sold. Just like you don't go to a fabric store looking for a backyard grill, or help with your transmission, you don't shop for bacon at a halal butcher. A jewish (or any buisness for that matter) can close any day of the week they please.

    You see the difference with these choices? They don't affect anyone else. A individual is making decisions for himself. Birth control is what the currently argument is about, but the action itself is the important piece. Someone with authority (an employer) wants to use his belief to force his employees to act more like how his religion demands.

    Turn your position around, if the religion forbids birth control* and we use that as an excuse as to why an employer shouldn't have to provide it** , then why not take the next logical step. My employers religion requires prayer 7 times a day, therefor all employees will stop work at designated times and join the prayer group.

    Wait, my example is already illegal. Its an employer forcing behavior on their employees based on religious doctrines. My right to not have to do something because of your religion is protected, why should you be allowed to forbid me something because of your religion?

    That's the dividing line. As long as your religion is a personal choice you can behave as you please.

    *Actually it forbids using it, not giving it out, so Christians shouldn't care if others use it or not, but that's a different can of worms

    **and technically they don't, unless you happen to be actually working for a health insurance company chances are your employer has contracted out your coverage anyway.

  • by dywolf (2673597) on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @08:30AM (#47358915)

    Not quite.
    The law requires, as part of that "minimum level of coverage" that preventive healthcare to be covered by all insurance plans at zero out of pocket cost. ie, no copays, no cost sharing, no coinsurance, etc. Instead they are paid out of premiums only. One of those preventitive things is contraception.

    So if a company buys a plan for its employees, it much meet those minimums.
    Hobby Lobby objected to the requirement for contraception.

    The legal way out for HL was just NOT PROVIDE INSURANCE, in which another part of the law would kick in, and the employees, having no employer sponsored plan, would then be eligible for subsidies on the exchange, and the company would pay a pentaly (the stick of the carrot/stick approach in the law to incentivizing companies into sponsoring insurance; the carrot is the massive tax break they get for it).

    But HL didnt want to pay a penalty.
    And HL also still wanted their tax break.
    So, HL still wanted to ffer insurance....just without meeting the minimum requirements.

    HL wanted all the benefits of hte law, without the requirements of it.
    They wanted their cake, and to eat it too.
    And unfortunately for the country, they got it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @09:40AM (#47359441)

    ... the currently-leftwing government ...

    You have GOT to be kidding. There is no left-wing in the US mainstream.

  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @10:15AM (#47359781)

    And one of those types are IUDs. My wife has one of those to regulate endometriosis which can be quite painful to deal with. Her doctors recommended using it instead of the normal birth control pills (which she has tried in the past) and it works. The fact that this works as birth control is a side benefit. (We already have 2 kids and don't want/can't afford any more.) However, this ruling would give an employer the right to say "we object to this because of 'religious reasons' so we're not going to cover it in your employer provided health care." Then, if we wanted this device to manage my wife's medical condition, we'd be forced to pay full cost out of pocket.

    However, if I needed "little blue pills" and was employed at Hobby Lobby, they would be more than happy to provide them to me. They also see nothing wrong in investing in the contraception companies in their 401K. Apparently, making money off of "godless abortion pills" is perfectly fine religiously.

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