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The recent cases tried are about companies having religious freedom. The court ruled they do. I disagree with that ruling. Corporation and companies do not have consciences. They do not worship God. To do otherwise on these rulings, particularly in the cases involved, would also give companies a line-item veto on federal law.

 

You can argue that the health insurance requirements under federal law are excessive. The proper challenge to that is a legislative one. You should not be able to selectively overrule individual points of a federal mandate because your company does not want to follow federal law. I also find the attempt to create religious exemptions distasteful and controlling on the part of employers. The company provides health insurance as part of an employment package. It is a form of payment to the employee. The employee pays part of it and the company pays part and then the employer should be hands off. That health insurance then belongs to the employee to do with it as they choose. If they want to get birth control why should the employer get a say? It is not theirs. They are not choosing to violate their conscience. It is the employee's compensation to do with as they choose. Would we be equally okay with employers putting restrictions on what employees could buy with their paychecks which are also part of their compensation? Should they be disallowed from spending it on things that violate the "conscience" of their employers?

 

I am also cynical enough to suspect that it is not really an issue of conscience. I suspect it is economics. If employers can line-item veto federal laws mandating employee benefits they can get lower cost plans and spend less money.

 

It will be interesting to see how this goes once a company owned by a Jehovah's Witness gets an insurance plan that does not cover blood transfusions.

 

Agreed. I would like to disconnect employment from medical insurance.

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Agreed. I would like to disconnect employment from medical insurance.

 

I would like to get rid of medical insurance in general. It is one of the biggest consumers of health care dollars but produces no actual health care. It is a relatively small piece of the pie but starting there we can move on to other things to lower costs.

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The recent cases tried are about companies having religious freedom. The court ruled they do. I disagree with that ruling. Corporation and companies do not have consciences. They do not worship God. To do otherwise on these rulings, particularly in the cases involved, would also give companies a line-item veto on federal law.

I disagree with you. Corporations and companies are artificial creations, of course, and are legal fictions, but corporations and companies are expressions of flesh-and-blood people, and the right of conscience that those people enjoy must necessarily find expression in their constructs as well.

I am the managing member of a Limited Liability Company. My LLC does not have a brain, nor free will, nor any opinions, except as it finds those expressions through me. If my LLC is forced to do that which is against my conscience, or if it may not express its opinion as a "person", then my rights ARE being violated. Because I am the LLC, in effect. As well as the other member-owners of the LLC. Our consensus is what drives the company. Our consensus is the company. And we are all human beings.  Our rights as human beings are also in our company.

 

For example, if my company has an employee who wishes to have an elective abortion, to force the company to pay for it is to force ME to pay for something that I in my natural person would be a violation of my religious beliefs.  This is because I am in control, as a flesh and blood person, of the fictitious entity through which I express my economic aspirations.  To force my extension to do something against my conscience is to force ME to do something against it.

Edited by Stargazer

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I would like to get rid of medical insurance in general. It is one of the biggest consumers of health care dollars but produces no actual health care. It is a relatively small piece of the pie but starting there we can move on to other things to lower costs.

 

I agree with you on this.  We would all be better off if were to pay for normal medical costs out of our own pockets, and reserve insurance only for catastrophic illnesses.

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I disagree with you. Corporations and companies are artificial creations, of course, and are legal fictions, but corporations and companies are expressions of flesh-and-blood people, and the right of conscience that those people enjoy must necessarily find expression in their constructs as well.

I am the managing member of a Limited Liability Company. My LLC does not have a brain, nor free will, nor any opinions, except as it finds those expressions through me. If my LLC is forced to do that which is against my conscience, or if it may not express its opinion as a "person", then my rights ARE being violated. Because I am the LLC, in effect. As well as the other member-owners of the LLC. Our consensus is what drives the company. Our consensus is the company. And we are all human beings.  Our rights as human beings are also in our company.

 

For example, if my company has an employee who wishes to have an elective abortion, to force the company to pay for it is to force ME to pay for something that I in my natural person would be a violation of my religious beliefs.  This is because I am in control, as a flesh and blood person, of the fictitious entity through which I express my economic aspirations.  To force my extension to do something against my conscience is to force ME to do something against it.

