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

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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

      [ Parent ]

      •  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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