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three types of birth control bills
Don't worry, ladies—libertarian techbros will decide if you deserve these.
This past Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the combined cases of Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius—referred to colloquially and hereinafter as the Hobby Lobby case. At issue before the highest court in the land is the question of whether for-profit businesses can lay claim to having a religion, and if so, whether the contraceptive mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act places an undue burden on religious employers because they would be forced to provide medical insurance that is required to cover care that violates the doctrine of the employing entity, regardless of of whether the employee desires the care or not.

A decision for plaintiffs in this case would not just represent a setback on access to contraception, but would open up a Pandora's Box of negative policy consequences. As Justices Kagan, Ginsburg and Sotomayor aptly pointed out, accepting the arguments of the plaintiffs would not simply gut the contraceptive mandate. Even worse, it would provide precedent for any employer to refuse to cover any type of medical care on religious grounds, or even seek religious exemptions to unrelated laws such as nondiscrimination clauses or the minimum wage. This would force courts to consider employers' claims for exemptions on a case-by-case basis, resulting in a host of frivolous litigation that would force judges into the impossible position of evaluating the sincerity of each individual's religious conviction.

It goes without saying that the theocratic right wing is fully in support of the plaintiffs in these cases. After all, the war on a woman's reproductive freedom that used to be more exclusively reserved for the continued debate over abortion rights has now extended to birth control, which used to be so uncontroversial a topic that even Hobby Lobby has previously covered it for their employees without objection. But the religious right has an ally in the fight to deny women guaranteed coverage of contraception: economic libertarians.

Read on below the fold.

Economic libertarians tend to oppose the contraception mandate on the grounds that requiring coverage of contraception is an unjust coercion by the government against employers, and that women whose employers refuse to have contraception coverage can simply either find another job or pay for it on their own. As Kevin Vallier wrote a couple of years ago regarding the mandate as applied to the Roman Catholic Church:

Defenders of the mandate insist that a woman’s reproductive liberty is significantly restricted if her employer refuses to pay for contraception. This is false. To see why, abstract. Is A’s liberty to X restricted if A’s boss refuses to pay for X? Especially when X is cheap and readily available? And when A can choose another employer? And when A’s government could provide X directly without using force against a voluntary association? No, no, no, and no.
This issue came to a bit of a head in online media circles the previous week when Emily Crockett, a reporting fellow at RH Reality Check, tweeted a video produced by UltraViolet about the Hobby Lobby case. Timothy Lee, a libertarian technology writer formerly of the Washington Post and newly hired at Ezra Klein's journalism startup Vox, made the mistake of responding that:
Luckily people are free to pay for their own birth control.
Crockett offers a systematic deconstruction of the first two points of Vallier's narrative as more concisely expressed by his fellow libertarian Lee. To begin with, employers are not paying for birth control at all. Rather, the employee is earning it through her labor and the insurance premiums she pays. Secondly, contraception is not actually as inexpensive as Vallier and Lee (both men, unsurprisingly) seem to think it is:
Insurance is required to do certain things for us in return for those often exorbitant premiums, and right now one of those things is providing coverage of numerous forms of basic primary health care, including basic contraceptive and reproductive health care, without a copay. Not free.

Simply put, people who say women are getting “free birth control” don’t know what they’re talking about. Premiums aren’t cheap, nor is birth control if we don’t have insurance; it can easily run from $600 or more per year just for prescriptions, never mind doctor’s visits.

Women who don’t have much money to begin with aren’t as “free” to spend it, as Lee assumes; indeed, 55 percent of women report experiencing a time when they could not afford to use birth control consistently. Not using birth control consistently (depending on how inconsistent you are and how false your sense of security is) is, in the worst cases, probably not much better than not using it at all.

Vallier's third point about a woman simply being able to choose a different employer could perhaps be seen as rational from the perspective of an ivory tower academic who seems to view people and employers as, in the immortal words of Charlie Stross, frictionless spherical humanoids of uniform density who can simply choose at will to associate and dissociate with employers as we see fit. That perspective, however, is not so applicable to reality. In the real world and the actual economy, unemployment is still high and underemployment is even higher. So is it a viable option for most women to change jobs and uproot their lives just because their employer doesn’t offer the full health coverage they deserve? No, no, no, and no.

But it is Vallier's last point about the government providing contraception instead that is most particularly intriguing. From a theoretical perspective, it is fascinating that a political ideology that typically favors individual freedom from government would rather require that taxpayer dollars pay for contraception instead of requiring employers to provide plans that cover contraception with no co-pay. Still, this is a thing that exists: a kinder, gentler libertarianism, here eloquently expressed by yet another male technology writer (Julian Sanchez, a fellow at the CATO Institute). Sanchez views contraception as a commodity similar to food, and advocates for a government program that would subsidize contraception in the same way we subsidize food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or provide heating assistance through similar models.

There's so much wrong with this analogy, however that it's hard to know where to start.

To begin with, the SNAP program subsidizes only the most basic food necessities, and the costs for these necessities are relatively stable, and also do not include the requirement of a prescription, consultation with a physician. This is not how contraception works: certain methods work best on a case-by-case basis; no matter how often conservatives talk about the generic pills available at Target as a panacea that invalidates the need for the contraception mandate, sometimes the more expensive options are the ones that work the best, or the only ones that work at all; and it usually takes a consultation with a physician and a prescription to obtain the care that works. Imagine how well SNAP would work under the current model if deciding what cereal you were going to buy had to be determined in consultation with a doctor and required a prescription, and some shoppers could simply make do with Kix while others required filet mignon. Needless to say, the cash grant system would not work with nearly the efficiency it does now with those layers of complexity added onto it.

Further, the subsidy system also imposes an artificial value judgment on the reasons why a woman would use contraception in the first place. Under Sanchez' hypothetical subsidy system, a woman who is not eligible for a subsidy would be ineligible to receive coverage of any kind for birth control if she were simply using it to prevent pregnancy, but would be eligible to have it covered by medical insurance if she could document that it were being used to treat a particular medical condition:

That is surely a debate worth having on its own terms. But it strikes me as a bit odd that so little attention is given to the question of whether an insurance model really makes sense for contraception qua contraception—when it is not prescribed for some independent medical purpose.
Now, Sanchez is clearly not morally opposed to contraception. He is, in fact, arguing for a public subsidy for it. But the attempt to distinguish between uses of contraception that are worthy of being covered by insurance and those worthy only of a low-income subsidy is counterproductive and dangerous. By creating this two-tiered bifurcation, Sanchez and those who subscribe to his model are regrettably playing into a religious conservative argument that contraception is not a legitimate medical need: it's tantamount to saying that, hey, if it's medicine, sure, you can get it covered by insurance—but if they're just your dirty little slut pills, then you're on your own if you make too much for a public subsidy. This may not be the intention, but it's an inescapable conclusion. And even if a case could be made that simply preventing pregnancy is a less legitimate and moral reason to use contraception than treatment of manifested medical conditions, it makes no sense to create a two-tiered funding structure that seeks to distinguish between the two. Women who take birth control to regulate fibroids or dysmenorrhea use it in the exact same way, with the exact same costs, as women who use the same method simply as pregnancy prevention—a fact which automatically introduces a moral judgment into any attempt to discriminate by reasons for usage. Perhaps libertarians have more in common with religious conservatives than they would care to admit?

The reason contraception operates within the health insurance system rather than with a cash grant subsidy system is that it is part of professional medical care, and not simply a commodity that is available for purchase and subsidy should society so desire. It also exists within the health insurance system because it is an actuarial hedge against other more expensive conditions—pregnancy of course, which is expensive to care for, but even diseases such as fibroids and feminine cancers. Under a proposed subsidy system, women who make too much to qualify for a subsidy but who require more expensive forms of contraception might simply choose to do without, especially in an era of economic uncertainty, which would increase the risks of unwanted pregnancies and other more expensive conditions that contraception can help prevent.

And that is exactly what the contraceptive mandate is specifically designed to avoid. There is a reason that contraception is just one of the many preventive items the Affordable Care Act mandates be covered without co-pays. They are mandated as part of insurance coverage, despite the fact that their costs are relatively stable over time, precisely because we as a society have passed a law designed to encourage people to take advantage of these preventive measures. Even though the cost of an annual checkup is fairly stable, we wouldn't dream of removing it as a benefit and converting it to a subsidy model, like libertarians are proposing for contraceptive care, because these are things we are actively encouraging people to take advantage of. The same goes for contraception, even if that offends the suddenly-delicate sensibilities of libertarian male technology writers.

My personally preferred solution would be to require any man who says that women should pay for their own contraception to pay each woman he sleeps with for a portion of the monthly cost of the birth control he just took advantage of. To echo Vallier, that would be a highly justified use of force against a voluntary association.

(disclosure: Emily Crockett and the author have a personal relationship.)

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's not just about sex! (95+ / 0-)

    What men fail to realize is that women take contraceptives to regulate their cycles and a host of other things that have NOTHING to do with sex.
    Any man who thinks he should decide what is right for a woman is WRONG.
    And if all these men (left, right, center or whatever) believe it is OK for companies to restrict a woman's right when it comes to the pill (for that is what we're talking about), then we must also ensure that men have no right to their health insurance covering Cialis, Viagra, or any other boner pills. After all, if god wanted you to get an erection, he would make it happen.
    As for libertarians, they're simply selfish and clueless. Allowing insurance to cover contraceptives IS taking the government out of the equation. Right now, government is inserting itself into the argument.
    And the war on women continues...

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 07:54:35 AM PDT

    •  This Is True (33+ / 0-)

      When I was 52 years old I needed a low dose birth control to regulate my cycles and did not need birth control but had to take it for my health.

      "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

      by rssrai on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 07:59:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Time to Sever Insurance from Employment!! (16+ / 0-)

        Period.

        Make all employers pay a health insurance tax that then goes to subsidize the purchase of insurance on a health care exchange, with even MORE rigorous regulation of the insurance companies.  Use the standards of the Netherlands as a guide.

        Or open up Medicare for all.

        I am sick of all these religious PERVERTS prying into our sex lives.
        •  If that tax was somehow lower (7+ / 0-)

          than what they would pay in premiums, most employers would jump right on it -- many employers offer a range of plans and administering those plans is a PITA for human resources departments. Even if it was equivalent, just the time saved in having to research different plans, choosing plans for the employees, processing the paperwork during open enrollment periods and the like would be attractive.

          Maybe this whole Hobby Lobby (and Conestoga -- let's not let them off the hook either) crap will get the public even more behind a single payer program, whether it's Medicare For All or some equivalent.

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:08:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Reason for Birth Control (0+ / 0-)

        Repukes don't care.  In their eyes,you are a 52 year old tart who likes to sex it up every weekend.  

        They will say you're just making it up,  that you have some medical need that has nothing to do with sex.  They don't care if you have irregular cycles or not.  The repukes see sex in everything.  They need to keep their noses outta other people's uteruses.

        I wonder if they have any qualms about insurance covered for Viagra, which has one and only one use only!

        Music is Mankind's Gift to Humanity

        by BobJustice666 on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:44:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Selfish and clueless (66+ / 0-)

      That pretty much covers libertarianism.  A bunch of puerile fools, completely unaware of their own privilege and generally unacquainted with the slings and arrows life can throw at them.  Compassion and simple human decency are wrung out of them by the ideological framework they adopt that justifies their selfishness.  

      The basic political question of our time is about the extent of the social contract in this country.  Do we have a collective responsibility to take care of each other and share the fruits of our economy, or do we want a dog-eat-dog society?  Libertarians, corporatists and racists don't want collective responsibility.  I think we on the left are poor at framing the essential political question of our time properly.  If we did a better job, we would crush them at the polls.

      We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

      by Dallasdoc on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:16:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Short answer (37+ / 0-)
        The basic political question of our time is about the extent of the social contract in this country.  Do we have a collective responsibility to take care of each other and share the fruits of our economy, or do we want a dog-eat-dog society?
        The Constitution clearly states that the purpose of our government, among other things, is to "promote the general Welfare." Right there is the preamble where the overall scope of intention is presented. We do have a collective responsibility to take care of each other and share the fruits of our economy, to do anything less is unconstitutional.

        "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

        by US Blues on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:35:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Tools, but probably selfish too. (7+ / 0-)

        No complaints from them about being 'forced' into paying for the vastly more expensive prenatal, delivery and postnatal care.

        No one makes the case to the predominantly young, male libertarian that he should support birth control rather than pay the costs of having the babies. After all, it's babies that should be viewed as the 'optional choice'. I am not advocating this mindset by any means. I'm merely suggesting there is a deliberate framing of the issue the right wing is doing which gives the illusion libertarians should oppose employer mandated BC.

        Libertarians are tools. The right wing found they can push their buttons. Many are libertarian in name only. They will 'blah, blah, blah' about being libertarian, then vote 'R'. The remainder can be demoralized to the point that they will just stay home.

        Republicans know they are losing the younger voters. This current libertarian crap is their strategic assault on Dems.

        •  Someone once defined "libertarian" (7+ / 0-)

          as "a Republican who smokes pot". That seems to be accurate for many of the Ron Paul followers out there...not sure if Rand's got the chops to keep those folks on the bandwagon.

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:11:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This gets close to the crux of the transformation. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ahianne, papercut

            If you want to call it a transformation.

            My subjective impression over the years was that the true Ron Paul supporter was as you describe; let's say a, 'well meaning' libertarian (As opposed to the Cato crowd).

            To me Rand Paul presents an ugly and cynical version of this. He is like a libertarian carpet bagger. His words are designed to sucker his dad's followers. Instead of stretching his party to encompass the libertarians, he wants to deliver the libertarians to the Republican Party wrapped in a bow; to sell them out for the gain of Republicans.

            The Republican Party used to tolerate the Ron Paul fans. Now they have co-opted his vocabulary in a bait and switch operation. Reframing things like the contraception mandate as a libertarian issue.

          •  No, those were old-school libertarians. (4+ / 0-)

            They were also largely moderate Republicans to begin with. The Ron Paul crowd fully embraces the viciousness of Ayn Rand. I firmly believe they can't be happy without seeing others suffering. They hate liberalism specifically because we want to do what we can to get rid of suffering. That crowd really does need to smoke more pot.

            Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

            by rhonan on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:02:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  So sex is a luxury? (3+ / 0-)

          A libertarian would say that you have the right to get contraception or any other type of health care, but if you're unable to exercise that right because you can't afford to pay for it, well then that's just too bad. White middle-class male libertarians think that everyone should pay their own way regardless of circumstace. So that means that if a woman can't afford to pay for the contraception she shouldn't be dating, instead she should just stay home and watch TV.

          Great, so religious-right Republicans see sex as a sin and libertarian Republicans see sex as a luxury.

          "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." --Senator Ted Kennedy

          by Blue Silent Majority on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:48:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  BSM - standard birth control pills aren't an issue (0+ / 0-)

            in this case. Hobby Lobby has no objections to the standard oral contraceptives.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:21:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You cannot write a law differentiating some (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              carrps, Damaged262, Vericima

              oral contraceptives from others  especially since Hobby's calling some of the other methods abortifacients which is a lie. Selling bad morals, bad science, bad medicine = bad people.

              Life is just a bowl of Cherries, that stain your hands and clothes and have pits that break your teeth.

              by OHdog on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 04:57:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OHdog - I was just making the point that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nextstep, Damaged262

                there are a lot of comments about standard oral contraceptives which aren't a part of this case. It seems that most people writing about the Hobby Lobby case at DKOS are not familiar with the basic facts of the case, which is common for legal issues here. Nearly all the diaries about Hobby Lobby, with a few exceptions, are rants filled with much misinformation. The rants are fine, but it is unfortunate that they include so much misinformation.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 07:44:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The problem is, MANY women... (6+ / 0-)

                  ... aren't using "the pill" in that capacity. Most women are on something beyond standard oral contraceptives, in particular the IUD, which Hobby Lobby is also falsely labeling as an Abortifacients. And what happens, later, if they also try to claim that Depo Provera or Nuva Ring is an abortifacient too - again falsely? After all, they do prevent ovulation, but they also affect the body in ways which inhibit implantation.

