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Like pornography, the term caving in politics is hard to define.   Politics is predicated on finding common ground, so inevitably, compromise will occur periodically.  But just like pornography, as articulated by United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's threshold test, I know caving when I see it.  

As someone who has expressed serious concerns about the Administration's political strategy for most of the term until last September, where I have seen real changes after Rahm and Daley's departure, not only was yesterday's ACA accommodation far from a cave by the WH, I think the current strategy is one of their best efforts. Follow me over the jump to find out why.

I think most of us can all stipulate that the rollout of the ACA rule as relates to mandated birth control was poor.  Even if one argues, not unreasonably by the way, that the new policy was always the goal and they finally didn't start with the full compromise as the starting point (bravo), the rollout itself could have been more effective.  That isn't anything new.  But what is new, is the response.

In this case, the Administration appears to have held absolutely firm to the general principle that the actual rule was attempting to address.   Moreover, they knew good and well that this step would not appease the original group attacking them.  This was at a minimum going to be the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end.

I have to believe that they understand this, and are not viewing this as an incremental step with further compromise on the way.  If they change again, they will alienate every side.  So we can discount this potential outcome.

Therefore, what I see is them making a calculated decision to keep this issue on the table for the near future, if Republican so choose.  What does that mean?

1. It shows Republican extremism.

2. It shows that they side with women on reproductive care, healing some, clearly not all, of the wounds from the earlier Stupak Amendment and Plan B decision.

3. It gets the idea into the public sphere, in a major way, that ACA mandates free coverage for birth control, one that would not have occurred with an HHS press release.

4.  It throws red meat out there to Republicans that they won't be able to resist.  This gives Rick Santorum a better chance at extending the primary contest, forces Romney to the right, and most importantly, get Republicans talking about birth control, instead of jobs.

5.  It activates the base.  Fundraising and consolidation wise.

Every single one of these results is a political winner.

(I will stipulate, implementation of the rule is important and they must make sure the tweak does not allow insurers to place any unnecessary burden on women attempting to obtain health care of any form).

Now, if I had my druthers, I think they literally told the other side to pound sand, totally owning the original decision and still have won this fight.  I think this was potentially Terri Shiavo Pt II, Electric Bugaloo, where the media and politicians were way behind the public.  But I can't dismiss the argument that the "appearance" of accommodation addresses some real concerns, including those expressed by people here and elsewhere that I trust, and shuts the gas bags that have been all over my tv this week up.  Now all of those gas bags (Matthews, Shields, et al) will be forced to recalculate their positions and change course (effectively placing them in opposition to their religious leadership which I assume can't be comfortable), or be shown as not being credible pundits, which would be great in my opinion.  This will add to the President's "I'm reasonable and the other side isn't" message.  

But now that they have started down this path, they can't back off.  I said from day one, this is about ACA and the mandate.   This issue was just the entry point.  Republicans are not slick.  This is about whether HHS has the right to mandate any coverage.  And as we have seen, Rubio and Blunt have entered legislation trying to expand exemptions to all businesses under the guise of religious conviction.  As someone who didn't agree with a mandate without the public option, I firmly believe that the Administration better protect their justification of the mandate because if they don't, they could lose much of their rationale for the mandate during SCOTUS oral arguments.  And if HIR goes down, as much as I have concerns about it, it certainly won't come back up again for at least a decade.  So even though I hated the incrementalism argument, we will never find out whether it was valid if HIR has to start from scratch.  

This is why I think the White House will fight tooth and nail to maintain free and accessible contraceptive coverage for all women and men.  They are on strong legal footing, they have polling overwhelming on their side, and if they appease, they are losing more than this battle.

Well played President Obama, well played.


Poll

Did the White House cave with their accommodation on ACA mandates last Friday?

9%7 votes
86%65 votes
4%3 votes

| 75 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (27+ / 0-)

    "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

    by justmy2 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 06:37:41 AM PST

  •  A worthwhile compromise (8+ / 0-)

    For once, this is an Obama compromise with which I can find no fault. As long as the policy is implemented as described, the overall goal is still achieved. I still think we need to do something about tax exempt status of churches.

    "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 06:46:10 AM PST

  •  Nice diary (6+ / 0-)

    That's how I see it as well. From your poll, looks like you've had at least one visit from "Those People" >;)

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 06:46:50 AM PST

  •  Can I Ask A Stupid Question?* (0+ / 0-)

    Now I can't believe I am about to sound like I am standing behind insurance companies, but if I worked at one I'd be like WTF. I have to pay for this cause the Catholic Church has an "issue" with birth control at no cost.

