BBO Discussion Forums: Obama vs Roman Catholic Church - BBO Discussion Forums

Jump to content

  • 15 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Obama vs Roman Catholic Church Just a query from outside

#1 User is offline   Scarabin 

  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Full Members
  • Posts: 382
  • Joined: 2010-December-30
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:All types of games especially bridge & war games.
    old bidding systems & computer simulation programming.

Posted 2012-February-12, 22:36

If Obama says the insurer will pick up the tab, is this stealing?
0

#2 User is offline   jjbrr 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,876
  • Joined: 2009-March-30
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2012-February-12, 23:24

who cares?
0

#3 User is offline   Mbodell 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,540
  • Joined: 2007-April-22
  • Location:Santa Clara, CA

Posted 2012-February-13, 00:09

It is actually a weird bit of accounting, because it is actually cheaper in the aggregate for the insurance company to pay for contraceptive coverage for everyone rather than paying for the more expensive cost of abortions and pregnancies, both of which are orders of magnitude more expensive. So it is in the insurance companies best interest to provide it.

But there are weird accounting rules that come in to play on the fungibility of money when people give donations earmarked for special purposes, or gov't pays for some organizations social charitable work (but not the same organizations religious work!), etc.
0

#4 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,471
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2012-February-13, 06:56

The view of a Catholic liberal on some of this:
http://www.washingto...dV9Q_story.html


Myself, I have not thought deeply about this but in general terms I would like to see the two statements "I feel deeply as a matter of conscience that I cannot support this" and "I cannot support this because God says so" as being effectively equivalent. I believe, although I am not certain, that in the days of the draft a person did not have to prove that his deeply held conviction against killing another human had a divine basis in order to get CO status. It wasn't called RO status.

Still, it seems that we want to keep the number of conscience based exemptions to government regulations to a minimum. I do understand the Libertarian position that we can solve this by simply having very few government regulations, but I do not view this as a practical solution.

Bottom line: I hope something can be worked out.
Ken
0

#5 User is offline   hrothgar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 11,618
  • Joined: 2003-February-13
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Natick, MA
  • Interests:Travel
    Cooking
    Brewing
    Hiking

Posted 2012-February-13, 07:10

I wish that the Obama administration was willing to play some real smash mouth politics on this one.

1. The restrictions only apply to institutions that are taking Federal dollars. If you don't want to provide contraceptive services there is a very simple out

2. (Approximately) 28 states have the precise same set of restrictions at the state level. This requirement is neither new, nor controversial.

I'd like to see the Obama administration shouting this from the highest rooftops. (FWIW, I consider the whole "Hawaii Lite" compromise a ridiculous cave) On the bright side, the Catholic Bishops seem poised to reject even this compromise which is doing a pretty good job showing how extreme their demands are...
Alderaan delenda est
0

#6 User is offline   cherdano 

  • 5555
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 7,179
  • Joined: 2003-September-04
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2012-February-13, 07:53

Something I don't understand: why does this have to be mandated in the first place? Wouldn't any insurance company offer free contraception as part of they coverage anyway?
Disclaimer: this post is not intended to offend anyone who spews constant drivel. --PhilKing
0

#7 User is offline   BunnyGo 

  • Lamentable Bunny
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 1,494
  • Joined: 2008-March-01
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, ME

Posted 2012-February-13, 08:04

View Postcherdano, on 2012-February-13, 07:53, said:

Something I don't understand: why does this have to be mandated in the first place? Wouldn't any insurance company offer free contraception as part of they coverage anyway?


A lot of insurance companies do things that are profitable (or make their prices competitive) in the short term because they don't necessarily get long term benefits if customers change insurance companies. It's not unlike a prisoner's dilemma. By mandating it, you help the prisoners make a choice that they are all happier with.
Bridge Personality: 44 44 43 34

Never tell the same lie twice. - Elim Garek on the real moral of "The boy who cried wolf"
0

#8 User is offline   cherdano 

  • 5555
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 7,179
  • Joined: 2003-September-04
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2012-February-13, 08:18

View PostBunnyGo, on 2012-February-13, 08:04, said:

A lot of insurance companies do things that are profitable (or make their prices competitive) in the short term because they don't necessarily get long term benefits if customers change insurance companies. It's not unlike a prisoner's dilemma. By mandating it, you help the prisoners make a choice that they are all happier with.

