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  1. #1501
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Yes, the language is specified in the ACA according to the SCOTUS decision. It was a big reason for the decision.
    oh... I read the opinion as "HHS hasn't proven to us that they CAN'T cover the cost... so... it fails RFRA's requirement... try again!"

  2. #1502
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    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalChaos View Post
    oh... I read the opinion as "HHS hasn't proven to us that they CAN'T cover the cost... so... it fails RFRA's requirement... try again!"
    From the Opinion, I have underlined and highlighted the important parts. "Cost sharing requirements" means out-of-pocket expense of the employee. "Ibid" means repeat the legal citation immediately prior.

    Unless an exception applies, ACA requires an employer’s group health plan or group-health-insurance coverage to furnish “preventive care and screenings” for women without “any cost sharing requirements.” 42 U. S. C. §300gg–13(a)(4). Congress itself, however, did not specify what types of preventive care must be covered. Instead, Congress authorized the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a component of HHS, to make that important and sensitive decision. Ibid. The HRSA in turn consulted the Institute of Medicine, a nonprofit group of volunteer advisers, in determining which preventive services to require. See 77 Fed. Reg. 8725–8726 (2012).

    In August 2011, based on the Institute’s recommendations, the HRSA promulgated the Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines. See id., at 8725–8726, and n. 1; online at http://hrsa.gov/womensguidelines (all Internet materials as visited June 26, 2014, and available in Clerk of Court’s case file). The Guidelines provide that nonexempt employers are generally required to provide “coverage, without cost sharing” for “[a]ll Food and Drug Administration [(FDA)] approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling.” 77 Fed. Reg. 8725 (internal quotation marks omitted). Although many of the required, FDA-approved methods of contraception work by preventing the fertilization of an egg, four of those methods (those specifically at issue in these cases) may have the effect of preventing an already fertilized egg from developing any further by inhibiting its attachment to the uterus. See Brief for HHS in No. 13–354, pp. 9–10, n. 4;6 FDA, Birth Control: Medicines to Help You.

    HHS also authorized the HRSA to establish exemptions from the contraceptive mandate for “religious employers.” 45 CFR §147.131(a). That category encompasses “churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches,” as well as “the exclusively religious activities of any religious order.” See ibid (citing 26 U. S. C. §§6033(a)(3)(A)(i), (iii)). In its Guidelines, HRSA exempted these organizations from the requirement to cover contraceptive services. See http://hrsa.gov/womensguidelines.

    In addition, HHS has effectively exempted certain religious nonprofit organizations, described under HHS regulations as “eligible organizations,” from the contraceptive mandate. See 45 CFR §147.131(b); 78 Fed. Reg. 39874 (2013). An “eligible organization” means a nonprofit organization that “holds itself out as a religious organization” and “opposes providing coverage for some or all of any contraceptive services required to be covered . . . on account of religious objections.” 45 CFR §147.131(b). To qualify for this accommodation, an employer must certify that it is such an organization. §147.131(b)(4). When a group-health-insurance issuer receives notice that one of its clients has invoked this provision, the issuer must then exclude contraceptive coverage from the employer’s plan and provide separate payments for contraceptive services for plan participants without imposing any cost-sharing requirements on the eligible organization, its insurance plan, or its employee beneficiaries. §147.131(c).8 Although this procedure requires the issuer to bear the cost of these services, HHS has determined that this obligation will not impose any net expense on issuers because its cost will be less than or equal to the cost savings resulting from the services. 78 Fed. Reg. 39877.9

    In addition to these exemptions for religious organizations, ACA exempts a great many employers from most of its coverage requirements. Employers providing “grandfathered health plans”—those that existed prior to March 23, 2010, and that have not made specified changes after that date—need not comply with many of the Act’s requirements, including the contraceptive mandate. 42 U. S. C. §§18011(a), (e). And employers with fewer than 50 employees are not required to provide health insurance at all. 26 U. S. C. §4980H(c)(2).

    All told, the contraceptive mandate “presently does not apply to tens of millions of people.” 723 F. 3d 1114, 1143 (CA10 2013). This is attributable, in large part, to grand-fathered health plans: Over one-third of the 149 million nonelderly people in America with employer-sponsored health plans were enrolled in grandfathered plans in 2013. Brief for HHS in No. 13–354, at 53; Kaiser Family Foundation & Health Research & Educational Trust, Employer Health Benefits, 2013 Annual Survey 43, 221.10 The count for employees working for firms that do not have to provide insurance at all because they employ fewer than 50 employees is 34 million workers. See The Whitehouse, Health Reform for Small Businesses: The Affordable Care Act Increases Choice and Saving Money for Small Busi- nesses 1.11
    The "accommodation" is this Opinion (they are "accommodating" the for-profit entities):

