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(Ceridwen/Wikimedia Commons)

This, from Tuesday's press briefing, is infuriating:

JAKE TAPPER (ABC):    I’ve heard from a lot of Democrats in the last few weeks who are concerned about President Obama possibly granting an exemption to Catholic churches, hospitals and universities from the requirement that all insurance plans cover contraception.  I’m wondering if you could shed any light on this decision.  I know the President has not yet made a decision, but I think these Democrats, a lot of them in the abortion rights community, are concerned that this is even being discussed.  Could you explain why the President is considering an exemption, and what’s going into his decision-making?

JAY CARNEY (WH Press Secretary):  Well, part of the process, Jake, as you know, was seeking and receiving public input before the guidelines that were announced by the Secretary of Health and Human Services would go into effect.  That process did result in public input, as well as resulted in numerous comments from various folks who have concerns about this issue.

The President has -- this decision has not yet been made.  You can be sure that we want to strike the right balance between expanding coverage of preventive services and respecting religious beliefs.  And that’s the balance that will be sought as this decision is made.

If you didn't know any of the background, Carney's answer seems perfectly reasonable. He makes it sound just like any other open decision, and promises that President Obama will come down on the side of balance.

The problem is, the decision has already been made. In August, the administration announced new rules requiring all new insurance plans to cover birth control and emergency contraception by 2013. At an early October fundraiser in St. Louis, President Obama himself hailed the rule. And when President Obama appeared before the U.N. in September, the administration touted the contraception rule as an example of America's commitment to women. So when Carney says "this decision has not yet been made," he's wrong. It has been made—and by reopening it, President Obama is succumbing to pressure from anti-choice groups.

Even worse, Carney says President Obama is trying to "strike the right balance between expanding coverage of preventive services and respecting religious beliefs" without acknowledging the fact that the rules announced in August already included an exemption for churches.

Even though that balance has already been achieved with the existing exemption, anti-choice groups are nonetheless claiming that the new rule violates their religious freedom. They say they want to expand the exemption beyond churches to  include hospitals and other facilities with religious affiliation, regardless of the religious beliefs of the people who work at and are served by those institutions. Despite their rhetoric, such an expansion would have nothing to do with religious liberty—remember, churches themselves are already exempted—and in fact would allow anti-choice activists to impose their own religious and moral views on others. What they really want is to get rid of the rule altogether, and they're more than happy to use any tactic at their disposal to begin chipping away at it.

In the face of such an obvious attack on the core of the rule, it's disturbing to see the White House openly contemplate caving to the anti-choice movement. They must have known this attack was coming when they announced the rule, so why in the world are they getting weak knees now? The political implications here are obvious: caving to the anti-choice right would be a huge let down to everyone who cares about reproductive freedom and access to birth control. And given that 99 percent of women have used birth control, that's a lot of people—a whole lot more than the small but noisy group of anti-choice activists who want to ban birth control altogether.

Moreover, there's absolutely no upside to allowing opponents of the rule to chip away at it; it's not like they are going to suddenly come out and endorse the rule. They still want it to be repealed.

The final thing that needs to be said is that if the White House and President Obama cave on this, they will have fallen back into the same old trap of projecting weakness when they are actually in a position of strength. The optics probably wouldn't be the same if the administration hadn't already announced the rule, but the fact is, they've announced it. Two-thirds of Americans support it. And now that the administration has put the rule in place, they should be proud of it—not contemplating walking it back. Instead of quietly considering weakening the rule, they should be shouting from the rooftops about how great it is. The fact is, that it was one of the most important accomplishments of the administration, and when it comes to women, it will certainly have a bigger impact than the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

They fought for women, and they delivered. It's astonishing to see them consider taking a step back toward the way things were, especially when there is absolutely no good political or policy justification for doing so. Instead of getting bogged down with how to narrow the scope of the rule, they should be asking the women they fought for to help them win the next battle. It's time to look ahead. Not behind.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 03:32 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Barak Obama... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plankbob, shaharazade

    Stephen Bishop re-incarnate...

    The 'Free Market' will decide. It will decide that the United States cannot consume 25% of the world's resources and the upper 1% cannot control 50% of the wealth.

    by RichM on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 03:38:46 PM PST

  •  Spineless, like so many Dems n/t (9+ / 0-)

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me.

    by plankbob on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 03:48:33 PM PST

  •  What's the political upside for him? (32+ / 0-)

    It's not like conservative Catholics and fundys are going to vote for him if he does this.

    “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry.

    by Paleo on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 03:49:50 PM PST

    •  Which is why he won't do it! Pure Sensationalism (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany

      plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

      by YoungArizonaLiberal on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 03:52:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If he hears from enough people... (10+ / 0-)

        ...I don't think he'll do it.

        But unless Jay Carney was lying, he's considering it, and you can't just blithely assume that he'll never do something he's considering.

      •  No. Pure idiocy then. (18+ / 0-)

        For Carney to not say today as clearly as you, "Not gonna happen. The decesion was made, it was a very good one."

        Rather than, you know, invite this "sensationalism."

        0: Number of Wall Street bankers arrested over crash of 2008. 4619: Number of Americans arrested protesting Wall Street's fraudulent practices 11/21/2011

        by Scott Wooledge on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:06:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agree. Where's the controversy? (7+ / 0-)

          Federal money isn't being spent on it.  

          People are free to chose whether to use birth control.  Or not.

          The cost is covered by the insurance company (to whom the patient pays a monthly premium) and by the patient.

          No one is being forced to use birth control, so where is there a valid argument?

          "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."

          by Betty Pinson on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:24:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Who's fault is the sensationalism Carney or media? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Imhotepsings

          The media, which currently is only the liberal and progressives BTW; are taking Carney's vague statement and going apeshit.

          Invite this "sensationalism"
          - HA, as if that was his goal!

          Nothing, I repeat NOTHING will change. It's pointless to question the ACA's commitment to following the Institute of Medicine's recommendations. That's what they did, and that's what they are doing--case closed.

          Focus on real issues, not sensationalist ones.

          plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

          by YoungArizonaLiberal on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:28:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  For like the millionth time (11+ / 0-)

            since this administration started I'll say this again; we wouldn't need to argue about what is said, if they'd state their values and positions clearly. Example, Carney could have answered Tapper's question with:

            The President's decesion was made already. Contraception is covered under new insurance policies. It is a great benefit for working families and aids safe, responsible family planning.
            Carney didn't say that. It isn't my, Jed or anyone's fault we are confused what the admin's position is now. Once again, they are masters of cryptic, ambiguous messaging.

