HHS Contraception Mandate

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Sephiroth9611
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HHS Contraception Mandate

Post#1 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:40 pm

The US Department of Health and Human Services has mandated that all employers pick up health coverage that includes coverage for contraception.

There are exemptions for religious organizations, but these orgs are very narrowly defined, so that while a church is exempt, a hospital or social services agency that is sponsored by a church body is not.

These orgs will either have to buy contraception coverage for their employees or else pay hefty fines that will run them out of business.

The administration has offered a compromise that in effect passed the cost from employers to the insurance companies, but this compromise is flawed in that by passing the burden to insurance companies, those companies would just jack up premiums for everybody and the religious orgs would still be paying.

This compromise is also flawed in that the original mandate is already on the books and it would take an act of Congress to alter the regulations, so the administration is offering a compromise it cannot easily deliver on even if it was made in good faith.

1. Is contraception some kind of right? Why?

2. If it is, why does that right outweigh a right that is specifically mentioned in the Bill of Rights: freedom of religion?

3. If the government can order private companies to have to buy certain services, is this not just another step down the slippery slope to tyranny?

4. If the administration truly wanted to offer a good faith compromise, why not just disentangle health insurance from employment so that employers can pass on the savings to employees who can then buy their own coverage that includes or does not include contraception according their own religious beliefs?
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Keefy
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Re: HHS Contraception Mandate

Post#2 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:54 pm

1. Yes, in as much as anything is. It is a legally recognised human right.

2. Law takes precedence over freedom of religion. You have religious freedom to the extent which operates within the law.

3. Yes. Equally, if private companies can become extremely large and powerful, and have no accountability other than to their shareholders, that too is a slippery slope to tyranny.

4. Because when companies are given savings to pass on to their employees they almost never do so in anything other than the extremely short-term. As measure promoting better health in the US, it would be horribly ineffective.

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Sephiroth9611
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Re: HHS Contraception Mandate

Post#3 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:26 pm

Keefy wrote:1. Yes, in as much as anything is. It is a legally recognised human right.

2. Law takes precedence over freedom of religion. You have religious freedom to the extent which operates within the law.

You don't explain why, but I think we have fundamentally different world views. But as far as the HHS contraception mandate goes, should religious employers be required to provide coverage even when it goes against their stated religious beliefs?

Keefy wrote:3. Yes. Equally, if private companies can become extremely large and powerful, and have no accountability other than to their shareholders, that too is a slippery slope to tyranny.

How does that apply though to Religious Medical Services Provider being forced to provide contraception coverage for its staff?

Keefy wrote:4. Because when companies are given savings to pass on to their employees they almost never do so in anything other than the extremely short-term. As measure promoting better health in the US, it would be horribly ineffective.

Back during World War II, US companies were forced by the government to freeze wages. But they were allowed to provide benefits like health care coverage as a way to work around that. So it's not as though the government created the current system to altruistically guarantee employees both good pay /and/ group health care coverage. But in the context of this thread, the compromise is regarding religious institutions, charities and such, not big bad multinationals. You mention above promoting better health in the US, but the administration with this new mandate is prepared see closed down a significant segment of US health care providers:

The Catholic Church has perhaps the most extensive private health-care delivery system in the nation. It operates 12.6 percent of hospitals in the U.S., according to the Catholic Health Association of the U.S., accounting for 15.6 percent of all admissions and 14.5 percent of all hospital expenses, a total for Catholic hospitals in 2010 of $98.6 billion. Whom do these hospitals serve? Catholic hospitals handle more than their share of Medicare (16.6 percent) and Medicaid (13.65) discharges, meaning that more than one in six seniors and disabled patients get attention from these hospitals, and more than one in every eight low-income patients as well. Almost a third (32 percent) of these hospitals are located in rural areas, where patients usually have few other options for care.
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clubbedwithspades
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Re: HHS Contraception Mandate

Post#4 » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:42 pm

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Last edited by clubbedwithspades on Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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SOLDIERofficer81
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Re: HHS Contraception Mandate

Post#5 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:03 pm

Sephiroth9611 wrote:1. Is contraception some kind of right? Why?

No.

Let us say that sex is a human need recognized by "science." Doesn't it follow then that instead of contraception being a right, sex is the right. And that instead of providing contraception, the State should be providing free sexual services to its Citizens?

Just because something is a need, does not mean it is a right.
Sephiroth9611 wrote:2. If it is, why does that right outweigh a right that is specifically mentioned in the Bill of Rights: freedom of religion?

Pass
Sephiroth9611 wrote:3. If the government can order private companies to have to buy certain services, is this not just another step down the slippery slope to tyranny?

