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Supreme Court limits birth control on religious grounds
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Posted 7/6/14 , edited 7/6/14

Bullbound wrote:

MysticGon, I think you are missing the entire point being made by BlueOni. You pay an insurance company for a medical plan whose terms and services you are aware of, then you are do have say over the terms and conditions. If you use Insurance Company ABC, pay into a general fund which is used to offset the cost of whatever plan the employee picks, then you have no control over the insurance terms and conditions. This latter example is how some companies function when they do not self-insure.

When a company says to Insurance Company ABC "We want plans 1, 2, and 3 to be available to our employees," then they have direct control over what is offered and what is not. In the current US system, contraceptives were required to be a part of those plans without exception when the company doing the choice held no legal connection to a religion. That has changed with this Supreme Court ruling.

As to what the two of you are talking about, it is similar to the state insurance systems. The state you live in has a contract with Insurance Company ABC to offer coverage to consumers who meet a minimum and maximum requirement. The state will pay Insurance Company ABC a set amount of money per person and then that person may pick from any plan offered by Insurance Company ABC. The state has no input on what is offered and what is not offered. At this point, they have paid into a general fund and relinquished all control over the terms and conditions of coverage. Some companies have a similar agreement with one or more insurance company.

*Edited to fix grammar*


Right. So I'll go with Company DEF and choose plans 1-2 because they are in line with my ideological views and ignore everything else because they aren't. It's a fundamental difference and I'm looking for a way not to pay into those plans in any way, shape or form. Thanks to the Supreme Court ruling I have that choice. It's not a matter of convenience but of perceived moral standing. I'm fundamentally against it based on what I know the drug is capable of. Do you understand?
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Posted 7/6/14 , edited 7/6/14
MysticGon, I understand you completely. But you were talking about general funds as a fictional company owner, and that is where the two ideas clashed. I can see many more companies taking the route you just described, so they can make the decisions like you are describing. The employees will take the same approaches, where they will pick companies to work for based on if they want the benefit(s) or not. It is tough to say where this will go, because these impacts are slow to develop and even harder to reverse in the long run.
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Posted 7/6/14

Bullbound wrote:

MysticGon, I understand you completely. But you were talking about general funds as a fictional company owner, and that is where the two ideas clashed. I can see many more companies taking the route you just described, so they can make the decisions like you are describing. The employees will take the same approaches, where they will pick companies to work for based on if they want the benefit(s) or not. It is tough to say where this will go, because these impacts are slow to develop and even harder to reverse in the long run.


At the risk of sounding crass, employees are easy to replace, especially in this economy. Besides, if a employee chooses to quit on moral standing it's their choice. A more responsible approach would be to opt out of the company offered plan and buy your own. If you are suggesting anything more, like an ideological divide of the country's workforce on the lines of employer, that would be in my opinion a bit far-fetched.
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Posted 7/6/14 , edited 7/6/14

MysticGon wrote:
At the risk of sounding crass, employees are easy to replace, especially in this economy. Besides, if a employee chooses to quit on moral standing it's their choice. A more responsible approach would be to opt out of the company offered plan and buy your own. If you are suggesting anything more, like an ideological divide of the country's workforce on the lines of employer, that would be in my opinion a bit far-fetched.

You are not sounding crass at all. Many economic theories and practices view employees as a resource. The US government does too if you look at their methods for predicting the economy and is one reason the unemployment benefits exist.

As for opting out of the company offered plan, how do you propose that someone with a chronic medical condition find coverage if they do so? What about those that need a benefit not included for health maintenance? The current health care systems which they would normally qualify under (SSI and ACA as examples) all require that the individual use the employer's health insurance if it is available and will not cover them unless they are ineligible for coverage. Ethics and morals are extremely strong forces in the behavior of humans universally and religion is a codification of these that some subscribe to. If the choice is to work for someone whose company espouses the same ideals as you or who espouses the opposite ideals as you, then whom would you pick to work for? Some will feel strongly enough about the issue that they will pick an employer based on such issues as those addressed in this court case. I can not say it will be the majority nor can I say it will be a notable portion, as I can not see the future.

However, we also have to wait for the lower courts to revisit the issue. This landmark case does not close the case at all, as there still has to be a ruling on the 4 methods of contraception they don't want to cover, the gag on doctors and nurses from providing education about contraceptives, and a few other stipulations. Then again, there will also be the enforcement of some of these clauses that Hobby Lobby and its co-defendants have included as restrictions in coverage which may or may not be the easiest to enforce. How do you prevent a medical professional from providing education about contraceptives (in general or in specific cases) when they may feel that not doing so would be a violation of their oaths and responsibility? The entire case is very muddy and I am very glad it isn't up to me to straighten things out.

*Edited to add clarification*
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Posted 7/6/14
That site also offers personality tests so people can diagnose their depression.