            0: Number of Wall Street bankers arrested over crash of 2008. 4619: Number of Americans arrested protesting Wall Street's fraudulent practices 11/21/2011

            by Scott Wooledge on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:47:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And...the media responds by writing fear mongering (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Imhotepsings

              articles. No matter how clear or ambiguous the statement.

              Which propagates 150 variant comments of, "Obama sucks, if only he took our values and applied it to his Presidency"(meanwhile the GOP snatches up disillusioned "Independents/Democrats")

              Say what you want about the GOP, but they at least know how to stand by their man.

              plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

              by YoungArizonaLiberal on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:57:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  What a victim he is. (8+ / 0-)

                Your heart just aches for the leader of the free world, huh? He can summon every news outlet on the globe to transcribe his every word by just snapping his fingers, but the admin can't save itself from being victimized repeatedly by the "lamestream media?"

                As suggested earlier, it really is looking like the 2012 campaign slogan is shaping up to be: "Obama: Stop Picking On Him!"

                Very inspiring.

                0: Number of Wall Street bankers arrested over crash of 2008. 4619: Number of Americans arrested protesting Wall Street's fraudulent practices 11/21/2011

                by Scott Wooledge on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:05:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  My heart aches for so called progressives/liberals (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  OnlyWords, kayhag, Imhotepsings

                  /democrats who continue to shoot themselves in the foot by electing someone, liking him for 7 seconds, pushing him off a cliff, then looking down and saying, "oh shit".

                  I can't wait for the days of a Gingrich Presidency. Hey, maybe you can start a movement to elect a 3rd party candidate. Let me know how that works for ya!

                  Funny that you use the words "snapping his fingers" because that's all it took for many people to say, "Obama isn't doing every single thing that I want him to. I'm gonna protest by forfeiting my civic duty to vote and sit behind a computer to complain when things don't turn out how I want them to."

                  plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

                  by YoungArizonaLiberal on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:28:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The only candidate who can beat Obama (5+ / 0-)

                    in 2012 is Obama. It isn't disappointed liberals that are dragging him down, progressives voted in 2010. Public support for ending the Bush tax cuts was bipartisan and very popular. But he let the GOP outfox him. I have full confidence when they come up again in 2012, if he renews them you will be cheering enthusiastically and spewing more of the blame on progressives.

                    0: Number of Wall Street bankers arrested over crash of 2008. 4619: Number of Americans arrested protesting Wall Street's fraudulent practices 11/21/2011

                    by Scott Wooledge on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:37:44 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  We lost in '10 because 40 mil. people who voted (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Imhotepsings

                      '08, DIDN'T in '10. Many of them were left leaning.

                      I never expressed my opinion on the Bush tax cuts, so how the hell do you get off saying that I would "cheer" for their renewal or "blame" progressives?

                      plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

                      by YoungArizonaLiberal on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 06:04:37 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  You have got to be kidding (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marty marty, Clarknt67, vacantlook, JVolvo

                I don't know how many people have to explain it to you.
                1) The decision was made in August.
                2) Churchy groups are pushing for it to be changed.
                3) White House spokesman now says it is not settled, which means that
                4) The decision might be changed which would result in
                5) An absolutely worse deal for everybody.

                Again, Carney could have said "the decision was made already." But he said that it is up in the air. Which means that they are considering changing it. Just because you don't care doesn't mean that it is wrong for other people to be concerned about this.

                "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 06:03:40 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Absolute worst deal for everyone...including the (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  OnlyWords, Imhotepsings

                  President. Which is why this is pure and utter nonsense.

                  Feel free to explain the "controversy" to me again, I'm still not quaking in my boots like the rest of the folks on this page.

                  Jay Carney also said yesterday that Obama will be in regular contact with Sarkozy and Merkel to talk about the Euro Crisis. Does this mean that he, and David Cameron are not best buds anymore because he did not say they are in regular contact? Uh, oh--the UK/US relationship is going to dissolve!
                  Just because he is not explicit does not mean that we can draw drastic conclusions from his statements.
                  Things haven't changed, so there; relax. If things do change, I'll eat crow. But something tells me, this will blow over and everyone will start complaining about some other minutia.

                  plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

                  by YoungArizonaLiberal on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 06:27:40 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I just don't get your approach (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Clarknt67, JVolvo

                    I'm really happy for you that you're not worried about this. And you're so not worried about it that you've made a ton of comments on this thread berating everyone else who is worried about it.

                    But as for the rest of us who find this troubling: we're familiar with the administration's approach to these issues. We don't know what's going to happen because we don't have the kind of crystal ball that you apparently have, but many of us feel that there is good reason to be concerned, and good reason to speak out.

                    You don't feel that way, and you feel that the best use of your time is berating everyone who does feel that way. Well, I don't get it.

                    "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 08:04:17 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  A ton, what an exaggeration. It's common curtesy (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Imhotepsings

                      to respond to others comments. That's what I'm doing. If you look at people's reponses to what I said you will find that I was berated as well. But that goes with the territory and I like hearing what others have to say, even if we don't agree. You don't see it because my view does not correspond to yours. But to insist that I'm here just to wreck havoc is wrong. I am engaging in conversation--we differ in opinion and that's fine.

                      Healthcare is my life, in fact women's health is my primary interest. I do not think that Obama will renege on the contraception coverage. That was the point I was making. I don't hold an apocalyptic view of this Administration, sorry.

                      plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

                      by YoungArizonaLiberal on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 08:39:47 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  This may help you understand: (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Lost Left Coaster
                      YoungArizonaLiberal
                      UID: 323265
                      Joined: Oct 21, 2011

                      Perhaps YAL isn't familiar with this POTUS' long-standing pattern of saying one thing, letting R's frame the issue with ridiculous strawman attacks, POTUS then waffling in public (and/or Carney), taking more strawman attacks, then quietly working out a bipartisan "deal" with the ReThugs behind closed doors.  Ta-daa!

                      YAL, who might be very young to politics, might not know of this defining trait of this POTUS.  

                      OR YAL might just enjoy criticizing silly, bitter, foolish liberal/Progressives while protecting this POTUS:

                      My heart aches for so called progressives/liberals/democrats who continue to shoot themselves in the foot by electing someone, liking him for 7 seconds, pushing him off a cliff, then looking down and saying, "oh shit".

                      I can't wait for the days of a Gingrich Presidency. Hey, maybe you can start a movement to elect a 3rd party candidate. Let me know how that works for ya!

                      Funny that you use the words "snapping his fingers" because that's all it took for many people to say, "Obama isn't doing every single thing that I want him to. I'm gonna protest by forfeiting my civic duty to vote and sit behind a computer to complain when things don't turn out how I want them to."

                      That's quite a scathing - AND VERY FAMILIAR - pile of crap dumped on us "so called progressives/liberals/democrats."