                  In addition, they don't want to even pay for a visit where those forms of birth control they don't approve of paying for, are discussed - which means making women pay out of pocket, for a consultation to get those "standard oral contraceptives," if she wants to discuss all the options with her doctor.

                  The differentiation isn't as much about misinformation of the facts of the case, as Hobby Lobby's arguments are about misinformation of how birth control works, and misdirection from the point. DOCTORS and PATIENTS should decide what kind of birth control is being used, and no employer has business arguing they won't pay for one kind, based on false equivalency and the religious views of who is in charge.

                  Cutting off access to everything but normal birth control pills, is still cutting off birth control options to millions of women. Many women can't use those medications, because of other medical conditions or a lack of efficacy. And the types of birth control they don't want to pay for, are the most expensive kinds, because many don't yet have a generic equivalent.

                  Again, it has absolutely nothing to do with the religious attitudes of the company's owners - or even their misguided interpretation of how birth control works. If you want to be an employer in this country, you should be required to provide the exact same benefits that every other employer is required to provide. If you have a moral objection to blood transfusion, you don't get to tell employers you won't provide health coverage which includes it, or even a doctor's visit where you talk about it as an option.

                  •  CT - my understanding is the case is about (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Damaged262

                    two IUDs and three morning after pills. HL has no objection to the other contraceptives mandated by the ACA.

                    "let's talk about that"

                    by VClib on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 12:21:46 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  They're not doctors (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Damaged262, Vericima

                      Their ignorance and prejudice and deliberate denial of science "for religious reasons" should not trump the right of their female employees to the full health care options mandated under ACA.  As long as the insurance plan HL offers their employees meets ACA requirements, they don't even need to look at what it covers, if the idea of a woman making personal health decisions in consultation with her doctor is so offensive to them.  And the female employees who share their employers' religious beliefs can choose not to avail themselves of those options, without insisting that their co-workers do the same.  See how simple it is if you're not trying to score political points?

                      When you go to Heaven for following your conscience, and I go to Hell for not following mine, will you join me there, for fellowship? - A Man for All Seasons

      •  You do crush libertarians at the poll (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Damaged262

        The Libertarian candidate for president, for example, only received less than 1% of the vote, whereas the democrat candidate won the whole contest.

    •  Yes I was prescribed the pill for medical reasons (18+ / 0-)

      and it helped delay a hysterectomy until I was 40 and mentally ready to have the surgery.

      Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

      by wishingwell on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:19:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some men don't understand that. (13+ / 0-)

      Others understand it very well. They see their loved ones suffer, and they see the positive effects that birth control offers when prescribed off-label.

      Time for them to speak up alongside their wives, daughters, sisters, mothers, neighbors...

      This is a good opportunity to educate the ignorant.

      We don't see things as they are; we see things as we are.

      by EighteenCharacters on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:06:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  MEN also denied the pill if Hobby Lobby wins (13+ / 0-)

      Family health plans covers the family. It's not always the woman's health plan that is impacted. Often it is the husband's coverage that provides BC to his wife.

      There is probably a percentage of men out there who are barely paying attention to this because it is framed as only affecting women employees who pay for their own health care premiums. Not thinking hard enough to realize they will be affected. The image of this as a 'single lady' issue has been planted in their skulls.

    •  True, but even if it was (11+ / 0-)

      only about sex, what's the problem?  Isn't sex a normal part of a healthy human's life?

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:26:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know a few doctors (5+ / 0-)

        who'd be willing to fudge the medical records to come up with a "medical necessity" diagnosis for their patients to get their contraception covered.

        But it shouldn't be necessary -- contraceptive care is a vital part of a woman's total health care, and should not be restricted for any reason.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:16:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Healthy Humans (0+ / 0-)

        Repukes don't care about your healthy sex life.

        To them, the only normal healthy sex is doing it with somebody else's wife, or cheating on your own wife.  Just ask Newtie!

        Music is Mankind's Gift to Humanity

        by BobJustice666 on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:57:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  focusing on the non-birth control reasons for (7+ / 0-)

      taking birth control is just a diversion. The vast majority use it for its main purpose, and no one should have the right to interfere with that right.

    •  Does Hobby Lobby ask potential costumers if they (7+ / 0-)

      are using any of the both control methods HL objects to, and then refuse them service?

      How can Hobby Lobby pocket the money of such sinners?

      •  Forget the customers, (11+ / 0-)

        Hobby Lobby purchases the vast majority of the products they sell from China, which has forced abortion and a strict one-child limit. How can they put their money in the pockets of China while denying contraception (which is not the same as abortion) to their employees and/or families?

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:19:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well no, lets not forget the customers or the (0+ / 0-)

          policies of the country where HL gets its stock, and lets ask why employees, suppliers, and customers are not the same in the eyes of the HL god of choice.

          Why can employees behavior cause HL owners to offend god, but not a paying customer or a lowest price point supplier doing the same thing?

          •  Grabber - how is that relevant to the legal (0+ / 0-)

            issues in this case?

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:13:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •   HL has a contractual and financial relations with (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Damaged262, Vericima

              employees, costumers and suppliers. not a religious one. Hobby Lobby does not refuse to sell glitter to people who use or provide contraception their invisible sky god disapproves of. HL doesn't refuse to interact in business transactions with people that might use or provide contraception their invisible sky god disapproves of. HL's employees who have been hired in order to make the company a profit, they make HL more than cost or they are laid off. This class, the employee class only has been singled out by HL as subject to HLs invisible sky gods will as HL perceives the invisible sky gods will to be.

               

      •  That's an absurd comparison. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        Hobby Lobby doesn't ask its employees if they spend the money Hobby Lobby pays them for any of the four types of contraception  to which Hobby Lobby objects, either.  

        What would be more analogous is if the law required Hobby Lobby to inform people where they could get products that violated the religion of the owners.  Say the owners (as some fundamentalist Christians do) believed Halloween was satanic, and didn't thus didn't carry Halloween decorations.  It would be as if the law said, if the store refuses to carry Halloween decorations, the store owner needs to know where customers can buy Halloween crafts and must arrange to transport the customer to that other store to buy those Halloween crafts.  In that case, no, the store owner is not buying the stuff that violates its religion; it is (1) paying part of the cost of what it perceives as "sinful"; and (2) facilitating the "sinfulness" of the customer.  Most religions believe that people should assist others in committing "sins."  

        The problem is that the Administration is requiring Hobby Lobby to go out, select an insurer, negotiate with that insurer for the terms and conditions of coverage, and must, during those negotiations, require that the insurer cover certain things that violate the religious beliefs of Hobby Lobby's owners.  And then Hobby Lobby pays a substantial portion of that coverage -- not in money to the employee, who then can spend it how she wants, but directly to the company that is facilitating the "sin" (in Hobby Lobby's view).  

        And I think -- if I'm not mistaken -- that Hobby Lobby is self insured, so they would be the ones paying for that "sin."

        Health insurance coverage provided by the employer is not the same thing as simply paying the employee money.  If the law required Hobby Lobby simply to pay $2000 tax free to the employee, and the employee then went out, chose an insurer, and chose the coverage the employee wanted, Hobby Lobby would have no basis whatsoever to interject itself into that.  

        •  Ahh, the wordy coffeetalk. Never say anything in a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          penelope pnortney

          few sentences that can't be said by wearing the letters off your keyboard.

          You've stated HL's case, possible case, and what their case might be on Mars, but what about their employee's case? And their freedom from HLs religion? And there's that lack of understanding, or agreement about what is birth control and what is an abortion agent. I can't comment on HLs insurance plans or what they provide to employees now, but providing employees with healthcare is the law for HL because of their scale.  

          I still don't see how pocketing money from people who use health procedures HLs owners disagree with is not coupled to them using that money to provide employees with health procedures they don't agree with. The difference is only in if the money is coming in, good, and the money going out, bad. Any customer could either be spending money at HL having earned it providing abortions or by providing other healthcare services HLs owners disagree with. They have no problem pocketing the money and adding it to the profit column. They have no problem buying supplies from a country with official population control policies that include all forms of birth control and abortion. They pocket the savings. But they won't use profits and business savings to provide some employees with the same use of services they tolerate in customers and suppliers.  

           

          •  This is not even an issue in the case. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, Victor Ward
            but what about their employee's case? And their freedom from HLs religion?
            The employee is completely free of HL's religion -- she can use all the contraceptives she wants.  As much as she wants.  Whenever she wants.  You don't have to take my word for the fact that this point is not even at issue in the case.  Read the government's brief -- pdf is here. The government is not even arguing that HL is imposing its religion on its employees, because legally that's NOT what is happening.  The fact that the employer does not PAY for something is not the same thing as the employer imposing a religious belief on you.  You are completely free to do it, as long as you or somebody else pays for it.  

            As for your second point, remember, HL is self-insured.  So they are not just paying for insurance; they are paying for the Plan B pills they have a religious objection to.

            And the abortion analogy is exactly the question Justice Kennedy posed at the end of the argument.  His question:  can the government mandate that all employers provide coverage for abortion services?  Under the government's argument and logic, if you are a for-profit, self-insured Catholic bookstore chain, the government can require you to pay for abortion services for your employees as part of providing them health insurance.    I'm not sure the SCOTUS us ready to go there.  

            •  Well, perhaps HL needs to stop self insuring in (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LakeSuperior

              the differently regulated insurance market they find themselves in. And the reason this case is before the court is because HLs owners object to providing certain health coverage because of their religious beliefs. They are imposing their beliefs on their employees by denying them coverage they might need because of religion. What aren't they doing because of religion?

              But they don't mind making a fortune in a market place they can't force their views on. The money spends. What they are doing is creating a class of employees, in this market place they got rich in, that can be denied a health benefit based on a secular employer's religious beliefs.

              •  Not buying a product for someone else (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib, Victor Ward

                is not the same thing as imposing your religious beliefs on that person. Again, look at the government's brief. They are not even ARGUING that HL is "imposing their religious beliefs" on the employees because that's not legally correct.

                You may feel, sort of from a "fairness" aspect that it is the same thing, because "but for" HL's religion, they would buy that product for their employees.  But legally, that's not the same thing as "imposing their religious beliefs on someone else."  Legally, my free exercise of my religion (if I'm an employee) does not include any right that YOU have to participate in that.  Legally, if you elect not to participate in my free exercise of my beliefs, that is not at all the same thing as you imposing your beliefs on my.  

                If the ONLY place an employee could get those four types of  contraception was if the employer provided health insurance, your argument might be more tenable.  But, under the ACA and the Administration's regulations, millions of women have no employer-provided health insurance coverage for these four types of contraception, because they have no health insurance at all.  I'd be willing to bet that at least some of those employers who are exempted from the requirement object on religious grounds to those four types of contraception as well. Is the failure of those religious employers to provide health insurance the same as the employers "imposing" their views on the employees?  Of course not, because those millions of women can still get those four types of contraception if they, or they and someone else (the government, through Medicaid or through subsidies) pays for it.  

                My not paying for something that you want is not, legally, the same thing as my imposing my beliefs on you.   If I prevented you from getting the thing on your own, THAT would be my imposing my beliefs on you.

                •  If one of HLs employees needs some of the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  OHdog

                  contraception they oppose for religious reasons for a health condition that doesn't involve pregnancy, what then?

                  This isn't about power between employer and employee for you, is it coffeetalk? Because I'm groking here that you have picked your usual side. And if this case goes HLs way the door opens for more employer power in the work place?

                   

                  •  If that happens, they buy it. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    VClib, Victor Ward

                    Nothing stops them from doing that.  They go to Planned Parenthood and buy it. The exact same thing that would happen if Hobby Lobby had been operated as a non-profit and had gotten an exemption.  Are non-profit corporations that got exemptions from the contraception mandate "imposing" their religious views on their employees, too? I don't think so.  If that constituted "imposing their religious beliefs on their employees," I don't think the government would have readily given those exemptions, because that would have been a violation of the civil rights laws, I suspect.  You can't impose your religion on your employees unless they agree to that as part of their employment (see the Hosanna Tabor case).

                    (Just FYI, Hobby Lobby actually pays wages significantly above the norm for a retail store like that.  Their minimum wage for a full time employee is $14 an hour.)

                    Saying they have to buy the Plan B pill themselves rather than having Hobby Lobby buy it is not the same as Hobby Lobby "imposing their religion" on their employees.  

                    •  Hobby Lobby isn't a non profit do gooder outfit. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      a2nite

                      They are a for profit business that hires employees for the sole purpose of making them a profit not for saving their souls. Hobby Lobby is trying to wear two hats, secular business and an organization that makes workplace decisions involving staff, not customers or suppliers, based on the religious beliefs of the employer. They ain't the Vatican, they sell the Vatican glitter.

          •  Grabber - the employees are represented by (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            a2nite

            the Solicitor General and the administration's briefs. As individuals they have no standing in this case.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:11:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Hobby Lobby is self-insured (0+ / 0-)

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:09:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Hobby Lobby! (0+ / 0-)

        Q: "How can Hobby Lobby pocket the money of such sinners?"

        A: Because, like the vast majority of xtians, they are hypocrites!

        Music is Mankind's Gift to Humanity

        by BobJustice666 on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:59:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hobby Lobby has no issues with birth control pills (0+ / 0-)

      They are willing to provide those as part of their insurance offering. Birth control pills are not an issue in this trial.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:15:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes they absolutely are. (0+ / 0-)

        That's because HL's objections to 4 methods are not based on fact. For example, it is apparently not relevant that Plan B works by delaying ovulation and is not an abortificient. It only matters that HL BELIEVES it is. If facts don't matter, the next employer might say well he believes oral contraceptives are abortificients, which is absolutely not true either. If we allow employers believe whatever they want with no basis in fact, it opens a Pandora's box for any illogical restriction.

        How on earth can this court consider giving an exception to HL to limit their employees' access to birth control when their objections aren't even true?

    •  Absolutely!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      penelope pnortney

      At 15 my OB/GYN put me on the pill because of cramping, mennorhagia & ovarian cysts.  Then, at age 30, a PE made it impossible for me to take the pill any longer.  My OB/GYN has suggested an IUD to relieve my symptoms.  Still, I find this outrageous!  It's no one else's business WHAT I do with my body!  Besides, do they really imagine that those of us who have gotten birth control for health reasons have never taken advantage of its protection to have sex & not become incubators?!!

    •  TOTALLY AGREE (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Damaged262

      Very well written.

    •  Many life forms normally reproduce asexually, (0+ / 0-)

      mostly single-celled forms like bacteria.  For them, sex is usually a matter of trading information about such topics as how to defeat antibiotics.  Many life forms including humans must reproduce sexually in order to be able to reproduce at all.  For them, reproduction is often dangerous, even life-threatening--but the only choice is between taking a chance on getting killed trying to reproduce and resigning oneself to dying without leaving any descendents.  Some life forms can choose to reproduce either sexually or asexually.  Many domesticated perennial plants are like this.   So for humans life and sex very much are about each other.

    •  Viagra, et al. (0+ / 0-)

      Those xtian repuke men should have to pray for a boner.  

      But they won't.  

      They know that no matter how hard they pray, their prayers will go unanswered, because their god is imaginary!

      Music is Mankind's Gift to Humanity

      by BobJustice666 on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 06:52:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm using a hormonal IUD (0+ / 0-)

      Due to the fact that I was going up to 3 months without periods and if I didn't have the lining scraped(the IUD keeps the lining thin) it would keep getting thicker and I would most likely get uterine cancer in about 5-10 years.

  •  Among the basic logical contradictions . . . (67+ / 0-)

    and empirical errors of libertarianism is the unexamined assumption that the state is the only entity capable of restricting liberty. Modern liberalism is the discovery that state action is necessary, in many instances, to protect liberty from powerful private interests. There are other reasons why libertarianism is nonsensical, but that's a big one.

    •  Bingo! (35+ / 0-)

      They fight tyranny and oppression in our government... then meekly accept it as "normal" in our boardrooms.  

