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War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

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  • #16
    Re: War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

    The match that started this blaze was the government mandating the Catholic institutions to provide medical insurance policies that cover birth control and sterilization procedures.

    Disregard whether the mandate is good or bad thing in and of itself and answer this question: Is the mandate a violation of the Catholic institution's constitutional rights?

    I think the answer is an easy one and it's a "yes".

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

      Originally posted by solitas777 View Post
      Men have been getting screwed by the system for a long time. Who is most likely to pay alimony?
      Who is most likely to be raising the kids on their own?
      What sex is more likely to be falsely accused of hitting their significant other and being thrown out of their home without a fair trial?
      Who is most likely to be beaten by their spouse?


      Poor, poor men. We're so disadvantaged.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

        98% of Catholics use contraception.

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

          Non-sequiteur. The issue is the Free Exercise clause of the Constitution, not whether Catholics are following church doctrine.
          Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

            Originally posted by Thailandnotes View Post
            98% of Catholics use contraception.
            That statistic has been widely quoted, and it is accurate, but it doesnít mean that 98% are using contraception today.

            More precisely, a recent survey found that among Catholic women who are sexually active (not pregnant, not post-partum or trying to get pregnant) 68 percent are using highly effective methods of birth control:
            ____ 32 percent sterilization
            ____ 31 percent pill
            ____ five percent IUD.

            Two percent were using natural family planning. 11 percent used nothing, even though they were not trying to get pregnant.

            The data are from an April 2011 study called "Countering Conventional Wisdom: New Evidence on Religion and Contraceptive Use," from the Guttmacher Institute. It is based on a 2006-2008 national survey, relying on in-person interviews with 7,356 women aged 15 to 44.

            The 98% figure is from the same survey, and what itís saying is, 98% of Catholic women have used some method of birth control that wasnít natural family planning, at some point in their lives.

            For the source of these statistics, plus many more details,
            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...eqIR_blog.html

            Garry Wills, in his book "Why I Am a Catholic" quotes similar though not identical statistics, and says that he, and many other Catholics "do not conform... to what the Vatican was demanding, yet without any feeling of being a bad Catholic... [Catholics who use contraception] have reached their position conscientiously. In this way, they are witnesses to the lived faith of the church." Thatís from the chapter called "Vatican II."

            The book includes a section on Wills' personal experience as a Catholic (as a young man he was a Jesuit, studying to become a priest) as well as an overview of church history, from Peter/Paul to Vatican II. For someone like myself (I'm not a Catholic) it is an eye-opening introduction to the range of views within Catholic thought today, and the historical processes behind those views.
            If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will.

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

              Originally posted by Master Shake View Post
              Non-sequiteur. The issue is the Free Exercise clause of the Constitution, not whether Catholics are following church doctrine.

              Does the Free Exercise clause apply to organizations (such as Catholic universities) or to individuals (such as employees of those organizations)?
              If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

                Originally posted by Ellen Z View Post
                Does the Free Exercise clause apply to organizations (such as Catholic universities) or to individuals (such as employees of those organizations)?
                I think the recent Supreme Court decision in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC would indicate that it applies to both.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

                  Originally posted by BigBagel View Post
                  The match that started this blaze was the government mandating the Catholic institutions to provide medical insurance policies that cover birth control and sterilization procedures.

                  Disregard whether the mandate is good or bad thing in and of itself and answer this question: Is the mandate a violation of the Catholic institution's constitutional rights?

                  I think the answer is an easy one and it's a "yes".
                  The whole problem's the mandate thing.

                  That's what landed the law in the Supreme Court (arguments start 3/26 - should be a wild ride).

                  The way at least the Boston Diocese handles health insurance is to take a standard Tufts plan and put a rider in at the end saying it doesn't cover vasectomies, oral contraceptives, abortion, infertility treatments, etc. Out of all these things, contraceptives are the only thing they can't have on the list any more from how the law would come down. In truth, I can imagine a room where this was being decided and nobody even thinking that contraception would be controversial. It could easily happen. Nobody was going to make that mistake with sex-changes or abortion. But even after all the years of Catholic schooling beat into me, I really might not have remembered that contraception is controversial to some.

                  Regardless, the problem lies in mandating that people and organizations buy healthcare. The problem is that it's all stick and no carrot. It's exactly what Hillary campaigned for, and exactly the opposite of what Obama campaigned for.