 

That is what I object to. You provide compensation. It should be thought of as THEIR compensation and if an elective abortion is sought it is THEIR use of THEIR compensation. It has nothing to do with you at that point. Do you object to this same person using their paycheck that you pay to go to a strip club? Is that also a violation of your religious beliefs? Companies have delusions of grandeur as to what they should be allowed to control.

 

 

I agree with you on this.  We would all be better off if were to pay for normal medical costs out of our own pockets, and reserve insurance only for catastrophic illnesses.

 

I would prefer a social safety net that if medical costs for an individual or family exceed a certain percentage of their income the government will step in to help. Either that or universal healthcare, preferably a British-type system where there is also a private system for use by those who desire it.

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That is what I object to. You provide compensation. It should be thought of as THEIR compensation and if an elective abortion is sought it is THEIR use of THEIR compensation. It has nothing to do with you at that point. Do you object to this same person using their paycheck that you pay to go to a strip club? Is that also a violation of your religious beliefs? Companies have delusions of grandeur as to what they should be allowed to control.

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As opposed to the government?  For example, by telling an employer how he must compensate his employees, not merely how much?
 
Or as opposed to your telling an employer how he should think in matters that concern his deeply held religious convictions  -- especially if his religious beliefs are not your own? 
 
You really do not see a difference between giving an employee money and, say, giving him a discount card to a strip club? 

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I agree with you on this.  We would all be better off if were to pay for normal medical costs out of our own pockets, and reserve insurance only for catastrophic illnesses.

 

Not so good of an idea. Much better to fix a problem before it becomes more serious. A good doctors visit can charge around $100, and even a one day stay stay in can easily cost $1600+. Add in that you'll loose at least one days work. Without insurance you're Sorry Outa. Luck.

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As opposed to the government?  For example, by telling an employer how he must compensate his employees, not merely how much?
 
Or as opposed to your telling an employer how he should think in matters that concern his deeply held religious convictions  -- especially if his religious beliefs are not your own? 
 
You really do not see a difference between giving an employee money and, say, giving him a discount card to a strip club? 

 

 

The first is a legislative matter.

 

I have never done the second.

 

As to the last I do see a difference. The point I was making is that whether you compensate your employee with health insurance, money, or lapdances what they do with their compensation is THEIRS to decide. Your personal religious objection to something should not restrict their access to it whether it is a part of their insurance or what they spend their paycheck on.

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As opposed to the government?  For example, by telling an employer how he must compensate his employees, not merely how much?
 
Or as opposed to your telling an employer how he should think in matters that concern his deeply held religious convictions  -- especially if his religious beliefs are not your own? 
 
You really do not see a difference between giving an employee money and, say, giving him a discount card to a strip club? 

 

 

Absolutely let's have the government establish minimums of pay/benefits/conditions of employment. I'm all in favor of disconnecting health insurance from employment. Much better than places like Wal-mart stiffing the state for the cost of their employees care.

 

The government isn't telling any employer how to think. Only that the employer can't force his deeply held religious convictions on his/her employees.

 

The employer IS NOT GIVING his employees ANYTHING. The employees are exchanging their labor for the wages they EARN. IF the employees agree to a discount card at a strip club as part of their earnings. Then it really isn't any of your or my business.

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The first is a legislative matter.

 

I have never done the second.

 

As to the last I do see a difference. The point I was making is that whether you compensate your employee with health insurance, money, or lapdances what they do with their compensation is THEIRS to decide. Your personal religious objection to something should not restrict their access to it whether it is a part of their insurance or what they spend their paycheck on.

Except when the government forces an employer to compensate an employee with  “government approved” insurance rather than money, the government -- not the employer -- is restricting what the employee can do with his compensation.  For example, the employee might prefer a policy that provides more coverage in some areas rather than cover any elective procedures. For that matter, he might prefer to spend the money on lap dances.  If you really believe that what employees do with their compensation should be THEIRS to decide, pay them money, not other forms of compensation.      

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Absolutely let's have the government establish minimums of pay/benefits/conditions of employment. I'm all in favor of disconnecting health insurance from employment. Much better than places like Wal-mart stiffing the state for the cost of their employees care.

 

The government isn't telling any employer how to think. Only that the employer can't force his deeply held religious convictions on his/her employees.

 

The employer IS NOT GIVING his employees ANYTHING. The employees are exchanging their labor for the wages they EARN. IF the employees agree to a discount card at a strip club as part of their earnings. Then it really isn't any of your or my business.