    How is that remotely "right?" Look they make money hand-over-fist. This might even save them money, long term. Heck at some level I think healthcare insurance companies are close to (if not outright) evil.

    But I'd be pretty pissed about this. Makes you wonder if other organization will start to attempt to push more cost to insurance companies.

    *I tend to agree with your point-of-view BTW.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 06:51:20 AM PST

    •  Insurance Companies (5+ / 0-)

      Should adore this policy.

      Average cost of birth control per year - 257 dollars.
      Average cost of a single birth - Just over 12,000 dollars.

      It's one of those odd issues where right or wrong, it still makes business sense to do the popular thing.

      •  Oh I Get That (0+ / 0-)

        But it seems strange that it all happened so fast. Church says we're not happy, we won't include birth control. WH, find insurance companies will do so at no charge.

        Seems there are a number of other "changes" to how things work that could be done here if this is legal. And to be honest,l I don't see how it is legal.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 06:59:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, seems there's a pretty simple (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama, greengemini

          even gasp free market solution for this.

          If they choose on "moral grounds" not to offer contraceptive insurance, then the insurance companies can, on "moral grounds" refuse to offer them a policy.

          You'll find someone who wants the business, and who's willing to take the exceedingly tiny bump in revenues for the chance to insure that number of people.

          And that's true for consumers as well.  I live in Indiana.  If I have heart problems, there are two main heart hospitals.  St. Vincent's and Indiana Heart Hospital.

          By name alone, can you guess which I'll choose, on "moral grounds"?

    •  I have no idea if it right.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      webranding, kestrel9000

      And as I suspected, they are concerned.  

      Insurers React

      America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group for the industry, also withheld its support. “We are concerned about the precedent this proposed rule would set,” AHIP press secretary Robert Zirkelbach said in a statement. “As we learn more about how this rule would be operationalized, we will provide comments through the regulatory process.”

      This is why I added the caveat, if implemented as stated.
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      The catch here is that there’s a difference between “revenue neutral” and “free.” By one report’s measure, it costs about $21.40 to add birth control, IUDs and other contraceptives to an insurance plan. Those costs may be offset by a reduction in pregnancies. But unless drug manufacturers decide to start handing out free contraceptives, the money to buy them will have to come from somewhere.

      Where will it come from, since neither employers nor employees will be paying for these contraceptives? That leaves the insurers, whose revenues come from the premiums that subscribers pay them. It’s difficult to see how insurance companies would avoid using premiums to cover the costs of contraceptives. They could, perhaps, use premiums from non-religious employers. Those businesses wouldn’t likely object on faith-based grounds, but they probably wouldn’t be keen on footing the bill for people who aren’t on their payrolls.

      Here is the Admin response.
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      “The way this works [right now] is, I’m a Catholic hospital, and I say I’m going to offer insurance,” said the official. “I’m going to say, ‘Aetna, I don’t want contraceptives covered.’ Aetna is going to look at the benefits I cover, set a premium for the anticipated costs. Then they charge that premium, which goes into Aetna’s reserves.”

      And here’s how it works after the compromise: “Our policy is saying that the Catholic hospital doesn’t want to cover contraceptives, and they don’t include that in their policy. It also says that Aetna needs to provide contraceptive services for free to workers in the plan. Aetna sets the premium, but it cannot be higher than it would have been without birth control. The premium does not include contraception.”

      There is a legit issue here.  I don't really get that, but I haven't thought it through.

       But that basically supports the diaries point.  They know this isn't going away.  And these are the type of issues you get with a mandate.  

      They have to realize this isn't going away. So I believe they are setting the foundation for larger arguments.

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:05:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your Last Block Quote Was What I Saw (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greengemini

        and that is interesting. I mean it makes sense, but alas I can't see how an insurance company isn't going to charge the church directly for these cost. I mean they have a gaggle of lawyers to figure out stuff like this.

        IMHO Aetna isn't going to take a penny of potential profit from their reserves to pay for this. Heck I bet they just jack of the costs for all their other folks. Given the size of insurance companies, this would be a fraction of a penny for each individual to pay for the church.

        But at least for me, and I think you based your response, it brings up some interesting issues/questions.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:10:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  diary's point... (0+ / 0-)

        "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

        by justmy2 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:18:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, I bet it already costs more (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ahumbleopinion, greengemini

        to buy a policy that excludes contraception than one that includes it. That's because the insurer's risk is higher.