I understand this with preventive care, where the payoffs may not come until many years later. But surely any insurance company doesn't expect to regularly lose costumers in a 9-month span?
Disclaimer: this post is not intended to offend anyone who spews constant drivel. --PhilKing
0

#9 User is offline   phil_20686 

  • Scotland
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,562
  • Joined: 2008-August-22
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 2012-February-13, 08:38

View Posthrothgar, on 2012-February-13, 07:10, said:

2. (Approximately) 28 states have the precise same set of restrictions at the state level. This requirement is neither new, nor controversial.


I am a bit unclear on some of the details, but it feels like this is a case of poor regulation. In Europe there are lots of countries that have some form of private insurance, but there is a difference, because the individual gets to choose their own coverage, and then claim tax relief out their earnings so the institution is never directly involved. I'm not sure if this was planned but it does void any type of institutional problem, and just seems much better.

I'm not sure that I would like my employer to know the details of my health insurance plan anyway. If you are a company employee who adds pregnancy cover to your health insurance, it seems like a great way for them to find ways to sideline you. (Don't know what regs cover insurance in the US, but in the UK most private insurance does not cover pregnancy, because labour is safer in full service NHS hospitals, but it means that if you have private health insurance through your company, which is common among companies which send you abroad, you sometimes have to ask specially to get pregnancy related cover added, which somehow feels like a breach of privacy to me.)

At any rate, this obviously is a breach of the first amendment. You cannot require institutions to provide a service in violation of their religious belief. Admittedly, while one could in theory claim anything as a religious exemption from just about anything, in practice courts are pretty good at applying a bit of common sense. However, I doubt the courts will uphold a law against a religious belief/tradition that has been documented and practiced for (much) longer than your country has existed.
The physics is theoretical, but the fun is real. - Sheldon Cooper
0

#10 User is offline   phil_20686 

  • Scotland
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,562
  • Joined: 2008-August-22
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 2012-February-13, 08:44

View Postcherdano, on 2012-February-13, 07:53, said:

Something I don't understand: why does this have to be mandated in the first place? Wouldn't any insurance company offer free contraception as part of they coverage anyway?


The mandate is that all people/persons must have insurance covering at least X, Y, Z. You are still free to choose from any health insurance plan that the insurance companies offer. Except for reasons I don't understand, insurance in the US is (often) provided by employers, which seems weird to me.

If you made it up to the individual, and removed institutions from the loop, the RCC would just live with it, like they do pretty much everywhere else. In fact, the RCC even has a teaching that covers that tpye of thing, you are only responsible for what you do with your money. If you give your money to some one else (govt/friend/poor) you are not responsible if they do something bad, unless you could have reasonably forseen and prevented it without causing a worse evil. Think its called "distributed responsibility"? Not sure, off to look it up over lunch.
The physics is theoretical, but the fun is real. - Sheldon Cooper
0

#11 User is offline   PassedOut 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,718
  • Joined: 2006-February-21
  • Location:Upper Michigan
  • Interests:Music, films, computer programming, politics, bridge

Posted 2012-February-13, 09:27

View Posthrothgar, on 2012-February-13, 07:10, said:

1. The restrictions only apply to institutions that are taking Federal dollars. If you don't want to provide contraceptive services there is a very simple out.

Well said. Tax money should not be used to support religion in the first place.
The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper. Friedrich Nietzsche
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists that is why they invented hell. Bertrand Russell
0

#12 User is offline   cherdano 

  • 5555
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 7,179
  • Joined: 2003-September-04
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2012-February-13, 09:49

View Postphil_20686, on 2012-February-13, 08:44, said:

The mandate is that all people/persons must have insurance covering at least X, Y, Z. You are still free to choose from any health insurance plan that the insurance companies offer. Except for reasons I don't understand, insurance in the US is (often) provided by employers, which seems weird to me.

I am very familiar with the US system, but I don't think this answers my question. If there is only a requirement that the insurance covers pregnancy-related costs, wouldn't any sane insurance company offer birth control for free voluntarily? (In fact, if I understand right that is more or less how the proposed compromise works.)