      THERE IS NOT A DIFFERENCE for the person on the receiving end.

      Nobody deserves poverty.

      by nominalize on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:25:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Perfect (9+ / 0-)

      This post cannot be improved upon

      NEW SINGLE! http://johnnyangelwendell.bandcamp.com/

      by Johnny Wendell on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:01:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Big brother is often big corporation. (4+ / 0-)

      Un pour tous et tous pour un aka United we stand

      by livebyChocolate on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:04:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Modern libertarianism is, whether they realize (10+ / 0-)

      it or not, the antithesis of utilitarianism: They will exchange any amount of liberty amongst those who already have the least, for any marginal increase in the liberty of those who already have the most.

      It's only shocking because most of them are smart enough to know better; but as any D&D player knows, intelligence and wisdom are not the same thing.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:07:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that is why I am an EX-libertarian. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        penelope pnortney, Damaged262, ziniko

        Modern libertarians would have me believe that the freedom I enjoy through common ground rules (aka "laws") is somehow a lesser "freedom" than what I could have if only I had to wade through impenetrable contracts every time I encountered a new economic entity. ("Oh, you didn't know about BubbaMart's 50% surcharge for non-Christians? Too bad...") They also believe that the resulting patchwork chaos would deliver better outcomes than, say, common carrier provisions for utilities and roads.

        They also seem to have a wonderful knack for taking the world as it currently stands, ignoring all of the communal investment that makes it work, and then declaring that they want to continue reaping those benefits while ceasing to contribute to its upkeep.

        In other words, it is a silly place, and I am using my freedoms to choose not to go there, as well as to post signs advising others to stay away. :)

        Former libertarian...who grew up.

        by RevBobMIB on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 12:56:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I hope you haven't been nailed to your perch (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Damaged262

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 06:45:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Me too Bob. (0+ / 0-)

          I fell for it way back in '84 when I was still in the Army.  It made sense to my young mind.  I've grown to see the pure evil it has become.  I'm still registered as one, haven't gotten around to changing it.  It doesn't bother me to not vote in the primaries but I sure won't miss a general election.  I don't think our country is a full on train wreck yet, but we lost the caboose and a few cars so far.  Maybe we can make it to the rail yard someday soon and fix it back up.

          I'm damaged and I like it, it made me what I am! BTW, my avatar is as stollen as my father's retirement fund, the old man died almost penniless. Bankers don't go to prison for breaking our laws, they buy bigger yachts.

          by Damaged262 on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 11:41:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's Not an Oversight, It Is the Foundational Lie (6+ / 0-)

      of the philosophy, which is as much a philosophy as the tea party is a movement, for the same reasons.

      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 Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:20:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Most libs are white, wealthy, male and young - (5+ / 0-)

      They don't GET restricted by private businesses and corporations, they're the frickin' CEOs. So they aggressively Don't Get It that anyone could object to what big business can do to them. ("I got a huge raise and promotion from my white male bosses for parroting ideas I stole from my black and female co-workers, the Free Market works!" "I built my computer company with my own two hands - never noticing all the government regs that allowed me to run the company, or all the unpaid labor my mom/wife did to support me - I'm A Lone Wolf Baby!!!!")

      Thank God, the Bob Fosse Kid is here! - Colin Mochrie

      by gardnerhill on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:34:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  While most libertarians are not CEOs, they can (0+ / 0-)

        imagine themselves becoming CEOs. It's a delusion of entitlement built into the mindset, just like the delusional axiom that corporations and "free" market capitalism can only increase freedom.

    •  Liberty (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, penelope pnortney

      Question for libertarians: If poor people are unable to exercise their rights because they are unable to pay for necessary goods and services aren’t those poor people then being denied liberty? If someone is unable to pay for contraception is that person then denied the liberty of engaging in sexual activity without the worry of unplanned pregnancy? Economic libertarians assume that in free market capitalism all participants have equal negotiating power. But the reality is that the more money you have the more power you have and the poor are powerless.

      "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." --Senator Ted Kennedy

      by Blue Silent Majority on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 04:05:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The constitution has never been interpreted (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, nextstep

        that way.  You could say that about virtually any "right" guaranteed in the constitution.  The First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press -- if I don't have the money to operate a "press," am I being denied that freedom?  Of course not.  Our "freedoms" and our "liberty" is essentially a restriction on the government -- the government can't STOP us from doing things, but nothing in the Constitution says that the government -- much less other people -- have some kind of obligation to provide us with the financial means to exercise our rights, our freedom, and our liberty.

        The only time I can think of where government has some kind of obligation to provide you with the means to exercise one of your rights is in a criminal case, if you are indigent and the state has to provide you a lawyer.  And that is because the state is trying to take away your liberty, and that's what gives rise to the obligation to supply you with a lawyer.  

        Even with our most basic rights and freedoms, the government does not have to provide us with the financial ability to exercise the freedom the way we want.  I may think I have something extremely important to say on the upcoming Senate election (political speech is given the most First Amendment protection) but the First Amendment just means the government can't stop me from getting my message out to others, not that the government has to provide me with the financial ability to get my message out.

        Liberty does not mean that the government -- or others -- have to provide us with something.  It means the government can't STOP us from doing something.  

      •  BSM - libertarians think that the government (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nextstep

        who governs least, governs best, and that the federal government should be restricted to its enumerated powers. If citizens don't have the resources they need in their view it isn't the federal government's problem or prerogative to help them using tax dollars. The libertarians would have a more charitable view of state or even better local government playing a role. They prefer most government decisions and services to be local as possible.

        In the view of the libertarians the Constitution is primarily a document to protect the citizens FROM the powers of the government, not empower the government to provide services to the citizens.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 07:22:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ahh, but neither the state nor local (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Damaged262

          governments have the $ to do these things, since neither agency has the ability to print money to cover deficit spending (or collect money ahead of time for use later, seeing as how they are forced to have balanced budgets), which is at times necessary. Not only that, but some things are universal for all US citizens and would most logically be decided (or paid for) at the federal level instead. And in any case, why do libertarians privilege the local or state governments over the federal government? There is a far greater chance of citizen-harming idiosyncrasy (and parochialistic misbehavior) the further down the governmental chain you go. Is Idaho's or Oklahoma's government doing a better job than the US government at protecting its citizens from Republican misrule?

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 09:08:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  bryduck - libertarians don't like (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nextstep, Damaged262

            expanding the money supply at the whim of the Fed. Plus, they like local programs because it is easier for citizens to have an impact when government is local. In their view the federal government is too insulated from its citizens.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 09:16:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They are wrong, then. (0+ / 0-)

              I feel far more connected to my federal reps than my local or state reps, mainly due to their higher profile in the news and on the stumps. I can't even name my local Assemblyman (or woman), but I sure know the names of Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. (I get about the same response from them as I do my state reps, too, which is to say not much, but that only reinforces my lack in confidence in local/state government.) I think that the libertarian emphasis on local government as being more responsive and effective is really mistaken--more $ has been stripped from them for decades than from the federal government, and I think it is far more likely that my local problems can only be fixed by the feds--because the problems are far greater than the local/state governments can handle. I don't trust my local government to even fix the potholes anymore--because they aren't, and probably can't afford to.

              "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

              by bryduck on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 09:05:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  A related matter is that state & local governments (0+ / 0-)

              are weaker and can not "interfere" with multinational corporations as much as a strong federal government. Usually unsaid, but "liberating" money is central to the Koch brothers support for Libertarianism through their Citizens United funded network of "think tanks" and advocacy groups. That isn't an unintended bonus- it's the main feature that drives the Koch neo-Birchers to make Libertarianism at all politically viable. Without big money support, Ron and Rand Paul and the Tea Baggers would be isolated unknown kooks, and gLibertarians would have to start their every comment explaining what is their "party" and ideas.

        •  Libertarians (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, Damaged262

          To VClib: I fully understand and agree with your assessment of Libertarians, it’s just that in today’s world their Ayn Rand view of the federal government is unrealistic and at times can be morally reprehensible.

          To bryduck: You hit the nail right on the head. Unlike state and local government it is only the federal government that is a sovereign nation-state and therefore can use the power of deficit spending to do things that no other level of government, corporation or individual can do. At its core, the difference between conservatives and liberals is the fact that we as liberals/progressives believe that if it is possible to use the power of the United States Federal Government to provide necessary services to its citizens in a way that no other entity can, then there is a moral obligation to use the power of the government to do so.
          Or put more simply: if the federal government has the power to provide universal single-payer health care to all of its citizens as a basic human right, then it must.

          "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." --Senator Ted Kennedy

          by Blue Silent Majority on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 04:38:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  In other words (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Damaged262, ziniko

          they're idealistically delusional.  The rugged individualist may work fine in an agrarian and frontier society.  In an industrialized and high-tech society that hopes to prosper and maintain a global edge, not so much.  Ever read old court records from the 1700s and 1800s?  The local courts assigned road work and bridge-building/repair to the families that lived along a particular stretch of road, with each family contributing a male worker and one of them being appointed overseer.  Very pragmatic, but the concept doesn't really translate well to nation-wide high-speed interstates - or high-speed information highways, for that matter.

          They taxed the local citizens not only for funds needed to build a new jail or courthouse, but for funds to provide for the infirm and indigent living in their county - many of them older citizens who had paid their fair share of head taxes when they were able-bodied.  This year's tax was based on last year's poor.

          We've always paid taxes and provided for the poor and infirm.  So it's reasonable to quibble about how well our current mechanisms work, but it's revisionist history to suggest it's ever been any different.

    •  Exactly! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Damaged262

      If I won't let my government do it to me I sure as hell won't let my neighbor do it to me.  Or, harking back to your post, those folks that live in that upscale neighborhood that bears no resemblance to the one I live in.

      For libertarians, the government's only legitimate role is to protect their property from the great unwashed.

  •  economic libertarians (18+ / 0-)

    When man came out of caves, he gave up economic independence--dwellers in communities need to follow rules that affect others, need to often do what's best for the masses--even if that's counter productive for themselves.  The whole idea of libertarianism is false--and, by definition, selfish.  My way, or the highway, is no way to run a civilization--and to have to argue with such people is insane.  When we had an unpopulated west, these egoists could move away.  That was yesterday--today these morons need to be educated.  Better yet, let's declare large swaths Texas a national preserve, and let the crazies move there.  We can call it Bushville.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 07:57:37 AM PDT

    •  Libertarians don't want "no rules" (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Victor Ward, nextstep, a2nite, coffeetalk

      They generally want "less rules" and government intervention only in cases where there is a compelling interest.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:06:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this birth control issue is (9+ / 0-)

        very compelling, I guess. Why is that?

        A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

        by onionjim on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:12:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because it involves freedom for a large (20+ / 0-)

          corporation. (Hobby Lobby) They want to dictate their employees sex lives. I guess libertarians are alright with that, as long as it's not the government making the rules.

          Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

          by Dirtandiron on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:15:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think that's entirely the case. (13+ / 0-)

            It appears to me, also, that this is one of many attempts by corporations to break the ACA into little pieces that will destroy it.


            The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

            by nupstateny on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:25:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Businesses and corporations can make rules, but (5+ / 0-)

             not the government..... Oh hey, I'm a republican!!! (snark)

            •  Businesses can simply be walked away from (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              a2nite

              By either their customers or their employees.

              The government can never be walked away from.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:45:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Have you ever lived in a company town? (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kfunk937, BYw, ZhenRen, Ahianne

                What about a company owned country?

                If the companies control everything, including the government, as it appears they do more and more, how is that freedom? Companies already collude to manipulate the marketplace, once all regulation is gone there is no reason for them not to cooperate rather than compete, eliminating the "free market," which of course they will eternally pay lip service to so they can continue to delude the believers.

                I also don't understand why it is wrong for workers to incorporate to bargain for a fair contract for the labor that they have to offer. Their labor is their property.

                "The economy and the environment are, in fact, permanently intertwined. A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment. Can't have one without the other." -- Meteor Blades

                by politically indigo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:07:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Re (0+ / 0-)
                  If the companies control everything, including the government, as it appears they do more and more, how is that freedom?
                  The whole point of libertarianism is that corporations can't control the government any more than anyone else. A limited government of limited powers can't be co-opted.
                  I also don't understand why it is wrong for workers to incorporate to bargain for a fair contract for the labor that they have to offer. Their labor is their property.
                  As long as they aren't government workers they can do whatever they want.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:45:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  With limited government the companies become (3+ / 0-)

                    defacto governments, (what is going to stop them?) and people will only have what can be scavenge if they are not affiliated with a company. Limited government is not the panacea some people think it is. Corporations are already not generous nor beneficent to the bulk of their employees with government regulation, or what's left of it. Why would that improve with less government? Neither will most people be as free to move from company to company as they are now, since there won't be any labor laws to protect people. History has shown that the employer's so-called common decency cannot be relied on. In fact the lack of it is the reason for so many labor laws and even anti monopoly legislation. The effect on the small entrepreneur will be to basically destroy them the way Rockefeller did since there will be no effective government to stop that sort of thing. It's actually already happening, getting the government completely out of the way will just speed it up.

                    Democracy, for all its faults, allows people some input and freedom, especially the freedom to fight against big business, which corporations do not. To support corporate rights over citizens' rights corrupts and undermines democracy. It would seem restoring democracy is a better solution to assuring people's rights than getting rid of it. Unless, of course, one thinks individual rights unimportant. A strong democratic government is necessary to assure personal rights.

                    Corporations are not citizens and do not deserve rights. Their owners already have rights as citizens. Their rights should not be compounded because they have a business that exploits people mostly so that they can become wealthy, wealth they wouldn't have without people working for them.

                    If the government is completely taken over by the corporations or there is only a weak or even no government, then it basically amounts to the same thing: corporate rule. Which, of course, some people think would be preferable, namely the corporatists and their minions.

                    "The economy and the environment are, in fact, permanently intertwined. A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment. Can't have one without the other." -- Meteor Blades

                    by politically indigo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 05:21:17 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The problem is scale. (3+ / 0-)

                      Even when I claimed to be a libertarian, I was no happier with Big Business than I was with Big Government. It's not the "Business" or "Government" that's the problem - it's the "Big"!

                      I've worked the "customer service" lines for some big companies in my time. Let me be crystal clear about this: They do not care about you. They care about their policies, the contracts you agree to by doing business with them, and the "gotcha" clauses in the fine print. As soon as you click "I agree" or pay your bill, you're responsible for all of the penalties they could think of to put into the fine print.

                      Economies of scale cut two ways, and libertarianism relies on ignoring one of them. The good side is that big entities can use their influence and volume of transactions to get better deals on their merchandise, which in theory is passed on to their customers in the form of lower prices. The bad side is that the more customers these entities have, the less significant each of them is to its bottom line...and, thus, the less incentive those entities have to make things right for customers when they screw up.

                      And yet, a core tenet of libertarianism is the curious belief that customers can act as a check on Big Corp power whereas they cannot influence Big Gov power. It makes no sense.

                      Former libertarian...who grew up.

                      by RevBobMIB on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 01:13:19 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Most gLibertarians don't acknowledge the history (0+ / 0-)

                      of the U.S., such as coal company-owned towns in Pennsylvania, or the murder of workers by company-hired mercenaries (Pinkerton "security"). The basic fact that a company can wield disproportionate power over individuals, that there is a power imbalance that negates "negotiation" requiring government regulation, is against their axioms (assumptions or definitions of Libertarian 'reality'). In my opinion, that willful blindness disconnects gLibertarians from reality, so discussions with them become an exercise of futility.

              •  You can't walk away from business (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ahianne, carrps, penelope pnortney

                You walk away from one only to work for another, if you're lucky enough to get a job. Working class cannot get away from wage slavery.

                You're deluded. And stop calling yourself a "left" libertarian. You're right wing.

                "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 07:23:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Under the government they still can't (0+ / 0-)

                  Ask the Soviet Union. "We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us". Enjoy that if you want.

                  And again, no one wants "no government". Just for it to get out of the way in places it shouldn't be.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:10:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The soviet union (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    penelope pnortney

                    was closer to your neck of the woods: It was state capitalism, trading the private boss for the state boss.