        Now the insurer can offer contraceptives on the side,  charge the hospital the same as it was already charging, and pocket the profit. Nice deal.

    •  My hunch is that the policies they will sell to (0+ / 0-)

      Catholic organizations who care about this (maybe not many will!) will cost the same as policies that do include contraceptive coverage. The separate policy to the women that is "free" is in fact paid for by the main policy, but the evil evil word "contraception" won't be in the main policy.

      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 08:45:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The president of the United States (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radical def, OldDragon

    ...is duly elected by the people; he is of the people, and he works for the people.

    He shall succeed. He was the best among the candidates and he still is the best among all possibilities. He is truly wise and good.

    He wins because he has a certain awareness of something his opponents don't: "Controlled chaos." That's how the whole universe functions, actually. Go against it; you will fall flat on your face. Go with it, you will have a happy journey...

    The Republicans (whatever they are being called nowadays) meanwhile are after "control" while being blind to the "chaos" part of it. Can they change? No. It is in their "DNA," so to speak...

    Happy Saturday!

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

    by zenox on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 06:55:33 AM PST

  •  It's not worthy of celebration (0+ / 0-)

    It solved a potential political problem.

    The notion that this has upside for Dems is nice, but Dems will never try and take the upside.

    This was problem avoidance, not a political offensive.

    On the substance of women getting contraceptive care, it was not a cave. that's good and yet sad that not caving must be celebrated with a triumphal march according to some.

    On the philosophy of dealing with "religious liberty claims," as E.J. Dionne puts it in NewSpeak, it clearly is NOT good.

    Consider this possibility, in the wake of the recognition that "religious liberty" demands that religious institution be exempt from the law of the land, the Catholic Church demands the right to prohibit their employees from using birth control. After all, the health insurance they are getting, including the rights under ACA, come from benefit the Catholic Church provides its employees, and it violates "religious liberty" to "force" the Catholic Church to support activities that violate church teachings.

    What's your reaction to that? Why would that claim be different than the one thal was honored?

    I think this diary is quite unfair to persons who have legitimate liberty concerns about how this came down.

    •  Passive vs. active? (4+ / 0-)

      The Catholic Church saying they don't want to PAY for birth control is one thing.

      Forbidding their employees from engaging in a legal practice on their own time?

      Not in my country, good sirs.

      "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

      by kestrel9000 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:14:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You misunderstand the argument (0+ / 0-)

        The contraceptive care benefit results from the employment by the Church.

        Hence, the Church is the reason why mortal sins are being committed and that infringes on their religious liberty.

        I am certain you will hear this argument and honestly, there is no distinguishing it from the one that has been accepted in the accommodation.

        To wit, employing the employees creates the right to birth control. Thus, religious liberty infirnged.

        •  I am positive that will be the argument (0+ / 0-)

          But I am also positive the Admin knew that was the next argument.

          So what were there choices.

          1.  Stand strong.  Tell them to pound sand, and we will see you in court.
          2.  Find an accommodation that they think could potentially hold up, and create a wedge between Bishops/Republicans and Nuns/Dems (including pundit class)
          3.  Accept the Bishops argument, basically accepting the argument that religiously affiliated organizations are a separate class of employer.

          I think #1 is legally correct valid, but risky politically. #2 is less risky politically, but also less legally valid.  I suspect the calculus was if #2 isn't legally valid, the court will intervene, but we can win the election and have a chance to change.  If we lose election, HIR could go away, and the whole thing could collapse like a house of cards.

          IMHO...

          "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

          by justmy2 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:29:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I do not have a problem with the decision (0+ / 0-)

            I have a problem with your diary arguing that this was a huge political win and that anyone expressing reservations about the move is being irrational.

            This was a move to avoid potential political problems that inures to the political benefit of Obama's reelection.

            It does not help progressives.

            It is not cause for celebrtion.

            It is not a triumph.

            It is a basic political move that may oor may not be the correct one.

            Your diary is, imo, completely overstaing the political benefit.

            •  I think calling it a celebration is overtstating (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              We Won

              it.   I applauded the move.  And the main point, is that it was an unusually deft political move, that requires follow up.

              It really is a response to those calling the decision a "cave".

              Which you clearly agree it wasn't?  But we can argue whether it was basic or deft.

              "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

              by justmy2 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 08:19:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  It provides free birth control (0+ / 0-)

              to women who would not otherwise have this benefit. You may not think that is a triumph, but I do.

              Of course, I have actually had to pay for a birth control prescription before in my life, so that may have something to do with my perspective on this issue.