 

If the employer also agrees with the discount card, I agree it is none of my business. But if the government mandates the discount card (or anything else), it is definitely my business.  
 
I agree it is wrong for an employer to force his religious convictions on his employees. But if your believe this is wrong, why is it OK for the government to do essentially the same to the employer?  And, for that matter, to those employees who may agree with their employer?  
 
I agree with you about disconnecting health insurance from employment.  Let the employers compensate their employees with a paycheck and allow the employees to buy their own insurance.  I maintained my individual catastrophic health insurance, even when employed by companies with their own health plans.  (It would have been nice if those companies had simply paid me what it cost them to insure me).  

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I have never done the second. [i.e., tell an employer how he should think in matters that concern his deeply held religious convictions] 

 

 

It sure sounded like you were when you said:
 

It should be thought of [by the employer and others] as THEIR [the employee’s] compensation and if an elective abortion is sought it is THEIR use of THEIR compensation. It has nothing to do with you [the employer] at that point. 
 
If the bracketed phrases are an inaccurate or unfair interpretation of your meaning, I apologize.  

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I would like to get rid of medical insurance in general. It is one of the biggest consumers of health care dollars but produces no actual health care. It is a relatively small piece of the pie but starting there we can move on to other things to lower costs.

America is the only civilized country which has not adopted such full coverage.  Other countries pay half the health-care dollars we do.

 

The medical insurance establishment wrote both RomneyCare and ObamaCare, and we are the worse for it.  Other countries simply ignored the medical insurance companies.  We should have listened to Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who was the only member of Congress with the right plan.  We could simply have expanded Medicare to cover everyone.

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That is what I object to. You provide compensation. It should be thought of as THEIR compensation and if an elective abortion is sought it is THEIR use of THEIR compensation. It has nothing to do with you at that point. Do you object to this same person using their paycheck that you pay to go to a strip club? Is that also a violation of your religious beliefs? Companies have delusions of grandeur as to what they should be allowed to control.

 

I provide compensation, and they may do with THEIR compensation what they will. Go to strip joints, buy the services of a prostitute, or what have you. You're right, it is none of my affair. But if were to provide medical coverage, I would only buy coverage that includes therapeutic abortion, and if they want to get an elective abortion then that they can pay for it out of their monetary compensation.

If I bought coverage that included elective abortion, then it would be ME paying for it, because it would be up to me. Just as if I were handing a gun to a known felon -- knowing what use would likely be made of it.

Of course, the Obamacare law mandates that I can only provide coverage that Obamacare approves, and since I have no choice, I am forced to pay for abortions. Since I would prefer not to do so, my decision would be to terminate medical coverage and give my employee the money that would have paid for the medical coverage. I believe the health care law has caused a lot of that already.

 

I would prefer a social safety net that if medical costs for an individual or family exceed a certain percentage of their income the government will step in to help. Either that or universal healthcare, preferably a British-type system where there is also a private system for use by those who desire it.

Well, that is exactly what Obamacare is driving at, and the law is tweaked to lead to that conclusion. The ones who put it toether aren't stupid, and they knew what they were doing. I suppose you would say that it's all good, in that case.

Edited by Stargazer

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Not so good of an idea. Much better to fix a problem before it becomes more serious. A good doctors visit can charge around $100, and even a one day stay stay in can easily cost $1600+. Add in that you'll loose at least one days work. Without insurance you're Sorry Outa. Luck.

I know. The problem is that health insurance has caused a distortion in the market. It is an economic fact that the more money is available to pay for a good, the higher the prices will go. Add to that the problem of malpractice insurance (a problem that the lawyers guild continues to exacerbate through its lobbying against any kind of meaningful tort reform), and the distortion makes a hash of the market.

When I was 20 I remember going to see a general practitioner for an ear infection and getting charged $10 for the office visit). Even allowing for inflation, that is a lot less than such a visit would cost now. It was affordable enough for me that it wasn't a burden.

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It sure sounded like you were when you said:
 
 
 
If the bracketed phrases are an inaccurate or unfair interpretation of your meaning, I apologize.  

 

 

My argument is that it is not the employer's concern and should not weight on their conscience at that point. It belongs to the employee. It cannot violate their conscience because their conscience and agency is not involved at that point. Wanting to control what your employees do with their compensation is being a busybody. If your hypersensitive conscience is offended by their actions at that point you should probably focus your conscience inward. You could probably be translated quickly at that point.