Yes. Rights are not entitlements to services from the State. Because in the end, the State is its Citizens. And no one Citizen is entitled to anything from any other Citizen. Citizens may choose to have their State provide services to Citizens. But those services are not a right.
Sephiroth9611 wrote:4. If the administration truly wanted to offer a good faith compromise, why not just disentangle health insurance from employment so that employers can pass on the savings to employees who can then buy their own coverage that includes or does not include contraception according their own religious beliefs?

Pass
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gerry90
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Re: HHS Contraception Mandate

Post#6 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:13 am

Honestly, how stupid does the president think we are? The employers wiill buy the insurance and the insurers will give contraceptives to whomever wants them for free. Is he selling swampland somewhere too? I guess the unfortunate thing is there are probably plenty of people who think a change has been made here.

BlueJay
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Re: HHS Contraception Mandate

Post#7 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:41 am

1. No. The word "right" in this context is thrown around a lot these days, but I think it is worth noting the original list of rights in this nation included tools such as equal opportunity which gives the individual the means to go as far in life and be successful in pursuits of their choosing (and please note that success is different for different individuals) based on their willingness, ableness, and effort. This is a strong foundation for every individual in a nation to do their best and devote their resources to pursuits best suited for them. When you have a nation of individuals all working optimally for their own success, you have a successful nation whose curiosity and work ethics lead to a highly efficient, technologically advanced state. Nowadays, instead of people using their original rights to work towards fulfilling their needs and wants, they are declaring their needs and wants rights that should just be given. History has shown that such systems breed a population that is inefficient, stagnant, and technologically lagging. The evidence is stacked high as seen in the Soviet Union, North Korea, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Greece, and many others.

Now that said, birth control is an awesome thing to have, and it makes sense for any sexually active adult to invest in it and use it except when trying to have a child that they want to have and the means to raise that child to be an awesome adult.

2. So it is not a right, just like any form of healthcare shouldn't be. However, keep in mind that freedom of religion goes both ways. Just as it doesn't make sense to make organizations pay for all this stuff when they don't want to, it also doesn't make sense for religious organizations to reach out and try to dictate their misguided and harmful policies on everyone else, something that many religious organizations are constantly attempting to do. So they are not really innocent here. Many religious organizations don't just want to not pay for contraception, they want to ban people from its production, purchase, and use. So they will say their freedom of religion is being stomped on at one point, then smash everyone else's freedom of religion at another point. It's madness.

3. I'm not a fan of slippery slope arguments, but it certainly is a step in the wrong direction when people realize they can legislate the taking of resources from one group of people to give to another by majority votes. It may look shiny and wonderful for the majority, at least in the short term, but the long term damage will be unbearable.

4. Because it is no longer designed to proceed based on the best interests of the United States; it is designed to bring in a majority of votes.

A response to an individual statement:
"Why don't we just have socialized healthcare so that everyone has access to what they need..."

Because there isn't an infinite supply of every amazing cure we've ever made and new amazing cures yet to be invented don't appear out of thin air. This stuff is expensive. You can either let market forces determine how these resources are allocated, and this system is most efficient in maintaining supply and driving innovation to improve or create treatments. Or you can subsidize it, which creates an artificial distribution and these things have never been sustainable forever whenever it has been instigated.

"...employers can just deal with the fact that their employees' medical habits and needs are probably none of their business?"

If a company is paying for something... then it is their business. Their money is purchasing it. It's a real shame too because not only are you increasing their costs, but you are also diverting their attention from core business so you are inevitably damaging their capability to innovate and produce superior products. As a simplified example, let's consider Ford. The mission of Ford is to make money by producing outstanding, innovative, and reliable ground transportation vehicles. They are constantly working to make things that meet whatever mission. Gas prices went up? They work on gas mileage. The market for carrying heavy equipment heats up? They work to increase capacity or engine power. Anytime you introduce an element outside this core business, you are affecting the ability of the company to perform that core business well. In this case, you are making them pay for the employee healthcare. More cost. They need to manage the health plans. More overhead costs. Anything they can do to limit this impact would have to be considered to stay competitive, especially when some competitors are located in places where this mandate doesn't exist. This is the kind of thing for why my employer now does health screenings. They now have a real reason to be concerned on what my health is because it will affect their bottom line. People cry afoul of privacy being affected, but they should have known they were asking for this when they voted to make their healthcare their company's business.

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Sephiroth9611
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Re: HHS Contraception Mandate

Post#8 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:54 pm

BlueJay, you are right on the money.
"Quite a thing to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave."
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