“The real issue is, ‘Can the government impose its religious beliefs
on employees?’”No Mr Bennet. The very basic issue is
“Why do “Conservatives” only want to obstruct and destroy, and
why can they offer NO sensible solutions to anything?Businesses have
NO business intruding into the lives of other people, INCLUDING their
employees.The Founders created the Constitution to give us good GOVERNANCE
and that is exactly what the Obama administration does. The Constitution says
nothing to suggest the Hobby Lobby can tell people what to do in their private
lives. The Hobby Lobby can abide by the law, just like everyone else.And no, a good health care law does NOT give out free money to be used at the
discretion of citizens.The ACA is about health care. It’s not
about handing out money. Why is that so hard to understand?
too little too late, but at least he represents what most Americans have
realized, the ACA is a train wreck that a blind man that couldn't hear,
smell, or think would have seen a continent away. Unfortunate, but perhaps
liberty, the Constitution, and God are making a comeback!
Well said except one key component of insurance is not being able to pick and
choose when you want insurance benefits such as pregnancy otherwise its not a
true insurance market. If people are allowed to just choose maternity coverage
when they plan on a pregnacy, the math doesn't work out. Its not cable
where you can have all la cart pricing. Ex. I predict I won't have any
orthopedic issues this year, or maybe I'll wait till I'm 65 to pick up
cardiac coverage. Hey, my blood pressure is low so I don't think I'll
have a stroke so I'll drop neurology and hypertension coverage. I'm
only prediabetic, so I won't pick up diabetes coverage for a couple years.
Why pay for that? Health issues aren't always predicable and insurance
doesn't work if people can game the system. Al la cart healthcare
wouldn;t work well. Also women would pay a lot more for coverage due to
pregnancy, higher rates for depression, etc. There does need to be a core
benefits package but I'd agree pediatric dental coverage and contraception
could be optional.
Brilliant! Is this not a marvelous idea that a vast majority in Congress could
agree on? We Americans love choice.
I think that the senator is missing the point of opposition to Hobby
Lobby's law suit.Hobby Lobby wants to tailor their employees
coverage based on the owners religious beliefs. (Although their 401K plans are
invested in pharmaceutical companies that manufacture contraceptives!)
Opposition to their claims are not based on bigotry against religion, but on the
legal can of worms it would open up if Hobby Lobby wins. Some
religious sects reject modern medicine in favor of prayer, would they be exempt
from the ACA? What about Jehovahs Witnesses, could they reject any portion of
medical coverage that has to do with blood transfusions?Why the
sudden interest in the minutia of contraception coverage? I think this whole
birth control coverage argument is an effort to weaken the dreaded Obamacare!
This opinion piece has a good point. The tax free employer provided insurance
system is a problem. It distorts everything.However, the opinion
piece is full of malarkey. There is no workable system wherein we can design a
system in which one's preferences (or lack thereof) for cafeteria style
insurance can be satisfied economically. Everyone should either have insurance
or be given insurance. We will all need to be taken care of at some point in
the future, and it is fundamentally unfair to have the rest of us pay for your
health care when you don't bother to obtain it or pay for it. Yet this simple fact, and the cogent argument fails to move the far right.
Just what planet do you live on if you expect something for nothing and expect
the rest of us to pick up the tab for your health needs? Do you really want to
establish a "let 'em bleed in the streets" mentality for those
foolish enough or poor enough to lack health coverage? Otherwise, we all end up
paying for it one way or another, and that is the crux of the matter.
When people make a spending decision with the thought in mind that a third party
will be helping them pay, they purchase more goods. With the increase in demand
come higher prices. If we want to control costs in health care, we should place
the responsibility to pay back on the consumer of the service. People tend to be
more careful with their own money.For catastrophes, there is
insurance. For our daily consumption of health care services, there is no need
for a third party to be involved -- neither employer nor government.When Congress decided a long time ago to reward employers with a tax credit
for insuring their employees, they created a market distortion. Subsequent
attempts to control health care costs have all moved in the wrong direction. Now
we have Obamacare making things worse, driving costs even higher. Single payer
won't be the answer either. Freedom is what we want.