Edited by The Nehor

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I provide compensation, and they may do with THEIR compensation what they will. Go to strip joints, buy the services of a prostitute, or what have you. You're right, it is none of my affair. But if were to provide medical coverage, I would only buy coverage that includes therapeutic abortion, and if they want to get an elective abortion then that they can pay for it out of their monetary compensation.

If I bought coverage that included elective abortion, then it would be ME paying for it, because it would be up to me. Just as if I were handing a gun to a known felon -- knowing what use would likely be made of it.

Of course, the Obamacare law mandates that I can only provide coverage that Obamacare approves, and since I have no choice, I am forced to pay for abortions. Since I would prefer not to do so, my decision would be to terminate medical coverage and give my employee the money that would have paid for the medical coverage. I believe the health care law has caused a lot of that already.

 

Well, that is exactly what Obamacare is driving at, and the law is tweaked to lead to that conclusion. The ones who put it toether aren't stupid, and they knew what they were doing. I suppose you would say that it's all good, in that case.

 

I think Obamacare was an attempt to bandage the healthcare system that failed. I do not think it has done any great harm but I also do not believe provided much in the way of benefit either. More drastic action is needed.

 

I disagree again. YOU are not paying for it. The employee is. The money you pay them for benefits is part of their paycheck. It is not yours. You are not paying for the abortion. You are paying your employee and they are choosing to get an abortion.

 

If people believe that the current federal law mandating what insurance must provide is excessive then new legislation should be enacted to alter it. I just do not see it as an issue of conscience for the easily offended religious employer who imagines that the employee using benefits they earned through their own labor need employer oversight and approval.

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I think Obamacare was an attempt to bandage the healthcare system that failed. I do not think it has done any great harm but I also do not believe provided much in the way of benefit either. More drastic action is needed.

There is no way that Obamacare was an attempt that failed. And it has done harm. But this is not the place to debate this issue, so let's not discuss it further, K?

I disagree again. YOU are not paying for it. The employee is. The money you pay them for benefits is part of their paycheck. It is not yours. You are not paying for the abortion. You are paying your employee and they are choosing to get an abortion.

It is my choice as an employer to provide or not provide healthcare insurance as part of my compensation package. And prior to Obamacare, it was my choice to decide what plan, covering whatever situations/conditions I wanted to have covered, so long as I could find an insurance company which would offer what I wanted to provide. Whether or not the employee earned the insurance as part of compensation, it was always MY choice what form that insurance would take. If I provided a plan that included elective abortion, then I would be funding said abortion, because I made a choice as to what the plan covered. Go ahead and try to squirm your way out of responsibility for that -- you may think you succeed, but I am telling you that you do not. You're saying that "I earned this abortion!" I am telling you, however, that you only earned the coverage I chose to offer you, and if that coverage doesn't include elective abortions, then you didn't earn it. And because I didn't offer it, I am also not enabling it. Pay for it on your own -- then it's entirely on YOUR head. My hands are clean.

Under Obamacare, of course, all plans must include what the law says all plans must cover, and so far as I am aware, elective abortion is a required coverage item. Which is why, if I actually had employees, that I would not provide health insurance, even though I paid the employees enough to get their own private insurance. In that case, what they would buy for coverage is no longer my responsibility, nor whether they actually used that particular coverage item.

Do you know the origin of employer-funded health insurance? It began because back during WW2 when the government forbade wage increases it was a way for businesses to compete for employees. They couldn't legally offer more money, but they could offer benefits. Now that there is no such government interference, there is no need for the benefits. But they still offer them.

If people believe that the current federal law mandating what insurance must provide is excessive then new legislation should be enacted to alter it. I just do not see it as an issue of conscience for the easily offended religious employer who imagines that the employee using benefits they earned through their own labor need employer oversight and approval.

I believe I addressed this above, but the current federal law does not mandate that I provide health insurance to my employees. However, if I do, then it must meet certain government standards. Because Obamacare mandates what coverages must be offered.

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All the more reason to disconnect health insurance from employment.

 

And from Government.

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Until he whose right it is to rule and reign returns we are stuck with what we have.

 

Exactly.  And since the IRS is what we have right now, it makes sense that scientology can be a religion just like Christianity can.

