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Protesters hold signs at the steps of the Supreme Court as arguments begin today to challenge the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers provide coverage for contraception as part of an employee's health care, in Washington March 25, 2014. The U
A bummer for Hobby Lobby—but good news for women who want to make their own medical decisions:
The Obama administration has issued a new set of rules to provide contraceptive access to women whose employers object to their insurance plans covering birth control, which is required under the Affordable Care Act.

The new policies are intended to fill gaps left by two Supreme Court moves: The landmark Hobby Lobby decision saying contraceptive coverage violated the religious liberty of a for-profit corporation, and a preliminary order in Wheaton College v. Burwell. With today’s regulations, employees of for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby will be able to access an “accommodation” where the insurer directly provides the cost-free coverage with no financial involvement by the employer. That accommodation was originally limited to religiously affiliated nonprofits like Little Sisters of the Poor; houses of worship are fully exempt.

In addition, the rules provide a mechanism to protect contraception coverage while simultaneously allowing institutions like Wheaton College to opt-out of a process that they believe forces them to provide birth control coverage.

If the new rules work as intended, the net result will be that despite a pair of court "victories," opponents of providing birth control coverage in health insurance policies won't get anything for their efforts, which is exactly how this story should end.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I was going to say... (20+ / 0-)

    They will object to this too...and then I read the source article and found this:

    For nonprofits like Wheaton College that object to even that accommodation – which involves them signing a form to their insurer – the Obama administration has created a new accommodation to the accommodation. (Yes, it gets complicated.)

    Once again, it doesn't matter at all what the Administration does.  These are people who want to control women.  It's not about religion.  It's about keeping women economically dependent on men and away from the reins of power.

  •  How long do you figure it will be... (7+ / 0-)

    ...before another Hobby Lobby files suit claiming the very idea of their insurance plan being tainted by proximity to lady parts is against their corporate personal "religious beliefs"?

    This cannot stand! We must not be forced to let our insurance plan pay for sexy time! (What do you mean, "Viagra"? That's important. Stops cancer and all that. Now go away.)
  •  Didn't this whole mess START with trying to (10+ / 0-)

    'compromise' with religious institutions? And how did THAT work out?

    The DKOS oath; The cake is a lie, there is only Pie. Through Pie I gain calories. Through calories I gain fat. Through fat I gain a belly. Through my belly, my belt is broken. Sweatpants shall free me!

    by Fordmandalay on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:26:11 PM PDT

    •  Like the Missouri compromise, crap (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

      by a2nite on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:17:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  hey that delayed Civil War by 4 decades (0+ / 0-)

        until the forces of Slavery violated it

        "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

        by TheHalfrican on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:44:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The mistake was hanging onto slavery for so long (0+ / 0-)

          & we still have slavery as long as it isn't called chattel slavery.

          F*CK the framers.

          I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

          by a2nite on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:57:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure why the 1st line says bumber for (0+ / 0-)

    Hobby Lobby. Their case was based on the fact that the administration would make just this accommodation.

    Ask top al Qaeda leaders about Obama's foreign policy. Wait, you can't. They're dead. -Paul Begala

    by Fickle on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:27:41 PM PDT

  •  This will be flatly rejected by RWNJs... (11+ / 0-)

    ... After all, this has always been about them abusing the power of government to assert their personal cultural values and ideology onto an entire society of people, who already have a multitude of values and ideals of their own.

    Being able to "opt out" will never be enough for them. Only when the RWNJs are able to impose their will on others, against the will of their targets, and without the target being able to do anything to stop the RWNJ's agenda, will the RWNJs be satisfied.

  •  Awesome news!! I was desperately hoping . . . (5+ / 0-)

    that something like this would happen . . . direct coverage from the insurer w/no employer involvement whatsoever.

    Any objection registered by Wheaton, HL, the Greens, or any other associated ilk should be seen, once and for (friggin') all, as rooted in nothing other than control-obsessed misogyny.

    And the legal argument for yet another "accommodation" to thwart this new set of rules is legally (not to mention practically) untenable - a particular employer intervening in a direct, no-middleman transaction b/w its employee and her insurer?  There's absolutely NO tenable (or even remotely colorable) legal argument to support that, even if you buy the "businesses are people too!" BS.

    Let freedom ring!!!  HL and RWNJs everywhere lose . . . AGAIN, as they always have and always will.  

    •  I'm confused as to why you think HL loses from (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Victor Ward, Schneewolfe

      this. Their whole case and the majority ruling from the court rested on the administration being able to make exactly this accommodation.

      Ask top al Qaeda leaders about Obama's foreign policy. Wait, you can't. They're dead. -Paul Begala

      by Fickle on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:40:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  because they still have to pay (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        red moon dog, Schneewolfe, Creosote

        No matter what, if HL offers health insurance as a benefit to its employees, that health insurance will include contraceptive coverage. HL may not be paying for it in an itemized direct sort of way, but as long as the insurance company has to supply the coverage, the insurance company will adjust its rates accordingly. HL ends up paying no matter what.

        "Every Pootie is a masterpiece." - Da Vinci

        by mdsiamese on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:18:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But they knew all this when they brought the case. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Victor Ward

          This is the outcome they expected all along.