                      It's only missing ponies and Nader.

                      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 08:18:17 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

  •  what kills me is (23+ / 0-)

    that even if they're being cynical, it's not going to buy them a single vote they'd have gotten otherwise, as far as I know.

    WTF?

    "... a disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself." -- Hannah Aredt, regarding the behavior of the National Socialist (NAZI) Party in the Reichstag in the Weimar Republic.

    by billlaurelMD on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 03:50:22 PM PST

    •  They think fighting and confrontation is losing (9+ / 0-)

      Really.  The Man went to DC to be above it all.  They think making a deal is success, no matter what the deal actually is.

      Never in my life could I have believed that this term could be such a fucking nightmare.  Oh my god, make it stop.

    •  Are there Catholic hospitals... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      liberte

      ...that provide a higher level of charity care than for-profit hospitals that may get out of the business if they have to provide birth control and emergency contraception?

      If these hospitals are shut down, or more likely sold to less charitable for-profit companies, could this cause a backlash that the Administration fears?

      It does seem strange for the Administration even to be discussing this just for "first order" political reasons.

      •  Absolutely. (0+ / 0-)

        This is exactly what the Bishops have been telling the Administration. Not some Catholic hospitals; all of them. Good luck to the Administration once that happens. I'm sure so many people will be happy once they have to travel farther in an emergency or not be able to receive care at all at a corporate hospital.

        •  But would they all close if the Bishops say so? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JVolvo

          I've read enough complaints on Life Site, etc. about fake Catholic hospitals that are avoiding the Bishops rules. Judging by the nurses strikes when the bean counters try to make things unsafe & doctors fighting back when insurance companies deny coverage, enough healthcare providers would be more committed to their communities than the bishops that it would be problematical for the bishops to do what they threaten. The bishops can clamp down on individual cases, but if there's a united push back maybe they wouldn't.

          Also, many "Catholic" hospitals are only relatively recently "Catholic", because of buy-outs & mergers. So they have staff that isn't Catholic, or less hardcore Catholic.

          What would happen is not something one could know ahead of time, unfortunately. But I think the danger is not as large as is portrayed. Rather I think it's something (to go OT) similar to "weapons of mass distruction". The scare tactic of "all these hospitals WILL CLOSE" is being used because it's a convient cover for the real reason (which would have something to do with money). For instance, I don't think the Bishops are the actual CEOs of the hospitals in all or even most cases.

          Giving birth (giving life) should be a gift not an obligation or women and poor people are 2nd class by definition

          by julifolo on Wed Nov 30, 2011 at 04:11:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They may not be the CEO, but they still own it. (0+ / 0-)

            In many cases, the hospital is directly owned either by the Bishop, a trustee of the Bishop, or some other agency of the Diocese itself, over which the Bishop has immediate control, given that he is the Bishop. That means he has the power to shut them down. In cases where the hospital is owned by others, the Bishop wouldn't have this power, but he could certainly revoke the hospital's right to call itself Catholic any longer.

            So, yes, every Catholic hospital will close if the Bishops feel it is warranted. It is simply a matter of which hospitals might no longer be Catholic; those might remain open, but they won't remain Catholic. I suspect there wouldn't be too many such cases.

  •  Free exercise clause (8+ / 0-)

    I think it's probably a First Amendment violation to compel Roman Catholic institutions to deal with birth control. We may respectfully disagree with Catholic teaching on this, but they're within their rights to believe what they will and to act on those beliefs.

    Short of a religion issue, though, there's really no reason to roll back coverage of contraception. None.

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 03:51:04 PM PST

    •  Which is why it won't happen! Pure Sensationalism (0+ / 0-)

      plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

      by YoungArizonaLiberal on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 03:53:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  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

      [ Parent ]

      •  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

          [ Parent ]

          •  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

              [ Parent ]

          •  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

              [ Parent ]

              •  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

                  [ Parent ]

            •  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

              [ Parent ]

              •  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

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  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

                    [ Parent ]

                •  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 ]

    •  The rules already say if it's church employment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catesby, JVolvo

      that they're exempt. IE, the insurance they buy for priests does not have to cover it.

      What they want is to be exempt for their civilian operations, where religion is not a condition of employment or hiring, as in when they own a hospital chain.

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

      by elfling on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:14:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So, if your boss is a Jehovah's Witness (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo

      you think it's right that he only provides you with insurance that excludes blood transfusions?

      •  Sure. (0+ / 0-)

        You don't have a right to medical insurance, and if you don't like what he's providing, you are perfectly free to buy insurance elsewhere.

        This is a basic principle of something called the "free market." You should look it up.

    •  Then they should get the heck out of health (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marty marty, schnecke21, JVolvo

      care, if they can't provide proper and necessary health care to people who need it.

      Birth control is not a luxury item; it is a necessity of life.

      "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 06:05:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ahhh, not by the Catholic Good Book... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Korkenzieher

        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 08:27:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  women's rights always seem to be negotiable (33+ / 0-)

    Women have always been the largest piece of the Democratic Party, but when push comes to shove, women get the shove.  That's the thanks they get.

    All that crap the Democratic Party did several years ago, bringing in pro-life candidates etc. well that's when I tore up my Democratic Party membership card.

    You either is or you ain't, Democrats.

    •  Don't women also have a right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elmo

      ...to choose their insurance giver outside the Catholic institutions? Whose denying them that freedom? This "consideration" is only for the Catholic institutions, not for the entire nation.

      "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

      by zenox on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:08:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Another good argument for single payer (8+ / 0-)

        No one should have to rely on an insurance company owned by the Catholic Church.  WTF?

        "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."

        by Betty Pinson on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:36:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  If you work for a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        julifolo, elmo

        Catholic hospital as an employee your insurance is usually through that employer and most Catholic hospitals dictate what their insurance will cover and what they will not.

        One Catholic hospital I worked for would not allow us to discuss abortion or other options with rape victims in the ER.  I'm Jewish and my first concern has always been my patients.  I could have been fired, but I did the right thing per my profession and gave the information anyway.

        "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

        by zaka1 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:28:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What world do you live in (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vacantlook, JVolvo

        where people are free to pick and choose their employer-provided health care?

        You have the health care that your employer provides. Unless you want to pay five or ten times as much on the open market.

        "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 06:07:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And our party wonders (6+ / 0-)

      why women have left the Dem Party or don't bother to vote anymore.

      Neither party represents their interests these days.

      "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."

      by Betty Pinson on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:27:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, think a minute (0+ / 0-)

        What women are going to be worse off if the Administration does in fact back off on this contraceptive requirement?

        Zero, that's how many. Because contraceptive coverage is not now required for women who get their health coverage through Catholic employers.