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Exactly.  And since the IRS is what we have right now, it makes sense that scientology can be a religion just like Christianity can.

 

Not and hide its excesses and abuses behind religious law.

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There is no way that Obamacare was an attempt that failed. And it has done harm. But this is not the place to debate this issue, so let's not discuss it further, K?

 

So you are just going to make a blanket statement contradicting several things I said and then ask me not to say anything so your statement can stand unopposed? That sounds cowardly.

 

 

It is my choice as an employer to provide or not provide healthcare insurance as part of my compensation package. And prior to Obamacare, it was my choice to decide what plan, covering whatever situations/conditions I wanted to have covered, so long as I could find an insurance company which would offer what I wanted to provide. Whether or not the employee earned the insurance as part of compensation, it was always MY choice what form that insurance would take. If I provided a plan that included elective abortion, then I would be funding said abortion, because I made a choice as to what the plan covered. Go ahead and try to squirm your way out of responsibility for that -- you may think you succeed, but I am telling you that you do not. You're saying that "I earned this abortion!" I am telling you, however, that you only earned the coverage I chose to offer you, and if that coverage doesn't include elective abortions, then you didn't earn it. And because I didn't offer it, I am also not enabling it. Pay for it on your own -- then it's entirely on YOUR head. My hands are clean.

 

That depends on how large of an employer you are. And no, it does not follow that because you chose a plan covering an elective abortion that it is your money funding it. It does not require squirming. It requires recognition that employer control over compensation ends when it is given to the employee.

 

"You only earned what I choose to give you." is crap. I earned whatever the plan covers. You select that within the bounds of federal and state law. An obsession with the employer's hands being clean is insane. Everything is not about the employer no matter how arrogant they may be.

 

 

Under Obamacare, of course, all plans must include what the law says all plans must cover, and so far as I am aware, elective abortion is a required coverage item. Which is why, if I actually had employees, that I would not provide health insurance, even though I paid the employees enough to get their own private insurance. In that case, what they would buy for coverage is no longer my responsibility, nor whether they actually used that particular coverage item.

 

Some kinds. Some medication that can cause a spontaneous abortion or prevent conception is required to be covered. You would only have the option not to provide insurance if you have fewer than 50 employees. If you have more you would be required by law to provide insurance.

 

The big conservative stink is that the tax credits that some poorer people receive to help them pay for insurance when they cannot get a plan from their employer and make little money may include abortion and for some reason they imagine this tax credit means that their "tax dollars" are funding abortions. A weak argument but it generates misinformed outrage so our public officials are milking it for all it is worth.

 

Do you know the origin of employer-funded health insurance? It began because back during WW2 when the government forbade wage increases it was a way for businesses to compete for employees. They couldn't legally offer more money, but they could offer benefits. Now that there is no such government interference, there is no need for the benefits. But they still offer them.

 

That was one of the main drives. The relatively high taxation rates following World War II also led to hiding compensation under other benefits like company cars, club memberships, etc. Most of these exemptions were done away with when the tax rate fell which is why these kinds of non-monetary benefits have declined since the 80s.

 

The reason for the benefits is that due to the monopolization of the market and the almost requirement for people to have insurance have made private plans much more expensive then employer-provided programs due to employers having more room to bargain. If all were on the same playing field I agree with you but I have been an independent contractor and can tell you that my insurance cost much more than employer-provided programs I have had before and since even factoring in the cost my employer pays that does not appear on my paycheck but still counts to them as part of my compensation package.

 

Monopolization of healthcare is another pressing danger. Costs are rising. The United States people are being ripped off when it comes to health care.

 

 

I believe I addressed this above, but the current federal law does not mandate that I provide health insurance to my employees. However, if I do, then it must meet certain government standards. Because Obamacare mandates what coverages must be offered.

 

Again, this depends on the size of your hypothetical business.

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All the more reason to disconnect health insurance from employment.

Exactly.  Unfortunately, it will not happen.  Congress is out to lunch -- permanently.

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Exactly.  Unfortunately, it will not happen.  Congress is out to lunch -- permanently.

Actually the Republicans tried to shut down the government for a permanent lunch. It did not stick for some reason.

A parliamentary system would probably be more efficient but would lack each state having representation. I think we are better off with what we have. Congress gets a very low approval rating but studies show that most people approve of their own representatives. It is generally those other congressmen from other states that are perceived to be the problem.

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