In our opinion: New HHS Affordable Care Act rule strikes the right balance

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  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 17, 2017 8:14 a.m.

    As for Christian Science, who promote faith healing, is it against their religion to have medical insurance ? Or for Jehovah's Witnesses, do they have a problem with others receiving blood transfusions ? I'd like to hear it from them - a representative number or an official spokesman. Interesting to note that in the above cases, saving life is involved, whereas in abortion, unless the life of the mother is at stake, taking life or at least aborting life is the issue.

  • Millenial Snow Sandy, UT
    Oct. 17, 2017 1:35 a.m.

    So if my boss is a Christian Scientist, is it against their religion to provide medical insurance?
    If my boss is a Jehovah's Witness, can they deny me a blood transfusion?

    It's really easy to jump on the "I don't want to pay for your birth control" bandwagon because really it's an argument about cultural sexual freedoms. If you put the argument in a less controversial example it's suddenly ridiculous that an employer can impose their religious beliefs on their employees.

    Freedom of religion includes freedom FROM religion.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2017 10:29 p.m.

    @NoNames: Utah law makes solemnizing a marriage without a license a felony. I interprete that as including merely ceremonial or symbolic marriages not submitted to the state.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Oct. 16, 2017 5:43 p.m.

    @Irony Guy:

    What you see as a simple form, the nuns saw as a request for someone else to do something they considered immoral. How would you feel about a form that exempted you from participating in an execution, but asked the state to find someone willing to do so on your behalf?

    You continue to grossly misstate the requested religious exemption for bakers, photographers etc. The request is to avoid forced speech to participate in a specific event with moral/social/political messages. These artists have provided general services to all comers including their homosexual customers. The baker no more refused service to homosexuals than he did pagens or most others who observe Halloween. He declined to create a work of art for a homosexual wedding, he refuses to create art to celebrate Halloween. He is merely "taking a knee" for certain events, but has been willing to provide off-the-shelf services to all comers.


    No faced criminal sanctions for a private religious sacrament. The penalties were for submitting a State marriage certificate for same-sex couples. I strongly support the right of churches to offer or deny sacraments as they see fit.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2017 1:03 p.m.

    Editorial: “They protect minority perspectives, because… the majority usually rules and… can be inclined to run roughshod over unpopular perspectives… Protecting rights and speech can be achieved by adopting a vision of true fairness.”

    So much depends on whose ox is being gored. This paper would have more credibility if it could point to its own record of religious fairness. Just a few years ago the DesNews devoted hundreds of column inches (and its ownership millions of dollars) in a campaign to limit the free exercise of religion, running its own rough shoes over an unpopular religious perspective. Let us not forget that clergy risked prison for performing a fundamental religious ritual. We’re not talking tradespeople baking cakes in the secular marketplace but actual ordained ministers and rabbis with vestments and degrees from seminaries prevented by law from conducting sacred rites at the altars of their own churches. We’re not talking fringe cults, either, but mainstream Protestant and Jewish denominations.

    Where is the faith version of the Voltairean Principle? I disagree with what rite you perform but will defend to the death your right to perform it.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2017 8:43 a.m.

    When an employer provides medical insurance as part of their benefits and wage packet, the employer usually pays a share of the premium. This entitles the employer to respect for a religious belief, which he feels would compromise him, morally; not just a tenet of belief such as, say, predestination or not. The employee works for the employer; at at hiring, the conditions of employment should be clear, including benefits. If the ( prospective ) employee does not like
    them, he/she is free to look elsewhere for employment. As for ACA, Obamacare neglected to have funds to subsidize certain insurance companies, appropriated by Congress as per the Constitution . So Obama used an executive order which flouted this provision. Trump's action just put the issue back where it belonged - Congress.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Oct. 16, 2017 7:58 a.m.

    "... in a democratic republic the majority usually rules and — without robust safeguards — can be inclined to run roughshod over unpopular perspectives."

    To be clear America is not a democratic republic where the majority rules.

    America clearly has become a democratic republic where the minority rules.

    We elect a President who loses the popular vote by 3 million

    We fail to enact public policy which has over 75% of public support

    We gerrymander voting districts to isolate certain opinions

    We have a complete branch of govt. that grossly miss represents the population

    "protecting" the minority religious opinion of a few may in isolation seem noble, but as part of the big picture it actually is part of the wrecking ball destroying a true democracy.

  • Nichol Draper West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 16, 2017 7:05 a.m.

    I found this Obama mandate deeply disturbing. The Democrats could have simply provided an option for employees to choose their own insurance, but they left the choice with the employers. Their philosophy of increasing bureaucracy and removing individual choice is scary. I still do not understand how so many people, a majority of people in big cities think that way. There is a word for large group think that tramples the rights of minorities.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Oct. 15, 2017 7:24 p.m.

    On the one hand we're told that businesses owned by religious folk are suffused with the beliefs practiced by the owners. They cannot be separated. Their beliefs are part and parcel of everything they do. This argument runs through the objections placed by the Little Sisters of the Poor.

    On the other hand we're told that religious institutions should qualify for government programs and grants like playground material or FEMA funds because the associated activities aren't strictly religious in nature.

    Sounds to me like someone's talking out of both sides of their mouth.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Oct. 15, 2017 4:26 p.m.