                    It was never true socialism. The Bolsheviks violently suppressed real libertarian communism (see Makhnovists). Libertarian socialism (libertarianism being a term your ilk has tried to thieve) solves these problems. Libertarian socialism has nothing at all to do with your right wing capitalist concept, and precedes it by over 100 years.

                    And as to government, of course you want it. You want private government, in the form of the owning class as employers who have dominance and control over the majority working class.

                    "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                    by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:22:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No true Scotsman (0+ / 0-)

                      Where pray tell does "true socialism" actually exist?

                      Give me a vibrant capitalist economy any day of the week. If you want true socialism then start a commune. Nothing at all stops you from doing this.

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 05:59:27 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Real socialism has to exist on (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Damaged262, JerryNA

                        a large enough scale to support a community with a wide base of production. In all  cases where that has been tried, capitalists (and state socialists) have violently suppressed it. And taxation removes from the community resources it would need to provide social services, and diverts it to military and other expenditures. Pretty hard to do this with capitalist interference.

                        Getting land and capital items (machines, tools, buildings, ec), the means of production, is difficult when these are controlled using violent force by the ruling class.

                        Please stop using the term "left libertarian". Your usage of the term is an outright fraud upon this community.

                        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                        by ZhenRen on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 10:28:32 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Uh-huh (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                penelope pnortney, ziniko
                Businesses can simply be walked away from
                As if the people in North Carolina whose drinking water was turned into grey sludge can simply walk away from Duke Energy.

                As if the fishermen whose catch became unsellable because of the Houston Ship Channel oil spill can just walk away from that barge company.

                As if (before the ACA), an employee with a pre-existing condition could just walk away from their job, and the health insurance that went with it, to start a new business.

      •  by their definition (16+ / 0-)

        They only want rules that go in their direction--that's their definition of "compelling interest."  Again--selfish with blinders.

        Actions speak louder than petitions.

        by melvynny on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:13:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  libertarians (10+ / 0-)
        Libertarians don't want "no rules"
        Take the quotation marks out of that sentence, and that's the libertarian philosophy in a nutshell.

        Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

        by Dirtandiron on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:19:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They want no government regulation of money (30+ / 0-)

        Libertarianism has become a tool of economic oligarchy, against whose power it has no quarrel.  Government is the only realistic countervailing force preventing corporate aristocracy, and that countervailing force is what today's libertarians invariably oppose.  They're either bought off or criminally naive.

        We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

        by Dallasdoc on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:19:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Real libertarians... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        politically indigo, Ahianne

        The ones who coined the term in the mid19th century, who were (and still are) anti-capitalist, oppose hierarchy, including corporate hierarchy and wage slavery, and oppose patriarchy, and oppose the hegemony of the rich, also oppose corporation elites deciding what sort of health care limitations should be placed on a woman's body. They would drive the corporate elites out of town, collectivize the workplace, and every worker would have an equal voice, including women, and no one would dictate health care, but would provide health care to everyone in society.

        You, sir, are not a "left libertarian". You're a right wing usurper of the term.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...
        The first anarchist journal to use the term "libertarian" was Le Libertaire, Journal du Mouvement Social and it was published in New York City between 1858 and 1861 by French anarcho-communist Joseph Déjacque.[31] "The next recorded use of the term was in Europe, when "libertarian communism" was used at a French regional anarchist Congress at Le Havre (16–22 November 1880). January the following year saw a French manifesto issued on "Libertarian or Anarchist Communism." Finally, 1895 saw leading anarchists Sébastien Faure and Louise Michel publish La Libertaire in France."[31] The word stems from the French word libertaire, and was used to evade the French ban on anarchist publications.[32] In this tradition, the term "libertarianism" in "libertarian socialism" is generally used as a synonym for anarchism, which some say is the original meaning of the term; hence "libertarian socialism" is equivalent to "socialist anarchism" to these scholars.[2][33] In the context of the European socialist movement, libertarian has conventionally been used to describe those who opposed state socialism, such as Mikhail Bakunin.

        The association of socialism with libertarianism predates that of capitalism, and many anti-authoritarians still decry what they see as a mistaken association of capitalism with libertarianism in the United States.[34] As Noam Chomsky put it, a consistent libertarian "must oppose private ownership of the means of production and wage slavery, which is a component of this system, as incompatible with the principle that labor must be freely undertaken and under the control of the producer."[35]

        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

        by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:20:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is a fine example of the genetic fallacy n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kfunk937

          "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

          by Old Left Good Left on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:26:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not at all (0+ / 0-)

            Read up on the topic. The person to whom I replied used the term "left libertarian", which is a misuse of the term. In fact, the American so-called "libertarians" have admitted to theft of this term.  there is nothing "liberative" about wage slavery and corporate hierarchical dominance over workers.

            Let me allow a renowned linguist explain it to you:

            "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

            by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:33:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh yes (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kfunk937

              A claim that is based on "original use" or etymology is a genetic fallacy. It is irrelevant to current American political discourse what "libertarian" used to mean, and it is particularly irrelevant what it meant in France in 1880.

              "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

              by Old Left Good Left on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:21:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You obviously (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kfunk937

                spent not even a few seconds on this. The words is still used today to mean something completely different all around the world, and in modern literature on the topic of libertarian socialism.

                And words have meaning based on their root meanings. The word "liberty" has meaning. There is nothing "libertarian" about the right wing usage. It is an Orwellian spin on the term, and when I say Orwellian, there is special significance in this regard if you know anything about what inspired Orwell to write 1984. It was exactly this sort of reversal of meaning that he was referring to.

                And there is certainly relevancy in pointing out how this word was co-opted to mean something completely different, and this is especially true when a person attaches the word "left" to the term, because the usage by the left has always been (and still is) used to mean libertarian socialism.

                The commenter above adds an even worse twist to the meaning when he uses "left libertarian" to mean the right wing version.

                "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:35:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  With their way, there is no highway :) nt (9+ / 0-)

      Nobody deserves poverty.

      by nominalize on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:25:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Man Gave Up Libertarianism When He Crawled On (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ohiolibrarian, Ahianne

      all 4's underfoot of dinosaurs.

      And I mean a hundred million years ago not 4 thousand.

      We are a social species all the way back to small rats.

      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 Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:21:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great Irony - the logical conclusion of undbridled (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937, melvynny, Ahianne

      libertarianism eventually manifests as its opposite - an abusive authoritarianism. It starts slowly with tax reductions for all - easily sold to rubes - but with the catch that the rich get a much better deal and social services? - well, the  money has to come from somewhere!  Next, there is a gradual loosening of long-established and accepted rules of collective conduct (e.g., Glass-Steagall). Then, with increasing velocity and alacrity, additional sociopathic behaviors begin to appear (e.g., Enron's energy price manipulations, LIBOR abuse). A culture of "everyone does it" undermines the implicit social contracts of the self-evidence of fairness and we're off to the races - races to the bottom, that is. And before you know it, emboldened right wingers begin to fall over each other to articulate proudly what were only recently taboo remarks (voter suppression is "good for conservatives", Obama won because of too many "urban voters", etc.). Late-stage (and we're getting close to it) is characterized by entirely dispensing with the pretense of democracy - policy is utterly and completely for sale to the highest bidder - no need for quaint customs like voting and referenda.

      •  Great summation - n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Damaged262
      •  I agree... (0+ / 0-)

        Seems like this would fall under the heading of "the road to hell being paved with good intentions..."

        Most of the time this happens because these people are so focused on their good intentions, they ignore or deny the consequences that will happen because of their good intentions.

        If the libertarians, the corporations, and people like Grover Norquist have their way, there will be no government left to protect us from people like the libertarians, the corporations, and Grover Norquist.

        Another great irony.

  •  They've been really successful with the lie (62+ / 0-)

    that the employer is "paying for" the birth control, and the little sluts are just getting it for "free."

    When I get my paycheck, it isn't free money - I earn it with my labor, and once it's mine, my employer doesn't get to tell me how to spend it.  When I get my insurance coverage, it isn't free health care - I earn it with my labor, and once it's mine, my employer doesn't get to tell me how to spend it.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:06:05 AM PDT

    •  Exactly right (20+ / 0-)

      The only reason the company has to pay for health insurance for its worker is because it HAS workers.

      If the entire place was automated, they wouldn't have to pay for health insurance, or workers comp, or unemployment.

      Health insurance is part of the workers pay. Until the ACA, it was included in pay negotiations, and has always been part of union negotiations. It's considered part of the compensation package, just like paid vacation, sick leave, and pension benefits.

      If a company doesn't want to provide it, pay the damn penalty and pay your workers more so they can buy it themselves.

      But hobby lobby doesn't want to do that. It's certainly an option, but it would be expensive, and this is all about the money.

    •  It's YOUR COMPENSATION Not THEIR GIFT. (8+ / 0-)

      They have no more say over how you spend it on health than on how you spend it on underwear.

      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 Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:23:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's the difference (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937, nextstep

      The employer is required to negotiate for the terms of the health insurance, and for what it will cover, in addition to paying for most of it.  It's not the same thing as money.  (And, of course, the employee is not taxed for it the same as the employee is taxed on money).  It's more like another non-monetary benefit, like if the employer offers employees free parking in a certain parking garage.  The employer has to pick the garage, and negotiate for the terms and conditions.  Employers like Hobby Lobby have a problem when one of the terms and conditions they are forced to negotiate for violates their religious beliefs.  

      What would be more like your paycheck is if the federal government required an employer to provide a tax-free stipend to the employee, and the EMPLOYEE then picked the health insurance the EMPLOYEE wanted, the EMPLOYEE determined what was, or was not covered, etc.  (The government could provide that any amount that wasn't used to buy health insurance would be taxable as compensation. ) In that way, yes, it would be like a paycheck, and yes the employer would be completely out of the loop of choosing the coverage and would have no basis to say what is, or is not, included as part of the coverage.  

      The problem is that, by requiring the EMPLOYER to pick the insurer, to negotiate the terms and conditions of the coverage, the ACA does put the employer in the position of having to negotiate to provide the employee with things that violate the employer's religion.  

      If Hobby Lobby were a sole proprietorship rather than in a corporate form, I think even the government would acknowledge they have a claim that their religious beliefs are violated under RFRA.  The government expressly acknowledged in its briefing that a non-profit in the same situation would be entitled to the exemption.

      There primary issue for the Court is whether that changes because this is a for-profit corporation.  

      •  Excellent post (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kfunk937, maracucho

        And I was going to draft something similar but you covered the key points.  A few nits:

        1.  I think Hobby Lobby is self-insured.  Thus, they directly pay for services and drugs.  One would think that would strengthen their position that they shouldn't have to pay for what they object to.  However, this objection can be met by creating a wall between the employer and the third party administrator so that the employer does not know what they are paying for.  Realistically, such a wall should be in place anyway so that no one at the employer knows what medical care is being received by the employees and their families.

        2.  I don't think the analysis is different if HL is a sole proprietorship.  The relevant characteristic that make HL subject to the ACA are that it is an employer.  The relevant characteristic that makes it not eligible for an exemption is that is for profit.  Those are functions of statutory law and regulation, not constitutional law.

        3.  I think HL's case is particularly weak because it is objecting to paying a tax on religious grounds.  Courts have always dismissed such cases.

        4.  HL has apparently been complying with state laws that require it to provide contraceptive services through its plan. RFRA does not apply to the states.  Thus, if it constitutional for a state to "burden" HL's "religion" by requiring comprehensive insurance, I don't see how it could be a burden for it to have to do so nationally.

        "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

        by Old Left Good Left on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:40:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The reason that Hobby Lobby has chosen to be (3+ / 0-)

        a corporation is that its owners wish to limit their legal liability and minimize taxes.  Both are economic considerations.

        If their religion was more important than their financial interests they'd choose not to be a corporation.

        Cue Jesus' observation that you can't serve two masters, but must choose between money and God.

        •  Not necessarily true. (0+ / 0-)

          There are religious nonprofit corporations.  Those are also set up so that the owners can limit legal liability and to minimize taxes.  (And they often pay their owners a salary for running the nonprofit corporation.)

          This is the exact question that the SCOTUS is going to answer, but in a legal, not a religious sense:

          Cue Jesus' observation that you can't serve two masters, but must choose between money and God.
          Here's a hypothetical to think about.  Say I want to run a "Catholic only" bookstore with a little coffee shop/deli in it.  I want to have mass in it every morning, observe all the Catholic rules, have only books that are consistent with Catholic doctrine.  Does the fact that I set it up as a for profit corporation rather than a non-profit corporation mean I have no right to run it in accordance with Catholic beliefs?  

          To put it more bluntly:  Does the right to the Free Exercise of religious beliefs exist only in one's personal life and not when someone tries to make a living?  

          If you think the answer is "yes," then the civil rights laws should not apply to religious beliefs, as they do.  Employers should not have to make reasonable accommodations for the religious beliefs of their employees if one sacrifices religion when one is trying to make money.  

          •  Civil rights laws apply (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kfunk937

            to the EMPLOYEES, whom you seem to have erased in your hypothetical.

            Does the fact that I set it up as a for profit corporation rather than a non-profit corporation mean I have no right to run it in accordance with Catholic beliefs?
            Yes, if exercising those beliefs interfere with the employees' free exercise of their religious freedom.  You don't get to force them to go to mass or give confession, and a Jewish employer doesn't get to order employees to get circumcised.

            I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

            by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:51:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So, I have a right to practice religion while (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nextstep

              trying to make money if I'm an employee, but not if I'm an employer?  What's the Constitutional difference?  

              and this is NOT what it's about at all:

              You don't get to force them to go to mass or give confession, and a Jewish employer doesn't get to order employees to get circumcised.
              Because those are outside of work.  The Civil Rights laws say an employer must provide a reasonable accommodation of the religious view while the employee is at work. For example, if the business has a uniform, but an employee's religion requires a certain head covering, an employer may have to allow that, even though it violates the rules that apply to all other employees.  or working on certain holy days.  See here.

              So I'll ask it again:  Does our right to the free exercise of religion apply while we are trying to make money or not?  Does it apply when you are trying to make money ONLY if you are an employee?  What's the basis of that distinction?  What about if you are a gardener operating as a sole proprietorship and employ only one person who works along side you at every job -- does that person have religious rights while he's working for you but you don't?  What about if you are an independent contractor?  

              •  No, their rights are the same (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ahianne

                Employees don't get to force the boss to go to mass or get circumcised either.  

                Because those are outside of work.
                Your specific example was a bookstore where they had mass in the store.  You can do that, but you can't force your employees to participate.  And I promise you, someone who's uncircumcised outside of work is uncircumcised 24 hours a day.

                You have a right to practice your religion.  You do not have a right to force it on your employees.  You have a right to refuse any form of health care that your religion forbids.  You do not have a right to say that your employees can't use their compensation (which includes their paycheck AND their insurance) to get that same health care.

                I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

                by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:53:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Here's where I think you are wrong. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VClib

                  When the compensation is not in money, yes, employer has a say in what that compensation is.  If the employer pays for parking, for example, the employer has to negotiate the terms and conditions of the contract with the parking garage.  Do you get to park there only during business hours, or 24 hours a day?  So, because that part of your compensation -- parking -- is not money, yes the employer does get a say in exactly what it is, and how you use it.  If the employer negotiates only parking until 6 p.m., you can't use that parking spot past 6 p.m., even if you are off the job.

                  Some employers provide a free cafeteria as part of the compensation. But they get to say what's served.  Hobby Lobby's situation is analogous to the government saying, every employer with 50 employees or more must provide an on-site cafeteria, and must serve pork at least once a week.  Would an Orthodox Jewish employer have a right to object to that pork requirement?  

                  Hobby Lobby is not dictating how employees spend their compensation or use their compensation.  Hobby Lobby objects to what the government requires them to supply to employees in the form of non-monetary compensation.  Hobby Lobby is self-insured, by the way, so the non-monetary compensation is that Hobby Lobby is forced to pay directly -- to the pharmacy, not to the employee -- for four types of contraception that directly violates its religion.  