                  I personally hate the mandate. I'm glad they softened it, but it still could amount to over $2k in penalties in 2016 for not having health insurance. It's a 'poor-bastard' fee. And it leads to some strange decisions for some individuals and companies. Let's roll play it a bit.

                  Scenario 1
                  Let's say you're the sole income earner for a family of four. Say you're hauling in $40k per year working two jobs with no benefits. It's not quite enough to get by very comfortably, but too much to get government assistance. Say you don't want to dump a quarter of it into healthcare*. You get hit with a $2k fee. That is, if you do your taxes. Which you won't. Because not doing them and rolling the dice might save you $2k. Getting $2k for not filling out a form sounds awfully tempting. Lots of people will do it. Your neighbor did it. Why not you...

                  Scenario 2
                  Let's say you're running a company with over 50 employees that isn't lucky enough to be exempted like MickeyD's and Aetna. You have to provide health insurance now. Okay. That's pricy. Say you have 51 employees. There's an easy fix here. Change the tax forms so now you have 49 employees and 2 independent contractors. No health insurance. Problem solved. Actually, those independent contractors are nice you realize. You don't have to pay TDI or payroll taxes or workman's comp on them. Maybe more employees should become independent contractors you think...

                  Scenario 3

                  Let's say you're a ranking state legislator in our statehouse. You're mandated by federal law to go out and get everyone on Medicaid. Medicaid's already a quarter of your state's total spending and growing. It's costing $2k per capita per year just to keep it up. You need to balance your budget every year. You need to raise taxes to do this and still afford the additional Medicaid load, which would make Medicaid eat 35% of your budget instead of 25%. But you know you'll get voted out if you raise taxes in this environment. So you do the only logical thing left to do. You starve your health and human services budget. Short change them so they have to close the offices on Fridays and weekday afternoons. Overtly say that you're 'trying to comply' with the mandate, while making it increasingly more difficult to sign up for Medicaid on the ground. Actually, that's an easy way to cut taxes, comply with mandates and advance your career. Just de-fund government service delivery and everything gets cheaper. "Maybe I could pass a law to furlough all employees on Fridays," you think...

                  Scenario 4
                  Let's say you're a union worker, maybe a teacher just starting out, an individual with no family. You took a job where the union negotiated a lot of your compensation into benefits. You're only taking home about $400/wk, but your health insurance plan is pretty nice - it's worth $12k. All of the sudden in 2014 now it's a 'cadillac plan.' It gets hit with a 40% excise tax. You owe the government big at tax time. That is, if you do your taxes and report the cost of your health plan right. But you could leave that number out of the box on the tax form. I mean, you've left that box empty before and nothing was wrong with it, right? Turbotax is telling you you will owe thousands if you fill that box in. Maybe you're just doing it wrong. It can't be right that you'd owe that much. Usually you get money back at tax time. You just leave the box blank...


                  What bothers me, and what I tried to make clear, is that the mandate provides all these incentives to do things off the books. Especially as it isn't funded. It's going to fuel the fire of an underground economy. It's going to fuel lies. And the people playing by the rules (I'm thinking of flintlock here), are just going to be so much more expensive because of it, that there will always be work for these underground folk. The legislators being honest are going to get voted out. You just functionally put a $2,000 price sticker on what a lot of people will see as a 'little white lie.'

                  Not smart.




                  *"Bronze level" bottom-of-the-barrel plans start around $12k/yr. There is some 8% of your total income for healthcare exemption nonesense that's hard to figure out how it would be calculated. It might make the mandate not so bad as it's presented here. Theoretically if you have to pay over 8% pre-tax of everything you make towards healthcare, non-inclusive of employer contributions, co-pays, employer-employee premium sharing, etc. then the mandate fee isn't supposed to apply to you. But ignore that for these purposes. I'm assuming people will be scared enough of the fee they won't risk it. And I can see H&R Block screwing this one up pretty seriously.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

                    One of the fundamental tools of minority divide-and-conquer rule is controlling women. Their reproduction choices, attire, worker/career opportunities, political participation, etc. It's as old as one class ruling over the rest and is historically ramped up in times of stress to those in charge. Keep 'em busy, keep 'em distracted. The rest is the how-to details . . .

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

                      Originally posted by Ellen Z View Post
                      Does the Free Exercise clause apply to organizations (such as Catholic universities) or to individuals (such as employees of those organizations)?
                      As JiimBergin said, I believe it applies to both. Why?
                      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

                        Originally Posted by Ellen Z
                        Does the Free Exercise clause apply to organizations (such as Catholic universities) or to individuals (such as employees of those organizations)?

