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There isn't enough spin in the GOP to make this image go away.

Republican women in Congress are finally joining in the fight for "religious liberty," by attempting to convince women that trying to make access to affordable birth control harder isn't about birth control. Good luck with that.

“If it’s made a contraception issue, they’ll win,” Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.) said Monday.

She cast the contraception mandate as one example of government overreach in President Obama’s healthcare law. Critics of the policy are concerned about “the erosion of all freedoms,” not about birth control, she said.

“The very essence of the healthcare law is that the government is going to tell you what your healthcare is going to be,” Buerkle said. [...]

“I care deeply about women’s health,” Buerkle said. “This is not a women’s health issue that we’re talking about, and it’s so important not to be deceived and not to be distracted.”

The very essence of the Affordable Care Act and the preventive services provisions of the bill, including free birth control, is making health care more affordable and thus more accessible. That's what Republicans have been trying to stop from the very beginning.

Since they've chosen women's health care to be where they take their "religious liberty" stand, it is absolutely about women's health care. Frame it however they want, what they're trying to do is limit women's freedom. But Buerkle is right about one thing, they'll lose on that.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (32+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 08:55:23 AM PST

  •  indeed it is... (16+ / 0-)
    ...it’s so important not to be deceived and not to be distracted.”

    dangerous voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

    by annieli on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 08:57:24 AM PST

  •  Ann Marie Buerkle is not a woman (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glorificus, boophus

    She's a Republican automaton.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 09:02:49 AM PST

    •  now, now (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spirit of Life, rserven

      I appreciate the thought behind your sentiment, but dehumanizing or degendering your opponents is a dangerous way to argue.  

      I try always to address someone by the pronouns that they are presenting as.  It's a kindness for our transgendered friends.  By denying her gender and humanity, you're making it OK to hate her.

      Now, her actions make it OK to ridicule her.   As does her party affiliation.  And we can probably ridicule her fashion sense, taste in associates, and basic intelligence.  But please don't deny her humanity.

  •  Forcing women will do what Cons think ACA does (12+ / 0-)

    So even though the GOP hates the ACA because "it takes away people's freedom and forces the government to dictate which procedures you can and can't have," the Republicans are going to force women against their will to have unnecessary procedures because the Republicans know better than a woman and her doctor what is appropriate medically. This truly is the Gordian Knot of GOP Pretzel Logic.

    •  And, there's more... (5+ / 0-)
      This truly is the Gordian Knot of GOP Pretzel Logic.
      “The very essence of the healthcare law is that the government is going to tell you what your healthcare is going to be,” Buerkle said. [...]

      “I care deeply about women’s health,” Buerkle said. “This is not a women’s health issue that we’re talking about...”

      When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

      by msmacgyver on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 09:09:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The government telling you... (6+ / 0-)
        “The very essence of the healthcare law is that the government is going to tell you what your healthcare is going to be,”
        They're making is sound like the government is forcing women to take birth control, against their will.  My health insurance covers prostate exams, that doesn't mean I'm going to use that part of my insurance.  

        Birth control coverage is just an option, a free, accessible option for women who choose not to have a gaggle of kids.  Since when is women having afforable, accessible choices in family planning a bad thing?

        •  well, also (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Damnit Janet, Spirit of Life

          Birth control also handles a variety of hormonal imbalances and can level out someone's mood swings.  Far be it for me to suggest that Republicans want women to be more hysterical and emotionally unstable...

          But that's the way that the evidence is pointing.

        •  The use of the word "health care" has (2+ / 0-)

          been co-opted by the GOP to confuse and distort.

          ACA is a reform of health care insurance and the President and the Dems lost the messaging big time when they also began to refer to the law as "Health Care Reform".

          This has allowed the GOP to run with the "socialized medicine" crap and further confuse voters into believing that this much needed insurance regulation and reform directly affects their health care providers and their access to health care. Granted, insurance impacts on both of these, but ACA is about insurance and we need to continue to correct this misinformation whenever possible.

          By the way, "socialized medicine" is a term which was invented by the AMA during the Truman administration to confuse voters into believing that his proposed national health insurance reforms would bring about Socialism.

          Sound familiar?

          When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

          by msmacgyver on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 09:56:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, but did you get the memo? (9+ / 0-)

      Once a woman has had sex, she doesn't have any say over what happens to her vagina anymore. really.

      But that's not a loss of liberty. That's just the way it is.