                  Hobby Lobby is not forcing its religion on its employees.  They are free to use whatever contraception they want.  If the federal government wants to put somebody on a public sidewalk outside of every Hobby Lobby in the country and had out free contraception to every Hobby Lobby employee who wanted that, Hobby Lobby would have no basis whatsoever to complain.  Nobody is forcing "religious view" on the Hobby Lobby employees. Nobody is even MAKING that argument in the briefs to the SCOTUS, because it's clearly legally wrong.   The only question is whether the government can require Hobby Lobby to supply a type of non-monetary compensation that violates its religion.  If Hobby Lobby were a sole proprietorship or a non-profit corporation, there's no question that the government would not be able to do that; the administration has essentially admitted as much by supplying religious exemptions to employers such as non-profit corporations.  The main question is whether, under RFRA, a for profit corporation can make that same kind of claim.  

                  •  Violates its religion?!? (3+ / 0-)

                    IT doesn't have a religion. IT is not a person. IT neither thinks, feels, nor believes. The corporation's owners have religious beliefs; the corporation does not.

                    Cogito, ergo Democrata.

                    by Ahianne on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 03:00:37 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  But what if the religious belief is nonsensical? (0+ / 0-)

                    I am reading this thread late but...

                    Just suppose that something does violate one's religion and that is somehow a legitimate basis for denying a benefit (which I am not willing to concede). Why is there no obligation that it is grounded in fact?

                    For example, Plan B is not at abortificient. It delays ovulation as its method of action. Later studies confirm this. But apparently this is not relevant to the case. It only matters that HL BELIEVES that it is an abortificient.

                    If HL wins it opens a Pandora's box, or a parade of horribles or whatever you call it. Any employer can believe any thing whether it's true or not and use it as a basis to deny a benefit. Another employer may claim birth control pills are abortificients.

          •  Here's another aspect of your hypothetical... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            penelope pnortney, ziniko

            Say you want to run your "Catholic only" bookstore in the fine tradition of Catholic monasteries - complete with compulsory vows of silence, poverty, and chastity for your employees. Let us also not forget that monasteries are single-sex institutions.

            Would you expect to be granted an exemption from minimum-wage laws and the freedom to discriminate in hiring based on gender?

            Constitutional rights work up, not down. They protect the little guy from the big guy. They do not enshrine the big guy's ability to enslave the little guy.

            Former libertarian...who grew up.

            by RevBobMIB on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 01:27:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The libertarian concept of freedom is freedom for (21+ / 0-)

    the person who already has all the advantages. Employer over worker, ships captain over sailor, and master over slave.

    Libertarians should reflect on the political space they share with fundamentalist religious nuts and ponder on what could be a flaw in libertarian thinking that so often aligns them with people who are opposed to the personal freedom of others based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and those who would, and do, pollute everyone's air, water, and food for personal enrichment.

  •  I like this: (10+ / 0-)
    My personally preferred solution would be to require any man who says that women should pay for their own contraception to pay each woman he sleeps with for a portion of the monthly cost of the birth control he just took advantage of.
    You get far too many of these RW "family values" bigots disavowing the children they father and so on.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:09:51 AM PDT

  •  Staggering hipocracy. (9+ / 0-)

    All these idiots with medical opinoins about women's health, the same idiots who keep screaming about the government getting in between us and the doctor. WTF?

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:10:10 AM PDT

    •  They don't want the government getting between (15+ / 0-)

      you and the doctor, but if the boss gets between you and the doctor, they think that's fine because "religious freedom".

      Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

      by Dirtandiron on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:17:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The government put the employer there. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep

      If this were a sole proprietorship or a nonprofit corporation that was the employer, even the government would recognize that they would be entitled to the exemption.  The main issue is whether a for-profit corporation can make the same kind of claim.

      The government expressly put the employer between the employee and the insurer. The government sets minimums, but requires that that employer choose an insurer and choose what of that insurer's various offerings will apply to its employees.

      The government could have taken the employer out of that loop.  The government could have said, each employer has to provide the employee with a tax-free stipend to buy health insurance, and the EMPLOYEE chooses the insurer and chooses the coverage.  That WOULD have taken the employer out of the "what will be covered" equation.

      The government is the one that created this issue by choosing to double-down on the system of employer-provided insurance.  

      •  It was acknowledging a reality (0+ / 0-)

        that made the government keep the employer in this position. Of course it would be better to take the employer out of the loop. But traditionally the employer has had this role, and it has given the employer an ability to offer a generous plan, more than the minimums, tax deductible, so that he/she could recruit talent without having to pay a higher salary. And of course in bigger companies labor negotiates what's covered, so it's not the employer's determination alone. As radical a change as the ACA is, it is just an incremental step. We couldn't have jumped to the change you are suggesting, because it would never have been approved. It had to be incremental.

  •  Rec'ed (12+ / 0-)

    I am so tired of men talking about & legislating womens' health issues. Yeah, birth control is about sex, AND so are penis pills & penile implants.

    Why do pay for those again? Because penises are more important than people.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:11:57 AM PDT

    •  As Per Viagra (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, snazzzybird, drmah

      Other than erection manufacture, does it have any value (besides BP medication)?

      Nope.

      Contraceptives do.

      How come hard-on pills win then?

      NEW SINGLE! http://johnnyangelwendell.bandcamp.com/

      by Johnny Wendell on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:06:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, it's important fo a man's psychological health (0+ / 0-)

        to have sex.

        Women, of course, are just sluts.

        /sarcasm

        Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

        by ohiolibrarian on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:55:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually it does (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kfunk937, Ahianne

        Sildenifil (Viagra) is used to treat primary pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) and other pulmonary artery hypertensions, which often affects newborns and infants (among others) with congenital heart defects, by relaxing the pulmonary artery and putting less stress on the right ventricle.

        BTW - another drug, inhaled nitric oxide (NO) can be used to treat the same disorder.  On SiriusLeft recently, I have heard ads for 'nitric oxide pills' to treat 'male enhancement', with the disclaimer "This product has not been approved by the FDA".

        Sigline? What Sigline?

        by Khun David on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:54:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And many other off-book applications (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Khun David, Ahianne

          involving increased blood-flow, e.g. wound healing, are either in use (documented in the PDR appendix for off-book, or novel uses) or being developed at some stage of in-vivo or clinical trials. When I was in med research, we were looking at both Viagra (new at the time) and NO.

          I now return this channel to its regular programming, already in progress (:

    •  Let's make sure it's all covered. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      La Gitane

      It's not productive to generalize the needs of one gender while championing the needs of the other.

      We don't see things as they are; we see things as we are.

      by EighteenCharacters on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:08:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, and buried in this diary is the (28+ / 0-)

    Reason I think they're going to lose, and lose big.

    THEY COVERED IT BEFORE. Never made a fuss about it before. It was included. Most employers did, didn't think about it, never made it an issue. Ever. Including catholic hospitals.

    So now it's a problem?

    •  I hope Hobby Lobby loses (13+ / 0-)

      This opens up a Pandora's box, if they win. If they win, does anyone think it will stop there? What happens when some corporation says paying the minimum wage is against their religion? Or when an employer says hiring people of different religions is against his religion? Mormons didn't allow black members until the '70s, so not all religious beliefs are benign.

      Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

      by Dirtandiron on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:24:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  While I agree with mmacdDE (5+ / 0-)

        that having previously covered it weakens their case, I think that your comment covers the reason they will lose. This has been discussed before, but the reductio ad absurdum argument is the most effective.

        Here's an example from my own life: I rent my workspace from an Orthodox Jew. My workspace is available to the renters 24/7, but the lessor will not accept rent checks from us on the Sabbath. If the plaintiffs win this suit, he could plausibly forbid us to work on Fridays after sundown, or on Saturdays. But because he is a rational person, he has no problem with what we do in that space, so long as he is not expected to violate his own principles.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:32:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That is what a catholic school teacher told me (26+ / 0-)

      when we were talking about ACA and all this controversy.  

      She said for years while teaching at a catholic school and recently retiring from that school, her birth control was covered in her insurance policy.  She said she was not catholic but employed by a catholic high school. So she used birth control.  And she said many of her colleagues who were catholic also used birth control too. She said there was never a controversy and no one spoke about it for the 20 plus years she worked there. Now suddenly with Obamcare, there is a big fury over it.  She just rolls her eyes and says..

      For the decades I worked for this catholic school, birth control was covered by the health insurance because that is what the health insurance company in the policy chosen. Now suddenly after all these years, it is an issue. I am not buying it. It is just more of this anti Obama hysteria.

      Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

      by wishingwell on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:25:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, that's not going to be an issue in (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937, VClib, drmah

      this particular case.  

      That kind of thing goes into the SCOTUS test for whether the religious belief is a sincerely held religious belief.  However, if you read the briefing, the government does not dispute that the owners of Hobby Lobby have a sincerely held religious belief against the four types of contraception that they do not want to include in the health insurance they provide to their employees.  So whether they have provided it in the past doesn't figure into the SCOTUS decision legally.  

      The bottom line is that, if this were a sole proprietorship or a nonprofit corporation, the government pretty much recognizes that they would be entitled object under RFRA and probably be entitled to an exemption.  The main issue for the SCOTUS is whether the outcome is different because they are operating as a for-profit corporation.  

      •  But couldn't they look at the fact (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rebecca, drmah

        that Hobby Lobby offered the coverage before, therefore the "sincerely held religious belief" seems to be awfully convenient?

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:35:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No. the government has conceded that it's a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          sincerely held religious belief.  

          If there were a question whether the religious belief were sincerely held as opposed to some invention just for the purpose of getting out of a law they didn't like, that might be an issue.  But, because the government has conceded that the religious belief is sincerely held, it's not an issue in this case.

        •  HL included contraceptives before ACA, but not all (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coffeetalk

          HHS regulations define 20 means of contraception to be required by insurance (with exceptions).  HL objects to 4 of these, as HL sees them working after conception and therefore equivalent to abortion.  HL had not included these 4 methods previously.

          BTW, HHS does not include men getting vasectomies although it does include the more costly and complex tubal ligation for women.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:26:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's shocking (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nextstep

            that vasectomies are not covered. That is one of the first amendments needed.

            There is no "therefore equivalent to abortion". There is only fact. Plan B does delays ovulation and does not cause abortion or interfere with a pregnancy if it fails. The mechanisms of the progesterone coated IUD is not prevention of implantation.

        •  CS - all parties have accepted as a "fact" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coffeetalk

          of the trial that the plaintiffs have "sincerely held religious beliefs". So that entire issue is off the table for the purposes of this trial.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:21:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It does get to burden (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kfunk937, Rebecca

        I don't know if it was argued, but if HL provided comprehensive coverage under state laws, and that was constitutional, I don't see where the burden is.

        "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

        by Old Left Good Left on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:43:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Two points. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, nextstep
          I don't know if it was argued, but if HL provided comprehensive coverage under state laws, and that was constitutional, I don't see where the burden is.
          First, what's the basis for saying "that was constitutional"? Where has Hobby Lobby conceded that "that was constitutional"?  Even if Hobby Lobby did not bring a case challenging another law, that is not, legally, a concession that the law is constitutional.  

          Second, this is not being brought under just under the constitution.  It's being brought under RFRA, which applies only to federal laws, not to state laws. The Court probably won't even get to the federal constitutional issue (the Free Exercise Clause) if the case can be decided under RFRA.  

          •  HL made a RFRA challenge (0+ / 0-)

            A state law that requires comprehensive insurance could not be challenged under federal RFRA, and would be decided under pre-RFRA law, which would almost certainly settle the question in favor of state regulation barring a doctrinal change by the current SCt.  If Congress had provided that the ACA was exempt from RFRA, pre-RFRA law also would have applied, and, again, barring a doctrinal change by the current court, I think such a claim would fail.

            "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

            by Old Left Good Left on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:36:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Again, that's a problem that Congress caused (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib, nextstep

              and remember, Congress did not impose the contraception mandate that Hobby Lobby, and certain religious non-profit corporations found objectionable.  (That could be why Congress saw no need to provide any exemption from RFRA -- they didn't impose any requirements that would pretty clearly violate religious views held by a significant group of people).    The Administration (the Executive Branch), through regulations, imposed a mandate that (because it included certain things like Plan B) was obviously going to violate the religious principles of certain groups of people.  

              •  Has Congress ever exempted a law from RFRA? (0+ / 0-)

                The Administration should not have allowed any regulatory exceptions. That mistake allowed HL to claim that basic preventative health care isn't important because of the number of exceptions and exemptions.

                "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                by Old Left Good Left on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:12:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It should have required a (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VClib, nextstep

                  Catholic Church to provide contraceptive coverage to the receptionist at the church rectory?  

                  Do you really think that would have been politically realistic?  

                  And most of the exemptions from the employer mandate aren't on a religious basis.  Those also undermine any argument that it so, so, so compelling that THIS employer must provide that coverage, when many other employers don't have to provide any coverage.  Hobby Lobby wants to provide all the coverage EXCEPT four types of contraception that it views as a violation of its religion.  How can it be "compelling" that this employer must provide coverage for these four types of contraception when millions of women work for employers who are not required by this law to provide them any type of health insurance at all?  

                  •  Yes, it should have (0+ / 0-)

                    And then it should have left it up to the receptionist to decide whether her conscience allowed her to use birth control or not.

                    Or, perhaps we should tax the Church and use the tax revenues to provide comprehensive health coverage, including to the church receptionist.

                    Or, perhaps RFRA is unconstitutional as applied to the federal government under the Establishment Clause.

                    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                    by Old Left Good Left on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:28:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Items 1 would have been challenged (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      nextstep

                      in federal court, and the Administration would have lost.  No question.  Clearly.  And that would have been horrible for the ACA -- they would have had a SCOTUS ruling (probably a unanimous one) saying that the Administration was violating religious beliefs of a Church.  With something like 80% of this country claiming to be religious, that would have been a really bad thing.

                      There are constitutional issues with taxing a Church, but that's a separate issue.  Suffice it to say you can't say, we'll ONLY tax Churches and use the revenue for their employees.  But I agree that if they had done the entire thing -- everyone -- through a tax system, like a single payer system, there would have been no grounds for any religious objection, even under RFRA.  But they didn't even have to go that far.  If the law had said the employer had to provide, say, $2000 for the employee tax-free, and the employee had to use that money to buy health insurance or pay taxes on it (as one example) they could have avoided the problem as well.  Then, it's simply financial compensation -- money -- to the employee, and the employee is making the coverage decisions.  But again, they choose not to do that.  

                      On what basis is RFRA unconstitutional? Nothing prevents the federal government from giving people, by law, MORE rights than they have under the constitution.  If RFRA is unconstitutional because it gives people MORE rights than the First Amendment does, why aren't the civil rights law unconstitutional for giving people more rights than the 14th Amendment (which only prohibits government discrimination) does?  

                      By the way, RFRA was passed overwhelmingly, supported by groups like the ACLU.  

                      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

                        As to Item 1, I don't know.  It certainly would have been challenged.

                        As to Item 2, you misunderstand.  I did not mean to suggest the tax be only used for church employees.  It would of course go to general revenues.  I made that point because the suggestion has been made that a way out of the religious objections to providing preventative care is for the government to provide it.  I happen to think that a particularly good way to finance that care would be to eliminate the taxation of churches. As for the alleged constitutional issues with taxing churches, I think that is also an Establishment Clause issue.

                        Giving more rights to everyone to challenge laws based on conscience might be constitutional, but it's pretty stupid. Allowing only religious entities to do so, though, abridges the Establishment Clause by giving rights to religious entities that other entities don't have.  And the fact that it passed overwhelmingly is irrelevant; so did DOMA.

                        "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                        by Old Left Good Left on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:59:19 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The Constitution itself gives rights to (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          VClib

                          religious beliefs and entities that regular morals or values don't have.  So I'm not sure how that makes RFRA unconstitutional.