    The principal dissent identifies no reason why this accommodation would fail to protect the asserted needs of women as effectively as the contraceptive mandate, and there is none. 41 Under the accommodation, the plaintiffs’ female employees would continue to receive contraceptive coverage without cost sharing for all FDA-approved contraceptives, and they would continue to “face minimal logistical and administrative obstacles,” post, at 28 (internal quotation marks omitted), because their employers’ insurers would be responsible for providing information and coverage, see, e.g., 45 CFR §§147.131(c)–(d); cf. 26 CFR §§54.9815–2713A(b), (d). Ironically, it is the dissent’s approach that would “[i]mped[e] women’s receipt of bene- fits by ‘requiring them to take steps to learn about, and to sign up for, a new government funded and administered health benefit,’” post, at 28, because the dissent would effectively compel religious employers to drop health- insurance coverage altogether, leaving their employees to find individual plans on government-run exchanges or elsewhere. This is indeed “scarcely what Congress con- templated.” Ibid.
    Last edited by allegro; 07-02-2014 at 08:32 PM.

  3. #1503
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    From the Opinion, I have underlined and highlighted the important parts. "Cost sharing requirements" means out-of-pocket expense of the employee. "Ibid" means repeat the legal citation immediately prior.



    The "accommodation" is this Opinion (they are "accommodating" the for-profit entities):
    Thank you!
    The rhetorical debate that comes from SCOTUS is impressive. It's hard to digest, but amazing. I want to know where they get the mental energy to do that for such long periods of time every day.


    Another thing that strikes me is how many religious exceptions were made by HHS without any liberal sources freaking out over it the way they did over the much smaller hobbylobby ruling. I can't believe people are actually picketing and protesting over it.

  4. #1504
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    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalChaos View Post
    Thank you!
    The rhetorical debate that comes from SCOTUS is impressive. It's hard to digest, but amazing. I want to know where they get the mental energy to do that for such long periods of time every day.
    ALL the Opinions are like that, they're AMAZING. If you ever have the opportunity to visit a law library, DO IT, and immediately find the US Reports section and find a table and sit down and READ. It's FASCINATING to sit there and read these actual historic decisions like Roe v Wade and Brown v the Board of Education, etc. in HARD COVER books, and the Court is very careful to explain every single element. It amazes me that people seem to be so AFRAID of reading these Opinions when they're really easy to read if you overlook all those legal citations. The footnotes even explain everything!! The Opinions are MEANT to be read by ordinary American citizens, not just legal experts! But nobody bothers READING them! They just rely on idiot media people to INCORRECTLY interpret them!

  5. #1505
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    Hobby Lobby isn't a conservative victory, it's a rear-guard action

    The only reason Hobby Lobby even exists as an issue is because of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, an imperfect but important progressive victory. Hobby Lobby doesn't seek to impose its will on America, it seeks to protect itself from the American mainstream.

    On gay marriage, on pop culture, on abortion, the religious right has all but acknowledged it is a fringe ideology. It couldn't even get personhood amendment passed in Mississippi! Its agenda is now about carve-outs, preserving its own rights to discriminate and deny slut pills to its own employees and to hell with the American majority.

  6. #1506
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    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalChaos View Post
    I want to know where they get the mental energy to do that for such long periods of time every day.
    They have clerks.

  7. #1507
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    The coverage on Porcfest has been some of the most entertaining reads I've had in months.


    Guns, Weed, and Bitcoin: Among the Free Staters at Porcfest
    http://freebeacon.com/culture/guns-w...s-at-porcfest/

  8. #1508
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Hobby Lobby isn't a conservative victory, it's a rear-guard action
    The only reason Hobby Lobby even exists as an issue is because of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, an imperfect but important progressive victory. Hobby Lobby doesn't seek to impose its will on America, it seeks to protect itself from the American mainstream.

    On gay marriage, on pop culture, on abortion, the religious right has all but acknowledged it is a fringe ideology. It couldn't even get personhood amendment passed in Mississippi! Its agenda is now about carve-outs, preserving its own rights to discriminate and deny slut pills to its own employees and to hell with the American majority.
    Yea, except they aren't denying anything. The women still get exactly what everyone else is getting, HHS pays for it. HobbyLobby is simply requesting that they not be forced to pay for something.... just like HHS already granted exemptions to a shitload of other religious groups already. I don't agree with HobbyLobby but I agree with the freedom to not be forced into something you object to. It's fucking stupid that prominent religions are the only ones who get this attention though, everyone should have it. It's basically discrimination the way it is currently working.

