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View Diary: Supreme Court will hear Obamacare contraception challenges (276 comments)

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  •  As I said in a similar thread (9+ / 0-)

    (here) at issue is whether your insurance premium subsidy is part of YOUR compensation, or something that THEY own.  

    I say that as part of your financial compensation, it is yours.  Same as the cash that gets deposited in your bank.

    •  Well, if you want to get technical, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blackhand, nextstep, VClib

      it's actually a benefit, sort of like if your employer pays for a parking space for your car, or if your employer brings in lunch every day.  A benefit that, as of now, you do not pay taxes on (as you would if the employer just gave you cash and you bought your own policy).

      The question is, can an employer, through his business, be forced to provide a benefit that violates his/her religious belief?  As a really simple analogy, say the employer was an Orthodox Jew, and he ran a business through a closely held (not publicly traded) corporation.  Suppose the government said, if your employees are working at least three of the hours between the hours of 10 and 2, you must provide lunch, and because we think pork is good for people's health, one day a week you must serve pork."  Would that violate the RFRA or the First Amendment?  

      •  Interesting point on the taxes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil

        It makes me wonder if there is a sales or other tax applied to the premiums, such that it becomes a matter of who is paying the tax.  Still, there could be a difference in tax rate, e.g. between sales and income tax rates.  This could be a regulatory inroad.

        Even as a benefit, I am still certain that your dollar compensation is still reduced accordingly to keep the total compensation in line with expectations.  

        I also have to wonder, how many people would opt for the "free market" solution to this sort of imposition on one's coverage and take a job elsewhere?

      •  That's ridiculous! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        merrywidow, Loge, Tonedevil

        Jewish folks do not force other people (outside their Judaic faith) to NOT eat pork (within their businesses or otherwise).

        •  The analogy is based on this proposition. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          apimomfan2, VClib

          1.  Eating pork is against the religious views of the employer.  

          2.  Forcing the employer to serve pork is not forcing him to eat it and commit a sin himself.    It is forcing him to assist others in doing what he regards as a sin.

          Does that violate his religious beliefs, RFRA, or the free exercise clause?

          •  still doesn't work (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil

            Orthodox Jews don't have any opinion about whether gentiles like me eat pork.  

            A better analogy might be what would happen if the employer refused to reimburse meal expenses that include trayf.  The burden on religious exercise, not to fight the hypo, would be in processing a payroll credit, whereas the insurance thing is a payroll deduction.  They're going out in the marketplace and offering a series of insurance plans that meet regulatory requirements and help them attract and retain employees.  They are not paying for contraception; they are paying others to pay for others to pay for contraception, if they want.   (of course, you've said in the mandate discussion that buying health insurance is just like buying food, so I guess that's just your thing.)

            Perhaps the litigation posture requires the Court to credit the claim that this is a violation of religious convictions: I am not the Court.  This is only a burden to the extent they don't have religious dominion, and it's a not-so-subtle way to avoid hiring young women, because what if they DON'T take contraception.  The class of people taking birth control is the class of people who may become pregnant: boom, maternity leave, lost hours.  It's always about them money.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 01:58:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  That's unrealistic (6+ / 0-)

        but a more apropos example might be the requirement to provide health insurance and an employer whose religion opposes/forbids medical treatment. Should the employer (in a for-profit, non-church related business) have the right to refuse to provide health insurance?

        Another example someone gave, if Scientologists own a business and oppose mental health benefits.

        At some level, a person with strongly-held religious beliefs should make a choice, based on those beliefs, whether to sully him or herself with involvement in the sinful world of business. There are other options, like working for someone else, or working for a church.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 11:41:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  RE the comment below (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch
          requirement to provide health insurance and an employer whose religion opposes/forbids medical treatment. Should the employer (in a for-profit, non-church related business) have the right to refuse to provide health insurance?
          I may be mistaken, but haven't the courts upheld that in cases where another person is involved that it becomes negligent to fail to seek treatment?  I am thinking that there have been cases where parents had sick children and attempted to cure them through prayer claiming religious reasons and been charged with a crime when the child died.  I am thinking that had something to do with involving another person who would have presumably chosen the normal treatment.
          •  Only in the case of dependent (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil, irishwitch

            children or adults not competent to care for themselves--that's really a very different issue that is not implicated here. The negligence is based on being fully responsible (as parent or guardian) for the care of someone who cannot care for him- or herself.

            "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

            by Alice in Florida on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 12:21:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I think that's a central question. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          But I perhaps would phrase the underlying question this way:

          Does a person have a right, under RFRA and/or the First Amendment, to operate a business in accordance with that person's religious beliefs?  

          This

          At some level, a person with strongly-held religious beliefs should make a choice, based on those beliefs, whether to sully him or herself with involvement in the sinful world of business. There are other options, like working for someone else, or working for a church.
          Would suggest he does not, that when he operates a business, he has no right to exercise his religious beliefs while acting on behalf of, or in conjunction with, the business.  It would suggest that not only is there a wall of separation between church and state, but there is also a wall of separation between church and private (as opposed to government) commerce.  And I'm not sure the SCOTUS has ever gone there.  

          If -- and only if -- someone has a right to operate his business in accordance with his religious beliefs, then one might look to a balancing of the competing burdens:  the burden on the employer by forcing him to violate his religious beliefs v. the burden on the employee who does not get contraception covered under the medical policy.  

        •  So, a landlord could refuse to rent to GLBT, unwed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch

          mothers, straights co-habitating, atheists, brown people, black people, children, the aged, etc., with a Get Out Of Jail Free Card if they claim renting to such individuals infringes on THEIR "religious liberty"?

          WHERE WOULD A BAD RULING FROM THE SCOTUS ON CONSERVATIVE RIGHTWING "RELIGIOUS LIBERTY" END?!?!

          Welcome to 1900, if this rightwing Conservative Xtian measure passes the SCOTUS!

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