                          And if you look at United States v. Seeger, it's not just "religion" in the sense of organized religion.  The test is this:

                          It is essentially an objective one, namely, does the claimed belief occupy the same place in the life of the objector as an orthodox belief in God holds in the life of one clearly qualified for exemption?
                          By the way, United States v. Seeger, among a number of other cases, makes clear that, under the Constitution, government is required to treat religious beliefs differently from beliefs based on morals or values, because the Constitution gives special protection to religious beliefs.  That case makes clear that a constitutional challenge to RFRA on the grounds you stated -- that it treats religious beliefs differently from other morals or values -- would fail. If it's a belief that occupies the same place in one's life as a religious belief, it's given protection.  If not, it's not given that protection. In that respect, RFRA follows the constitution; it does not conflict with it.  
                •  OFGL - they really didn't have any choice (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  coffeetalk

                  If they had not provided exceptions to churches like the Catholics and Mormons, just to name two examples, the government would have been challenged in federal court and would have lost.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:19:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's assuming RFRA is constitutional (0+ / 0-)

                    which I don't think it is, since it quite clearly privileges religion over non-religion.

                    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                    by Old Left Good Left on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:29:36 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  First Amendment explicitly protects the free (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      VClib

                      exercise of religion and the no establishment protects no religion.

                      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                      by nextstep on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 02:58:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  A law that favors religion over non-religion (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        GrafZeppelin127

                        violates the Establishment Clause.

                        Consider a law that said "Every employer who certifies that is operates its business on religious principles gets a credit equal to 10% of their employment tax liability."  Are you suggesting that such a law is constitutional?

                        "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                        by Old Left Good Left on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:05:07 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It could very well be constitutional if it has a (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          coffeetalk

                          broad definition for qualified religions, as that would avoid it being an establishment of religion.  So if religions with one, multiple and no gods were included, traditional and new age religions, etc, there would be no establishment clause violation.

                          What you describe would not be good policy, but then again there are many policies that are bad that are constitutional.  

                          Many people automatically say that policies they don't like are unconstitutional, I don't.  I see them as two different determinations.

                          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                          by nextstep on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 05:32:35 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Nope, the churches would have won (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      coffeetalk

                      on First Amendment grounds. The churches didn't need the RFRA.

                      "let's talk about that"

                      by VClib on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 06:37:26 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Unknown (0+ / 0-)

                        The burden that HL identified was that they would have to pay a tax.  As Burger wrote in Lee:

                        When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity.
                        Lee was a unanimous decision.  Of course there is a working majority on the current court that is so far right of even the most conservative justices of the Burger Court that, even if RFRA didn't apply to the ACA, I would not necessarily expect the Court to follow Lee.

                        "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                        by Old Left Good Left on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 10:15:39 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

  •  So, what's the policy on vasectomies? (10+ / 0-)

    Is men's contraception under attack? In the past they have had no problem covering this procedure. Just boggles the mind how stupid this whole thing is, makes no sense at all.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:16:54 AM PDT

  •  If I work for you and you pay me for that work (16+ / 0-)

    it's none of your fucking business what I spend the money I earned. It is no longer your money, you should not have a say in what I do with it. The total compensation package I get is mine no matter what twisted nonsense accounting practice says that you are paying things like health insurance some of it and I am paying the rest. The idea that because I get money from you you have the right to tell me what to do with it, or even with other money that is not even coming from you, is a stupid idea that is very commonly used by politicians for their own interest. That is the same logic that they use for defunding health clinics, we are not going to fund you because with some completely different money you are doing something we disapprove. This is not at all about supposed religious freedom, it is about continuing this established idea that when a business or the government gives you money, it is still their money, not yours.

    •  The deep message is business is source cause (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      schumann, a2nite, wordwraith, fayea, kfunk937

      of the money and it rightly determines the use of the money. It is the simple linear causal thinking that the cause completely determines the effect. There is a deeply alienated narcissism at the core of this perception. I and I alone am cause. As people migrate up the social hierarchy they are more prone to this kind of perception because they do have greater effects on the world around them. Their narcissism as it gains more traction eventually blinds them to the idea that "you", your money in this case, exist outside of their causal agency.

      This is also the appeal of the job creator myth. The creator is the cause of the created and has dominion over the created. The rest of us don't buy this. I know the money I earn is mine and I have partial dominion (my kids, mortgage other obligations I have have legitimate claims that I honor) over it.

      Big business and libertarian narcissism are eating up our social and environmental interconnections at an alarming rate and are rightly opposed by the large majority of us who see not just self but other in a mutual matrix of meaningful interdependence.

      Love = Awareness of mutually beneficial exchange across semi-permeable boundaries. Political and economic systems either amplify or inhibit Love.

      by Bob Guyer on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:16:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The difference here is that they are not being (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep

      paid in money.  Instead, the employer has to go out and choose among health insurance providers and negotiate the terms of conditions of coverage (the ACA sets minimums, but there are often many options).  That means that the employer is negotiating to provide the employee with something that violates the employer's religion.  It's as if the government said to a Jewish employer, you have to provide all employees with an on-site cafeteria and you have to provide non-kosher options.  The employer is not telling the employee what she has to eat; but the employer is providing an option that violates the employer's religion.  If this were a sole proprietorship, or a nonprofit corporation, the government pretty much recognizes that they would have a legitimate claim under RFRA (and they'd likely get the exemption).  The main issue is whether the fact that they are operating the business as a for-profit corporation changes that.

      The government COULD HAVE made it just another part of your compensation that the employer has no control over.  The government could have simply taxed the employer, and provided health insurance itself.  If you look at the long line of case law, no employer -- even a sole proprietorship or a nonprofit -- can interpose a religious objection to a tax.  Or the government could have required that the employer provide the employee with a monetary amount, and provide that the EMPLOYEE is the one to select a provider and select the terms of the coverage.  But the government chose, instead, to double-down on employer-provided coverage.  

      •  I see your reasoning, but following (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doroma, anon004

        that line, the employer then might have the right to allow only certain vacation destinations or activities on the employer paid vacation days.  Vacation time is another earned benefit that is not paid directly in cash.  

        Anyway, I think the govt has a compelling interest in defining what health insurance is.  One of the govt's functions is to promoting general welfare.  The private employer may choose whether to offer health insurance or not, but not to offer something they call health insurance that does not meet the definition.  

        I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

        by fayea on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 11:53:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Employers do have control over your vacation time (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kfunk937, nextstep, OrganicChemist

          at least in part.  They can control when you take it.  If you work for a tax accountant, for example, and you are entitled to a two-week vacation, your employer can say, "no, you can't take your two-week vacation from April 2 - April 15."

          As for the "compelling government interest" part, RFRA has two tests:  (1) it has to be a compelling government interest; and (2) the law has to be necessary to meet that interest.  

          The test comes from discrimination cases.  It's the same test that the government needs to meet if it is going to discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, etc.  It's pretty hard to meet.  Something like public safety would probably meet the compelling government interest -- laws that are necessary so that one person doesn't physically harm another person would meet that test.  Government has a compelling interest in protecting its citizens from being harmed by other citizens.  It has to be pretty much something that (1) government is required to do under the Constitution; or (2) something that only government can do to be a "compelling" government interest.

          Here, it would be very difficult to say that government has a "compelling interest" in assuring that every woman has this heath insurance coverage.  That's because, by it's own choice, the government has exempted so many women from the coverage requirement -- employers under 50, part time employees, employees of nonprofit corporations with a religious exemption, that kind of thing.  It may be a very good policy to require employers with over 50 employees who are not nonprofit corporations to supply that kind of coverage, but "good policy" is not at all the same as "compelling government interest."  And, of course, there are other was of getting women who can't afford it  "free" contraception other than requiring the employer to provide it. The government could provide a refundable tax credit for women to pay for it. Or provide vouchers.  Or provide free clinics.  So it's hard to meet the "necessary" test as well.  

        •  Compelling government interest in contraceptives (0+ / 0-)

          has been severely undermined by the many exemptions in ACA and granted by HHS that remove the requirement for no copay contraception.

          Here are just some of the exemptions:

          - 97% of businesses have no requirement to provide contraceptives or any insurance as these are the millions of businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

          - no requirement for insurance or no copay contraception for employees working less than 30 hr/wk

          - businesses with grandfathered insurance that did not include contraception can continue to exclude it.

          - religious non-profits are exempt.

          - people who purchase on the individual market have about 2 dozen ways in which they are exempt from requirement for insurance or contraception without copay.

          - individuals who buy catastrophic insurance coverage under ACA are exempt from contraception requirement.

          All these exemptions make it very difficult to claim there is a compelling government interest on no-copay contraception.

          Democrats should seize this as an opportunity to have free contraception at no charge for the insured, the uninsured, the undocumented and visitors to the US and not subject to any income requirements.  Have the government buy in bulk and provide to drugstores, clinics, hotels, connivence stores, etc. for free distribution.  This would on net not cost government as it would reduce the need for other government spending.  This would also be a start for single payer.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 01:58:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not being required to buy insurance (0+ / 0-)

            for one's employees is not the same as being exempt from the contraceptive requirement.  Health insurance has a new standard definition which requires contraceptive coverage with only very minimal exemption - churches but not church owned universities or hospitals.  The grandfathered companies will diminish fairly rapidly when their plans change as they will, as they always have.  Catastrophic coverage is also dwindling away as the law takes effect with minor extensions of  the old ways.  If a company elects to buy insurance, it must include the minimum standards that have been defined by the ACA.  That includes lots of preventive care items including contraception.  

            Contraception does not equal pills.  Many women are not good candidataes for pill type contraception.  There are better choices in the long acting contraceptives, like the IUDs and the implant and even sterilization which is covered under ACA.  These must be placed or performed by a physician.  Having the govt purchase and distribute contraception is not a real world workable solution.  Each patient needs a health care provider's consultation, prescription and sometimes a procedure performed by such provider.  Contraception is a health care need; it is not a commodity.  

            I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

            by fayea on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 01:08:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  My mother , may her soul rest in peace, used to (16+ / 0-)

    say..

    When these anti choice folks start protesting against men using viagra, then I will think it is not about women's rights. When they start protesting against men having sex while unmarried, I may listen a bit more. When they start saying men are equally responsible for  a pregnancy and equally responsible for birth control, I may at least not think they are sexist.  If there is anything that causes me to loose my cool, it is when only women are held responsible for birth control and for a pregnancy and also for child rearing.

    Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

    by wishingwell on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:30:45 AM PDT

    •  If men start getting pregnant then (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, kfunk937, Rebecca, wishingwell, drmah

      birth control and abortion would be free and easily available.

    •  If you listen to the anti-birth control people, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937, wishingwell, Ahianne

      they usually think that pregnancy is the God-created penalty for women having sex under circumstances which they don't approve.

      If a woman has sex and takes measures to not get pregnant, then she's cheating and avoiding God's punishment which these people are all too ready to apply in God's name.

      There's two fallacies to their position.  First, they claim their anti-abortion stand is because they love children, but when pregnancy occurs due to sex that doesn't meet their religious standards than children become a punishment rather than a gift from God.

      Second, their view of human sexuality is that men can't control their sexual behavior and thus are freed from moral penalties while women are able to control it, and thus are subject to moral penalties.

      •  And there are some women like one of my cousins (0+ / 0-)

        who says in her church, there are group of women who are trying to adopt and want more babies to adopt so they are now very anti choice. They want these single mothers to give their  babies up for adoption instead of abortion.

        So these women, some of whom were pro choice at one time, are now forced birthers because they want to adopt, cannot have kids of their own, or their siblings or children are infertile, etc.

        Granted, I think this a very small segment of women but they do exist and I see their comments on different blogs about wanting to adopt but there are not enough babies because of abortion is what they insist.

        Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

        by wishingwell on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 03:55:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are children available for adoption in the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ahianne, wishingwell

          US, but they're not the right color or have physical imperfections.

          •  True, although the one cousin's daughter did adopt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Damaged262

            an African American baby and the adoptive parents are white. And they are going to raise this child in a small town where he may be one of the only minority children in the entire old coal mining town.   I just hope this child is going to be OK once he starts school as that town is full of bigots. I know because my mother was raised there and she never wanted to ever live there again once she was 18.

            Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

            by wishingwell on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 08:59:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Libertarians are wrong (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, RLF, schumann, anon004

    Because they're libertarians- believers in a totally disembodied view of reality. Their ideas can't work in the real world because they never include reality in their calculus.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:31:17 AM PDT

  •  They should be held to all biblical requirements (10+ / 0-)

    If they are truly a biblically based corporation as they claim. But they should not be allowed to pick and choose, a sort of cafeteria Christian company. You are either in whole hog, or the corporation's beliefs should be disregarded entirely. Thus, they should not be allowed to provide any kind of credit that provides for an interest charge or for which Hobby Lobby gets any kind of kickback--I see that they offer a Visa card option on their website. They should not be allowed to sell certain products made from materials prohibited by the bible. They should be required to contribute 10% of their gross sales to the church. If not, they cannot be considered as having strong biblical beliefs or as being a company run under biblical principles. Had I been counsel of rather government I would have walked though many of these examples in the court briefs and oral argument to show what hypocrites HL and its owners really are.

  •  Rand Paul is NO libertarian (14+ / 0-)

    when in to comes to keeping the gov't out of women's bodies. He's for government regulation of fertilization.  He favors the Personhood Amendment to the Constitution which gives full rights to fertilized eggs.  He has a ZERO rating from NARAL because he never, ever votes to protect a woman's right to her own decision making.

    Whenever a topic like this comes up, I feel duty bound to jump in and and spread the word about Rand Paul because so many think he is a "moderate"and a real libertarian on social issues.  No way!

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:33:50 AM PDT

  •  This is one I'm not at all worried about. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, Chi, Subterranean, MufsMom, schumann

    In fact, predicting the SCOTUS has been ridiculously easy for some time.

    The financial sector (which happens to include insurers) makes a hell of a lot more money if supplying contraceptives is universal and enforced.

    It's just good business.

  •  In all this brouhaha, has there been (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, LynChi, Radiowalla, Chi

    any word - any word at all - from Hobby Lobby objecting to the fact that their coverage pays for Viagra and penis pumps?

    I don't love writing, but I love having written ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

    by jan4insight on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:35:58 AM PDT

  •  Women are obligated to be sluts on demand (6+ / 0-)
    hey, if it's medicine, sure, you can get it covered by insurance—but if they're just your dirty little slut pills, then you're on your own if you make too much for a public subsidy.
    The theocrats want women to be sluts of convenience, as attested by the recent hubbub by one of the theocratic conservatives (Huckabee? can't recall which idiot right now) who said women should provide sex to their husbands whenever he wants, regardless of her feelings or mood. So if her hubby compels her to surrender control over her sexuality to him, she doesn't deserve contraception (and control of her reproduction) because she dirty-slutted it up for him.

    These guys seem to have a full blown Madonna-Whore complex and really really have contempt for women at their core, don't they?

  •  Another regression (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, snazzzybird, fayea

    You remember the old song: "St. Peter don't call me, 'cause I can't go. I owe my soul to the company store"?

  •  Hobby Lobby and the other (13+ / 0-)

    litigant are not saying they don't want to offer insurance for contraception.  They are saying they don't want to offer insurance for specific medications they deem abortificants.  This is a far cry from simply not covering birth control and a far worse precedent for the Supreme Court to set.  First, they base this on prejudice as the medications in question are not considered abortificants by science nor the medical community.  Worse, a for profit Corporation would be deciding what medications are to be prescribed by medical professionals.

    •  This is important (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fayea, kfunk937, Rebecca, drmah, anon004, Ahianne

      I can't believe that an entire SCOTUS case is based upon two fallacies: that the company is mandated to "provide" birth control (they don't "provide" it - the ins co covers it, as they always have), and that birth control is an abortifacient.

      What kind of world are we living in, when a case this factually challenged makes it all the way to the Supreme Court?!?

      Money should be treated like any other controlled substance; if you can't use it responsibly then you don't get to use it.

      by La Gitane on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:07:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The latter doesn't (and shouldn't) matter (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        La Gitane, kfunk937

        They believe that certain forms of birth control are equivalent to abortion, and that their religion forbids them on that grounds.