Life is all about shortcuts. I mean what can go wrong?
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Posted 7/6/14

Bullbound wrote:



There is a simple answer to that question actually. If you have a chronic disease and want Plan B but your employer doesn't offer it, you can buy your own insurance and since it's illegal for insurance companies to reject someone based on a preexisting condition that should't be a problem. Also if it has to come down to it, buy your own over the counter. My involvement stops once I choose which plans my company pays for, which I recently now have the right to do.

I just don't see a ideological war breaking out over this issue, and if it happens what would the consequences be? Forgive me, I want to pick your brain because I like the way you think...
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Posted 7/6/14

FlyinDumpling wrote:

That site also offers personality tests so people can diagnose their depression.

Life is all about shortcuts. I mean what can go wrong?


Really? You are going down the "my link is better than your's" route. Yeah okay you do that, I'll stay here.
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Posted 7/6/14

MopZ wrote:

From what I know, It's basically a much larger dosage of the monthly birth control pill, and acts to thicken the mucus layer in order to prevent fertilization of the egg. But, it doesn't abort a fetus. Plan B cannot help you if you are already pregnant.

There is this magic ulcer medication that does that (abortion) though, and it's combined with another medication when it is perscribed.
It's a problem with semantics. Contraception is not the same as abortion however people have different definitions of what abortion and pregnancy is.

From a medical point of view pregnancy begins when a fertilized egg implants into the wall of the uterus. From a pro life point of view pregnancy begins at fertilization. Abortion is a termination of pregnancy, if there wasn't pregnancy in the first place then there can't really be an abortion. However the result is based on a person's choice of definition.
Posted 7/6/14 , edited 7/6/14
Great way to control the absurd population growth. Let's see how this regulation positively effects everything.
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Posted 7/6/14

MysticGon wrote:

Really? You are going down the "my link is better than your's" route. Yeah okay you do that, I'll stay here.
Corporations

Not only are they people, but they are ill informed people whose factually incorrect beliefs must be upheld because they believe them anyways
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Posted 7/6/14 , edited 7/6/14

MysticGon wrote:
There is a simple answer to that question actually. If you have a chronic disease and want Plan B but your employer doesn't offer it, you can buy your own insurance and since it's illegal for insurance companies to reject someone based on a preexisting condition that should't be a problem. Also if it has to come down to it, buy your own over the counter. My involvement stops once I choose which plans my company pays for, which I recently now have the right to do.

I just don't see a ideological war breaking out over this issue, and if it happens what would the consequences be? Forgive me, I want to pick your brain because I like the way you think...

If only it was possible to buy privately. I suffer from a chronic condition myself, diabetes mellitus (type 1), which has an unknown cause since I was in the lowest risk category possible prior to my diagnosis at the age of 17. It is illegal for an insurance company to reject based on a pre-existing condition only if the following conditions are met; 1) The condition has been covered without interruption since the diagnosis, 2) The client has not participated in any experimental studies that may have altered the course nor severity of the condition, and 3) The plan's acceptance criteria are not based on an actuarial study. Can you guess what method is universally used for refusal of coverage?

It would be nice if those with chronic conditions could pay for health insurance coverage independently, but that is often not a realistic option. When companies do offer the coverage, they will charge an increase in premiums of up to 500% based on the actuarial risk assessment (in my state). They aren't refusing the coverage based on the pre-existing condition (technically) because they are basing the refusal based on the actuarial significant risk based on your total health. I know this sounds like a paper thin reason, but it has proven to be enough in the entirety of the USA. The other option is one where the cost of the plan is prohibitive, with the benefits being ineffective for the customer. This option means that the company pays little, but the consumer is forced to pay a larger amount than what they would most likely pay if not insured. They have to be insured though, because reason 1 up above applies to employer coverage as well and is grounds for refusal by the employer's choice of coverage if they choose to exercise that right.

Also, as a fictional company owner, you have always had the right to pick the health insurance plan(s) that you wished to offer to your employees. What happened as an effect of the Affordable Care Act is that 20 of the most commonly used contraceptive methods were required to be covered by employers unless they could claim a religious exemption. There may be a few other exceptions, but I am not aware of them nor do they seem to apply to the discussed lawsuit.

Hobby Lobby claimed that 4 of the 20 methods were a violation of their belief system, and as such they did not want to provide coverage for them. This led to a lawsuit against the US government in 2012 where they claimed that covering these 4 methods of contraception were a violation of their religious rights. They were willing to cover 16 of the 20, but it was refusal of those 4 that required they seek exemption and led to the Supreme Court case. They unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your point of view, had previously covered those 4 methods until the Affordable Care Act entered into effect.