    They should have simply tied all of ACA to the corp label. You want government-backed liability shields for your business? Well you can have it if you also pay for healthcare exactly the same way every other Corp will have to. Your option to adopt the Corp label and the attached requirements is entirely voluntary. I'd still have issues with govt meddling with the market like that, but it would be a hell of a lot more freedom oriented than the current setup. It would also force all the bullshit religious objections to weigh their "god is the highest authority" bullshit against money. I think we know where that ends

  9. #1509
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    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalChaos View Post
    Yea, except they aren't denying anything. The women still get exactly what everyone else is getting, HHS pays for it. HobbyLobby is simply requesting that they not be forced to pay for something.... just like HHS already granted exemptions to a shitload of other religious groups already. I don't agree with HobbyLobby but I agree with the freedom to not be forced into something you object to. It's fucking stupid that prominent religions are the only ones who get this attention though, everyone should have it. It's basically discrimination the way it is currently working.
    They're denying PAYING for it, but that's not the point of the article (and I think that was mostly sarcasm about the "slut pills"). I agreed at first about religious freedom, until I found out that Hobby Lobby was investing in Big Pharm companies that produce IUDs and Plan B drugs via its 401K, so this is really just about not wanting to SPEND money on it but it's okay to MAKE money on it which is bullshit. The problem is that the attorneys for the HHS should have BROUGHT THAT UP in their brief and oral arguments! Evidently, they didn't?

    The "slippery slope" was really the RFRA. Introduce mandatory birth control of any kind and it's a perfect storm.

    Anyway, the point of those articles is that the religious right really is losing its power, and that's a good thing.

  10. #1510
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    Okay, so now Wheaton College says that filling out the forms is too painful for them, and 5 of the SCOTUS justices agreed?

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/0...etail=facebook

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    Random General Headlines

    Allegro - further proof there is something odd about the hobbylobby shit. They were offering insurance that covered the "bad" contraceptives up until they decided to sue HHS
    http://www.politifact.com/punditfact...ntrol-coverag/




    And even more fuckery... Even Hillary is trying to claim that women won't get the contraception because of HobbyLobby.
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-me...sclerk-not-go/
    There is NO WAY this isn't intentional deception. Fuck these politicians and fuck the media.

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  13. #1513
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    Yeah well we definitely saw that coming.

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    http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/0...0FC05H20140707

    Our government is a fucking disgrace.

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  16. #1516
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    That isn't going to end anytime soon. This is just one of the many reasons that having the government force people to directly pay for shit is just stupid.

  17. #1517
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    This is why I love American politics. Our politicians are quite dull in comparison.

    Kentucky Senator claims that climate change is implausible because the temperature on Mars is "exactly" the same as on Earth.

    Where do you get these people?

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    "I don't think it's a very Christian thing to come in by the back door rather than the front door. ... I think the people we accept should be coming the right way and not the wrong way. ... If you pay a people-smuggler, if you jump the queue, if you take yourself and your family on a leaky boat, that's doing the wrong thing, not the right thing, and we shouldn't encourage it." - Tony Abbott (Australian Prime Wanker).

    This is an well written opinion piece (by Julian Burnside) about the above comment made by our Prime Minister on the issue of asylum seekers entering Australia "illegally". I am quite disgusted by this Christian imposing his wild beliefs on the country as if it's how we all feel. Ugh.

  19. #1519
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deepvoid View Post
    This is why I love American politics. Our politicians are quite dull in comparison.

    Kentucky Senator claims that climate change is implausible because the temperature on Mars is "exactly" the same as on Earth.

    Where do you get these people?
    Have you already forgotten Jean Chrétien ?

    A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven.
    And my favorite (sorry for those who don't speak French; you're missing out on the hilarity)

    Pourquoi acheter des carabines à répétition et de l'armement nucléaire pour s'amuser? C'est dangereux! Et quand c'est dans la maison, ben y peut y avoir un enfant qui se sert de ça

  20. #1520
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    Yes!! I remember this one! haha
    I agree that Chrétien provided us with some gems!

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    All this news about Central American children coming into the States reinforces my belief that racism against Hispanics is very real, which, being a Hispanic myself, pisses me off to no end.

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    So sad about Malaysia Airlines again.

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    This poor lady: In an almost incomprehensible twist of fate, an Australian woman who lost her brother in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 learned on Friday that her stepdaughter was on the plane shot down over Ukraine.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/18/kaylene-mann-malaysia-airlines-disasters_n_5598644.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg0000006 3

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/crash...718-zuaw3.html
    "About 100 of the 298 people killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash were heading to Melbourne for a major AIDS conference"
    Last edited by Sarah K; 07-18-2014 at 11:44 AM.

  27. #1527
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    That's so terrible. I just find it incomprehensible for someone to shoot down a plane like that. I don't get what there was to gain from such a tragedy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charmingly Miserable View Post
    That's so terrible. I just find it incomprehensible for someone to shoot down a plane like that. I don't get what there was to gain from such a tragedy.
    Agreed, but in this case, the gain appears to be a possibly wider coalition of nations condemning Russia.

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    Yep. Knew a guy who did that on skype. Did it with a few girls, though. Needless to say, he's doing time.

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