        Now, look: there are several religions that believe that if you do X, then God will fuck with you. Not just in the afterlife, but in this life. There's facial hair, there's head coverings, there's clothing of other sorts. There's dietary requirements, there's all sorts of stuff. Right now, companies can't force their employees to go against their religious convictions.

        If I came along with my fancy sociology degree and said, 'Uh, look, people who eat pork are no more likely to be struck by lightning than people who don't, and I can prove it.' Or '...are just as likely to win the lottery.' Or whatever. I can objectively prove that at least in this life, God doesn't fuck with you because of your diet. Does that mean that companies should now be allowed to discriminate against you, because your beliefs are provably wrong?

        Can we prove that prayer doesn't work? If we pursued it hard enough, we probably could. Should we permit companies to punish those people who wish to face Mecca five times a day?

        •  This is why the whole question of religion (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          anon004

          should never even make it into the public realm. Religion isn't fact - it's faith. Two completely different things. In this country we have let this whole "two sides to every issue" go way, way too far.

          No person should ever be required to justify his or her faith. But the flip side of that is your faith does not get to be taken as an equivalent to factual proof in a secular dialogue. There is the realm of science and facts, and a completely separate realm of faith. The two are polar opposites, and the god damned fundies have pushed their theocratic agenda so far that details of their dogma are being argued in the Supreme Court.

          You want to win this, Hobby Lobby? The be prepared to open up the practice of your faith to judgment and scrutiny.

          Money should be treated like any other controlled substance; if you can't use it responsibly then you don't get to use it.

          by La Gitane on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:38:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That "specific medications" is what bothers me. (0+ / 0-)

      When the corporation employer can dictate what kind of birth control you can use, that is way too intrusive.  

  •  I've got a deal (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, La Gitane, gardnerhill

    If it's so horrendous for a conservative christian to have to be associated, however remotely, with birth control, why don't they all quit working for companies that provide insurance that covers birth control?  Their hard work makes money that goes to paying for birth control, so they totally need to dump those jobs.

    It's almost like It's a lot easier to take something from someone else in the name of your principles than it is to make a personal sacrifice.

  •  I can't BELIEVE we're having this conversation (9+ / 0-)

    in 2014!  To oldsters like me, the contraceptive debate was over in 1965 with the Supremes' Griswold v. Connecticut decision. Stare decis, people!

    The idea that we've got to weep and beg for our right to contraception 49 years after Griswold is chilling in the extreme. Margaret Atwood, where are you?

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:59:58 AM PDT

  •  Business Can Declare Another Business Heretical (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    La Gitane, a2nite, anon004

    For instance, a dominionist church can declare that Catholics aren't Christians.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:02:47 AM PDT

  •  The real issue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, drmah

    These arguments about the law and women's rights are interesting, but may not be important in the final decision. What the conservatives on the Supreme Court are most interested in is extending the "rights" of corporations and other big business. How does that break in this case?

  •  SCOTUS Could Declare That Reality No Longer Exists (8+ / 0-)

    As Hobby Lobby argues about whether or not contraceptives are the same as abortions doesn't matter, it's about "respecting" their beliefs, regardless of whether or not they are true.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:05:35 AM PDT

    •  pro-lfers never use scientific or medical facts (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937, anon004

      only their religious ideology which they wish to impose on everyone. Remember these people do not believe in the Separation of Church and State. They believe our founding father created a Christian nation.

      Hobby Lobby family has a foundation that donates millions to right wing causes which are writing state laws to limit access to contraception and abortion.

    •  They already did in some way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anon004

      The fact that none of these forms of birth control cause abortions was not even discussed!

  •  It's just the right catering to their hoodwinked (6+ / 0-)

    religious right supporters.

    It seems to me that when Mohammad Ali refused to enter the service because of his religious obligations he was put in jail.

    We can't have people choosing the laws they want to obey and the ones they don't.  Should I stop paying some of my taxes because I don't agree with what the government is doing?  No, all I can do is try to influence the policy by supporting the election of legislators who agree with my principle and hope they will change things.

    I don't have any confidence in the Supreme Court (or any US court for that matter)  to be rational about it being that it is stacked (5-4)with right wing ideologues.

    As for the libertarians, their crazy ideas are not even credible in my judgment so I don't waste my time commenting about them.

  •  No One Mentions This (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, La Gitane, anon004

    The possibility that some mouth breather at a think tank came up with "this is a way to reduce coverage and costs, let's go after the Pill".

    We are talking about the Krazy Klown Kult of Die Partei Republikkkanische here.

    After all is said and done, it's always about money for these swine. Never discount that as motive.

    NEW SINGLE! http://johnnyangelwendell.bandcamp.com/

    by Johnny Wendell on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:09:38 AM PDT

  •  If Obamacare "frees up" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Wendell

    people from needing to have a job, doesn't Hobby Lobby "free up" employees to cut out the middle man (insurance companies that want to control a woman's body, of course, and make a profit doing it), and buy birth control directly from the pharmacy for a lower cost?

  •  Having non-contraceptive reasons (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    La Gitane, Cali Scribe, kfunk937

    for using contraceptive medications are a valuable (indeed, an indispensable argument) against the kind of argument that Hobby Lobby and others are making. However...

    By being forced into this still perfectly valid, and reasonable line of argumentation, those who are making could be trapped into "agreeing" to conditions that are onerous.

    For example, only those women with documentable conditions that are alleviated by the contraception may have it, but first they (and their method under question) MUST pass a medical evaluation in order to receive the prescription for that purpose, but then ONLY after other medications or treatments had been attempted and failed.

    Okay, maybe I'm "viewing with alarm" and am feeling particularly paranoid and anticipating a dystopian near future in things contraception, but it is STILL THE CASE that women in Germany have to get a doctor's permission slip to have an abortion exemption, because there is no such thing as abortion on demand in unified (or previously, in the Bundesrepublik) as there was in the former East Germany. This involves Paragraph 218 of the Constitution.

    Here is a link discussing the current situation in German abortion law

    So, given the situation in a place that many here might consider a somewhat more liberal when it comes to women's current status, there's old 218 to bring one up short.

    I don't think it would be too far-fetched to see some sort of medicalized legal language offering a "compromise" specific only to female reproduction in the new insurance coverage environment.

    Members of my family have had "non-contraceptive" reasons for prescriptions and procedures back in the early days of Roe v. Wade. Things were still tough, even though they were legal and the non-sexualized context of their medical needs are certainly the circumstances that many here are citing now. I'm just saying that, while this is valid, it is not good enough to offer real protection, and real rights.

    Darling, you didn't use canned salmon, did you?

    by JrCrone on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:20:06 AM PDT

  •  mens contraception is cheap, womens is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    mostly expensive.

    The Pill, IUD,s Norplant  those are not cheap.

    The only stuff that's relatively affordable are
    foams and gels.

  •  Just a brief rant here.... (6+ / 0-)

    I'm so sick of libertarians in general. In my life, I can basically breakdown all libertarians I've met into two categories. Either they're  kids who want to smoke pot without getting busted or they're freeloaders who don't want to pay their fair share of taxes.
    If I try to search it out with them I can find no underlying unifying principles.

    Just another day in Oceania.

    by drshatterhand on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:29:46 AM PDT

  •  Corporations are people? (8+ / 0-)

    My sincerely held beliefs (both religious and moral) are compromised when I am forced to pay taxes to support wars and subsidies for the rich.

    If Hobby Lobby doesn't have to pay for things it doesn't approve of, does that mean that I won't have to either? Because I'd really like to stop paying John Boehner's salary.

  •  Topic has been turned on its head (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk, kfunk937, VClib

    The Government's case is riddled with problems.

    First, you've got the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that H/L used as the basis of its position.   The RFRA is one of those laws that everybody loved.   When, both, the ACLU and the National Association of Evangelicals are working together you know it is something strange.  The law was put in place after American Indians were subject to penalties for using peyote in their religious ceremonies.  The RFRA basically says if a law burdens religious freedom it better be absolutely vital and necessary.

    Is Hobby Lobby trying to remove its employees right to contraception?  No.

    Abortion?  No (though, I'm sure they would prefer a woman in their employ chose an alternative).

    H/L is objecting to having to pay for it as part of the insurance they provide to their employees. That employee is still free to get the procedure, medication or pay for additional insurance.

    Not exactly compelling.

    Then you've got the ACA - which is SILENT on whether insurance policies must cover contraception/abortion/sterilization.  The Obama administration unilaterally included those requirements when it drafted regulations to support the ACA.  Normally, when a regulation clashes with a law it loses - because the law reflects both the will of Congress & the President.  A regulation the will of the President only.

    Next, if the need for Corporations to provide the coverage is so compelling why doesn't the mandate apply to companies with 49 or fewer employees?

    If it is of absolute necessity at Hobby Lobby, why isn't it vital at the corner store?

    Hard to explain.

    Finally, you need to remember that Corporations only exist because the government believes they are beneficial.  By providing people the option of forming corporations they encourage business creation (and increase tax revenues) by lowering the risk of business.

    Finally, if you say that Corporations have no religious freedom you've got to take this to its logical extension.

    Does the New York Times or Kos Media, LLC lose the right to publish freely because they are limited liability entities?

    Can a Psychiatrist who practices in a professional corporation lose the right to doctor/patient confidentiality just because they pracice in a P.C. ?

    Or as specifically asked by Justice Alito, last week - would 5 Jewish or Muslim butchers lose the right to offer Kosher/Halal practices if the gov't wanted to solely because they decided to form a corporation?

    And. to those of you who say any company will use the loophole to go to Court.  First, going to court is insanely expensive so most businesses, unless they have real objections won't.  And, resolving these sorts of issues is exactly why we have the Courts.

    My prediction - Hobby Lobby wins 6-3.

     

    •  what about Separation of Church & State? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doroma
    •  No. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doroma

      Money should be treated like any other controlled substance; if you can't use it responsibly then you don't get to use it.

      by La Gitane on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:14:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think you are failing to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anon004

      hide the fact you are not a Democrat, but trying very hard to not appear as a troll.

    •  Because pro bono RW legal teams would also jump (0+ / 0-)

      out of the woodwork to represent others with spurious religious objections - whether to chip away at ACA, reproductive health, or whatever - I think that SCOTUS will weigh unintended consequences more than your last paragraph suggests. Whether a decision for the claimants would tend to pierce the corporate veil is also an interesting question that falls in the "unintended" column . . .

      You wrote

      H/L is objecting to having to pay for it as part of the insurance they provide to their employees. That employee is still free to get the procedure, medication or pay for additional insurance.

      Not exactly compelling.

      Neither is HL's "burden."

      Minor quibble: in oral arguments, HL was offered  hypotheticals to relieve their religious "burden,"  such as opting out of providing healthcare insurance and paying the fine/tax instead. At $2K/employee, that would likely even cost less than they would pay for insurance; therefore, by comparison not burdensome financially either. Clement said that HL's ability to attract/retain workers would be negatively impacted by such a solution; it was then suggested that they were free to raise wages to cover employees' costs to stay competitive. Clement then responded that HL also believed, religious-wise, that they were obligated to provide insurance. Hypocracy.

      No one offered the hypothetical that HL is free to relinquish/reorganise its corporate structure, nor that they are free to cease doing business altogether, but those options are surely as reasonable to include as is the suggestion that employees work elsewhere.

      Just for comparison, I'd be interested in reading how you analyse the weaknesses of HL's case.

    •  The problem with Hobby Lobby's stance is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne, GrafZeppelin127, a2nite

      two-fold.  One, their objection is not reality-based (i.e., the bc methods they object to covering are not actually abortifacients, as they claim) , and two, they claim their anti-abortion values are so strong, it informs their every busienss decision, except, apparently, when it comes to actually stocking their stores, which feature all manner of goods from state-run businesses in China, the government of which performs forced abortions.

      Hobby Lobby reminds me of Jews so Orthodox that they insist all employees follow Kosher laws, while they are in the business of running a seafood restaurant.

  •  Thanks for the "Options", Libertarians (8+ / 0-)

    "…choose another employer…"--ha!  That's a good one.  Thanks, libertarians: I needed a joke today, and you certainly supplied it.  Try being over 60, or a single mother, and see what "choices" that gets you.  To (slightly) change an old saying, "Choose your employer in one hand and piss in the other; then see which one fills up first."

    Anatole France, 1894: "In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread."  Sounds like a pretty good summary of libertarian "thought" to me.

  •  Practical implications (7+ / 0-)

    Besides all of the excellent arguments already stated for why this is a terrible idea, think of the practical implications SCOTUS rules in favor of Hobby Lobby.  This opens the door for all sorts of companies to start picking and choosing what they will cover.  Remember--Hobby Lobby wants to prevent doctors from even DISCUSSING four types of contraceptives with people on their insurance.  

    Imagine going to visit your doctor, and the first thing he or she does during your appointment is ask where you or your spouse or your parent works and whether you have their company-sponsored insurance.  If the answer is yes, the doctor has to refer to some sort of list or database detailing what he/she is allowed to discuss with your or what medications are allowable. It's completely nuts and it would never work.  (I can't imagine most doctors ever complying with this.)

    Another aspect of this Hobby Lobby case is that one of the four contraceptives they object to is the Paragard, the copper IUD.  For women who are unable to take hormones, Paragard is pretty much the only reliable option that doesn't involve surgery.  I use Paragard because I am a breast cancer survivor.  I cannot take hormones, and pregnancy is not really recommended for me--either could make the cancer recur or help a new one to start.   So, my options were either the Paragard or my husband going in for a vasectomy--after discussing it with my doctors and my husband, I went with the Paragard. Taking that information and that choice away from women like me really burns me up. The nerve of these people.  

    •  Yep. (7+ / 0-)

      So, I'm at my doctor's appointment, and she says, "okay, on your way out stop at billing. They'll call your boss, explain what we talked about today, and your boss will tell us what you have to pay for out of pocket."

      I don't know if men can really comprehend, even with all the truly good intentions I read here, how absolutely humiliating all of this is. I am so sick and tired of my vagina being up for public discussion and debate. Sometimes I think it would make quite a statement if a bunch of women stormed Congress and spread our legs open for all to see. You want to legislate this? We'll let me help you get to know it better....

      Go to freaking hell, you medieval nut jobs. Really.

      Money should be treated like any other controlled substance; if you can't use it responsibly then you don't get to use it.

      by La Gitane on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 10:21:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or your spouse's boss.... (0+ / 0-)

        Imagine a wife getting her coverage through her spouse, an employee of Hobby Lobby.  Or the employee's daughter.

        Regardless of whether or not an employer gets to make medical decisions for an employee, since when does the employer get to dictate the choices of the employee's family?

  •  Compromise: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah, anon004

    Allow companies to deny birth control to their employees, but require that they provide paid maternity leave for everyone.

    Sadly however, this isn't actually about providing/denying birth control. It's only about trying to score political points and undo part of the Affordable Care Act.

  •  Thank you. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kfunk937, drmah, Ahianne

    This can't be said enough:

    ...employers are not paying for birth control at all. Rather, the employee is earning it through her labor and the insurance premiums she pays.
    While it is extremely important to continue to fight this on the "religious freedom" front, for obvious reasons, this core fact often goes ignored. No one is asking for government paid "free" birth control. That started with Limbaugh's bullshit attack on Sandra Fluke. I won't even begin to comment on Hobby Lobby's other fantastical contention that birth control is an abortifacient.... I love how people can make up things out of whole cloth, and take it all the way to the Supreme Court to fight for it. It really blows my mind....

    Great diary - it's important to argue with the so-called "reasonable" young libertarians. All they are are re-packaged Republicans, with a gloss of more tolerance. At the center is still just as much small-mindedness and greed as their forbears.

    Money should be treated like any other controlled substance; if you can't use it responsibly then you don't get to use it.

    by La Gitane on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 09:49:33 AM PDT

  •  right to privacy in Roe v. Wade was based on (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kimoconnor, kfunk937, Rebecca, Ahianne

    a precedent in the 1964 ruling... Griswald vs. the State of Connecticut. Before Griswald in some states a married woman could not get contraception without the permission of her husband. Single women could barely get it at all. So now we want to allow employers to decide if women can have access to affordable contraception cverage based on the employers religious beliefs.