              •  Excuse me (0+ / 0-)

                The
                January 20 decision by HHS did that.

                That did not happen on Friday.

                The rest of your comment is pretty outrageous.

                •  Oh, I see (0+ / 0-)

                  you were only referring to the accommodation. That makes more sense.

                  What the accommodation provides is peace of mind for some (most) of the religious organizations who objected to the policy.  Other than the Catholic bishops, the groups who had objected to the policy seem to be fairly satisfied.

                  If you can work out a negotiation where you get what you want and the other people at the table walk away satisfied, I call that good.

    •  I am not sure I clearly understand your example (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MadRuth, Radical def

      But I agree with the idea the this legitimizes the concept of "religious liberty" (the President used the term in his statement) being linked to labor law.  And I have expressed concerns.

      In addition, one could argue that this has now added birth control back into the "culture war" debate.  And that it will now be part of the discussions on women's reproductive rights, after being settled a long time ago.

      In the latter case, if that is something Republicans want to do, let them.  We will win that battle, and it will potentially create the opening needed to swing the house.

      On the second, I think even though this is the current statement from a political standpoint, that actual legal situation is pretty well settled.  So I see this as political manuevering for the election and prior to SCOTUS arguments, where this will get shuffled around again.  

      So, I am applauding the politics of it.  As you saw, all five of my advantages were political in nature.  I still think there are many legal battles to come.  And I suspect the religious liberty stands won't hold when they enter the judicial sphere, unless we start overturning what appeared to be settled law.

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:15:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree with your political assessment (0+ / 0-)

        for the sole reason that Democrats will not use those advantages.

        You must see that.

        Yesterday I commented in a diary that claimed that Obama had this all planned out. Your diary is a less egregious variation of that idea.

        THIS Democratic Party will not do what you think they will do.

        •  well...you probably know I am skeptical (0+ / 0-)

          Democrats, and I am not going to sit here and pretend that you may not be right.  That would be hypocritical and not true.

          But many of those advantages take no work on Dems side.  (activating base, extending primary, opening the eyes on women to Republican extremism).

          On the all planned, machivellian, 11 dimensional chess thing....pure nonsense.  And this diary is not a variation of that.  It says so at the beginning of the diary.

          I think most of us can all stipulate that the rollout of the ACA rule as relates to mandated birth control was poor.
          This decision was made well before anyone knew Romney would blow it, and  before it was clear the economy was improving.  They would have to be absolute idiots to think lets try triple banks shots when we can barely execute a straight one.  

          This was making lemonade out of lemons.  I think it was, unusually, well done for this team.

          "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

          by justmy2 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:37:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  As I said (0+ / 0-)

            I have no real critique on the politics of the decision. I just don't see this as lemonade.

            It defuses the issue, That's about it.

            I am confident, extremely confident,  that neither Obama nor Democrats will make the political arguments you posit and I am confident that Republicans will endeavor, perhaps successfully, to maintain this as a "religious liberty" issue. I suspect Dems will play along.

            In short, I am much more sanguine on the politics of this than you.

            That said, from the perspective of  what the Obama team cares about (as they should), the President's reelection, the decision is reasonable and defensible.

            It is not a triumph in my opinion.

            •  I hope you are wrong... (0+ / 0-)
              I am confident, extremely confident,  that neither Obama nor Democrats will make the political arguments you posit and I am confident that Republicans will endeavor, perhaps successfully, to maintain this as a "religious liberty" issue. I suspect Dems will play along
              .

              But there is a 50/50 chance, at a minimum, that you are right.

              I appreciate the constructive dialogue.

              "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

              by justmy2 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:58:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  What don't you get, about "more better Dems"? (0+ / 0-)

          The entire objective of this site is to purge the Republicans, AND the Blue Dogs, and to seize the power, in the Party, and in the nation, democratically, electorally, with more better Dems.

          Especially at this critical moment, with the primaries coming up, which will decide the field going into November.

          Your purported goal, of supposedly wanting change, is Not facilitated by constantly demonizing, belittling and denigrating every single move that they make, AS IF the Prez and the Party are utterly non-viable, and absolutely unworthy of solidarity and support, Even when they are making material gains against a dictatorship of right wing majorities.

          Which...even if that projection of non-viability, no solidarity, and absolute opposition is not explicitly stated as such, to avoid being 86'd from the venue...is still the obvious insinuation of such ultra-negativity, so relentlessly and ruthlessly deployed in every freakin' thread here.

          WTF good are you, really, except to troll us with electoral boycott and splitting sentiments?  

