published Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

The GOP's wild exemptions

Senate Republicans' efforts to allow any employer or health insurance company to deny coverage for any health care service on the basis of religious or moral objections would have shredded the concept of comprehensive health care standards. Initiated in league with Catholic bishops' assault on women's health care and contraception, it ballooned past reason. Regardless, the slender margin by which Senate Democrats defeated it, 51-48, shows how far afield Washington's Republicans have drifted in the looney presidential campaign season.

The far-fetched bill Republicans' sought marks a weird turn in a debate that began last month about the Catholic church's right to deny women contraceptive care in its non-religious hospitals and universities. The Obama administration stepped forward with a reasonable accommodation policy. It required health insurers to provide women preventive care free of charge and independent of a religiously affiliated employer.

The cost issue the GOP attached to that is purely a canard. It's cheaper for health insurers to provide free preventive contraceptive care -- and other preventive services for women, like mammograms, pap smears and cervical cancer screenings -- than it is to allow undetected issues to become full-blown medical crises.

That, alas, was not enough for the group of bishops who had collaborated for most of the past year to make the issue of religious freedom a political fight. They still claimed, without reasonable grounds, that the accommodation somehow intruded on their religious liberty, though it clearly does no such thing.

Republicans searching for another "values" issue zealously sought to inflate the issue with their latest shotgun proposal: An exemption that would have allowed any employer to deny health care coverage in any selected area on any claim of religious objections or "moral" objections.

Such a broad exemption would be grossly unfair to all Americans, not just women. It would be broadly absurd for the general populace. Under such a mile-wide canopy, employers could deny insurance coverage for, say, liver disease possibly induced by alcohol or drug use, on the grounds of "moral" objection to drinking or drugs. Such an extreme proposal is not just another way to promote a political wedge issue. And it ignores the point that people are required to pay taxes for a lot of things they oppose -- war, for example.

In any case, America's families and individual women clearly need comprehensive care, and women in particular need contraceptive care -- including the estimated 98 percent of Catholic women that practice contraception. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in the interest of general health benefits, firmly opposed denial of contraceptive care. Its executive director says such care "improves and saves babies lives, improves maternal health and can be life-saving for women with serious medical problems."

Though the Catholic Church teaches sexual abstinence over contraception, however, many Catholic hospitals also deny general obstetric and gynecological care. Chattanooga's Memorial Hospital, for example, formally ended its ob-gyn care and delivery of babies in 1982.

The irony of the church's policies cannot be ignored. America's Catholic bishops want their congregants to avoid contraception and have babies, but they won't help women, Catholic or not, deliver these babies. Neither will they support women's right to freely engage contraceptive care from their health insurers on their own.

Bishops already can keep contraception out of their insurance policies for church staff, but neither they, nor Republicans, should have the right to dictate such contradictory policies -- or grossly wide exclusions -- for the general American public.

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joneses said...

It is my understanding you disgusting liberals are for the president deciding that religions have to provide a service against their own beliefs and do what he says? Because you hate the Tea Party so much and its goal of wanting to lower the debt you are for out of control spending and more massive debt? You are also for our congress and the president not working with a budget as we have not had one in 1039 days under this incompetent president. Now that this pathetic fool is president and we are still at war you are now for the war as I do not see anymore outrage or protesters anywhere. You disgusting liberals think it is okay for congress and this pathetic president to pass bills for the sole purpose of seeing what they consist of (We need to pass this bill to see what is in it)? Now that this fool is president you disgusting liberals are okay with Gitmo not being closed? Because this pathetic fool you idiots put in office extended the Bush tax cuts these tax cuts automatically became okay with you? We have witnessed what happens when gullible, pathetic, socialist, liberals follows a dictator blindly. Take a look at Germany in the 1930s and early 1940s. I am not comparing this pathetic president to Hitler but I am comparing the same brainwashing tactics that he is using to get you liberal morons to follow him blindly and convincing you he can do no wrong. I have never heard one of you blind liberals say anything about what your Messiah has done wrong and thee is plenty. Obama is creating hatred towards the wealthy by demonizing them and my guess is he would want to take all they have and put them in concentration camps. The Nazis created hatred towards the jews and put a whole countries population against them and look what happened. Obama and his blind followers are using the sam tactic to destroy something to give them more control. Are you that stupid and blind you cannot see this tactic? You are pathetic, gullible, hypocrites. If we taxpayers are forced to pay for contraception for women so they can enjoy having sex whenever and with whomever they want then I think it only fair the government pay for bullets for my gun because I enjoy shooting it so much.

March 3, 2012 at 6:37 a.m.
conservative said...

I busted out laughing when this writer used the word "looney"

From the writer: "and women in particular need contraceptive care -- including the estimated 98 percent of Catholic women that practice contraception."

Well now, if 98% of Catholic women already practice contraception why do they need it paid for by insurance? It will only drive up the cost of insurance.

March 3, 2012 at 8:41 a.m.
charivara said...

Nothing that has been written by these three has any basis in reality. It would actually be hilarious if it weren’t so frightening. It’s all right wing fantasy based on the hatred, ignorance, frustration and fear that Republicans have been promoting to the very people they then exploit. Republicans have been very good at looking people like these straight in the eye and telling them they are going to screw them and then making them think that’s exactly what they want.