                        Originally posted by Master Shake View Post
                        As JiimBergin said, I believe it applies to both. Why?
                        One of the interesting recurring problems in practical politics is looking at basic principles, and then figuring out how to apply them in real life... where principles often conflict with each other.

                        I agree that it applies to both, and in my eyes there's a practical conflict between the right of the Catholic university to say "we find contraception morally repugnant; we are opposed to it on religious principles, and we are not willing to pay for it" and the right of the individual employees to say "I need basic health insurance ... given our insurance system I have to get my insurance through my employer... and contraception is approved (even praised) by my religious principles ... my health insurance should not be limited by someone else's religious principles."

                        In this situation, the Obama administration's current position (Catholic organizations don't have to pay for contraception but their employees still have a right to get it as part of basic insurance coverage) is just the sort of messy, practical solution that our political system is designed to produce... one that leaves all participants equally disgruntled.

                        You know, it strikes me that this is one example of why it makes no sense for us to have employer-based healthcare insurance. It's purely a historical accident. During world war two, there were wage controls, and labor was scarce (everyone was away in the war) so employers started to compete by offering health insurance benefits to attract workers.

                        Nowadays, it has negative side effects:
                        ___ people stay with jobs they hate, they don't start a business they would like to start, because their healthcare insurance is tied to their job
                        ___ when you get a serious illness you lose your job, and therefore lose your health insurance just when you need it most. (Since 1986, there is COBRA coverage, which lasts I think for 18 months after you lose your job, but it is very expensive.)
                        If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

                          Originally posted by Master Shake View Post
                          ...The issue is the Free Exercise clause of the Constitution, not whether Catholics are following church doctrine.
                          Many church-goers believe "Thou shall not kill" but cannot avoid contributing to the military; they are compelled to support war with their tax dollars.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

                            The issue is not small potatoes, affecting only a few people.
                            In the state of Ohio in 2009, the 4th largest employer was Catholic Healthcare Partneres, employing 28,200 people in their hospitals and clinics that year, according to the Ohio Department of Development annual report http://www.development.ohio.gov/rese...B100000002.pdf
                            Still more were employed at Catholic universities like University of Dayton.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

                              Originally posted by thriftyandboringinohio View Post
                              Many church-goers believe "Thou shall not kill" but cannot avoid contributing to the military; they are compelled to support war with their tax dollars.
                              Perhaps because they are unaware that "kill" may not be an appropriate translation. "Murder" would be the correct word.
                              Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: War on Women: A Bridge Too Far?

                                Originally posted by Ellen Z View Post
                                Originally Posted by Ellen Z
                                Does the Free Exercise clause apply to organizations (such as Catholic universities) or to individuals (such as employees of those organizations)?



                                One of the interesting recurring problems in practical politics is looking at basic principles, and then figuring out how to apply them in real life... where principles often conflict with each other.

                                I agree that it applies to both, and in my eyes there's a practical conflict between the right of the Catholic university to say "we find contraception morally repugnant; we are opposed to it on religious principles, and we are not willing to pay for it" and the right of the individual employees to say "I need basic health insurance ... given our insurance system I have to get my insurance through my employer... and contraception is approved (even praised) by my religious principles ... my health insurance should not be limited by someone else's religious principles."

                                In this situation, the Obama administration's current position (Catholic organizations don't have to pay for contraception but their employees still have a right to get it as part of basic insurance coverage) is just the sort of messy, practical solution that our political system is designed to produce... one that leaves all participants equally disgruntled.

                                You know, it strikes me that this is one example of why it makes no sense for us to have employer-based healthcare insurance. It's purely a historical accident. During world war two, there were wage controls, and labor was scarce (everyone was away in the war) so employers started to compete by offering health insurance benefits to attract workers.

                                Nowadays, it has negative side effects:
                                ___ people stay with jobs they hate, they don't start a business they would like to start, because their healthcare insurance is tied to their job
                                ___ when you get a serious illness you lose your job, and therefore lose your health insurance just when you need it most. (Since 1986, there is COBRA coverage, which lasts I think for 18 months after you lose your job, but it is very expensive.)
                                What were healthcare costs like before we had insurance? Before government got involved in mandating coverage and/or service for those not covered?
                                Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho

                                Comment

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