          Thanks for your input, but no thanks.

          We've made up our minds, and we're going for it, and we don't "need" to be schooled about how we can't, and shouldn't Even try to elect more better Dems.

          Get on the bus or gtfo.

          Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle.

          by Radical def on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:44:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Also too (0+ / 0-)

        you write "And I suspect the religious liberty stands won't hold when they enter the judicial sphere, unless we start overturning what appeared to be settled law."

        But will they stand in the political court? Certainly they are much more likely to today than yesterday.

        •  I don't think so long term...BUT (0+ / 0-)

          the reason for my concern is that you are correct.  I think we just come down on different sides of the scale.

          "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

          by justmy2 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:40:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It concerns me (0+ / 0-)

            when progressives applaud these decisions.

            Understanding the politics is one thing. But the liberty issue could be bad for us.

            Perhaps I am a pessimist by nature, but my Sunday piece is about debunking the "religious liberty" nonsense, using EJ Dionne as my foil.

            •  Please do....I look forward to it (0+ / 0-)

              I also was told by DemFromCT he is writing on federalism.  Really looking forward to both.  Please take it to Dionne!!

              I stated from the start that this entire thing was ridiculous.  And it sounds like, from this thread,  we have an almost identical position on the debate, from top to bottom.  Our difference is whether yesterday's decision should be applauded or met with a muted response due to the potential long term consequences.   In this case, the reason that I applauding this, is because they HAVE to see that this is not the end, and they have to know that this has to be engaged, and they can't give up any more ground (including implementation).  

              If they fail, I have set the baseline in my mind, and will have more credibility in criticizing a future move backwards.  I am also seeing a change in strategy and I want to applaud that.

              But can I fault you for think Democrats could blow it, not in the least.  You have a pile of evidence a mile high to justify that belief.

              "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

              by justmy2 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:55:26 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I can't help but think (0+ / 0-)

              we should have switched topics ;-P

              But stepping a little outside the box is good for  me.

              for anyone who wants to follow along, see

              http://www.nejm.org/...
              http://www.nejm.org/...
              http://www.nejm.org/...

              for basis of my piece.

              And hope you saw EJ's latest (the postscript)...

              http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 09:20:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  As for my example (0+ / 0-)

        I feel you will have plenty of chances to review it when it is trotted out by the Church and Republicans in the next few days.

        Also, the related argument that Catholic owned businesses deserve the same "religious liberty."

        •  I haven't seen you around...so you may not have (0+ / 0-)

          seen it, but part of my concern the entire week has been this EXACT argument.  Literally, all week this has been my main concern.  It is why my preferred approach was standing strong, as described.    How can you tell the catholic church one thing, but Bill Frist's HCA or some other catholic owned businesses that can't get the same treatment.   Why can't this exemption be extended across the board.

          Well, IANAL.  BBB is.  And he addressed this concern.   I know you are as well.  So here is a link to that thread.  

          http://www.dailykos.com/...

          Here is his main argument.

          Well, because those folks (13+ / 0-)

          aren't protected under the free exercise clause as entities.

          Basically your point is this: can a person reject the mandate on religious grounds? The answer pretty clearly is no.

          Can a religious group object to the mandate on religious grounds? The answer pretty clearly is also no.

          But can the government carve out a special exemption to certain institutions on religious grounds? The answer pretty clearly is yes.

          Just like the government can mandate conscription, but carve out exceptions for the Amish.

          Yo.

          by brooklynbadboy on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 12:41:33 PM EST

          I would be interested in your take.  This argument as you will see, made me more comfortable.  But I open to a separate opinion.  It was an interesting discussion.

          "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

          by justmy2 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:47:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's not an answer to the political question (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xanthippe2

            The Catholic Church had no right to be exempted from the initial rule.

            That is why they protested politically and would never have filed a lawsuit.

            The law is clear. The politics less so.

            •  Just to be clear...his argument was accurate? (0+ / 0-)

              Just making sure.

              If so, now I think I understand you better.  You are saying as this plays out, Republicans will use Bishops and this rule to continue making a larger argument about religious liberty AND the mandate.

              Correct?  

              I AGREE.

              And you believe, knowing Democrats, they will fail to stand their ground and will be a long term loser shifting the Overton Window?  Is that correct?

              Well, if history is any guide, that is a tough argument to defuse.  But, the fact the the "blue dog" dems and pundits, have already moved, so that helps.  Plus, the discussion wasn't going to be avoided.  The decision on the rule forced this.  As a matter of fact, as I have stated, this was inevitably going to come up the day HIR was passed with a mandate and no public option.  It was guaranteed.  So the only question is one of strategy.  At this point, I can only evaluate what has occurred.  