I do not see an ideological war breaking out either, but I can see a public movement gaining traction for a small amount of time, similar to the breastfeeding "fight" that erupted around Chik-Fil-A. It became news worthy for a short time, but did anything come of it? Not really. We haven't even talked about the hormonal conditions where the contraceptives are used as a treatment and not for their labeled primary use... I am not sure how that would apply to this case.

*Edited to add the following and prevent multiple posts*

FlyinDumpling wrote:
It's a problem with semantics. Contraception is not the same as abortion however people have different definitions of what abortion and pregnancy is.

From a medical point of view pregnancy begins when a fertilized egg implants into the wall of the uterus. From a pro life point of view pregnancy begins at fertilization. Abortion is a termination of pregnancy, if there wasn't pregnancy in the first place then there can't really be an abortion. However the result is based on a person's choice of definition.

*claps for the confusion caused by language and comprehensions*
This reminds me a lot of "what is the point of fertilization" arguments or "when does a cucumber become a pickle".
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Posted 7/6/14

Bullbound wrote:



So the prohibitive price leaves you with two options. Buying you Plan B and the other 3 contraceptives yourself, or quitting your job and hopefully getting hired by someone who does offer those in your company plan, which I still think is an unnecessary risk. Even still I don't think as an employer I should be forced to do something against my views. Especially when in m view my business is a refection of me. I'm now given a choice and as a business owner that is important to me.
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Posted 7/6/14 , edited 7/6/14

MysticGon wrote:
So the prohibitive price leaves you with two options. Buying you Plan B and the other 3 contraceptives yourself, or quitting your job and hopefully getting hired by someone who does offer those in your company plan, which I still think is an unnecessary risk. Even still I don't think as an employer I should be forced to do something against my views. Especially when in m view my business is a refection of me. I'm now given a choice and as a business owner that is important to me.


Or as the employee you just never apply to the employer(s) that don't offer the treatment you seek. While it is illegal for an employer to ask about your religion, it is not illegal for the potential employee to ask about a company's religious views. Also, the issue of the 4 contraceptives is only with Hobby Lobby. This potentially opens the door for all contraceptives to be denied by a similar company. As for buying the medications/treatments your self, did you know that unapproved medical treatments which may lead to claims that would otherwise be covered can be refused? For example, some forms of contraception cause an increase in blood clotting. If someone develops a thrombus (blood clot that does not move) that requires treatment because of using an unapproved contraceptive, the insurance may refuse to cover the cost or any portion of the treatment cost. However, if someone develops a thrombus due to use of an approved medication or due to any covered reason such as sedentary lifestyle, then the treatment which may be exactly the same is covered. All the if's, and's, and but's of insurance should make any sane person's head spin in confusion in my opinion.

Also, you always had the choice as a business owner to pick and choose what is covered under your medical plan coverage within a limited scope. That has not changed, as there are some requirements which must still be met. Contraceptives have been covered for quite some length of time already, however it has only recently become an issue due to the naming of 20 specific methods of contraception that must be covered. Some organizations used to cover their preferred methods through their health insurance, but now are fighting back since they disagree with some of them. Let's add a bit more fuel to the fire...what happens when your choice of contraception methods are harmful to the employee due to adverse effects, a state of pregnancy could cause life threatening conditions, and your insurance prevents them from seeking a different method which has a high probability of being safe for them? Is it alright to place their life at risk because you don't want to cover contraception? The choice of the 20 methods is often debated, but the reason they were chosen (according to the public comments) was so there would be a variety of covered methods allowing for employees and medical professionals to choose that which would be safest, and have it covered.

*Edit: Stupid late night has my grammar all screwy. Going to sleep after fixing this post.*
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Posted 7/7/14

MysticGon wrote:


MopZ wrote:


Bear with me I'm about to get a little silly to illustrate a point. Let's say I'm a company that has religious standing against clogging toilets. I know it happens naturally and fairly often. Even though I have that knowledge I still refuse to pay for my employee's chocolax because I don't want to play a role in the toilet clogging... I hope that makes sense.


Well, I would argue that money circulates, and that it makes it impossible not to fund something like this. But, that is too complicated for this matter. Or, I could say that by paying an employee who purchases contraception is more direct than paying a third party to pay for some of it's cost in the role of the tempter. "I just wanted to help my employees with their medical expenses, and a demon possessed the doctor and tricked you you poor thing", or something like that so you can just let someone else dirty their hands. And, even if they give you different plans it doesn't mean that said insurer doesn't have a different plan that that covers it, and you can't say that doesn't also get filtered into the plan that does. I just think it would be better to think of it as a third parties own decision to help pay for it in the same way that they don't see their employees direct purchase as something they're directly and morally at fault for allowing. So, it really doesn't matter since their money could be used for contraception anyway.