        On the other hand, can you tell me of any Republican politician who would mandate contraceptive coverage from any employer? I can't think of a single one. Not only are Republicans generally against the use of birth control, almost all of them want to make abortion illegal again.

        Don't give me that "neither party represents their interests"  junk. It's ridiculous.

    •  Ya think (7+ / 0-)
      women's rights always seem to be negotiable

      Was reaffirmng the Hyde Amendment not enough of a clue as to what Obama really thinks?

      Anyone with a spine when it comes to womens rights would have told the Blue Dogs to blow out their asses.  

      But not Barack.  Everything is on the table.  

      Dedicated to the GOP debates: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Hunter Thompson

      by NyteByrd1954 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:48:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  When you use a phrase "on the table" (0+ / 0-)

        generally it means "open to negotiation."

        Please explain to me what rights Barack Obama gave away when he reaffirmed the Hyde Amendment? I can't think of any, considering the fact that there was no realistic possibility of getting rid of the Hyde Amendment with the current Congress we have.

  •  They're not caving to the Forced-Human-Birthers (8+ / 0-)

    That's a foil.

    They are caving to the insurers and pharma, who don't wish to pick up the tab for non-Medicaid women.

    From a for-profit point of view, they are absolutely right. The shareholders will make more money this way. And women will come up with the money to buy contraceptives. Or not. It doesn't matter. A couple of accidental pregnancies taken to term is a hell of a lot cheaper than free contraceptives for everyone.

    In order to see reality, you have to follow the dollar. There's no other way.

  •  But There's a Crucial Philosophical Reason for It: (7+ / 0-)

    Bipartisanship.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 03:52:08 PM PST

  •  This right here (8+ / 0-)

    is why I can't get very excited about talk of GOP flip flops. I'm much more interested in making sure Democrats live up to our (alleged) values.

    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 03:52:15 PM PST

  •  Science not religion (15+ / 0-)

    should then any employee of a Jehovas Witness not allowed to have transfusions on his health care policy? should those employed by any Muslim organization forbid the many medicines that use pork fat? Any employee of an orthodox Jewish organization be forbidden to use his policy on places that offer services on the Shabbat or do offer other meals in the hospitals than kosher?

  •  Could you please clarify (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sc kitty, Mrs M

    what constitutes a "new" insurance plan?

    Does that mean that if you simply renew your coverage with the new year's plan in 2012 at your current company that it's considered a "new" plan, or does it have to be a plan written under new circumstances, such as a job change? That is, do all plans that cover contraceptives and are written to be effective after 2013 qualify?

    I see Jake Tapper left out the "new" qualification from his question, but your story picks it back up again.

    Anybody?

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 03:54:34 PM PST

  •  Woohoo, bipartisany pragmatic (10+ / 0-)

    compromise with the Catholic bishops aka NAMBLA.  Win the future...or something.

    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

    by owilde69 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 03:55:29 PM PST

  •  This is particularly troublesome (4+ / 0-)

    Knowing that Obama first said he was against extending the Bush tax cuts for the more wealthy in America and then accepting the extension on top of saying he was against same-sex marriage when he was campaigning then being in favor of ending DOMA and now seeing him balking on his stance on mandatory contraception as part of ACA after being a proponent...well, it's particularly troublesome.  

    If he and his campaign team is going to make a case against any republican opponent for being wishy/washy and "flip-flopping", Obama can't be seen as doing the same thing.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 03:57:13 PM PST

  •  What is the point? (8+ / 0-)

    Why would the President even do this?

    This is not my country. Nor my party.

  •  Supreme Court (12+ / 0-)

    This is why I said that anyone who believes there are any guarantees that President Obama will nominate someone to the Court who may be open to overturning Roe is fooling themselves. He's shown he's willing to throw all of us under the bus, whether a woman's right to choose or marriage equality.

    •  YEAH!! (0+ / 0-)

      His two nominations already show what pie in the sky is your argument

      •  Social moderates, economic conservatives (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NyteByrd1954, JVolvo

        And he said that this was a liberal he was going to go.

        •  WTH (0+ / 0-)

          is a social moderate?

          •  The President is a social moderate (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pluto, NyteByrd1954, 4kedtongue, JVolvo

            He responds to the gay marriage issue not by saying he's for or against anymore but that he's "evolving"

            In other words he's sticking his finger in the wind to see which way the wind is blowing

            A liberal would answer- yes marriage equality is a right

            A social conservative would answer no.

            This is how a court might do it- sensing that an issue is political, they may punt on it although its dealing with an oppressed minority. A liberal court would rule on Brown v Board. A moderate one would punt on it. A conservative one would rule against the expansion of equality to include separate but equal is unequal.

            •  So (0+ / 0-)

              anyone that has not a YES/NO answer to social issues is a social moderate?

              •  I gave you an asnswer that is more (5+ / 0-)

                complicated than yes no

                The moderate is not worried about yes/no. They are worried about maintaining the status quo. Thus, it takes 50 years to get to Brown v Board of education because the prior justices refused to make the necessary leap that the first cases decades before were already indicating- that separate but equal was unequal

                So we got several decades more of injustice.Its not about the yes or not. Its about the effect of the decisions on the precedents

                For example a liberal ruling by non liberasl justices was Lawrence in 2003. It made a leap by reversing a relative young case in Bowers

                But its not the weight of where the court is and the make up has changed even further right so you need justicies who are liberal  just to push the c ourt that way. If its moderate liberal you get m ore changes. If it moderate  ti conservative  less and if extreme conservative to moderte you get conservative to reactionary rulings

                This is not just an issue of social issues by t he way. One can see the effect of this in areas like SEC rulings that allowed over time regulatory capture to increase through the courts rulings being too conservative.

          •  Practical reason why that matters (5+ / 0-)

            If one views laws as moderate, one leaves injustices in place. If liberal, one tries to address them within the flexble frame work of COn Law. If conservative, one tries to pretend such things aren't in COn Law and that in fact the reactionary positon (Con law in exile) is there.

            HEre's an example of how that works out

            http://www.americablog.com/...

            The  s ct to jurisprudence right now has turned free speech on its head

            grouping together to protest the government is wrong because one can use the subtext of nuisance laws like an 1845 law saying one can only wear a mask in NYC when going to a masked party (not making that one up- it was the first arrest of OWS)

            Whereas billionairnes under Citizens United have greater speech than you do due to money despite the equal protection clause

            Under the above situation I want a liberal justice on the court. Not a moderate.

