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HelicopterOff Topics News & Politics › Will the President Protect Religious Rights?
12-01-2011 08:48 PM  5 years agoPost 1
Dennis (RIP)

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Will the President Protect Religious Rights?

Ericka Andersen December 1, 2011

Sometimes the White House gets the easy questions wrong. On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked about a controversial mandate stemming from Obamacare that would require religious employers to provide insurance coverage for birth control despite religious objections.

The regulation in question, released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), falls under the category of “preventative services” and would require almost all health insurance plans to cover everything from all FDA-approved contraceptives to sterilizations—without cost to the insured. The mandate includes coverage of controversial drugs like ella—which can abort an early pregnancy. Religious employers with serious moral objections to providing coverage for such services will find little help in the mandate’s narrow religious exemption. Since it was first proposed in August, the mandate has received harsh criticism with regard to its treatment of conscience rights.

It should be easy to conclude that upholding the religious rights of individuals and institutions is the optimal choice. But the White House appears bent on stifling that freedom with this mandate.

Carney assured reporters, “We want to strike the right balance between expanding coverage of preventive services and respecting religious beliefs.”

But the mandate requires religious employers to provide coverage for birth control methods that could result in abortion, a serious erosion of religious liberty in America.

Despite a religious exemption in the Obamacare HHS contraception mandate, many religious employers are not likely to get off the hook. The religious exemption is available only for organizations with a primary mission to “inculcate religious values”—which could exclude many religious service providers, among others.

But religious employers, like all Americans, won’t accept the mandate’s narrow definition for what constitutes religious exemption. As written, the religious freedom of organizations or entities with a religious affiliation that offer social services or help to people in need may not be protected.

Former Heritage research fellow Chuck Donovan noted that, though “federal law requires respect for the conscience of health care providers on many of these issues…the new HHS guidelines show disrespect for freedom of conscience.”

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health found the exemption so narrow that they held a hearing to discuss its severe threat to conscience rights. As witnesses testified, no American should be forced to choose between compromising their beliefs or obeying government regulations—and that’s exactly what this mandate would force upon religious employers.

By failing to protect the rights of these dedicated religious organizations, who often provide services without regard to the recipients’ religion, the government does a disservice to American citizens who rely on them. Religious organizations often meet crucial health care, education, and social needs in society, something the government should reward, not punish.

The uproar surrounding the mandate is heating up everywhere. Belmont Abbey, a private Catholic college in North Carolina, has partnered with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty to sue HHS over the mandate. The mandate would force the college to provide insurance plans for students and employees that cover procedures and prescriptions the college finds morally objectionable.

The Obama Administration has already pandered to the liberal, abortion-rights community on this issue, and it’s time for them to recognize this wrong choice. If Obama wants to uphold American religious liberty as it was intended, he should alter the mandate’s offensively narrow religious exemption and allow conscience rights and religious freedom to flourish.

http://blog.heritage.org/2011/12/01...=Morning%2BBell

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12-01-2011 10:59 PM  5 years agoPost 2
cvdiver

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I wonder what you would think if your employer happened to not like guns and decided that because you own guns, then you might be more liable to hurt yourself. And with that knowledge, decided that you belong in a higher risk category for insurance and either wouldn't cover you at all or told you that your insurance price would double or triple.
It could happen.

This is the same as your religious argument. Just because you work for a religious employer doesn't mean that you believe the way that they do. Should you be forced to believe the way your employer does?
You talk about employer rights, what about employee rights?
Or do you like the government meddling in your business any further?

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12-02-2011 12:57 AM  5 years agoPost 3
steve9534

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yakima, wa.

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cvdiver

Because you believe differently from your employer doesn't mean they should be legally required to pay for you to engage in whatever conduct you may choose.
FYI, employers don't set insurance rates, insurance companies do. Beyond that, having your insurance premiums increased because of whatever risky behavior you might engage in isn't equivalent to forcing someone to give you insurance for procedures they do not agree with. The argument is a non sequitor and your conclusion is not supported by the evidence given. steve.

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12-02-2011 03:29 PM  5 years agoPost 4
cvdiver

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Ok, but where do you draw the line? Why should an employer be able to have the right to decide their employee's healthcare decisions? I would say that is just a bit too intrusive. Just because you don't like something, why should you be able to impinge on my personal freedom?
I hear a lot of conservatives talking about big government this, big government that....blah blah blah. Ok, so they want less government intrusion in their lives, except when it comes to issues like abortion, reproductive rights (whatever you want to call it). I see that as a contradiction.
FYI, employers don't set insurance rates, insurance companies do. Beyond that, having your insurance premiums increased because of whatever risky behavior you might engage in isn't equivalent to forcing someone to give you insurance for procedures they do not agree with. The argument is a non sequitor and your conclusion is not supported by the evidence given. steve.
I think my argument is applicable. It has nothing to actually do with rates. But it does have something to do with an employer not wanting to provide something, it could be anything, for an employee because he doesn't personally agree with it. That would force an employee to either change his beliefs to work there or find another job. This is one of those things that has unintended consequences.

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12-02-2011 03:33 PM  5 years agoPost 5
steve9534

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yakima, wa.

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cvdiver

I would disagree that the employee has to change her beliefs. She can still go and get an abortion. The only thing that changes is that her employer is not forced to pay for it.

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12-02-2011 03:38 PM  5 years agoPost 6
steve9534

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cvdiver

I would disagree with the argument about big government intrusion also. The intrusion is that the government is now taking it on themselves to dictate what an employer has to pay for with respect to employee health plans. This involves more laws and additional enforcement efforts that would not be necessary if they just left the decision up to the employers and their employees to decide. This is larger and more intrusive government, not less.

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12-02-2011 06:01 PM  5 years agoPost 7
cvdiver

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I would seriously doubt that the government just decided that this was a problem. My bet is some stinking lobbyist has brought this around and peddled it to the legislators. Either that, or an employee or a group of employees somewhere are upset because their employer is requesting that in the insurance and are complaining to some stinking lobbyist or politician. I am guessing that the argument there is that why should my boss have control over my health choices? Or why should my boss know about my health choices.
And really, how much say do employees have in what their benefit choices are?
I am not seeing anything that the original article said about abortion. I shouldn't have put that in their, my bad. This article is just about birth control, etc. It seems that currently, elective abortion is not covered and it doesn't seem likely that it ever will be covered. By elective, I mean the girl that got pregnant accidentally and then wanted to terminate. I believe that rape, incest types are to be covered under 'obamacare', as well as probably are covered by most insurances now.

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