      "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

      by Joan McCarter on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 09:13:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah the whole wingnut world are such staunch (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    googie, tikkun, maybeeso in michigan

    supporters of both privacy rights and the entire field of personal liberty that it's hard to imagine how this one little misunderstanding managed to escalate into anything at all. Nope, no paternalism there. Never has been, never will be!

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 09:05:18 AM PST

  •  Here she is with Tony Perkins (FRC) last week (8+ / 0-)

    Buerkle calls it "the largest assault on our rights and freedoms ever".  Ann Marie Buerkle is kind of insane, and not in a good way.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 09:10:16 AM PST

  •  My ?: Is she mentally deficient or just evil? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danali

    If you do not believe that there is an ongoing war on women, then you aren't paying attention. h/t The Pootie Potentate

    by glorificus on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 09:12:00 AM PST

  •  Crazy Gonna Crazy (0+ / 0-)

    Frame it any way they want, non-wingnuts will see this for what it is.

  •  I used to wonder how the GOP sells (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danali, boophus, lostinamerica, OldDragon

    this kind of double talk to their base, but since the Santorum Surge, I've stopped wondering and just accept the fact that, to paraphrase KO, "these people are idiots".

    The ACA provision provides FREE contraception to women who have employer based health insurance.  

    How can this be misconstrued as anything but what it is?

    When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

    by msmacgyver on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 09:19:02 AM PST

    •  wouldn't this be more correct? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      msmacgyver
      The ACA provision provides FREE contraception to women who have employer based health insurance.  
      The ACA provision requires employers to pay for the  contraceptives of thier employees.
      •  **Rolling my eyes** You again. (6+ / 0-)

        If employers don't like following federal employment guidelines, they should move their business in China or India where they don't have workers rights.

        If you want to do business in the US, you have to play by the rules.  

        Birth control is wildly important to the future of our country.  Our population is growing at a rate that is entirely unsustainable.  Abortions happen more frequently when there is no way to prevent unwanted pregnancies.  The natural solution?  Prevent unwanted pregnanies! (i.e. Birth Control).  You don't have to take it, so please, build a bridge and get over it.

        Period.

      •  Yes, your wording is more correct (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SuzieQ4624

        My too hastily composed sentence implies that employers are actually providing contraception rather than paying for it through insurance coverage.

        And, President Obama's revision covers those employers who might object to contraception by requiring that insurance companies incur the full cost of contraception.

        Thanks.

        When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

        by msmacgyver on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 09:44:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, it's the insurers (4+ / 0-)

          who are both providing and paying for contraception coverage in the policies they provide to businesses. Along with all other no-copay preventive services required by ACA.

          What the Catholics want is for the insurance industry to provide THEM with group policies that exclude preventive health care services ACA requires the insurance industry to provide in group (business) policies. What the Republicans want is for the insurance industry to offer a smorgasbord of policies that allow employers to exclude any or all of those required preventive health care services they decide they don't want their employees to have.

          •  OK, your explanation is more precise (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau
            it's the insurers who are both providing and paying for contraception coverage in the policies they provide to businesses. Along with all other no-copay preventive services required by ACA.

            When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

            by msmacgyver on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 03:42:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, it's not about whether women (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spirit of Life, myboo

    can use contraception.  It's about who is going to pay for the contraception.  

    This kind of debate is going to arise repeatedly when you tie such a personal thing as what health care I get to something like employment, where somebody else gets a say in what health insurance I get.  

    A personal thing like health care should not be linked to something where somebody else -- like your employer -- by virtue of paying the bill, also thinks they should have a say in what they are paying for, because in our society, we are generally conditioned to believe that the person paying the bill gets some say in what they are buying.  (I'm both a woman and an employer, by the way).  A system that links personal health care to one's employer makes no rational sense.  Unfortunately, instead of severing that irrational link, the ACA doubled down on it.

    Those on the left will try to play this as "whether a woman can use contraception," and those on the right will try to play it as "whether a religious employer has to violate its beliefs." But in reality, it's neither -- it's about who has to pay for the employee's health care, and whether the party paying for it gets a say in it.

    Two value systems -- (1) that health care is a personal decision; and (2) that the party paying for something gets a say -- were set up to inevitably collide.  And they did.  And I suspect that it won't be the last time.

    Maybe one day the country will wake up and move health care away from a system where paying for  health care is dependent on the employer.  

    •  What it's really about (4+ / 0-)

      at the core, is the GOP's effort to control women's reproductive health.

      The insurance discussion is just the trappings around it.

      But, yeah, employer-based insurance is not the most rational way to go. But that's not this fight.