    •  Yep, that is the one argument to vote for him, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      apimomfan2, Marie, JVolvo

      but it might just turn out to be any hope and change illusion.  No betting where he comes down on anything, which, of course, makes sense because he seem not to take a stand on anything.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:14:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Balance of religious belief? (7+ / 0-)

    I thought that their was a separation of 'church and state'. I wish he was as concerned about the balance of powers in the constitution  being violated with the expansion of executive power as in the Pres can kill or detain citizens without due process, indefinitely or execute any one they decide is a terrorist. This administration continues to rip up the rule of law and our rights, via the courts and bogus legislation. How about boner juice is that covered?  

    •  Well, oddly enough, apparently no mention of... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, ek hornbeck, shaharazade, JVolvo

      "balancing religious considerations" WRT coverage of Viagra prescriptions seems to have been stated.  

      But then again, no doubt it's only prescribed to married men in strictly monogamous relationships and used only for procreative purposes, right?

    •  Yes it is... (0+ / 0-)
      I thought that their was a separation of 'church and state'

      Here is the fact:

      The First Amendment prohibits the federal government from making a law "respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"
      (Emphasis mine)

      Barack Obama did not/does not "establish" the doctrins of Catholic churches, hospitals and the universities.

      And he cannot "prohibit the free excercise" of them either...

      That's what "separation of state and church" means.

      "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

      by zenox on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:41:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is already an exemption in the law (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JVolvo

        covering churches.  And the law does not require people to use contraception.

        And a private corporation, not organized as a church, cannot have a religion, unless you agree they are people.  Not sure how a corporation manages to take Communion though.

        So where's the problem?

    •  No. Boner pills help make babies. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, JVolvo

      And the religious zealots love them some big families.

  •  "expanding coverage of preventive services and (10+ / 0-)

    respecting religious beliefs."

    ----

    i'm so sick of religious conservatives injecting their beliefs into our government.

    there are laws in some states that allow first cousins to marry.  does that mean first cousins have to marry?

    there are laws in some states that allow same sex couples to marry. does that mean you have to marry someone of your sex?  

    there are laws  that allow people of different races to marry.  does that mean you have to marry someone of a different race?

    abortion is legal - does that mean you have to have an abortion?  

    contraception is legal.  does that mean you have to use them??

    i am so sick of right-wing religious fanatics

    Faux News ruined my state

    by sc kitty on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:00:39 PM PST

  •  picture of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sc kitty, Marie

    hanger

    c'mon White House grow some brass tubes!

    Hope is, after all, the currency of popular politics, and a coin surprisingly hard to devalue. -- Fred Anderson, Crucible of War

    by ornerydad on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:00:42 PM PST

  •  Obama is a Putz (7+ / 0-)

    Barack Obama needs to be sequestered in a quiet room and forced to watch 1,000 hours of video of his own campaign.

    How can we have a third party when we don't even have a second party?

    by Eagleye on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:01:45 PM PST

    •  I think he has for his entire presidency. He just (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo

      keeps watching his '08 campaign and can't imagine we are not so happy with him.  The reality of his presidency certainly doesn't match the rhetoric of his '08 campaign.  if it did he wouldn't have to worry about being re-elected.   He would have coasted to a '12 win.  Sometimes I wonder if he cares about being re-elected.   Talk about Dr. Jeckle/Hyde!

  •  d0 n0t spell his sell out name with a ZER0 or (6+ / 0-)

    the HR police will accuse you of being a right winger ...

    WTF did I vote for scores or hundreds of Democratic 'representatives from 1978 to 2008?

    So I could keep getting Bush-Lite Bullshit?

    There ARE some VERY logical reasons for this guy to throw this bullshit out there:

    1.  We the peeeee-ons ALWAYS support Lessor Of Two Evils!

    2. We the peeeee-ons KEEP putting up with "health" insurance companies ripping us off and Wall Street ripping us off,

    3. We the peeeee-ons ALWAYS support Lessor Of Two Evils!

    4. We the peeeee-ons ALWAYS support Lessor Of Two Evils!

    need I continue?

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:02:33 PM PST

  •  why do religious beliefs trump reality???? (10+ / 0-)

    PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

    by RumsfeldResign on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:04:04 PM PST

  •  Hold it... (0+ / 0-)
    President Obama possibly granting an exemption to Catholic churches, hospitals and universities from the requirement that all insurance plans cover contraception.
    (Emphasis mine)

    This neither means a universal exemption, nor a done deal. It is simply a consideration of allowing the "Catholic" churches, hospitals and universities that are usually private institutions to have a right to choose.

    The title of this article, "White House says Obama considering rolling back mandatory insurance coverage of contraception," however wrongly gives the impression of a blanket consideration.

    A consideration of religious freedoms of private institutions is not such a bad thing. Especially when people have a right to choose their insurance plans or not.

    Lets not overlook the detalis. Shall we?

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:04:11 PM PST

    •  There are already religious exemptions. (6+ / 0-)

      This would greatly expand them to include entire hospitals, etc.

      It's unncessary and pandering.

      •  How? (0+ / 0-)
        This would greatly expand them to include entire hospitals, etc.

        How?

        "Religious freedom" is an essential part of our Constitution and a "consideration" of it is not and never will be "unnecessary and pandering."

        "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

        by zenox on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:21:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes freedom from religion is enshrined (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catesby, schnecke21, JVolvo

          in our Constitution.

          They are "free to choose" only if they are free of public money.  As soon as they take a dime of my (taxpayer) money, I get a say in how they spend it.  If they don't like that restriction, they are "free to choose" to not take public money.

          don't always believe what you think

          by claude on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:29:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Most private institutions, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      claude

      including universities, stay afloat with public money.

      Would be nice if I could choose how my tax dollars are spent. For example, I'm not happy about paying for unprovoked wars, most of what I can tell the CIA does, bailouts of Wall Street, subsidies for sugar, soy beans and corn, transportation and other expenses related to religious school instruction, etc.

      The federal government is basically an insurance company with an army. Paul Krugman

      by Heart of the Rockies on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:25:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So, under the same principle (0+ / 0-)

      any company headed by a Jehovah's Witness could exclude blood transfusions from their coverage.

      And you're OK with that?  What if it were your boss?

  •  Really, a Relapse now Mr. President? (5+ / 0-)

    But You were doing so well! Why did you start drinking from the Keg of Wimpiness yet again?

    I mean, jeez, 2/3 of America is with you on this issue. Why do you want to cave to the 1/3 of America which wouldn't vote for you anyway?

    I thought the first 3 years was enough of this wimpy behavior. I thought you had finally fired your bartender and started drinking from the Keg of Champions. You know, the one that makes your base want to vote for you, because you're doing stuff that actually helps people.

    Time to get back on the wagon Mr President.

