Hobby Lobby case a slippery slope [Commentary]

Mar 30, 2014 Full story: The Baltimore Sun 63

That bit of live and let live wisdom, usually attributed -- some say misattributed -- to Oliver Wendell Holmes, provides a useful framework for considering a high profile case argued before the Supreme Court last week.

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“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

33.00, -111.51

#21 Mar 30, 2014
Fundies R Mentally illin wrote:
<quoted text>
No one asked you, cretin.
Just stfu with your inane SCOTUS analyses which are always risible.
On the contrary, not only is my SCOTUS analysis always insightful and delightful, but it is ALWAYS Fair. And Balanced.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#22 Mar 30, 2014
Chance wrote:
No, the ominous sign is that any business has to defend themselves against this kind of tyranny in the first place.
Agreed. We live in a diverse culture. But we agree to basic rules of conduct so that people with widely varying outlooks can come together and move society forward.

When one player seeks to overrule the decisions that society made for personal reasons, we are on the verge of societal decay. Actually, we're already experiencing it. And the right wing evangelicals are at fault far more than their share of the population.

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

33.00, -111.51

#23 Mar 30, 2014
nhjeff wrote:
<quoted text>
Agreed. We live in a diverse culture. But we agree to basic rules of conduct so that people with widely varying outlooks can come together and move society forward.
When one player seeks to overrule the decisions that society made for personal reasons, we are on the verge of societal decay. Actually, we're already experiencing it. And the right wing evangelicals are at fault far more than their share of the population.
No. I disagre. Whose obviously at fault is the liberals and Democrats who are trying to recreate the old Soviet union here in the U.S. by always pushing their Marxism-Stalinism on everyone and saying;: "To Hell with the U.S. Constitution !"

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#24 Mar 30, 2014
Fundies R Mentally illin wrote:
Male employees get Viagra covered by their health insurance plans, and we know that isn't all for pure health uses, but is for erectile issues.
Okay, let's get one difference out-of-the-way. Viagra is covered (or not, at the choice of the employer) with a co-pay from the employee. AHCA mandates that all insurance plans must provide a minimum amount of coverage, and that minimum includes FREE contraceptives.

Now, imagine yourself an insurance company. You offer two plans: One includes free contraceptives to women whose families are not planning to have children at this time. Another offers no coverage for contraceptives. Given the cost of pregnancy, birth, and care of children, how many unplanned children would it take to make the second plan more expensive than the first?

The fact is that the insurance industry gladly agreed to provide FREE contraceptives OUTSIDE the plans because they figured it would save them money.(That was even more important to them than setting up a fight with President Obama, which says a lot.)

So the employer isn't actually being asked to pay anything for those contraceptives. But if they're really against contraceptives and in favor of unplanned pregnancies, then let them really put their money where their morals are: Let them cover prenatal care 100%. Let them cover birth 100%. Let them cover well-baby care 100%. Let them cover illnesses of dependents 100% up to age 18.

Let's find out if they're willing to pay the costs of their personal convictions with real money.

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

33.00, -111.51

#25 Mar 30, 2014
nhjeff wrote:
<quoted text>
Okay, let's get one difference out-of-the-way. Viagra is covered (or not, at the choice of the employer) with a co-pay from the employee. AHCA mandates that all insurance plans must provide a minimum amount of coverage, and that minimum includes FREE contraceptives.
Now, imagine yourself an insurance company. You offer two plans: One includes free contraceptives to women whose families are not planning to have children at this time. Another offers no coverage for contraceptives. Given the cost of pregnancy, birth, and care of children, how many unplanned children would it take to make the second plan more expensive than the first?
The fact is that the insurance industry gladly agreed to provide FREE contraceptives OUTSIDE the plans because they figured it would save them money.(That was even more important to them than setting up a fight with President Obama, which says a lot.)
So the employer isn't actually being asked to pay anything for those contraceptives. But if they're really against contraceptives and in favor of unplanned pregnancies, then let them really put their money where their morals are: Let them cover prenatal care 100%. Let them cover birth 100%. Let them cover well-baby care 100%. Let them cover illnesses of dependents 100% up to age 18.
Let's find out if they're willing to pay the costs of their personal convictions with real money.
WHY should the government FORCE employers to provide health care to ANYONE ?! doing so VIOLATES The Bill Of Rights !