TBH, it doesn't make sense to me to give exemptions for covering something that that actually has real world benefits for women and society for similar reasons that there should be no exemptions to vaccinations for preventable diseases (outside of allergies). This ruling may be turned around by the various organizations of doctors, time, bills on greater common good, or substantial public outcry (here and abroad) since much like everything, our very rights are upheld within the bounds of reason and rationality.
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Posted 7/7/14 , edited 7/7/14

Bullbound wrote:


MysticGon wrote:
So the prohibitive price leaves you with two options. Buying you Plan B and the other 3 contraceptives yourself, or quitting your job and hopefully getting hired by someone who does offer those in your company plan, which I still think is an unnecessary risk. Even still I don't think as an employer I should be forced to do something against my views. Especially when in m view my business is a refection of me. I'm now given a choice and as a business owner that is important to me.


Or as the employee you just never apply to the employer(s) that don't offer the treatment you seek. While it is illegal for an employer to ask about your religion, it is not illegal for the potential employee to ask about a company's religious views. Also, the issue of the 4 contraceptives is only with Hobby Lobby. This potentially opens the door for all contraceptives to be denied by a similar company. As for buying the medications/treatments your self, did you know that unapproved medical treatments which may lead to claims that would otherwise be covered can be refused? For example, some forms of contraception cause an increase in blood clotting. If someone develops a thrombus (blood clot that does not move) that requires treatment because of using an unapproved contraceptive, the insurance may refuse to cover the cost or any portion of the treatment cost. However, if someone develops a thrombus due to use of an approved medication or due to any covered reason such as sedentary lifestyle, then the treatment which may be exactly the same is covered. All the if's, and's, and but's of insurance should make any sane person's head spin in confusion in my opinion.

Also, you always had the choice as a business owner to pick and choose what is covered under your medical plan coverage within a limited scope. That has not changed, as there are some requirements which must still be met. Contraceptives have been covered for quite some length of time already, however it has only recently become an issue due to the naming of 20 specific methods of contraception that must be covered. Some organizations used to cover their preferred methods through their health insurance, but now are fighting back since they disagree with some of them. Let's add a bit more fuel to the fire...what happens when your choice of contraception methods are harmful to the employee due to adverse effects, a state of pregnancy could cause life threatening conditions, and your insurance prevents them from seeking a different method which has a high probability of being safe for them? Is it alright to place their life at risk because you don't want to cover contraception? The choice of the 20 methods is often debated, but the reason they were chosen (according to the public comments) was so there would be a variety of covered methods allowing for employees and medical professionals to choose that which would be safest, and have it covered.

*Edit: Stupid late night has my grammar all screwy. Going to sleep after fixing this post.*


So if some are allowed why not all? Well you draw the distinction of what it can do to a fertilized egg. It may not prevent a fertilized egg from implanting every time, but among it's other functions it can. That's where my red flags pop up and that's where I draw the line. As for the drugs become dangerous to the person taking them? As a business owner I feel no responsibility in the actions of another adult. My responsibility stops with my choosing of the group plan or the insurance I offer in house. Everything else is the responsibility of the employee. No one can force that person to do anything.


MopZ wrote:


MysticGon wrote:


MopZ wrote:


Bear with me I'm about to get a little silly to illustrate a point. Let's say I'm a company that has religious standing against clogging toilets. I know it happens naturally and fairly often. Even though I have that knowledge I still refuse to pay for my employee's chocolax because I don't want to play a role in the toilet clogging... I hope that makes sense.


Well, I would argue that money circulates, and that it makes it impossible not to fund something like this. But, that is too complicated for this matter. Or, I could say that by paying an employee who purchases contraception is more direct than paying a third party to pay for some of it's cost in the role of the tempter. "I just wanted to help my employees with their medical expenses, and a demon possessed the doctor and tricked you you poor thing", or something like that so you can just let someone else dirty their hands. And, even if they give you different plans it doesn't mean that said insurer doesn't have a different plan that that covers it, and you can't say that doesn't also get filtered into the plan that does. I just think it would be better to think of it as a third parties own decision to help pay for it in the same way that they don't see their employees direct purchase as something they're directly and morally at fault for allowing. So, it really doesn't matter since their money could be used for contraception anyway.

TBH, it doesn't make sense to me to give exemptions for covering something that that actually has real world benefits for women and society for similar reasons that there should be no exemptions to vaccinations for preventable diseases (outside of allergies). This ruling may be turned around by the various organizations of doctors, time, bills on greater common good, or substantial public outcry (here and abroad) since much like everything, our very rights are upheld within the bounds of reason and rationality.


So you think it's wrong and that it will be overturned. I disagree and hope it isn't. As a business owner I shouldn't be forced to do something I feel is wrong. What the employee does with their salary isn't something that will keep me up at night. I have no control over it. What the insurance company does with my company's money won't keep me up at night. I have no control over that either. But I will make decisions based on what I do have control over and not worry about anything else.
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