          Ask top al Qaeda leaders about Obama's foreign policy. Wait, you can't. They're dead. -Paul Begala

          by Fickle on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:21:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Will they have to pay? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          As I recall, Hobby Lobby is self-insured so an administrative fix to force third-party insurance companies to pay for contraception might not apply to HL. Even if it does, I would expect to see them back in court whining that the new rule forces them to abort 1 hour old unimplanted "babies" for the slutty-sluts because they have to pay directly as self-insurers.

          Except when they pay all of their Chinese suppliers who run abortion mills as part of the sweatshop assembly line to keep those cheap plastic gimcracks flowing to 'Murica. That's just bidness, ya know.

          The Church of Mammon invites all sincerely believing corporations to join the faith:

          by Krotor on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:34:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How does the rule address self-funded plans? (0+ / 0-)

            In this case, there could be stop loss or indemnity insurance covering the employer's losses (costs) above a specified level.  Is such an insurer obligated to provide free contraceptive coverage?  What if there is no insurer involved?

  •  Uh oh (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AuroraDawn, KayCeSF, diggerspop, ColoTim

    The impeachment crowd is now fervently working on how this is outside of Obama's presidential powers.

    Meanwhile, many women will be protected from all the problems using contraception prevents or controls.

    The Force is with us. ;)

    "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

    by Ginny in CO on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:29:23 PM PDT

  •  Just one more step (9+ / 0-)

    towards actual single payer, I hope -- the more companies raise objections to providing health coverage for their employees (whether we're talking about contraceptive coverage for Hobby Lobby employees or baseball teams cutting grounds crew hours to avoid having to insure them), the bigger the justification for single payer and having every company pay taxes equally to cover the cost. After all, I can't tell the government that my taxes can't go to prop up corrupt governments so companies can't tell the government their tax dollars can't go to pay for contraception.

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

    by Cali Scribe on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:32:39 PM PDT

  •  But they do get something for their efforts. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, enhydra lutris

    Unfortunately, the way I understand what has happened is that these companies (Hobby Lobby, etc.) have won a method by which they can effectively externalize the costs of essential healthcare benefits that other, non-Bible-thumping businesses rightly must cover.

    Now, with the new rule, the rest of the insurance pool presumably pays for employees of Hobby Lobby to obtain birth control.

    This remains a slippery slope into complete abandonment of the social contract as regards the foundations of an economy that benefits society.  If I don't want to pay for the costs of living of my employees, all I need to do is invent some Jesus-weeps-at-it type of excuse, and the rest of society can be counted on to absorb those costs.  

    Unless I'm missing something big, the whole thing remains as totally stupid and illogical as ever.

    •  Better to have the rest of the insurance pool (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jasonhouse, Schneewolfe

      paying for birth control than for the costs of unintended pregnancies.

      “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

      by ahumbleopinion on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:41:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jasonhouse, enhydra lutris

        But the administration's workaround needs to be seen as a temporary relief measure, not a logical and acceptable policy that somehow corrects the Supreme Court decisions.  The precedent set by all of this is that businesses can freeload (e.g. count on someone else to pay for their workers' real healthcare needs, at least in part) in the name-ah-Jesus.

    •  yes, although... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I agree with your overall point about private companies externalizing costs. However, in this particular case, the insurance companies recognize that providing contraception for people they cover lowers the company's expenses over time (pregnancies are expensive!). So in this case, insurance companies are just fine with the compromise situation where they provide contraception gratis.
      If another situation comes up in the future involving a medical cost no one wants to bear, I'm guessing the insurance companies will exercise more of their political and advertising muscle to beat back against the right wingers.

  •  The problem is that Hobby Lobby is an evil (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diggerspop, Schneewolfe

    Mansplaining woman hating controlling  entity.

    They hate women & want to control them using Christianity for their evil purposes.

    I suggest that if you want to make money as a corporation, stay out of women's vaginas.

    FUCK Hobby Lobby & their evil owners.

    FUCK the evil white male 1%.

    They make America a shitty place if you're not an evil rich white man.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:41:46 PM PDT

  •  He's a DICTATOR (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CaroCogitatus, a2nite, Jasonhouse

    Making up his own rules with no input from anyone else!

    You know who else made up his own rules with no input from anyone else?  HITLER!




    Seriously, I think we all know how this works by now.

    Some anti-abortion activist funds a test case to challenge the new rules.

    The test case makes its way to the Supreme Court.

    The judges decide 5 to 4 that their personal beliefs trump laws passed by Congress and the usual administration of the executive branch by the president.  This is what I now call The Alito Rule -- if you have a strong, deep, sincere belief, it trumps facts, laws, science, and truth.  As long as it's in accord with Alito's beliefs.

    Then we get some new rules, followed by a new test case, followed by another 5 to 4 decision.

    And so on, and so on...

  •  Hobby Lobby got something much bigger.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward, enhydra lutris

    ... the ability to declare a "corporate" religion and opt out of fed law as a result.

    Ignore reality. Create your own.

    by sworddance on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:46:40 PM PDT

  •  Excellent work around (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward

    Shift the burden to the taxpayers where it belongs.