Agreed, arod. We Americans do love choice, at least most of us, which is why it
is puzzling that we elect a government that feels the need to make our choices
for us. I wish both the government and the people recognized more fully our
innate capacity to make wise decisions and that both embraced the responsibility
to do so.
Mr. Bennett is correct! This is just more government bullying. Vote out the
Obamacare bullies in November!
The real issue is whether citizens can summon enough courage and sense of
self-worth to demand that government allow them to make their own decisions
about everything, except the basic common Constitutional provisions laid out 225
years ago. How simple can it get? How liberating! Imagine, a country where
government believes that people aren't just pawns to be played upon?
Imagine, a country where citizens were thought of as competent, capable,
thinking individuals? Wow, now that is a country I can believe in and want to
get up and go to work!
This whole flap, for most people, is more about partisanship than
"religious conviction".One must look at the bigger picture
to come to a reasonable solution. It is easy to separate out this one thing and
make a reasonable case against requiring contraception coverage.This
should be viewed more as, "do we allow each employer to pick and choose what
coverage they want offered".Think of the ramifications of that.
Should a business owner be allowed to cover only the birth of the
first child? Or deny transfusion coverage? Or deny lung cancer coverage for
smokers? Or deny aides coverage?Where does it stop?Think about what constitutions "religious conviction". Or even what
constitutes a "religion"I could probably find or invent a
religion, and pick and choose coverages based on my criteria.Lastly,
Bennett states that "They also claim it is something all of the employees
want."I am quite sure that no one said that. It would be ludicrous.
To state that "most employees want it" would certainly be true.
There is no proof that the morning after pills disrupt implantation of a
fertilized egg. The FDA literature on the possible "thinning of the lining
of the endometrium" also applies to monthly birth control pills, which Hobby
Lobby does not oppose.According to an article in the Wall Street
Journal, the Becket Fund initiated Hobby Lobby's lawsuit, ie. contacted
Hobby Lobby, informed them of the cobtraceptive mandate, and offered to
represent them in a lawsuit. The Becket Fund is now representing the Greens in
their lawsuit against the mandate. In the spirit of full
disclosure, a member of DN's editorial advisory board works for the Becket
No. The real issue is 'why do employers have anything to do with health
care'? Health care is an imperative for a healthy, functional society. It
is a condition necessary to empower people, according to the Pope. One thing is
for sure, it isn't something the average person can make a reasonable
decision for themselves on when they truly need it, nor is it something that all
but the very rich can afford on their own. And it's not a pawn in
somebody's religious agenda, that's for sure.
Hutterite. You missed the most important part of Obamacare; forcing some people
to pay higher premiums, higher co-pays and higher deductibles so a few others
can get something for nothing! Shhh, not suppose to talk about the millions of
Americans who are being forced to work for that which they will not receive so
others can receive without working! We used to call that slavery but today we
call it "social justice".
In their hatred of Obamacare (a plan with conservative origins) the Republicans
are slowly moving towards supporting a Single Payer solution (a traditionally
What an odd twist of an argument. Let's do this and be done with it.
Universal health care. Like the rest of the world. No religious
considerations. No nonsensical arguments. No twisting and turning ourselves
into pretzels. The debate over the ACA just won't go away, even though it
is a modest program in its results. I am tired of it. The GOP offers nothing,
not a thing, by way of resolution. The current system is absurd, in large part
due to the Bush medicare prescription rip-off. We are run by special interests
and paying dearly for this incredible mess of a system, and as a result,
effectively subsidizing the rest of the world. Rather than keep attacking the
ACA, why don't you actually come up with something? We get nothing,
nothing, nothing. Except more political games, intended to sow discontent in
order to acquire power, and wealth for yourselves and your associates. I have
had enough! From Bob Bennett, The DesNews, The GOP, the whole lot of you. You
serve yourselves and not the people. If you served the people, you would
actually offer something substantive of value. You don't. Just more
To GaryO,“Businesses have NO business intruding into the lives of
other people, INCLUDING their employees.”No, Bennett’s point
is that businesses should not be providing any health insurance for their
employees; the employees should buy their own. Just like we buy our own car
insurance. Since when did your boss tell you what car insurance you have to get?