    As a Christian, I'll be praying that God gives our President back his spine. As a Democrat, I'll be calling the White House to voice my outrage that they would be this weak kneed.

    Above Grecian mantles were chiseled these words... Know Thyself... Nothing in Excess... the pop philosophy of its day.

    by ravagerofworlds2 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:06:19 PM PST

  •  How can anyone really get behind this president (15+ / 0-)

    100% when he's not 100%?  Once again, if he prevails in 2012 it won't be for what he's done, it will be because he's better than some crazy ass Repub.  That's really inspiring.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:06:25 PM PST

  •  Maybe, just maybe the Catholic Church (8+ / 0-)

    should do a little more reforming/policing of their church and a little less interference in the wombs of women who don't even subscribe to their particular brand of lunacy.  

    Once upon a time there was great fear about a presidential candidate taking his orders from Rome, should he be elected.  Now we have politicians blatantly taking orders from the child-molesting Papacy. The rot starts with Pope Ratzi the Nazi and moves down through the see no evil, hear no evil hierarchy of the church.  Too bad they don't seem to be concerned with life after birth.    

    A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

    by jo fish on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:07:39 PM PST

  •  That's what they do best... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rcnewton, apimomfan2, JVolvo

    cave.

  •  this must be more of that "fierce advocacy" (9+ / 0-)

    I heard so much about back in '08.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:08:32 PM PST

  •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux

    just more of that touchy feely stuff in change we can believe in from 0.

  •  Restricting access to birth control is immoral (9+ / 0-)

    Religious organizations who oppose contraception, even for their own flock, are evil.  The planet is overcrowded and family planning must be available to all.  

    To insist otherwise should be an abomination in all religions.

    West. No further west. All sea. -- Robert Grenier

    by Nicolas Fouquet on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:09:55 PM PST

  •  When are "we" going to stop pretending? (11+ / 0-)

    That Obama in any way supports liberal values? From FISA, to supporting Lieberman, to the AEI's "health care" plan to this, Obama has only ever sold out liberal values. No more votes for Vichy Dems!

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:10:02 PM PST

    •  I would have thought (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willie2011, marty marty, JVolvo

      I would have thought people would have given up the "Obama is a liberal" fantasy when he appointed his cabinet.  

      I remember when Obama was hailed as the "best hope we have for progressive values".  

      As compared to who:  The bat shit crazy Republicans?  As it turns out, yeah.  

      Dedicated to the GOP debates: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Hunter Thompson

      by NyteByrd1954 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:40:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  contraception (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sc kitty

    The President thinks maybe people aren't paying attention.

  •  Thanks Obama (4+ / 0-)

    Just thanks!!!!!  NOT!!!!

    why does Obama always snatch defeat out of the mouth of victory????

  •  Fine, then remove tax exempt status (12+ / 0-)

    from religious organizations.

    Because MY beliefs are that I shouldn't be subsidizing their tax-free status since I don't believe in their principles.

    I mean, if we're being fair and all.

  •  Pandering to bigoted white (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    apimomfan2, Marie, marty marty, JVolvo

    middle aged to elderly Caltholic men.  But the thing is, you're not going to get them with this anyway.  They have a whole list of reasons not to vote for you and the real one will never be  on the list so you will never be able to address it.  And we all know that you couldn't address it if you wanted to.  

  •  Damn straight. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, claude, JVolvo

    If you live in north central Iowa, the only hospital available to you is Catholic.  In addition, the Women's Health Clinic is housed there.

    Apparently caving in to Bart Stupak just wasn't enough for this administration.  Now we're going to see them go all wobbly because of Catholic bishops.

    It's OK, though, Mr. President.  I'm sure the Catholic bishops are looking forward to doing the GOTV for you if women lose interest.

  •  Both sides (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, JVolvo

    hating on women and families

  •  Again, he needs NEW and BETTER advisors. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Calamity Jean, JVolvo

    Or he needs to start thinking for himself.

    If that's possible.

    Every election either the democrats lose or the republicans lose. But in every election there is always the same winner. And he drives a Mercedes.

    by Methinks They Lie on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:20:49 PM PST

  •  Does anybody have a good idea on how to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus

    Pressure Obama out of caving to this?  I understand everyone's concern and fear but we have to figure out an effective way to prevent this from happening.  We can comment all we want about Obama and who's to blame but taking action is crucial.  If anyone has any ideas about what to do in terms of fighting back, please let me know.  Telling the truth is of course a great start but we need an end game and a strategy.  Are there any activist groups in the Kos community that deal specifically with this issue?

    •  If you want President Obama (8+ / 0-)

      If you want President Obama to cease being Barack Obama, you are going to have to vote him out of office.  

      Dedicated to the GOP debates: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Hunter Thompson

      by NyteByrd1954 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:43:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd ask (0+ / 0-)

        who you would replace him with, but I suspect you lack the courage of your insinuations.  :)

        There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death. -- Isaac Asimov

        by tytalus on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:11:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unfortunately (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catesby, Mr Robert, JVolvo

          Unfortunately, Obama is the best one running which is a sad commentary on the state of leadership and American politics.  

          But, just to play devil's advocate, I'd replace him with Bernie Sanders.  

          Dedicated to the GOP debates: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Hunter Thompson

          by NyteByrd1954 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:35:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  This move is very new... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo

      so there may not be much of a counter-move just yet. However, I did find a new change.org petition concerning this very item and signed it. I expect that more organizations interested in the issue will put something together to organize voices in opposition soon.

      http://www.change.org/...

      There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death. -- Isaac Asimov

      by tytalus on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:14:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think I need to make this more clear, aside from (0+ / 0-)

        primarying or replacing Obama, because that's a solution without a real answer, I want members on this community to offer a detailed plan of some sorts.  I think if we all put our brains together, we could come up with a solution.  I am not going to part take in this "lesser of two evils" argument.  I already had a bad argument with both a conservative and Libertarian friends today arguing why Obama needs to go and that the whole "inherited this mess" argument doesn't work any more.  My Libertarian friend said that all his accomplishments were "horrible" and I get tired of having to defend my views to him.  Everyone from all sides, right, left, middle and Libertarian are frustrating me and none of them have been able to talk me out of voting for Obama.  And do you know why?  Because conservatives are ALWAYS UNITED TO VOTE.  ALWAYS.  Liberals feel like finding a primary challenger or sitting out the vote is a good way to get a message across but it usually backfires.  Plus they then resort to the "lesser of two evils" argument and I just won't accept that argument.  Libertarians believe all government is evil and no matter how educated they are, their ideas are still crazy.  Centrists annoy me because they don't want to be labelled as conservative or liberal.  Have I been disappointed with Obama?  Yes, but do I feel he shouldn't be re-elected in 2012?  No.  We have a chance to take back congress and build our majority in the Senate.  Lets please not blow this.  And yes it has been three years, but of course my Libertarians and conservative friend that the economy would be improving if we just cut spending.  That of course I don't agree with.  So please guys, lets put aside generic suggestions and come up with an effective strategy here.