  •  Next step is to put all women's care (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    under the federal government. Then we can start working on single-payer. Little bit by little bit, opinions are eroding! I just saw a Yahoo news article (typically right-wing) blaming the Cubs for poor business practices by sending their employees home early so they wouldn't have to pay health insurance. Yay.

    I see you drivin' 'round town with the girl I love / And I'm like / Please proceed, Governor. - Dave Itzkoff

    by Jensequitur on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:51:59 PM PDT

  •  When are these fools... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zizi, tekno2600

    going to wake up and realize that they have neither the stamina, nor the smarts to defeat President Obama?
    Not to mention the fact that he has what is Just on his side.
    While all they get is the short-lived empty calorie high they get  from stroking their bibles.

    "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin-- -6.75, -5.78

    by kevinbr38 on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:52:47 PM PDT

    •  They actually... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Victor Ward

      ...have a big advantage over Obama - time.

      Obviously Obama won't have any say about governance in about 29 months - and we don't know who will after that.

      If mid-terms don't turn out well, he will probably be forced to overturn many of his executive orders/policies in order to keep from being viewed as obstructionist by vetoing every bill that comes his way because they have an "undo" of something in them. Any bill that gets to his desk that is needed to keep important government programs running he will pretty much have to sign -- else his rhetoric about the House being obstructionist when they didn't go along with the other two components of the legislative process will be thrown back in his face.

      It all depends on two key elections in the next 27 months.

  •  Just a lot of curiosity here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward

    I have read a lot from both left-leaning and right-leaning sources about how many different kinds of birth control Hobby Lobby insurance offers its employees.  I don't know what is true, what isn't true.  I sometimes wonder why there is so much being presented against Hobby Lobby because they're only against certain kinds of birth control devices/methods.

    Does anyone here have something solid and true about this?  Just what does Hobby Lobby insurance cover and just what doesn't it cover?


    •  Oh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Victor Ward

      And, I'm not talking about opinion...I'm talking about ACTUAL facts about which kinds of "protection" Hobby Lobby is for and against.


      •  I won't get a response here because.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Hobby Lobby insurance supplies contraceptives to women for all but 4 of the "accepted" contraceptives in the U.S....and those four are so-called contraceptives that are like the "morning after pill" that stop a pregnancy after the sperm has entered the egg and to many religious people (both conservative and liberal), that is the moment of conception and the moment of "life".  

        Otherwise, Hobby Lobby insurance covers "the pill" and IUD's and everything EXCEPT the 4 methods that stop the sperm/egg interaction from happening.


        •  Actually, you did get an answer (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          from SpringHopeCarolina. It's the second post down from your original post.

          You don't see a problem with your employer being allowed to pick and choose? There are people who believe that blood transfusions are wrong, that any type of medical intervention whatsoever is wrong...

          Remember, Hobby Lobby is a LLC, a limited liability company. What that means is that the owners are insulated from the actions of the company - they can't be personally sued. They as individuals are separate from the company as an entity.

          So, the issue is that the Hobby Lobby owners are trying to have it both ways - on the one hand they can't be sued because they're not personally responsible for the company, they aren't the company, but oh, on the other hand, if the company provides insurance that covers specific birth control methods that the owners have a personal issue with, then it's okay for the owners to say that the company shouldn't have to provide that insurance coverage because it's against the owners' personal beliefs. See the disconnect?

        •  Doctors and patients make (0+ / 0-)

          healthcare decisions, not the patients employer.

  •  Issued on a Friday. News dump or eye poke? (0+ / 0-)

    Will Republicans and their allies just ignore this rule change made on a Friday as something they'll pick up next week if their base notices or will it be the issue they want to talk about on Sunday?

    I'll be curious to see which way this goes. Either way, I don't see it as a negative for the WH. If they ignore it, it goes into effect with no murmur. If they rile the base, it's another reason to impeach, which we can all say, "Proceed."

  •  They object to types of contraceptives that they (0+ / 0-)

    think are abortifacient. However, their objection is based on belief (like creationism), instead of science (like evolution).

    The types, I believe they consider "immoral" are the IUD, the implant, and the two types of "morning after" pills. (RU486 is used to medically terminate pregnancy, it is therefore, not a contraceptive, and is not included in the list).

    The AMA and American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists disagree with the Greens... But what do they know

    The rest of the world is laughing as the Supreme Court ignores the truth, the science, and the doctors who were educated to provide care, and sides with religious extremists (and they are) which results in obstructing women's access to healthcare.

    "The devil can quote Scripture to serve his own purposes."

    by SpringHopeCarolina on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:37:04 PM PDT

  •  . (0+ / 0-)
  •  Good news for some, but bad for the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    nation and the rule of law; providing yet another affirmation that religionistas are above the law.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 04:47:33 PM PDT

  •  what employer financial involvement? (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, but there never was any financial involvement from the employer in the first place, any more than there's financial involvement from the employer when I go and spend my hard-earned money on a pack of bubble gum. An insurance policy is compensation like any other, and once I've put in the hours, I've earned it.

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