BTW, Why does Obamacare fully cover even cheap contraception (which
I can afford to pay out of my pocket), but not fully cover life-saving
antibiotics?“The Founders created the Constitution to give us
good GOVERNANCE and that is exactly what the Obama administration
does.”Let’s see…targeting the IRS to
conservatives, letting people die in Benghazi and then covering it up with a lie
about a video, fast and furious, giving govt. $ to one’s pals in Solyndra
and then losing the investment, wasting other $billions and passing Obamacare in
the least transparent method possible with backroom deals and exemptions for
Obama’s friends, and then botching its rollout, and then changing the law
by presidential decree making it up as he goes…this is incompetent and
fraudulent government. Why is that so hard to understand?
Esquire. We already have single payer healthcare. Its called Medicaid and
Obamacare! Those with current healthcare insurance pays for everyone else! What
more do you want?
A point that makes sense, but that Mr. Bennett did not take far enough, is the
issue as to tax treatment of insurance premiums. The system has been that the
premiums become tax free if offered by an employer, but are not tax free if they
are otherwise. The free market solution would be to give the same tax exempt
status to all health insurance premium payments - or none at all.Part of the distortion, which Mr. Bennett points out, is that people feel like
they have been getting something at the cost of their employer, when the fact is
they have been paying for it all along.
@ Thid Barker, learn about the other systems. We don't have a single
payers system. Besides, the Bush prescription drug program is a financial
disaster for the taxpayers. Go do some research.
I agree with Mr. Bennett, as one responsible for shopping and purchasing group
health insurance for my company, I think it is crazy. I don't tell my
employees what type of car and life insurance to buy, and yet I am stuck in the
middle of personal life decisions about health and dental insurance for my
employees. Believe it or not, the owners of companies do pick the insurance
policies they agree with, because that is exactly what I do. If there were
a change in the tax code, shifting tax breaks from companies to individuals, for
health and dental insurance premiums. Our national conversation on this topic
would be wholly different.Every group of individuals has its own differing
set of priorities and beliefs. It is the freedom of association, freedom of
religion, and free speech that we inherently have in this great country. So why do we keep trying to limit these freedoms? Change the tax code, and let
each one associate how they want. Insurance for the poor, does not mean we
have to destroy our rights!
Esquire: How about this? Why is it that those who want government run
healthcare, and most everything else, can't answer the question--what about
those of us that like freedom? If you can answer that one maybe those of us who
like freedom and don't want the government telling us what we can and
can't do, we would support your idea. But, nobody can answer it--ever! No
one has an answer because I don't think they understand the concept of
freedom and what it really means. Freedom has risks and we accept that! Maybe
that's what those of you who want government in everything can't deal
with--risk! There are real consequences when you are given a choice. I like
that! I will never change. I accept the consequences of my choices! How about
you? Most of you who advocate for ACA won't even touch that question
because you don't want to deal with the answer! It's worth it! Get
in the game. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win, but either way, it is the
only way to play the game!!!!!!!
@Thid BarkerSingle payer is like Medicare. Obamacare is not single payer
at all since it involves the private marketplace.
I agree that employers should not be saddled with providing healthcare
insurance. But government, local, state and/or federal, provides for education
and why should healthcare insurance be any different? Education does not lend
itself to a private market scenario with any sense of equity and neither does
healthcare insurance. If Obamacare doesn't have the answers then take a
closer look at Romneycare. Romney seems to have been right on a lot of things so
why not consider his ideas on healthcare.