Anyway, to explain why insurance is paid for by the employers in the US: an individual health insurance market without an insurance mandate (or free basic coverage, as in the UK) basically doesn't work (the self-selected group of those who would like to get health insurance are much more likely to get sick, making premiums unaffordable for most). A big employer can basically act as a risk pooler and bargain cheaper premiums from the insurance companies: if the employer pays the insurance premium for every employee, the insurance won't have to deal with the self-selection problem. Since people started liking this, and since the US political system seems to prefer indirect spending via tax breaks over direct spending, the government added a tax subsidy as a further incentive.

But I guess I haven't explained anything that Phil wasn't aware of - are you wondering why Congress hasn't been able to come up with a better system? Good question...
Disclaimer: this post is not intended to offend anyone who spews constant drivel. --PhilKing
0

#13 User is online   awm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 7,302
  • Joined: 2005-February-09
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Jose, California, USA

Posted 2012-February-13, 10:00

Religious freedom is complicated. In the US, it seems to be generally ruled that religious freedom does not allow one to violate laws in ways which materially harm others.

For example, Mormon sects which practice polygamy get no legal recognition for those marriages, and polygamous marriage with underage girls is still considered statutory rape. A religious belief that women shouldn't work outside the home does not get anyone running a business out of laws forbidding discrimination in hiring (unless the business is a church).

In this case the administration sees contraceptive coverage as an "equal rights" issue, and religion doesn't usually trump those issues.
Adam W. Meyerson
a.k.a. Appeal Without Merit
0

#14 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 6,471
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2012-February-13, 10:08

View Postcherdano, on 2012-February-13, 07:53, said:

Something I don't understand: why does this have to be mandated in the first place? Wouldn't any insurance company offer free contraception as part of they coverage anyway?


I doubt it. I guess you could give them a call and ask for your free condoms and see what they say.
Ken
0

#15 User is offline   phil_20686 

  • Scotland
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,562
  • Joined: 2008-August-22
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 2012-February-13, 10:31

View Postcherdano, on 2012-February-13, 09:49, said:

Anyway, to explain why insurance is paid for by the employers in the US: an individual health insurance market without an insurance mandate (or free basic coverage, as in the UK) basically doesn't work (the self-selected group of those who would like to get health insurance are much more likely to get sick, making premiums unaffordable for most). A big employer can basically act as a risk pooler and bargain cheaper premiums from the insurance companies: if the employer pays the insurance premium for every employee, the insurance won't have to deal with the self-selection problem. Since people started liking this, and since the US political system seems to prefer indirect spending via tax breaks over direct spending, the government added a tax subsidy as a further incentive.

But I guess I haven't explained anything that Phil wasn't aware of - are you wondering why Congress hasn't been able to come up with a better system? Good question...


A one payer health insurance is obviously best. Seems like regulation should be able to cover all the bases in such away that religious institutions do not feel like they are paying directly for things that conflict with their beliefs. I also do not understand in what way a federal mandate on health insurance is functionally different from a tax.... why not just tax directly and take over NHS style.

Markets have been close to useless at Heathcare for decades, not only do they seem intent on scamming their cusomers in the small print, but they also dont allocate nearly enough money to research, and when they do they patent them in such a way that the treatements are basically affordability until the patent expires, which satisfies noone.

Government run health research with results that are freely available seems to make a huge amount more sense on a world basis. If the government is making all the new drugs no one need care that india is making them for 1% the price and sending them back....
The physics is theoretical, but the fun is real. - Sheldon Cooper
0

#16 User is offline   phil_20686 

  • Scotland
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,562
  • Joined: 2008-August-22
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Scotland

Posted 2012-February-13, 10:46

View Postawm, on 2012-February-13, 10:00, said:

Religious freedom is complicated. In the US, it seems to be generally ruled that religious freedom does not allow one to violate laws in ways which materially harm others.

In this case the administration sees contraceptive coverage as an "equal rights" issue, and religion doesn't usually trump those issues.


Religious freedom is always complex, because you cannot allow people to create arbitrary rules and claim exemption from standard norms of behavior.

However, freedom of Religion is essentially the freedom to put into practice what you believe. Without that freedom all other freedoms are hollow.

