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View Diary: White House says Obama considering rolling back mandatory insurance coverage of contraception (263 comments)

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  •  It is not a free exercise violation (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, milton333, Betty Pinson, JVolvo

    under current doctrine. Neutral rules do not, according to the Court, present free exercise problems.

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

    by David Kaib on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 03:57:44 PM PST

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    •  What about their right to choose? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrblubitz
      •  I'm not sure what you mean (9+ / 0-)

        But neutral, general rules (under current doctrine) trump the individual's right to actually exercise their religion.  That is, government could bar the drinking of alcohol, without granting an exemption for sacramental wine (a much more obvious problem than what we're talking about here).

        Another retort is what about women's right to choose? You open up a hospital, and take government money, you need to provide health care.  Nothing in Catholic doctrine requires either the founding of hospitals or the taking of government money to do so.

        Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

        by David Kaib on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:12:44 PM PST

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        •  Maybe that is my confusion. Would this rule apply (0+ / 0-)

          to a hospital that is completly private?  For example, not Medicare or Medical patients?  That would seem to interfere with the hospitals freedom to decide which services to provide.  

          For instance, could the government require that all hospitals provide abortions if the hospital disagreed with the proceedure?

          •  Most do (I'd bet) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JVolvo

            but I shouldn't have included the part about the money. The real issue  is that government is allowed to regulate health care and insurance.  There is no freedom to decide such things (I'm not saying you couldn't argue for one, but none that I know of under current doctrine).  Hospitals are already required to provide care to people without insurance - why would abortion be any different?

            Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

            by David Kaib on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:25:41 PM PST

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            •  There's no religous objection... (0+ / 0-)

              ...to emergency care w/o regard for ability to pay (as far as I know) so the 'religious exemption' issue doesn't come up for that.

              Isn't the question what level of scrutiny the courts would apply to the "must provide birth control and emergency contraception" rule when considering the religious implications?

              Suppose that the federal government decreed that health caregivers could not have beards because of concerns (supported by peer reviewed studies) that they harbored bacteria and lead to MRSA infections.

              Suppose a caregiver whose religion forbids removal of facial hair challenges the rule.

              It seems the rule would meet the intermediate scrutiny standard as it furthers an important government interest  (reduced spread of disease in healthcare facilities) and is substantially related to that interest (supported by the studies).

              However, it seems the rule would not meet the strict scrutiny standard because, if nothing else, it likely isn't the least restrictive means of achieving the end. For example, perhaps it would be sufficient to require that bearded caregivers washed their facial hair with germicide periodically - just as hand-washing might be required.

              Which standard would be applied to the "must provide birth control and emergency contraception" rule? It seems that the important government interest could be furthered with less restrictive rules (such as requiring that anyone requesting such services be given a referral to a facility that would provide such services and providing transportation to/from that facility).

              IANAL (obviously or I'd probably be able to answer my own question)!

          •  You know that already (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marty marty, JVolvo

            there are many hospitals that will not perform abortions under any circumstances, right? Hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid?

            Often that means that very large regions of the country do not have a hospital with this service, and it can be an issue not just for elective abortions but also for miscarriages.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:17:00 PM PST

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        •  You Just Hit The Nail On The Head... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          piusx

          Many people are concerned that the Catholic Church will shut down hospitals or drop insurance coverages. And I am sure that Obama is in that group.

          Of all the groups that own hospitals and insurance companies, the Catholic Church is one of the better ones.

          Many people in government service realize that the Catholic Church takes its belief system seriously, just like the OWS protestors that have been pepper sprayed and/or arrested.  

          This entire problem could be solved if they would just define "religious employer" in a clear manner.

          •  I think if the Catholic Church wants to get out (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Abelia, Lost Left Coaster

            of the business of owning hospitals, that is not a bad thing.

            I don't think it's appropriate for their religious beliefs to affect a public good service like a hospital. In a large city, where there is competition, it is not a problem. In a more rural area, where there may be no alternative, it is a big problem.

            Suppose the Pope came out against amputation?

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:19:25 PM PST

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            •  What Is A "Public Good Service"? (0+ / 0-)

              Catholic hospitals have always been built as private non-profit organizations to serve areas with many Catholics.  Many Catholic hospitals were built before Meidcare, Medicaid, or medical insurance became common.

              If they closed every hospital that had opinions different than yours, I am sure that a lot of people would miss out on some very important medical services.

              The actual disagreement is the Fed's definition of "religious employer".  The administration has tried to assure the Catholic Church that the definition is very broad even though the language is very narrow.  The Catholic Church is concerned that the administration will later change their mind on what the definition includes.

            •  You cannot compel people to do what you want... (0+ / 0-)

              simply because there is nobody else around willing to provide that service. That argument doesn't fly at all.

              •  The problem is in areas are not big enough for (0+ / 0-)

                two hospitals. And catholic hospitals will not properly attend a woman who is in danger because of a miscarriage.

                If the church only hires Catholics to work in its hospitals, it is exempt under the rules as they stand. If their business plan is primarily health care and not religion, then it is not.

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Wed Nov 30, 2011 at 08:14:32 AM PST

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          •  One of the better ones? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JVolvo

            Unless, of course, you're a woman.

            "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

            by Lost Left Coaster on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 06:06:32 PM PST

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            •  Which Of Their Hospitals... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              piusx

              would you recomend women avoid?  I used a Catholic hospital many times as a kid.  My mom was very familiar with the emergency room because of my childhood injuries.  They didn't discriminate against female patients in those days.

              I was referring to the fact that Catholic services have never been started to generate a profit, but to serve the community.  They were traditionally put in areas with large Catholic populations to make the services available to their members.

              •  If you are a pregnant woman (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                susanala, JVolvo

                and are in an emergency situation where you may have to have an abortion in order to save your life, DO NOT go to a Catholic hospital.

                "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

                by Lost Left Coaster on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 08:01:02 PM PST

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                •  No human should use my city's Catholic hospital. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JVolvo, Lost Left Coaster

                  They dump indigents on the public university teaching hospital just like the corporate owned facilities do. The law doesn't require them to do anything more than stabilize a patient. And the definition of stable is conveniently loose.

                  They half-ass it and work a way to transfer indigent patients, even if the patient doesn't really need tertiary care and may be needlessly destabilized by a transfer.

                  They really don't want to provide charitable care, and of course they don't want the worst cases on their books. Bluntly, they don't want the morbidity and mortality attributed to them.

                  The university is an actual public hospital so they actually have to provide care.

                  Then there's the crap that passes for health care that you get even if you are insured to the gills. My mom was put on life support after she refused it and I (having POA) refused to go against her wishes. She did recover (very kinda sorta, died 7 miserable months later). This is why she  did NOT want life support in the first place.

                  When she went on the regular ward, there were 18 patients on1 nurse and 1 aide all damned weekend. And almost all of them were elderly, disabled, high fall risk, etc. The very patients who can least afford inadequate care.

                  It's really annoying to me because the #1 surgeon for elbow problems in major league baseball pitchers has his primary clinic at this hospital. Why do I suspect that those celebrity athletes aren't treated like my mom was?

                  Just because you're not a drummer doesn't mean that you don't have to keep time. -- T. Monk

                  by susanala on Wed Nov 30, 2011 at 03:58:43 AM PST

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              •  yeah, remember Joe Lieberman says it's no big (0+ / 0-)

                deal.  Sexually-assaulted (and now pregnant) women can just go get on a bus and find another hospital.  Charming.

                It is necessary that laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced. - Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

                by JVolvo on Wed Nov 30, 2011 at 08:25:08 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

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