Supreme Court will review health law's provision on insurance for contraceptives

  • Article by: MARK SHERMAN , Associated Press
  • Updated: November 26, 2013 - 3:05 PM

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to referee another dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law: whether businesses may use religious objections to escape a requirement to cover birth control for employees.

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ericgus55Nov. 26, 13 7:29 AM

This definitely has the potential to open the floodgates, because there are lots of religions with more extreme beliefs than Christians (Catholics, specifically). For instance, if Hobby Lobby (owned by Christians) can refuse to grant insurance coverage for birth control, what would prevent a business owned by a Scientologist to refuse coverage for an employee's child's ADHD? Could a business owned by a believer in Christian Science refuse to cover ALL medical care? Personally, since I'm not a fan of employment-based coverage (prefer single-payer), I would be okay with a ruling which allowed exemptions, because it would spell the end of the entire system. For instance, one could start the religion of "Business Practicology" which believes that all medical care, maternity leave, and other worker protections/benefits are morally wrong - and nothing could stop any business owner (or corporation itself, since they are legally 'persons') from 'converting' and demanding their 'religion' be honored. Be careful what you wish for, because then everyone else can get it, too, and they might be crazier than you.

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herro002Nov. 26, 13 7:48 AM

It's not any of the employer's business what health care choices employees use within the insurance plan. Do these religious outfits also have objections to genetic tests or transplants? Shouldn't the burden be on the employer to screen all job applicants by asking if they use contraception instead of trying to evade the coverage?

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jpjc54Nov. 26, 13 9:45 AM

The government has dictated what must be in an insurance policy to drive up premiums to fund the "affordable health care law". This is a form of extortion.

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alr213Nov. 26, 13 9:56 AM

If you don't like the policy that your employer offers, go buy one on the "exchanges" that suits your needs.

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paulskiNov. 26, 1311:42 AM

air213, check the law. if your employer offers ins, you can't go to the exchange

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decembersueNov. 26, 1311:44 AM

Jehovah's Witnesses don't allow blood transfusions. Do we really want to go there? One of the major tenants of obamacare is that people don't get to call things "insurance" if they're not really insurance. Don't want to offer real insurance? Then don't, pay the fine, and compete for your employees with employers who do. If that works for you, job done.

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EleanoreNov. 26, 1311:45 AM

Think about this: Private organizations are asking they be exempted from the law. This is no different than unions, congress, or any number of special interest commercial enterprises that have either been exempted by writing into the law, or miraculously exempted from this or that by the stroke of a divine pen. It makes not one bit of difference what SCOTUS says on this issue. It is a sideshow. There is only one issue that counts here and that is the legality of taking people's property to give to other private people for their personal profit. Until SCOTUS addresses that we will still be stuck with an attitude of being above the law by those trying to impose this civil rights abuse on America.

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tooty123Nov. 26, 1311:53 AM

ericgus55 stated the problem of exemptions to corporations that are NOT religious organziations very well. Are they a non-profit corporate entity? Give me a break! There are already sooo many "Churches" in the US with tax-free status that rake in millions of dollars from donations that you have to wonder about their "Christian" mission.

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mjcmspNov. 26, 1311:57 AM

"air213, check the law. if your employer offers ins, you can't go to the exchange" --- That's actually false. If your employer offers insurance you CAN go into the exchange. You are just automatically ineligible for any subsidies no matter how low your income.

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tooty123Nov. 26, 1312:00 PM

"This is no different than unions, congress, or any number of special interest commercial enterprises that have either been exempted by writing into the law, or miraculously exempted from this or that by the stroke of a divine pen." How many times do people have to tell someone that they ARE NOT exempt from the law. They were given a ONE year exemption to get their health insurance policies in line with the ACA. Should they have been given a one year exemption, in my opinion, no. They had over 3 years to plan for this but didn't do what they should have done all along. How's that for good management decisions! Oh, I thought it would be repealed, so I didn't plan for it.

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