    This Hobby Lobby case and other laws limiting women's access first to abortion, now to contraception is the right's newest tactic. They could not completely outlaw abortion or contraception, so by making it more expensive they limit access.

    However this case is about abortion, as Hobby Lobby is claiming that some of the contraceptives covered by insurance  ie.  using the morning after pill (Plan B) is abortion. It' anther slippery slop to chip Roe. & our freedom from establishing  a government religion

    •  Disagree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk

      It is only a slippery slope if H/L is seeking to ban the drugs.

      Which they aren't doing.

      Instead, they are taking a different position.

      Employee you want to have an abortion that's none of H/L's business.

      But, leave us out of it.

      Two different things.

      •  No (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kfunk937, Rebecca, anon004

        You are wrong. IN the real world today the right wing does not try to BAN contraceptives/abortion, just make them as difficult to get as possible, if not impossible.

        •  Compelling (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coffeetalk

          Put aside R/W conspiracy theories for a moment.

          The average cost of a year's worth of contraception is:

          condoms: $100/yr
          spermicides: $180/yr
          The pill: $390/yr
          First trimester abortion - $350-550

          Source: Planned parenthood

          Even for low level employees these aren't daunting numbers.  And, well I've always hated condoms - it is effective birth control - at a low cost.

          So, why is there a COMPELLING need for H/L to pay for these if they have legitimate religious objections?  

          And, if there is a compelling need why not for smaller employers?

          And, what prevents someone from purchasing supplemental insurance for the additional services they seek?

          I'm just not seeing how such a blanket order can be justified constitutionally.

          •  Apparently you are not familiar (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kfunk937, anon004, Ahianne

            with the H/L case.  They are not against condoms, spermacides, or the regular birth control pill.  They are against certain IUDs and "morning after pills"  because they have fantasized that these cause abortions.  The Paragard IUD costs at least $500 plus a doctor's office visit and insertion fee so really about $1000.  Morning after pills are not particularly expensive, and altho I am helping you  with the costs, the point about the cost being high or low is moot.

            BTW, regular birth control pills cost anywhere from $10 to $100 per month.  Not every woman can use the cheap pills due to side effects.  

            H/L when choosing to provide an earned benefit called health insurance can't just substitute something that does not meet the definition of health insurance.  Health insurance has a new definition in town.  The ACA defined it.  It has a basement below which you cannot go.  H/L can choose not to provide health insurance.  They can choose to pay the penalty.  That won't go against their "religion".

            I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

            by fayea on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:16:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  There has to be a "-substantial- burden" (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kfunk937, anon004, Ahianne

            on "religious belief" or "exercise" before the issue of "compelling interest" even becomes relevant.

            The idea that the contraception-overage mandate places a "substantial burden" on anyone's religious belief or exercise is absurd, if not utterly laughable.

            For one thing, there are at least three actors between the Greens and the contraceptive devices/drugs/procedures their imaginary friend has ordered them to hate -- the doctor, the patient, and the insurer. Four if you count the pharmacist. Five if you count the corporation itself, whose entire purpose is to separate and distinguish the business entity from its human owners and shield the latter from liability.

            Being made to feel uncomfortable about what your company's employees might do with their compensation is not a "substantial burden on religious belief or exercise." If it is, what isn't?

    •  bernbart - standard oral contraceptives are NOT (0+ / 0-)

      part of this case. Hobby Lobby has no issues with regular birth control pills, a fact that seems to have been missed by nearly everyone.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 07:08:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The same libertarians who say pay for 'em yourself (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    unless you can prove you're using it for appropriate reasons would rather there not be any limitations on access to pain control medication.

    Oh, and that employer plans pay for it.

  •  Who cares if it is "just about sex"? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Grey Fedora, kfunk937, anon004, Ahianne

    Why shouldn't women be able to have sex without fear of unwanted pregnancy? To hell with the other arguments.

  •  People will suddenly find a lot of religion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kfunk937, drmah, a2nite

    I recently converted to a religion that doesn't believe in prescription drugs. I shouldn't have to pay for my employees to have that coverage.

    •  mass conversions to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drmah

      Xian Science, Scientology, et al., would follow. 'I don't want to "pay for" my employees' meds or treatments. Unless prayer is billable.'

      7th Day Adventists came up in oral arguments, too, with respect to objections over blood transfusions.

      Then branching out to other issues, not in ACA.

      Can SCOTUS really expect to decide this without dealing with the slippery slope?  

      Especially as it seems clear that they are avoiding being put in a position of measuring how "worthy" any religions' beliefs are (which makes sense), or whether they have any scientifically defensible basis, or whether such beliefs are sincerely held, to begin with.

  •  It's My Money (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FlamingoGrrl, kfunk937, anon004, Ahianne

    My question for Hobby Lobby is this: When you pay me why do you then think you can decide how I use my money?

    Healthcare benefits provided by a company are compensation. Once you compensate someone you no longer have a say in what happens to that compensation. The transfer takes place when you provide the compensation. This is elementary contract law, as far as I'm concerned.

    It would be like my offering to pay you some amount for a week's work and then telling you, "Now, listen. I'm going to give you this money on payday, but you're not allowed to spend it on anything frivolous, like a hobby. I'm only paying you so you can eat, sleep and come to work. Nothing else. If I catch you spending this money on pleasure, then you can expect to be paid a lot less the following week. Understand?"

    We wouldn't call them employers. We'd call them thugs.

  •  There is so much wrong with Hobby Lobby and its (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, kfunk937, anon004, Ahianne

    ideological brethren when it comes to this issue that it would be impossible to go through it all in one blog comment. I've written a couple of diaries on this topic.

    This diary seems to make the point that saying "Well, women should pay for their own birth control" and assuming that it would basically be cheap, easy and effortless for Hobby Lobby's employees to cope with their employer's religious scruples, is neither helpful nor honest nor accurate. I've read numerous arguments in support of Hobby Lobby, et al. claiming that while the "burden" on Hobby Lobby's "religious beliefs" is substantial, there would be no burden whatsoever on its employees.

    Of course this is false; of course it is selfish and cruel to say such things. Libertarian politics is in many ways grounded in selfishness and cruelty (or, in the alternative, self-congratulation and resentment). But to know it is false requires an understanding of things that they don't understand; it requires nuance, it requires thought, it requires research, it requires learning.

    This is why so many libertarians I've encountered can't get very far past broad, general, 35,000-foot-high-level abstractions in voicing their complaints about whatever is victimizing and oppressing them this week. They have neither the time nor the capacity nor the willingness nor the perceived need to understand details, let alone policy details. Policy details means law, law means government, government is bad, so there's no need to learn anything about it. (Many libertarians I've encountered have proudly claimed to know nothing about Constitutional Law, since they deem the entire field of study to be illegitimate.)

    Another case in point: Even a lot of libertarians and Second Amendment absolutists will acknowledge, when asked, that (1) there are some types of "arms" that ordinary people should not be allowed to "bear," and (2) there are some people who should not be allowed to "bear arms." Indeed, some of them get rather indignant when they're "accused" of not believing or agreeing with (1) and (2). Yet they proceed to oppose any and every possible means (viz., law or policy) that anyone might propose or consider to make either of them a reality.

    Hopefully the Court will come to its senses and rule against Hobby Lobby, if for no other reason that we don't want corporations deliberately piercing their own corporate veil and exposing their CEOs, directors and shareholders to personal liability for corporate malfeasance. Then again, maybe this Court will let them have it both ways.

    •  So much wrong with this comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep, kfunk937

      but I'll point out the last problem:

      Hopefully the Court will come to its senses and rule against Hobby Lobby, if for no other reason that we don't want corporations deliberately piercing their own corporate veil and exposing their CEOs, directors and shareholders to personal liability for corporate malfeasance.
      This as ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with piercing he corporate veil.  Nada.  Zilch.  Nothing.  There's a long line of case law about that, and there are specific factors that the Courts consider. The fact that the owners of a closely-held private corporation want to operate the business in a way that comports with their religious beliefs has never ever ever been one of the factors.  A for profit Catholic bookstore would not be a candidate for piercing the corporate veil even if they had daily masses in the bookstore and observed all other Catholic rules, UNLESS they did those other things listed in that link.

      And think about this:  As the government readily admits (see pg 21 - 23 of their cert petition) nonprofit corporations have for decades been recognized to have "religious views" deserving of protection.  Has there ever, ever, every been an instance of attempting to "pierce the corporate veil" of a religious nonprofit corporation?  

      I'll point out the other big problem with this comment.

      I've read numerous arguments in support of Hobby Lobby, et al. claiming that while the "burden" on Hobby Lobby's "religious beliefs" is substantial, there would be no burden whatsoever on its employees.
      Read the briefs in this case.  This case is not the "burden" on the employee if that isn't covered.  (Are all the millions of women who aren't covered by the employer mandate suffering from some "burden"?)  

      Instead, this is a situation where pretty much everyone recognizes that, if Hobby Lobby were run as a sole proprietorship or a non-profit corporation, they would be entitled to an exemption under RFRA (and the applicable regulations - remember, the ACA doesn't mandate this coverage; the regulations do.)  The main question before the Court is whether a FOR-PROFIT corporation can make a claim under RFRA.  See how the government phrases the issue in its brief on the merits -- whether a for-profit corporation can make a claim under RFRA, and if so (they effectively concede that mandate violates the religious views of the owners) whether the regulation requiring coverage of the four types of contraception Hobby Lobby objects to is (1) necessary to (2) meet a compelling government interest.

      There's no section of the brief for a discussion of some "burden" on the employee.  That's because it's not relevant to the legal issues before the Court.  

  •  If Hobby Lobby wins I wonder if they will then (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kfunk937, drmah

    fight their insurance providers for raising their maternity coverage premiums.

    GOP Mantra: Guns Everywhere, Voting Nowhere.

    by here4tehbeer on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 12:47:32 PM PDT

  •  I consider myself Liberal-Libertarian (0+ / 0-)

    But make no mistake I follow it to a tee, Women should have full reproductive rights, Gays should be allowed to get married and honestly I'm against government intervention but there are a few things that i know the government is good for since I've seen it here in Canada, the health care system is really good and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Pretty much the basic stuff I think there needs to be eyes kept on people (not like the nsa stuff mind you) but in terms of stock market, energy, etc. etc. so no bad stuff happens. As for Gun Control well... I think there needs to be better background checks against the mentally ill and criminals and i'm a little looser on that subject than most Liberals, but it's not what I decide my vote on.

  •  If men got pregnant, birth control would be free - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne

    . . .  and bacon-flavored.  Here's a musical plea for Hobby Lobby (et al) to stay out of our lady parts . . . .
    https://www.youtube.com/...

  •  It's been my experience that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, a2nite

    libertarians are, for the most part, hopelessly naive about human nature and truly fact-challenged.  For example, they see no need for civil rights laws because, it's not in someone's economic interest to discriminate.  Of course, that ignores hundreds of  years of race-based discrimination, free markets be damned.  They also like to imagine the "freedom" of a severely restricted government, and when you remind them that Somalia has just what they are looking for and maybe they should enjoy some "freedom" there, they get so testy.

    It's also been my experience that men, with the exception of those who've decided to be persuaded by facts, really don't have a clue how birth control other than condoms actually works.  I'm also completely surprised when any heterosexual or bisexual man doesn't strongly endorse birth control for any woman who needs it.  Guess what, guys?  They only need it so they can have sex with you.

  •  Pregnancy itself is a danger to girls/women (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    It maims, causes lifelong harm, and can kill. It is health care to prevent it, considering the damage it usually causes to girls/women.

    After all, I don't know any women who haven't had at least some harm done to their bodies by pregnancy. They usually don't talk about it in front of their children because they don't want them to feel bad about it, but it's there.



    Women create the entire labor force.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 09:42:02 AM PDT

  •  Libertarian Birth Control Platform (0+ / 0-)

    As a former Libertarian  (some of their platform was hard to stomach) I can tell you that they actively support the birth control option for their employees.  Why?

    Because the long term costs and problems of a childless worker is a lot cheaper than a woman in the breading mode with children.  Birth control makes a company workforce more competitive and a woman on a salary can work a hell of a lot more hours than one that has to deal with children.

    If you look really hard, I bet you can find a libertarian business owner that believes this. I have the right to demand that all women of child bearing age, working at this company, be on some form of birth control.

  •  The Nice Thing About Being a Libertarian (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    is never having to say you actually did any research on a subject. When your guiding angel is a fiction writer, hey, if it worked for her why would you let facts, history, unemployment statistics, hell, reality get in the way of a good argument...Meh, nothing to see there. I think, therefore, it is.

  •  Unfortunately, there are many people (0+ / 0-)
    Imagine how well SNAP would work under the current model if deciding what cereal you were going to buy had to be determined in consultation with a doctor and required a prescription, and some shoppers could simply make do with Kix while others required filet mignon. Needless to say, the cash grant system would not work with nearly the efficiency it does now with those layers of complexity added onto it.
    for whom this is the reality within SNAP. Food stamps are hard. Now imagine you're buying for a diabetic or a celiac patient.

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

    by elfling on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 02:06:28 PM PDT

  •  Why libertarians have everything totally wrong. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    The libertarian premise is that if you just leave people alone, they will do the right thing.  What a bunch of dopes.

  •  LIBERTARIANS (0+ / 0-)

    Where were all these males that are against contraceptives when Congress passed a bill in 2004 that insurance and the government  would pay for Viagra etc, penis pumps, and penis implants so a man could  get hard and keep it up no matter the age of the man? Standing up and cheering for its passage all over the Country. They don't want women to have the medical benefits that birth control gives them, take away their Viagra etc, penis pumps and penis implants coverage. If women can't have health benefits of birth control then men shouldn't be able to get their sexual pleasure using Viagra etc, penis pumps and penis implants.
    Medicare pays for men's erection aides when they are senior citizens in case you didn't know it.

    VOTE NOVEMBER 2014

  •  What frightens me more (0+ / 0-)

    is the idea that if they win and can choose - what is next?  Do they apply that to other laws?  How about labor laws?  Goodbye equal opportunity employment.  Mormon employers who have been claiming that women should be at home raising kids would be free to claim that denying women employment is within their religious rights.  Muslim employers could discriminate against Jews and Christians.  We could have questions about one's religious beliefs as a requirement of employment in a lot of cases, not to mention a bunch of people claiming that they can't hire minorities because their beliefs don't allow it.  (Of course, who's to say that it's NOT going on at places like Chick-Fil-a and Hobby Lobby, just not being reported, that if you aren't Christian, you aren't getting a job.)

    Simply: if you think you're being put down because of your beliefs NOW, wait until the Christians start getting discriminated against because of THEIR beliefs.

  •  Employers do not pay for birth control (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Damaged262

    Insurance pays for birth control and both employer and employee contribute to insurance. In addition, insurance has always been considered part of the benefits package, not a gift from the employer.

    It's none of the bosses business if insurance is being used to buy birth control.

  •  Yet, none of these idiots has a problem with (0+ / 0-)

    paying for Viagra and like drugs.  Such ED drugs do not prevent "male problems", and are used solely for the purpose of enabling "nasty male sluts" to get it up for their sexual escapades.  If they want to pay for women's birth control only when it's used for medical issues not related to contraception, then they should have a two-tiered system for ED drugs -- only covered when they are used to treat a medical problem not related to wilted-willy-when-performing-sex-act.

  •  Techbros. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm keeping that one. People ask me why, with such a proclivity for engineering and computer design, that I don't go into such a profession. It's these guys, they are EVERYWHERE. The machismo is as disgusting as the timidity is piteous.

    On the whole however, I find it ironic that libertarians and conservatives do in fact have so much in common, seeing as libertarians were the original liberals and invented positive law as an escape from moral law, and conservatives were concerned with how the vagaries of the free market were upsetting moral codes. Man, what a difference a century makes.

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