    In your opinion, the "religious rights" of businesses (which are non-thinking, non-living, non-breathing entities) take precedence over the religious rights of the employees. We got it.

    "... in a democratic republic the majority usually rules and — without robust safeguards — can be inclined to run roughshod over unpopular perspectives."

    --- Where was this perspective when you were running article after article running roughshod over the rights of LGBT citizens? (Hint: this is why conservativism is hypocritical).

    "From hostility toward religious freedom ..."

    --- What hostility? Wanting BUSINESSES to treat ALL customers equally isn't "hostility toward religious freedom". We simply do NOT want religion to be used a a club or an EXCUSE to engage in bigotry and discrimination. Why aren't you addressing the religious beliefs that races should be segregated? Your position supports segregation!

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Oct. 15, 2017 4:11 p.m.

    @Irony Guy "All they had to do was fill out a form and they would get an exemption."

    The act of filing the form would cause alternate plans for providing contraception to be put in place. The nuns wanted to play no part in the instigation of those alternate plans.

    @marxist "As Marx put it 'when two opposing parties have equal rights, force rules.'"

    No force is required if the parties are willing to accommodate each other -- something the Obama administration refused to do, even though the means existed. Peaceful society is built on mutual respect.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 15, 2017 3:10 p.m.

    Anytime we hear the phrase "Religious Freedom" we can be 100% assured it isn't about religious freedom. This phrase has come into fashion when the radical right lost the battle against freedom of marriage for all citizens. They want to impose their religious laws on citizens who do not believe they have the right to do so. These people are only claiming their rights under the Constitution to be free from religions that teach these bigoted doctrines.

    Now under this wolf in sheep's clothing false argument the supposed religious reinterpret the Constitution and even the intent of the original founders. The writers of the Constitution were for the most part not Christians. They were Deists. They realized that religion had no part in our secular laws and secular Constitution.

    Now yet again another insidious argument arises within some, (not all religions) that their religious beliefs are more important than those whose civil rights they want to deny.

    It is a false and dishonest argument, and any religion who screams out "Freedom of Religion", you can know with assurance they are not a true religion following the gospels.

    Render unto Caesar.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 15, 2017 9:59 a.m.

    As Marx put it "when two opposing parties have equal rights, force rules." That is what's happening with the ACA. Business and the wealthy, aligned with religion, have decided they don't want to pay for the ACA. The Deseret News is aligned with this view, as is Donald Trump who is finishing the gutting of the ACA. Accommodating the Little Sisters is but another rock in the completely stoning of the ACA with its desire for health care access for the poor.

    Medicare for all!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 15, 2017 9:34 a.m.

    No. The right balance could be that a business should have both a liability and religious separation from its' owner.
    Better yet, health care should be entirely isolated from employers. It's not their primary focus, and it's a system that sure doesn't work well.

  • Millenial Snow Sandy, UT
    Oct. 15, 2017 9:12 a.m.

    This just adds to my belief that insurance should be separate from our employer.

    My boss should have no say in the specifics of my medical care. This is just weird.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Oct. 15, 2017 8:20 a.m.

    These days, things that are named things like"Religious Liberty for All" are usually anything but. They're interested in being able to ignore laws that they wish, in the name of "religious freedom" and to impose their ideals on the rest of society. We're heading down a dangerous path.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 15, 2017 7:58 a.m.

    New HHS guidelines include this

    "Under the first of two companion rules released today, entities that have sincerely held religious beliefs against providing such services would no longer be required to do so. The second rule applies the same protections to organizations and small businesses that have objections on the basis of moral conviction which is not based in any particular religious belief."

    Therefore, HHS is expanding the contraceptive opt-out to for-profit organizations/businesses who do not have an objection based on religion!

    This is unacceptable. And, may result in more abortions as rates of unplanned pregnancies increase.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 15, 2017 6:30 a.m.

    I'm all for religious liberty, but there is a fundamental flaw with this that goes both ways. An employer's religious views shouldn't trump the employee's religious views, so that what the employee is able to obtain from a completely different company(HMO) has to be filtered by the employers religious ideology, even if it conflicts with the employee's religious faith or desires. Employees should be able to take the money the employer is offering them for insurance and go out into a real health insurance market and purchase the kind and type of insurance they wish. Unfortunately, that is changing risk pools and currently there is a huge penalty for that, so it is not a realistic option.

    Employers need to get out of the health care business. HMO's should offer their plans in a state on a website that all citizens can purchase with one risk pool for all. Forget about making it easier to purchase plans across state lines, because there are so many artificial lines and barriers with how the healthcare system is set up within each state. Get rid of barriers. One risk pool for all. Same plans at same cost offered to all.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 15, 2017 6:14 a.m.

    But there was no mandate that the Little Sisters provide contraception. All they had to do was fill out a form and they would get an exemption.

    We all fill out forms all the time to certify things about ourselves. How does filling out a form constitute a "substantial burden" on anyone?

    Now anybody from anywhere can claim a "faith-based exemption" for denying services to other human beings. Just wait till Uncle Willie from Arkansas decides it ain't in keepin' with his religion to serve THEM, whoever they may be. And then watch for a flood of Uncle Willies to follow suit . . .