JoeBlow: "Should a business owner be allowed to cover only... Where does it
stop?"When you have real freedom, it stops when you can't
get anyone to come work for your company because the health benefits you are
offering are not what your employees want. Same way it "stops" for other
things like low wages, bad working hours, and uninteresting work.It
works just like a free consumer market where there are lots of choices and those
who build shabby or overpriced products are eliminated from the marketplace by
low sales.But a progressive system that "locks you in" to
high prices and bad options under threat of the full weight of government
control and personal mandates, is much better, right?
OK, so Senator Bennett is asking for a market solution to health care.
Individuals and families buy their own health insurance. But we know such will
price at least half of the population out of the health care market. If we go
this route, the inclusion of Marxian analysis is more important than ever.
Marx's surplus value theory must be given a hearing in mainstream economics
which will evaluate health insurance options. Economics has botched this in
part because of Marx's absence. I don't imagine my advice will be
heeded, because so few have ever read "Capital" or think it is necessary
to do so.I've never believed among economists Marx is the whole
story - far from it. But his analysis is critically important.
RG –Bennet’s plan does NOTHING to quell the
employer’s objections as to how that money is spent. When the employer
gives “’benefit’ money directly to its employees,” the
employer is still funding a practice (birth control) that the employer finds
reprehensible. And the individual mandate cannot guarantee the employee would
actually use that money for health insurance.Bennet’s plan
succeeds only in adding another complication to the ACA, a completely
unnecessary complication. Sorry RG, but Bennet’s plan makes no sense
UNLESS the real idea is to weaken the ACA and make it failure prone.Bennet’s plan, if enacted would be bad for the ACA and bad for America.
And maybe that’s what Bennet really has in mind. A weak and ineffective
ACA would be much easier to overturn.Face it RG. Republicans focus
on obstruction and destruction. It’s relatively easy, and it’s
really all they’re good at.Thank goodness for Obama and the
Democrats . . . and their patriotism, wisdom, dedication, and can-do ethic.
Esquire. I do research every day. Its called experience in paying other
people's bills though ever higher taxes, hence, single payer.
@marxist "Individuals and families buy their own health insurance. But we
know such will price at least half of the population out of the health care
market."Health insurance is not the same thing as health care. A
family that goes to the doctor as needed -- and pays for its visits out of
pocket -- is participating in the health care market. Many of the uninsured who
cannot afford health insurance are taking care of their needs in this way. These
families would be better served by low prices than by a handout. But Obamacare
is pushing prices up.
The logical way to handle many of the types of coverage that the PPACA was
written to make mandatory could have been more easily handled by allowing people
to add them as riders to their basic policy if they needed them. That way women
who were no longer capable of becoming pregnant as well as homosexual men and
their partners would not have to have maternity coverage, grandparents would not
have to have pediatric coverage et cetera.
"When you have real freedom, it stops when you can't get anyone to come
work for your company because the health benefits you are offering are not what
your employees want."JoeCap, I agree in principle with you.
However, healthcare is something that if you cant pay for it, the taxpayer does.
ETMALA was signed into law by Ronald Reagan. He, and most of the country were
not ready to let people die just because they did not have the financial
resources to afford healthcare.So, Obamacare, and the heritage
foundation plan (with GOP support) seek to push those who can afford to pay
something from just relying completely on the taxpayer.
Let's be done with it. Let's turn all business over to the
government. Let's let the government tell us what we are worth and what we
will be paid. Let's let the government take from one person and give to
another. Let's put the Marxist theory to the real test. Let's see
what happens when incentive is removed. Let's let the government force its
religion on us. Let's let the government define God and marriage and
family.But, first, show me the bill of sale where the government
BOUGHT each business.Show me where the government obtained the right
to dictate religion when the 1st Amendment prohibits government from legislating
laws pertaining to religion.Show me where the government obtained
the right to transfer assets from one "class" of people to another
without due process, in opposition to the 5th and 14th Amendments .Show me where the Federal Government has any right to do anything that Obama
is doing. He, being a "Contitutional Expert" should have at least read
the Constitution before seizing property and passing laws that violate our
This is a straw man argument to score a political point, if there ever was one.
