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View Diary: Religious "Companies" should not have to pay for contraceptive coverage? I agree! (65 comments)

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  •  I enjoy the line of reasoning. (12+ / 0-)

    It would be totally unworkable if everyone could pick and choose what they would pay for in government. But I believe that's the point of the diary - to highlight the absurdity of reasoning of Hobby Lobby.

    If Hobby Lobby has the right not to have to pay for contraceptive coverage, then why should a Quaker have to pay for war? Let's either give everyone their own personal line item veto, or nobody.

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 11:57:12 AM PST

    •  The Hobby Lobby argument is ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, FloridaSNMOM, wilderness voice

      ... by asking them to administer and directly pay for the benefits program, they're more intimately involved in the commission of "evil" acts than someone who's paying taxes into the general fund.

      •  They don't need to administer it unless they (7+ / 0-)

        choose to be self-insured. If they aren't self-insured, they just simply buy the policies and leave it to the insurer.

        What's really the difference between buying a policy that includes this coverage, or giving them a paycheck which they may choose to spend on contraceptives, or many other things that the HL owners might disapprove of - pornography, houses of prostitution, alcohol, sex toys, donating to progressive causes. Would the next logical step if they win this  case be to require the employees not spend their money on any form of contraceptives or abortions?

        There is a solution, although not a short term one. Hobby Lobby could lobby for a single payer plan to take health care off the back of businesses. I don't think there is much chance of that ever happening though. I'm not referring to the achieving a single payer play, but a very conservative corporation like HL pushing for it.

        Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

        by RhodeIslandAspie on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 12:12:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What if Hobby Lobby gave it's employees (0+ / 0-)

        vouchers to pay for 60% of a qualifying plan of the exchanges. What would be the qualitative difference between that and and an employee cash from their Hobby Lobby paycheck to buy contraceptives. It would be clearly an employee choice. HL could say they were washing their hands of the decision, that the "sin" was something that the employees have chosen to do.

        But even if Hobby Lobby didn't contest this at all, and simply provided the qualifying coverage, it is still an employees choice. Is an employee required to purchase contraceptives just because it's a provided for service? If an employee agrees with the position of HL that contraceptives are immoral, they won't avail themselves of the opportunity. If they disagree it's none of HL's business and more than it is if an employee likes to have a beer after work.

        Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

        by RhodeIslandAspie on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 12:19:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't proofread the above at all. sorry. (0+ / 0-)

          What if Hobby Lobby gave it's employees vouchers to pay for 60% of a qualifying plan on the exchanges? What would be the qualitative difference between that and and an employee using cash from their Hobby Lobby paycheck to buy contraceptives? It would be clearly an employee choice. HL could say they were washing their hands of the decision, that the "sin" was something that the employee had chosen to do.

          But even if Hobby Lobby didn't contest this this in court at all, and simply provided the qualifying coverage, contraceptives are still an employee individual choice. Is an employee required to purchase contraceptives just because it's a provided for service? If an employee agrees with the position of HL that contraceptives are immoral, they they won't avail themselves of the opportunity. If they disagree with HL's moral stance, then they may choose to use contraceptives and consider it no more of their employer's business than if they have a beer after work, paid for with money earned at Hobby Lobby.

          Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

          by RhodeIslandAspie on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 12:31:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Do you happen to know (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adam B

        if the ACA specifically forbids the outsourcing of HR duties like payroll and medical bennies to a third party like ADP or Paychex?

        I don't know about Paychex, but I'm pretty sure ADP has a division now which handles every scrap of HR duty that a company wants to pay them to handle--including health insurance benefits.

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 01:26:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sure they can outsource it, but ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eyesbright, lunachickie, VClib

          Here's what the 10th Cir said:

          The government [contends] the regulations place no burden on Hobby Lobby or Mardel. It insists the insurance coverage at issue is just another form of non-wage compensation — supposedly the equivalent of money — and therefore should not present problems under RFRA.

          Such reasoning cannot be squared with the Supreme Court's holding in Thomas. The Supreme Court emphasized that when the plaintiff drew a moral line between foundry and factory work, it was not the Court's prerogative to determine whether the line he drew "was an unreasonable one." Thomas, 450 U.S. at 715, 101 S.Ct. 1425.

          Just so here: Hobby Lobby and Mardel have drawn a line at providing coverage for drugs or devices they consider to induce abortions, and it is not for us to question whether the line is reasonable. This is especially so given that Hobby Lobby and Mardel stand in essentially the same position as the Amish carpenter in Lee, who objected to being forced to pay into a system that enables someone else to behave in a manner he considered immoral. That is precisely the objection of Hobby Lobby and Mardel. It is not the employees' health care decisions that burden the corporations' religious beliefs, but the government's demand that Hobby Lobby and Mardel enable access to contraceptives that Hobby Lobby and Mardel deem morally problematic. As the Supreme Court accepted the religious belief in Lee, so we must accept Hobby Lobby and Mardel's beliefs.[16]

          .... Southworth involved a similar claim brought by university students who challenged a mandatory fee that would be used in part to fund other student groups that produced speech the plaintiffs found objectionable. 529 U.S. at 230, 120 S.Ct. 1346. The Court concluded that because funds for student activities were distributed to student groups on a viewpoint-neutral basis, this system prevented "any mistaken impression that the student [groups] speak for the University" or for the plaintiffs. Id. at 233, 120 S.Ct. 1346 (internal quotation marks omitted).

          The government attempts to analogize these Free Speech and Establishment Clause cases to the question here. The government suggests that because it was not possible to attribute the offensive speech to the students in Southworth and the support for religious schools to the state in Zelman, it is also impossible to attribute an employee's independent choice to the employer.

          We reject this position because it assumes that moral culpability for the religious believer can extend no further than the government's legal culpability in the Establishment or Free Speech contexts. Again, Thomas teaches that the plaintiff is not required to articulate a legal principle for the line he draws, let alone point to an analog from potentially related fields of constitutional law. And the question here is not whether the reasonable observer would consider the plaintiffs complicit in an immoral act, but rather how the plaintiffs themselves measure their degree of complicity.[17]

          Hobby Lobby and Mardel have therefore established a substantial burden to their sincerely held religious beliefs.

        •  The ACA does not forbid outsourcing HR activities (0+ / 0-)

          However, Hobby Lobby is self insured.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 03:55:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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