"Equal rights issues" have a bizarre history, because you cannot really have human rights separate from religion. If you are going to say X is our right and beyond the scope of government to infringe, what you are really saying is that X is beyond the authority of Humans to change. Such logic is inherently fragile if you think Human rights come from men in the first place.

At any rate, "Equal rights" should really be "equal rights for whom": most laws restrict someone to give someone else more freedom. There are always tradeoffs. Can you restrict hate speech without stifling legitimate debate about morality, I used to think yes, now I am more uncertain. Hate speech legislation in the UK has been a tool for for the LGBT lobby to bash christian preachers. Believing homosexual sex/extra marital sex is sinful has become grounds for allegations of hate speech. Now, so far, most of these cases have not reached the CPS, but it is still harassment to have to give statements to the police all the time.

There was the case of the elderly UK couple running a guest house who refused to rent a double room to two men, they ended up getting successfully sued, for what seems to me to be the legitimate exercise of their religion.
The physics is theoretical, but the fun is real. - Sheldon Cooper
0

#17 User is offline   barmar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 11,655
  • Joined: 2004-August-21
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2012-February-13, 10:47

View Postcherdano, on 2012-February-13, 07:53, said:

Something I don't understand: why does this have to be mandated in the first place? Wouldn't any insurance company offer free contraception as part of they coverage anyway?

What I think you're missing is that with most employer-provided coverage, the insurance company isn't providing the coverage in the first place. Large employers are often self-insured. They contract with insurance companies to handle the administration of the plan, and probably advisory services as well, but the employer does the underwriting themselves.

So any long-term savings from the contraception coverage goes to the employer, but the cost goes to the insurance company. I think that's the "stealing" that the OP referred to. I expect that insurance companies will react to this by raising the price on the administration service, to include this additional cost. That's the "accounting trick" that someone mentioned -- the cost is still being passed on to the employer, but if you look in the list of medical issues they're underwriting, it doesn't show up there.

#18 User is offline   cherdano 

  • 5555
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 7,179
  • Joined: 2003-September-04
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2012-February-13, 11:10

View Postphil_20686, on 2012-February-13, 10:46, said:

"Equal rights issues" have a bizarre history, because you cannot really have human rights separate from religion.

With a sentence like this, you are ending any possible discussion with non-believers. You do not need god to hold it as a self-evident truth that everyone has some unalienable rights; rights that even a democratic majority cannot be allowed to infringe upon. (Some do seem to find god quite useful in order to justify their desire to treat some minorities as unequal, however.) In fact, there does seem to be quite a lot in common between the conscience of those who base it on an educated religion, and those how base it on basic moral principles.
So a discussion involving everyone should be quite possible. But instead you want to disqualify atheists to participate in any discussion about basic rights. I will return the favor and ignore the rest of your post.
Disclaimer: this post is not intended to offend anyone who spews constant drivel. --PhilKing
6

#19 User is offline   gordontd 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 2,405
  • Joined: 2009-July-14
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London

Posted 2012-February-13, 11:50

View Postphil_20686, on 2012-February-13, 10:46, said:

There was the case of the elderly UK couple running a guest house who refused to rent a double room to two men, they ended up getting successfully sued, for what seems to me to be the legitimate exercise of their religion.

I seem to recall that they argued that it was because they were not married that they didn't want to let them the room. Presumably once the law is changed they'll be happy to have married gay couples to stay, though it strikes me as an odd line of business to be in with such views.
Gordon Rainsford
London UK
0

#20 User is offline   barmar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 11,655
  • Joined: 2004-August-21
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2012-February-13, 13:00

View Postgordontd, on 2012-February-13, 11:50, said:

I seem to recall that they argued that it was because they were not married that they didn't want to let them the room. Presumably once the law is changed they'll be happy to have married gay couples to stay, though it strikes me as an odd line of business to be in with such views.

I'm not familiar with the case, but just because they made the argument in court doesn't mean that's the issue that bothered them. It just may have been the best legal principle available to them. If they have a religious object to homosexuality, they're probably just as much against married gay couples as unmarried ones. They might not even consider gay marriages to be legitimate, even though they may be legal.

Share this topic:


  • 15 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users