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Congressional measures overreact to birth control policy.
Libs demand separation of church and state but are perfectly OK with the state being in the churches business. So much for the first amendment... adios freedom from a government intent on limiting our religious freedom.
If churches don't pay for the benefit, I don't see what their issue would be. They are wanting to control their female members choices, on the guise of freedom and perhaps being a big brother??? If your members follow doctrine, they will choose to follow old fashioned doctrine. The church should dictate religion, not healthcare decisions, perhaps that would reduce the abortion rates as well, furthering their own will.
The argument that the religious organizations are not ultimately paying for everything included in their health care policies is ludicrous. The insurance companies would not be quiet if the mandate to pay for medications and procedures fell on them without being able to adjust the price of their policies - which many employers pay all or a part of. In addition, not covering something in a health insurance plan does not take rights away from anybody. Individuals still have the option of doing at least two other things: 1) Get your insurance elsewhere 2) Pay for the birth control or other excluded items out of your own pocket. There is no "right" to have a group of people share the cost for anything. Insurance should be voluntary for both the company writing or sponsoring the plan and for the individual enrolling.
This is really not a religious values question. It is a question of freedom. Why should the government have the authority to define what insurance is required to cover? Where is this power enumerated in the Constitution? If I choose to offer a group insurance that does not cover port wine stain and mental health coverage, that is my choice, not the government's
Religion belongs in the sanctuary, but when you start employing people as a BUSINESS, you operate under the same rules that private, parochial or governmental business operates under. If you have a large employee group, such as a hospital or nursing home business, you'll have to employ workers who are not of your faith or religion. They have expectations to get a fair coverage, no matter whom their employer is. So, if you want to NOT cover things as a church, don't go into the BUSINESS of being a hospital or nursing home or whatever.
Ultimately this is another terrible side-effect of our short-sighted decision to tie health insurance to employers. People should be buying their own health insurance like we do auto or home-owner's insurance. Do you really think your employer cares more about your health than you do? The deduction, if any is reasonable, should only apply to personal income taxes. Instead we're going the other way and having the Federal government cover everyone and set standards for everyone. Do you really think Federal politicians or federal government bureaucrats care more about you? I don't.
"The argument that the religious organizations are not ultimately paying for everything included in their health care policies is ludicrous" .... it's also ludicrous to deny that by paying a persons salary they are ultimately paying for what that person buys with that money. So should they also be allowed to dictate that the person can't buy birth control with the salary they pay them because of their religious objection? Both situations rely on the argument that they are indirectly paying. You can't support one without supporting the other.
"Libs demand separation of church and state but are perfectly OK with the state being in the churches business." .... Churches are not the issue. They are exempt. And these bills go way beyond religious institutions. They allow any business or insurer to deny coverage of any health care service based on a moral or religious objection. Be careful what you wish for. Any religious group would be able to dictate public policy, including Islam. Or will they then have to start passing laws barring some religions? And once the government starts sanctioning some religions over others then you are violating the Constitution.
"Why should the government have the authority to define what insurance is required to cover?" .... the government already has this authority. That's why there is such discrepancy of coverage from state to state. And that's also why health statistics vary from state to state. MN is known as a very health state. We have laws that provide for broader health insurance coverage that includes many preventive services.
The congressional legislation would specifically sanction this in a deeply personal and novel way: by allowing an employer's faith to shape and likely limit employees' health care access - - - I don't see it that way. Today a self-funded outfit can choose to cover none, some or all medical benefits. Forcing a Church run charity or school to pay for birth control is what is new. Any employer has the right to drop ALL health coverage to avoid being forced to pay for benefits against its will. - - - comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
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