Joneses is correct in that the Nazis created hatred toward the Jews and convinced Germans to support their extermination. How exactly has President Obama done anything remotely resembling that? However, it has been Republicans who have been fostering the fear and loathing of blacks, homosexuals, non Christians, women, the poor, the unemployed and the downtrodden. Is he that stupid and blind that he cannot see that tactic?

Republicans have been successful in getting the support of people who are too dimwitted to understand the fallacies of the Republican economic policies and are so consumed by their racist hatred of Barack Obama that they will gladly vote against their own economic interests and enthusiastically support the top down class warfare Republicans have been waging.

March 3, 2012 at 12:34 p.m.
librul said...

In the interest of saving bandwidth - ditto to what Charivara said.

March 3, 2012 at 1:11 p.m.
tipper said...

Republicans and the Republican Party recognize the value in pandering to the ignorant, the racists, the religious fanatics, the reactionaries, bigots, tea partiers, and those who are afraid of minorities getting something they may have. The conservatives at the top of the food chain badly need those who are easily manipulated and eat up the lies of people like Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, etc., to carry their water. Republicans no longer have a viable political party. It has transformed into a strange cabal of ugly miscreants who facts have no meaning or no use. They are dangerous to all this country believes and holds true.

March 3, 2012 at 9:15 p.m.
joneses said...

You know what is so pathetic about you disgusting liberals? Amongst all the tornado damage these, what you refer to as "religious fanatics" (churches), you love to demonize are out there offering help in the form of food, shelter, clothing, guidance and many other things that are beneficial to the victims of these tragedies. I have yet to ever see or even hear of a liberal group like, Wall Street Protesters, Now, GLADD or others unhealthy organizations do one thing to help people whose lives have been torn apart by these disasters. This is just another example how pathetic you actually are. You do not offer any solutions to anything but only sit around and piss and moan about the good others are doing. I hope in the event one of your homes or lives are torn apart you would not be a hypocrite and accept any of the help these churches, or what you refer to as "religious fanatics" has to offer. You could just sit on your butt and wait for your Messiah Obama to rescue you. Let me know how that works out for you. You are pathetic.

March 4, 2012 at 5:38 a.m.
joneses said...


Very true. The dummycrats are the party of hate. They show their hatred towards blacks by promising them everything to only get their vote and delivering nothing. They hate oil companies, corporations, profits, churches, religions, successful people, the military, our borders, rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Shawn Hannity, George Bush. They hate Herman Cain, Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice,, Walter Williams, Kevin Jackson because they are blacks that do not support their failed policies. They hate Nascar, the South, lower taxes, lower national debt, a balanced budget, a budget, individual liberties, freedom of choice, tax reform, nonunion workers, private education, guns, gun owners, non union automotive manufacturers, capitalism, any private industry, Fox News, people that disagree with them, Israel, Jewish people, Catholics, Hispanics. This is just a few of their many hatreds.

What the liberals love is out of control spending, massive national debt, give away programs, entitlement mentality, total government control of our life's, socialism, communism, Bill Ayers, Louis Farrakhan, higher taxes, Muslim extremism, lack of accountability and responsibility, open borders, sex in public between anyone or anything, killing babies, total union and government control of all businesses, government take over of all private retirement accounts, government schools, incompetent presidents, incompetent congressmen and women, the most famous Hedge Fund Manager and Socialist George Soros, the concept of everything goes, restrictions on religion, total government control of churches, propaganda, thinking for yourself and there is much more.

These liberals actually hate more than they love and that is why they are disgusting and pathetic.

I am going to volunteer to help victims of the tornados so you liberals just stay at home and wait for the government to give you your instructions on what it wants you to do today.

March 4, 2012 at 8:02 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Not all churches are conservative. Not all aid organizations are religious. Your stereotypes are duly noted and will be remembered.

March 4, 2012 at 8:12 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

This conversation was about helping after tornadoes. Nice non-answer though.

March 4, 2012 at 10:57 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Sticks and stones, love.

March 4, 2012 at 11:13 a.m.
charivara said...

JonRoss and Joneses: You do realize you’ve validated the points I made in my post? Don't you?

March 4, 2012 at 4:01 p.m.
acerigger said...

"Pathetic dummycrats","disgusting","Messiah Obama","nazi tactics",on and on,etc.,etc. from the rightwingers, yet "Demoncrats"and "lieberals" are the "party of hate"! yeah,,right.

March 4, 2012 at 7:36 p.m.
joneses said...


These liberals are not progressive anything. They are disgusting racist liberals. They use blacks for one purpose and that is to get their vote. They actually think they are better than everyone, especially blacks and that itself makes them racist.


If you are so stupid you do not realize how this pathetic president and his group of communist that you worship are brainwashing you to hate certain groups of people in this country then you moron are to far gone.

March 4, 2012 at 10:15 p.m.
acerigger said...

Joneses,contrary to what you may think of me,I don't "hate" any particular group of people. However I do feel sorry for those blinded by their ideology and hate.

March 5, 2012 at 11:56 a.m.
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