Since: Dec 08

Toronto, ON, Canada

#26 Mar 31, 2014
Rainbow Kid wrote:
<quoted text>
The employer doesn't pay for the employee's insurance
In those businesses that take it upon themselves to arrange for group insurance for their employees (to get a cheaper rate); the employees insurance cost is listed right there on his pay stub for all to see
.
The business cannot dictate how the employee uses his insurance any more than the business can dictate how the employee spends his paycheck
.
These sorts of 'Hobby Lobby' mentalities are forcing the federal government take control of the medical industry just to stop these sorts of scams and abuse rampant in the private sector
I am on your side, but you are not quite correct. Many businesses in the US subsidize employees' insurance at least partly. Here in Ontario, medical care is free but drugs are not, and many employers here provide subsidized drug coverage.

Since: Dec 08

Toronto, ON, Canada

#27 Mar 31, 2014
Fa-Foxy wrote:
<quoted text>
WHY should the government FORCE employers to provide health care to ANYONE ?! doing so VIOLATES The Bill Of Rights !
Oh, Mr. Libertarian, do you want the government to provide it instead? Or do you just want sick people who can't pay for it to die?

"Are there no workhouses?"

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#28 Mar 31, 2014
Fa-Foxy wrote:
<quoted text>
WHY should the government FORCE employers to provide health care to ANYONE ?! doing so VIOLATES The Bill Of Rights !
Agreed. Health insurance should not depend upon your employer. You should not lose health care if you lose your job. You should not have to change doctors when you change jobs. Which procedures are covered should not depend upon the whims of owners whom you've never met.

Drop the whole employer-provided insurance system. Let's go to single payer.

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

St. Louis, MO

#29 Mar 31, 2014
nhjeff wrote:
<quoted text>
Agreed. Health insurance should not depend upon your employer. You should not lose health care if you lose your job. You should not have to change doctors when you change jobs. Which procedures are covered should not depend upon the whims of owners whom you've never met.
Drop the whole employer-provided insurance system. Let's go to single payer.
Amen, brother, preach it!!!

“No Headline available”

Since: Jan 08

Defiance, Ohio

#30 Mar 31, 2014
If Hobby Lobby wins, the free exercise of religion loses.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#31 Mar 31, 2014
Rainbow Kid wrote:
<quoted text>
The employer doesn't pay for the employee's insurance
In those businesses that take it upon themselves to arrange for group insurance for their employees (to get a cheaper rate); the employees insurance cost is listed right there on his pay stub for all to see
Wow. The employer often pays the biggest portion, usually 75% of the premium.
What you see on the pay stub is the employee's portion. Companies can and do design health care insurance plans for their employees. The employee can take the insurance or not.

What will happen here is the companies that are forced to cover services that they don't want to will drop the insurance leaving employees to buy their own.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#32 Mar 31, 2014
Wondering wrote:
<quoted text>
Wow. The employer often pays the biggest portion, usually 75% of the premium.
What you see on the pay stub is the employee's portion. Companies can and do design health care insurance plans for their employees. The employee can take the insurance or not.
What will happen here is the companies that are forced to cover services that they don't want to will drop the insurance leaving employees to buy their own.
So what's the difference whether the company subsidizes a captive insurance plan, or if they increase the employee's pay and allow the employee to purchase any type of insurance they want? Either way, it's part of the pay package. And the employer generally doesn't have the right to impose his religious beliefs on the employee's personal choices.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#33 Mar 31, 2014
Fundies R Mentally illin wrote:
Male employees get Viagra covered by their health insurance plans, and we know that isn't all for pure health uses, but is for erectile issues.
Wow. Erectile dysfunction IS a health care issue.
Contraception is not but some types can lead to health care issues.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#34 Mar 31, 2014
nhjeff wrote:
<quoted text>
So what's the difference whether the company subsidizes a captive insurance plan, or if they increase the employee's pay and allow the employee to purchase any type of insurance they want? Either way, it's part of the pay package. And the employer generally doesn't have the right to impose his religious beliefs on the employee's personal choices.
You should do a little research before you post.
Who says they will increase the employee's pay?
Many companies are self insured, they tell the employee what they will pay for and what they won't pay for.
Many companies have dropped the family plans, they will only cover the employee.
Other large companies have stopped covering part time employees (less than 30 hours per week) and they have reduced hours of many full time employees to get them into that status.
I could go on and on here, it isn't as simple as you'd like to think.