              The roll out of the rule - poor
              The accommodation - very good
              Willingness of Dems to stand firm from  here - tbd

              "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

              by justmy2 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 08:15:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •   AMENDMENT I (0+ / 0-)
              Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion
    •  Religious institutions (0+ / 0-)

      are not exempt from the generally applicable laws of the land.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Granting administrative exceptions as a favor, if you will, doesn't change the law.

  •  This isn't the only 'Win' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, MadRuth, Radical def

    As to policy, the mortgage news this week was as well, and Heavily Talked As A First Step, and like this it's all from the administration and not congress, read as in the obstruction in and the weak kneed leadership in the senate on the dem side without the numbers needed, thanks to dems and others as to the midterms allowing the extremism to gain the control needed to obstruct even further if that was possible and it was.

    He worked instead with State AG's who are still going after the Bankers and streeters to at least get some relief, while congress is stagnated and many of the so called progessive's laying all blame at the top, I believe, in actually wanting a bush type executive branch back with a tepub rubber stamping congress in tow doing business in all our names but not for our benefit!

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:11:42 AM PST

  •  On Chris Hayes Show This Morning (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Squid, OldDragon, LamontCranston

    he has on a Catholic Priest that is a law professor at Notre Dame. I thought it might be somewhat "moderate" on this issue. Somewhat sane. He came off, at least to me, as bat shit crazy.

    I kid you not, he kept saying birth control, say the pill, wasn't healthcare. The women on the panel were almost speechless. He didn't even want to get into the debate about the use of birth control at all, he just keep saying the Catholic Church shouldn't have to offer it under their healthcare plan, cause it wasn't healthcare.

    Eventually of course they got him to say he was against all birth control, other than the "natural" kind (whatever that is).

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:21:31 AM PST

    •  But the accommodation (0+ / 0-)

      celebrated by this diary accepts that position.

      Why were they speechless?

      The argument is they are not being required to because insurance companies are paying for it.

      I predict the argument extends to employment itself.

      •  What this diary posits is that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ahumbleopinion

        the extension of that argument will not be accepted by the public in general, and will create a major wedge between the bishops and their followers, creating a political advantage for the President. It also posits that there indeed will be an attempt to extend the discussion, and that the accommodation sets the foundation from which the Admin can fight from with putting the media on their side.  

        You stated you are writing about Dionne tomorrow.  He has stated the accommodation is appropriate.  So either he has to jump back in line with the bishops OR he now has to push back against his religious leadership.  

        The argument against the continued position of bishops and the right will now come from those within the church IN ADDITION to those outside of it.  Dems can not from that point appease further.

        That is the the position, fully assuming Republicans will double down.  That is what they do.  If Dems and the WH didn't realize that they are d&*$ fools.  I predict they will fail miserably and ruin themselves once they move to the extreme position.  Labor law is not open to the whims of religious groups.  

        "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

        by justmy2 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 08:07:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  he scared me....but that is the exact response (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      meralda

      this decision forced.  They had to expose their true arguments.

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 08:08:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks tipped and rec'ed (0+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 09:14:20 AM PST

  •  "...about ACA and the mandate... (0+ / 0-)

    I also thought that to be the case in another post I made, and was glad to read your diary discussing that.  There was more than what was really going on here with the "doth protest to much" Republicans.

    I had written a pessimistic post before the President Obama's announcement and solution and predicted that he would “cave”, and I was really glad when I listened to his announcement.  Yes, I made a public admission of my being wrong about President Obama on this site, and then I started thinking about just how this administration has changed in the past months as well.  Something had changed, and it was for the better:  The President found his “mojo” once again, and I began thinking that he was probably going to really start kicking butt and taking down names as we moved closer to election day in November.

    I see your point of the change since certain administration people have left, and yes, it has been positive.  With Geitner leaving we can only hope that the change and policy tone in this administration in the second term will be move more to the progressive liking, than playing safe, and staying on a slight center right, ultra moderate course due to the advice from before which I believe was politically motivated.  I am hoping we can get rid of the “Wall Street” influence surrounding him once and for all, but that is a big wish.

    We'll see, but I am beginning to think that there are going to be some serious policy decisions coming in the "second half" of his administration if re-elected:  I look forward to them with still, cautious optimism.

    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution, inevitable." - President John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963)

    by LamontCranston on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 10:05:23 AM PST

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