      "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

      by Joan McCarter on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 10:27:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nespolo

        by tying it to the employer, that gives the employer the opening to try to exercise control.  In our society, "paying for it" equates with "getting control over it" or at least "getting a say."  (I'm old enough to remember the bounce Reagan got among what used to be called Reagan Democrats from the famous "I'm paying for this microphone, Mr. Green.") People in our society tend to think that the person who pays for it ought to get a say.  

        That's why I said it's all about who pays for it.  That's what gives them the opening to make the "I'm paying for it, I should have a say in what I'm paying for" argument.  If you didn't have that completely irrational link, it really would be all about whether women get contraception or not.  The irrational structure of making one private entity/person  -- the employer -- buy the health insurance for another private person -- the employee --  opens the door to the employer claiming a "say" in what he/she buys -- the health insurance.  

        If health insurance were not linked to employment (and the employer wasn't the one actually buying the health insurance) we wouldn't be having this discussion.  

    •  ACA requires insurers (0+ / 0-)

      to provide no-copay preventive services. Only one of these is contraception. Another is Viagra. Mammograms. Prostate exams. Stuff like that. If employers can demand their policies NOT provide any or all such services, they will not pay a penny less for those policies, I promise. Insurance is still a for-profit industry, after all.

      Hence it's about imposing religious beliefs on employees. Catholic hospitals don't hire exclusively Catholics as nurses, housekeeping or business office employees, security guards, technicians, etc. They hire whoever's qualified and willing to work.

      There is only one level-1 trauma facility and general hospital in my region since the Catholic hospital bought out the general hospital a few years ago. They had to get special permission from the state to do because it established a monopoly. And as soon as they did so, they refused to treat any state employees because the state insurance covered things they didn't approve of. State workers in the region were forced to go to Charlotte for any hospital related health care, more than two hours distant on a good day. The state threatened to rescind the merger, forcing the hospital - Big Business with capital 'b's - to relent. Even had to provide contraceptive coverage to the employees (horrors!). They're self-insured, btw, because they're still the only health care game in town. ACA won't change that and neither would the current exemption the Bishops are seeking, because they're still a monopoly provider.

      It's about imposing religious beliefs on people who may not share their religion. That's ALL it's about.

  •  If my health insurance is a "benefit" (7+ / 0-)

    of my employment, it is only provided for me if I work for an employer. It is part of my pay. I am paying for my health insurance. The employer may be able to deduct the part that the employer "subsidizes" but that's only because it is part of my compensation, part of the cost to the employer of having me there. It is part of my pay, whether it comes out of my pay in a pre-tax or an after-tax way.

    Believe me, my former employer made a big deal of including the value of insurance in our "compensation" statements each year, and yes including the subsidized parts.

    Because of this, it makes no sense to me at all that the employer has any rights in deciding what is offered in the health care product that the employees buy, other than that the employer should be allowed to facilitate purchase of a broader spectrum of services that a minimal standard requirement.

    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Melanie in IA on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 10:04:02 AM PST

    •  That would make more sense if (0+ / 0-)

      you were taxed on the value of that, as income to you.  But you are not, of course.  

      Speaking as an employer, I can assure you that providing health insurance for employees is a HUGE expense to the employer, one that most employees do not consider as part of their compensation.  If my costs to cover my employees goes up $1000 per employee this year over last year, what employee is going to say, "ok, only cut my pay $500, and I'll count that as a $500 raise."  But that's what your position would imply.  

      I do agree, however, that is is a completely irrational system that ties the health care of the employees of my business to decisions that I have to make as an employer in trying to find a way to provide health care coverage for those employees.

  •  Then we're gonna win...It is birth control issue (0+ / 0-)

    Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 10:19:37 AM PST

  •  Republicans want to shrink govt (6+ / 0-)

    down to a size they can force it up a woman's vagina.

    I saw a woman in line yesterday...

    Race for the Cure Koman t-shirt - the horrid "Save the Ta Tas" one that I hate so much.   Wore her hair up in a Palin Poofified Pony Tail doncha know.  And looky what else she was sporting.  A cross around her neck that was at least 3 inches long.  She was mean looking.  As if she was daring one of us DFH to say something about her attire.

    Just because a person is a woman doesn't mean they are brilliant, strong, compassionate, nurturing, sensual, giving people.  :)

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, the women I turned to for support after I was brutally atttacked as a teen... were monstrous and severely delayed my healing.  

    Republican Women... they remind me of the Stepford Wives.

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

    by Damnit Janet on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 10:27:14 AM PST

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