Since: Dec 08

El Paso, TX

#35 Mar 31, 2014
Fa-Foxy wrote:
<quoted text>
WHY should the government FORCE employers to provide health care to ANYONE ?! doing so VIOLATES The Bill Of Rights !
Says the guy on Medicare who tries to get himself involved in his doctors billing problems.

“Equality First”

Since: Jan 09

St. Louis, MO

#36 Mar 31, 2014
TomInElPaso wrote:
<quoted text>
Says the guy on Medicare who tries to get himself involved in his doctors billing problems.
He's on Medicare??? But......but......but I thought he was totally, adamantly, and unequivocally against Socialism. Imagine that. I guess there is something new under the Sun.

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#37 Mar 31, 2014
Wondering wrote:
<quoted text>
You should do a little research before you post.
Who says they will increase the employee's pay?
Many companies are self insured, they tell the employee what they will pay for and what they won't pay for.
Many companies have dropped the family plans, they will only cover the employee.
Other large companies have stopped covering part time employees (less than 30 hours per week) and they have reduced hours of many full time employees to get them into that status.
I could go on and on here, it isn't as simple as you'd like to think.
I am well aware how employer-provided medical insurance works. It originated during WWII when wage controls prevented companies from increasing pay. With an increasing portion of the workforce employed by the armed forces and the defense industry, private companies needed incentives to attract and retain employees. That's when employer-provided health care originated, and we've been stuck with it ever since.

My point is that the health care is part of the compensation package. Other things being equal, a potential employee will choose an employer who provides health care over one who doesn't. Therefore, companies that don't provide health care must compensate the employee in some other way, or rely on employees who can't get any other job.

Of course, Hobby Lobby can cancel their health care plan without increasing employee pay. If you listen to any of the conservative rhetoric, though, they all insist that the employee should have the choice in the form of compensation and assume that health care savings would be passed on to employees. I have strong doubts about their claims.

Nevertheless, such a move would be poor for employee morale. Otherwise, more companies would have done it. The bottom line is that Hobby Lobby includes in its employment package a provision that the employee cannot choose a health care plan that includes free contraception. There is no good reason for the employer to impose that decision on the employee.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#38 Mar 31, 2014
nhjeff wrote:
we are on the verge of societal decay. Actually, we're already experiencing it. And the right wing evangelicals are at fault far more than their share of the population.
Same could be said for gays and HIV and syphilis. Unless you think those diseases and the way they're spread aren't part of the societal decay.
Big Boob Babe

Alpharetta, GA

#39 Mar 31, 2014
Wondering wrote:
Wow. The employer often pays the biggest portion, usually 75% of the premium.
You have been duped! Do the math (or ask a CPA)
.
The employer pays 100% of the cost of each person he employs. Want proof? Fire the employee and the employer pays 0%
.
The costs include cash; vacation; sick pay; maternity leave; business and employee insurance; company car; paid holidays; paid birthday; and any other perks that are mutually agreed upon when the employer and the employee sign the employment contract
.
The employer dupes the employee into giving back 25% disguised as an automatic 'deduction'
.
Want proof? The more the employer deducts; the less money the employee has when he cashes his check
.
Employers LOVE to employ gay people because the employer keeps 100% of the insurance money in his greedy pocket as long as Congress ignores ENDA

“ WOOF ! ”

Since: Nov 12

33.00, -111.51

#40 Mar 31, 2014
TomInElPaso wrote:
<quoted text>
Says the guy on Medicare who tries to get himself involved in his doctors billing problems.
No, I'm not on medicare. I pay a pretty penny for my health insurance.

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