        •   if we all put our brains together for a solution (0+ / 0-)

          Heh, grass roots.

          Too many people put most of their energy into elections, or stuff relating to elections. I think there should be equal energy putting pressure on issues year-round.

          The thing I hate about elections is that the bulk of the money collect goes for advertising buys. Election advertising siphones progressive money into the hands of conservatives, who own the big media. Conservative advertising is just money changing hands between conservatives. So any election is a net monetary loss for progressives. Isn't that silly?

          The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

          by stargaze on Wed Nov 30, 2011 at 05:24:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hear ya. The other thing I hate is the average (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stargaze

            voters consistent ability to be duped by stupid and false attack ads.  Attack ads and advertising time are very expensive and when one candidate can't meet the same fundraising numbers because his or her opponent is being funded by big business or special interest, good candidates have to resort to shady money sources and various PACs and special interest groups for help.  It's so sad that we live in a time where so much information is available to us yet your average voter will vote not based on facts but with their feelings because some attack ad struck and emotional chord with them.

  •  You are on to something with the insurers profit (5+ / 0-)

    angle.  The best plans out there like some unions offering full coverage like , say the Teamsters are particular in that they offer glasses, a visit and checkup and a new set every year to their members and their families.  They also run their plans at some 95/96%  put into the medical fund, at actual administrative costs and put any excess premium beyond their reserve back into the fund to defray the expenses to the members, holding down the rise in premiums.

    Their insurance covers both contraception and Viagra. It is up to the families, individuals what sort of care they choose to accept, and of course deal with according to their needs.

    The Church exemption is curious in that this is being extended to regular people to avoid paying for a service 99% of families will use at one point or another in their adult lives.  Companies that carry "junk " insurance with huge deductibles and caps,limits on coverages  have no reason to exclude paying for it, since the patient has a monster deductible to pay for anyway before they see benefits.  

       What a weaseling out on this rule does is give the insurers yet another perk by dinging the 85% medical loss ratio( what part of the premium dollar they can keep) and if millions of people are denied ordinary contraception, that means in effect, more dollars kept by the insurer.

          Insurers don't have to openly ask for it , just put up and finance a campaign among the religious Neanderthals and stone agers dragging women by the hair and making them wear total coverage to be unrecognizable as humans. They can  purport to be prisoners of conscience to avoid giving all women elementary rights that most of the world recognizes already.  There are hundreds of millions in backward places and this rule tweak aims to put all Americans right back there with the most misogynist cultures, all those practicing abusers  and women haters on the planet.

       Even when the supposed good rules go into effect, not having the new standard  formulary to include the pills and devices is an insurer bonanza of a billion dollars or more per year.

    Shame on the smartypants dollar sucking crowd in the White House who have to find a way of making a buck in this tough environment.  And harming women and their families while they are it.   Middle class, employed people will be inconvenienced, poorer people will be stretched and liable to skip or miss treatment to run the risks and take consequences.  Another gift to the corporate lobbyists.

    If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever, you're dreaming. *YUP!* h/t Hamden Rice

    by BeeDeeS on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:21:56 PM PST

  •  Sounds to me like he (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver

    wants people to believe he's actually considering a "new" decision about rolling it back, you know, I'll listen to the arguments, then decide, blah blah.

    In actuality I can't believe there's any way he'll roll it back.  

    Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

    by delphine on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:22:33 PM PST

    •  Why talk-talk if he isn't considering walkback? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NyteByrd1954, Calamity Jean, JVolvo

      I quite frankly don't trust this President. But I trust the Repuke would-be-Presidents a whopping lot less.

      Just wondering how big a clothespin I'll have to wear on my nose, that's all.

      Mundus vult decipi, decipiatur

      by TheOtherMaven on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:56:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama is about two things (0+ / 0-)

        talk talk and more talk and whatever it takes to get his sorry ass reelected.

        Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

        by Mr Robert on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 07:59:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sigh (0+ / 0-)

        I know what you mean.

        But I think we expected something Roosevelt-esque from this President and we're not going to get it, but that makes us forget the stuff that has gotten done.

        I am so disheartened by so much, yet I know it would be so fucking much worse if any of the GOP field (let alone McCain!!!!) had been in office since 2008.

        Yes, too much capitulation.  Too many ugly trade-offs.  Too many watered down "requests" in exchange for a total of ZERO votes, too many "we don't have the votes" while controlling both houses, when you can see the GOP managed to control the agenda shut everything else down with just the House.

        I totally get it.  And the administration sucks, I mean SUCKS at getting the message out, about how health care reform can help people NOW, about what we do with this new Executive Order about mortgage refinance, about how many tax cuts the middle class actually got over the last couple years (albeit paling in comparison to the Bush cuts).

        Obama has pulled the football out once too many times, while himself kicking at the football the GOP yanks every time he offers them another capitulation.

        But he hasn't been the disaster that McCain would have been, being a stand in for whatever Cheney clone happens to be in his cabinet.  WTF does Romney even stand for?  Do you think that, once elected, the gop prez would turn around and stick it to the wingnuts?  Nope, they would govern as odiously as they do right now.  

        Bring as big a clothespin that you need, because it's at least as crucial that we re-elect him as it was to elect him in the first place, if not more.  

        Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

        by delphine on Wed Nov 30, 2011 at 09:44:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  why the hell not alienate women? (11+ / 0-)

    He's alienated everyone else in the Democratic base.

    Move over folks, make room for the women under the bus.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:29:32 PM PST

  •  "Religious beliefs" (10+ / 0-)
    "You can be sure that we want to strike the right balance between expanding coverage ... and respecting religious beliefs."

    My religious belief is that everyone has the right to a single payer health care system.

    If you want to respect religious beliefs; respect that.

  •  Breaking news: Obama is thinking of caving. (5+ / 0-)

    Hell, that's not news.  

    Dedicated to the GOP debates: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Hunter Thompson

    by NyteByrd1954 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 04:41:41 PM PST

  •  Prediction (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, kefauver

    When the president doesn't "cave" on this, there will be no apology from anyone here.

    Much like all the pre-crime fulminating about the Democrats "caving" on the supercomittee.

    •  Agreed, although (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jmknapp, kefauver, JVolvo

      I won't begrudge anyone being disappointed and wanting to stop this, because that's where I'm at on it.