Health care is a moral decision, if you chose to make it one, only for the
person who is receiving the care. The employer is not responsible, nor is she
being asked to make health care decisions for her employees. No one is being
forced to accept any medical treatment or procedure they do not want or need.
This is about individual choice: giving the employee the freedom to choose the
treatment or procedure he or she needs or wants. The employer’s
religious preferences cannot dictate what health care the patient can or cannot
have. If your employer is a Seventh Day Adventist, should you not be able to
receive medical health care.
Senator Bennett has proposed a very sensible solution to the issues raised by
Hobby Lobby and others. It is so simple, I wish our current representatives and
senators would champion it. It preserves individual freedom, allows folks (not
Government or employers) to decide what medical coverages they want and need,
and prevents both Government and employers from forcing unwanted and unneeded
coverage on any of us. Hooray for Bennett!
VST -Sounds like we have a communications problem here.You appear to believe I found fault with existing governance on this issue.I did not. Bennet did, and I disagreed with Bennet. . .
Perhaps your comments were meant to be directed at him?
Being for freedom in the health insurance market is great. As long as that
freedom absolutely guarantees two things.First, that I can get
reasonably priced insurance despite any preexisting conditions. If I
can’t then that freedom is valuable only to the healthy and/or wealthy.Second, that I will never pay a red cent for someone who chooses to go
without insurance. Because if they do not have insurance and they, their
spouse, their child, etc. contracts some heinous condition then it’s time
to:A)Take to the airwaves and beg for money (so now strangers should pay
your healthcare costs)B)Apply as a charity case to the hospital which one
way or another costs me (either as a patient or taxpayer)C)Declare
bankruptcy (see B – the unpaid costs get distributed to the rest of usSimply put, if you don’t have at least half a million in quick
assets, you are not self-insured. You are banking on luck. Maybe your luck may
hold. If not, others get to pay your bills.And no, health insurance
is not healthcare. But you need money to get good and consistent healthcare.
The ACA will reduce the deficit. The numbers are in and its a success. Is the
GOP going pay medical costs when they take away millions of peoples insurance?
GaryO Destroying the ACA would be a good thing, in fact, a patriotic thing. The
founders would have rolled over in their graves if they had known about the ACA
(which by the way, is NOT affordable). As I mentioned, it was passed in a most
partisan, crooked, scandalous and unpatriotic way; is now being administered
incompetently; and it has already spawned many forseen, and unforseen,
unintended and bad consequences, including lessening the # of full time jobs,
and people losing their insurance (more have lost it than have gained it, and
most enrollees now were already covered before, until the ACA made them lose
their coverage. Don't let Obama bamboozle you. He hasn't even said how
many enrollees have paid. Just like how he counts the unemployment rate: he
omits those who have given up looking just to make his #s look better.). And
more bad consequences to come. Whenever a law this big is passed, unintended
consequences will occur. It will invite fraud, waste, inefficiency and abuse.
That's what big, controlling govt. does. Look at Soviet Russia.
In principle, I agree with one of Bennett’s main points: let employees
decide what kind of coverage they want to buy. I’d be in favor of
removing the tax incentives and ObamaCare penalties that encourage employers to
offer health insurance benefits.However, there still needs to be
standards into what plans will be available. Just as you can’t buy an
auto without seat belts, you shouldn’t be able to buy health insurance
without a basic set of essential coverage. If it is reasonable to
require pacifists to pay huge dollars to support the military-industrial
complex, it is reasonable to expect Christians to pay a few pennies for
insurance coverage that offers birth control. If Hobby Lobby wins this, it will
set an interesting precedent that would allow people to selectively choose which
laws they will obey and which taxes they will pay based on their religious