      There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death. -- Isaac Asimov

      by tytalus on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:18:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't quite follow the framing in this diary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kefauver

        As I understand it, the HHS rule was annouced and then a period of public comment followed. That period is now over and a decision is to be made in Dec. or Jan. This diary seems to say that the "decision" is the initial announcement of the rule and it's somehow out of bounds to "re-open" it. But isn't that what the public comment period is all about?

        •  The decision to compromise (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kefauver, JVolvo

          seems to have been built into the rule already, and so by entertaining further 'compromise,' it looks like a possibility of caving...

          Even though that balance has already been achieved with the existing exemption, anti-choice groups are nonetheless claiming that the new rule violates their religious freedom. They say they want to expand the exemption beyond churches to  include hospitals and other facilities with religious affiliation, regardless of the religious beliefs of the people who work at and are served by those institutions.

          The post also mentions Obama touting the rule as if it were a done deal, and this has the appearance of a walk-back to me. In his address to the UN it was listed as an accomplishment. I don't know about you, but when I accomplish something that means it's done. That he now seeks to say no wait, we might not do this, is a bit unseemly.

          Over the past two and a half years, additional examples of the Obama Administration’s accomplishments in support of women and girls have included:

          ...

          as part of the Affordable Care Act, new insurance plans must cover these services, including: mammograms, STD/HIV testing and counseling, domestic violence counseling, contraception, gestational diabetes, with no deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance.  

          That said, I doubt the whole thing is kaput and maybe no further change will be made at all. (no change - cross fingers! ironic, feh.) I think it's a cause for concern. That's all.

          There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death. -- Isaac Asimov

          by tytalus on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 06:00:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  There Never Is. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tytalus

      I remember many people here claiming DADT Repeal was dead and Obama would cave on it. Few, if any, of them came back to eat crow.

      Same with the American Jobs Act. Everyone predicted it was going to be a big give away to Wall St. and the Banks. Wrong again on that one.

      Will Rogers was right.

      by kefauver on Wed Nov 30, 2011 at 05:43:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would be fine with it, as long (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shmuelman, claude, coffejoe, Mr Robert, JVolvo

    as the hospitals, insurance companies, and universities don't receive 1 penny in government funding, including research grants, Pell Grants, and student loans. If they want to be religious institutions let them operate without the government.

    If a hospital is the only one in an area they cannot however have the option. The people working in the hospital are free to choose a different profession though, if the legal duties involved with their job are in fact contrary to their religion. They cannot pick and choose though, do the entire job of providing every legal service, or provide none of them and push your religion in a church.

  •  I read (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffejoe, Calamity Jean, JVolvo

    On another site somewhere, that this was apparently in consideration in a "you scratch my back I'll scratch yours" type of moment to the Catholic Bishops or whatever...because, apparently (I have no citation or source to confirm) Obama reportedly feels like "He owes them" for "helping" the Health Care bill get passed.

    If that's really true, it's absolutely revolting, and disgusting.

  •  Well, dammit, I hope they eliminate viagra etc. (6+ / 0-)

    from being covered if they even CONSIDER this.

    It royally pissed me off that women have to fight for their reproductive rights every God damn time we turn around.

    Either we ARE equal or we aren't.  

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

    by cany on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:08:41 PM PST

  •  We need a Christian Science medical plan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catesby

    It doesn't cover anything.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:20:00 PM PST

  •  ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    willie2011

    I pretty sure he's going to do this right after he makes those cuts to SS and MediCare/Medicaid...  Yup...  right after he makes those cuts that he never said he's going to make...

    "Math is a theory, so it's not taught in the Bible."

    by lcj98 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:46:45 PM PST

  •  What can't the WH (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marty marty

    stand up for something? Can't the WH press secretary say "it is a benefit, if your Catholic and you don't want to use birth control don't use the benefit but we aren't going to deny others."

    If they keep this up they will weaken the bill further and cause more expense because you have to keep track of the exemptions.

    Republicans never apologize.

    Government isn't the answer to all our problems, but tax cuts, deregulation and greed are the source of many of them.

    by coffejoe on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:49:39 PM PST

  •  Pres. Obama is what we have...better than Bush (0+ / 0-)

    Pres. Obama will get my vote in2012 only because every Repub candidate is an ogre.

    Pres. Obama whose 2008 poster I still have, has been and is a major disappointment to me.  He has proven himself to be a corporatist time and time again.

    He has done some good, but he could have done more and in the process of doing more made himself impregnable to any Republican  challenger.

    Perhaps it is time for Pres. Obama to quit listening to his advisers and to start listening to the American people.

    If Pres. Obama does start listening to the American people, he will be unbeatable in 2012.  If he continues to bend to special interests and his advisers, then he will be vulnerable in 2012.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Ghandi

    by Randolph the red nosed reindeer on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 05:50:30 PM PST

    •  Granted, The Repub's are faultering (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Randolph the red nosed reindeer
      Hidden by:
      kalmoth

      but can you honestly say you would prefer another 4 years of this incompetence in the White House, caving in day after day to special rights groups and pressure from the wealthy, over that of the American people? How about we vote for someone that is running on honesty and values over all this schmutz and bs?

      Show me a candidate who will stand up to the heat of being naked in the crowd, and I will vote for him/her. I would rather have an American (who has been unemployed for 1+ years, has had to live off of food stamps and unemployment for at least 1 year, and knows the meaning of a dollar, and how to stretch it) then vote for these silver and gold spoon f*ckers who don't know anything about conserving money, let alone honor. Time for America to stand up and say, "We are not going to take your bullsh!t anymore."

  •  What a (potentially) fucking judas goat... n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lucy2009

    "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

    by Marjmar on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 06:02:17 PM PST

  •  A diary like this would have had 1200 or 800 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JVolvo, Tommy Allen

    comments a few years ago -

    with all kinds of great flame wars ...

    the clap louder crowd can piss on me all they want -

    people ARE voting -

    with their shoes.

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 06:42:37 PM PST

  •  Obama is all about one thiing (0+ / 0-)

    getting reelected as president and I say fuck him.

    Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

    by Mr Robert on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 07:54:16 PM PST

  •  this kind of stuff (0+ / 0-)

    is why i'll only vote for him.

    why is he obsessed with 'compromising' with people who will always hate him no matter how 'balanced' he is?

  •  you figured it out, huh? (0+ / 0-)

    some of us have been trying to tell you that the Democrats are merely Republicans in sheep's clothing, but you wouldn't listen.  you still won't, but at least i'll record this now so I can point to it and laugh at you later.  :-)

    Agree? Disagree? Feel like throwing a pie at me? Give a buck to wikipedia and let 'er fly! I'm game! :-P

    by Tommy Allen on Wed Nov 30, 2011 at 09:11:11 AM PST

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