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If I owned a company and have religious conflict with surgery, do I have the right to withhold insurance coverage from my employees?

Posted on 2013-11-26
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Last Modified: 2013-12-03
In relation to this case coming before the Supreme Court:

Supreme Court to take up Obamacare contraception case - CNN.com : http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/26/politics/obamacare-court/index.html

What if I'm a business owner and my religion does not believe in surgery and I founded a company? Should I be allowed to not cover surgery in the health coverage for my employees and instead insist that they use herbs and prayer to heal their needs? No appendectomy or bypass surgery or anything that cuts the body open.

Is there a difference if their only objection is on religious grounds?

(Now the entire argument of the government paying for contraceptive care and all that is entirely different. I am just talking about refusing the law based on religious freedom.)
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Question by:Anthony Russo
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Dave Baldwin earned 5 total points
ID: 39678678
I believe that "religious freedom" under the law is mostly limited to your own personal actions.  When you start a business, in particular one that requires a business license, you are no longer talking about your own personal freedoms.  You are talking about your dealings with the community and that's where laws start affecting what you are allowed to do.

If you are a small business with only two employees, then the general idea is that they could quit and go work for someone else.  If you are a larger business that hires 10% or more of the local population, then it becomes important to a lot of people and they are more likely to pass laws that affect how you operate.

I don't believe there is a cut and dried straight answer to your question.  The answer is "It depends.".
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by:Anthony Russo
ID: 39678701
>>I don't believe there is a cut and dried straight answer to your question.  The answer is "It depends.".

Why does it depend? Based just on size? This would be businesses over 50 employees. Should I be able to not cover surgery because of my religious beliefs?
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39678734
It depends because just about anything can be legislated including your "rights".  Including tomorrows definition of "should".  Even your legal right to have "religious beliefs".

Almost no one cares what you do in your own home (cave) by your self.  If you have a business with 50 employees then you have at least 50 people that want a say in what you do.  Owning a business with employees is not like being king and dictating what you want.  If you were a Catholic with all Muslim employees, you might find yourself in a great deal of conflict.

"It depends" on how and how many other people are affected by your decisions.
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by:tliotta
tliotta earned 5 total points
ID: 39679867
A business exists within a society. It is a social activity by definition. The laws of the society are never going to give every individual every right to act in just the ways desired by the individuals.

Long-term health care is a social issue whether we like it or not. Significant numbers of individuals, who cannot cover their health care costs out-of-pocket, cause drains on the finances of the society. When individual beliefs affect others in the society, some compromise is needed as long as those individuals choose to remain within the society. The necessary maintenance of healthcare facilities takes a lot of money away from others in the society and access to and use of insurance is a way to allocate the costs more equitably.

Supplying insurance is not equal to providing surgery. Paying taxes that partially go to funding healthcare facilities that perform surgeries is not materially different. The insurance mostly just changes how the funds allocations flow.

Tom
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by:BigRat
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ID: 39680431
You can put this the other way round.

If I pay taxes to the State from which girls are educated yet my religion forbids that, may I withhold that portion? Or may I donate that portion to a charity or such?

The answer, says the United Nations, is no, because religious freedom applies to the individual and not third parties. That is to say one has freedom of worship so long as it does not infringe the human rights of others.
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by:Anthony Russo
ID: 39680895
>>Supplying insurance is not equal to providing surgery.

So would you say a company should be able to refuse supplying insurance covering contraception on religious grounds?

>>That is to say one has freedom of worship so long as it does not infringe the human rights of others.

Also, would you say a company should be able to refuse supplying insurance covering contraception on religious grounds?
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by:bergertime
bergertime earned 5 total points
ID: 39681201
"Should I be allowed to not cover surgery in the health coverage for my employees and instead insist that they use herbs and prayer to heal their needs?"

As an employer, you should be allowed to not offer health coverage.  And no employer should be allowed to insist on the type of healthcare I get, if it is traditional western medicine or some other type.  Should the government be able to force me to buy a product that I may not want to use?  Maybe I want to use herbs and twigs to cure myself...

BigRat
Can the gov't force me to send my girls to the school?
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by:Anthony Russo
ID: 39681244
>>Can the gov't force me to send my girls to the school?

The government does force you to send your kids to school.

>>As an employer, you should be allowed to not offer health coverage.

But considering ObamaCare passed and that is not the situation any longer...

>>And no employer should be allowed to insist on the type of healthcare I get, if it is traditional western medicine or some other type.

Agree. However they should provide the option to cover the required treatments and preventative medicines that the law dictates.

>>Should the government be able to force me to buy a product that I may not want to use?

Again, Obamacare passed already.

>>Maybe I want to use herbs and twigs to cure myself...

If that is your choice then you can do that, but since it is not required to be covered under the law, then if your employer doesn't choose to cover it, the cost is on you.


Since covering contraceptives are covered under the law, is a religious excuse reason enough for a company to be exempt from obeying the law?
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by:BigRat
ID: 39681400
The problem circles around the entities refusing the action. You are allowed on whatever grounds not to like , say, homosexuals and refuse to make friends with them. But if you are running a hotel you are not allowed to refuse homosexuals entrance because that would be a discrimination.

There was a case in Germany involving a rape victim who was taken to the nearest hospital which refused to treat her by giving her the "pill after". It was a catholic hospital who claimed religious grounds for refusing help.

Now the hospital, belonging to the catholic church, is not an entity in the sense of human rights. At the very least it would have to be the staff who would have to individually refuse the treatment, which was not the case. Now each member of staff could claim religion to justify the lack of help, but given that one member of staff does in fact help, the hospital would have no grounds to disiplinary action against a staff member because that member would not be acting within his rights, but exercising a discrimination. There is a further aspect here, because the hospital is provinging care under a contract from the rape victims health insurer. (In Germany almost all hospitals accept all health insurers). The health insurer requires the best medical treatment for their members, so the hospital was breaking contractual obligations. Furthermore there is also the aspect of those staff members acting under the Hippocratic oath.

Now the question here is about an employer refusing to implement a government request on religious grounds. But there is a third party involved here, namely the employee. The company cannot have a policy of hiring only those people who agree with its religious beliefs, because that would be a clear case of employment discrimination. The government requires (in principle) that every employer implement this insurance, so there is no discrimination there. Therefore there is no reason not to implement the insurance.

We live in a society where the majority accept decisions made in principle for the majority, but we also accept that where and when possible, the minority can be catered for as well. We all have to pay taxes, again in principle because not all of us may in fact be able to. Taxation is not a natural thing. In fact income tax was first introduced in England around 1750 and was repealed by the Peel government around the 1830s. The current US government, in its wisdom, has decided that all should have health insurance, and the courts will sustain that unless the government has ommitted to include the "minority". As far as I can see it hasn't, because if you can't afford it the government is willing to pay it for you. The government has also been legally elected, and by the system under which we live, has a perfect right to do such things. The best way, if you don't like it, is to vote for a different government.
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by:patriotpacer
patriotpacer earned 5 total points
ID: 39681407
What if I'm a business owner and my religion does not believe in surgery and I founded a company? Should I be allowed to not cover surgery in the health coverage for my employees and instead insist that they use herbs and prayer to heal their needs?
The federal government has no rights or obligations under the Constitution to mandate any health related issues to private businesses.  


But considering ObamaCare passed and that is not the situation any longer...
If it's law and not up for debate, why do Democrats get to pick and choose which part of the law they wish to enforce?  


Howard Dean: I Wonder If Obama Has the 'Legal Authority to Do This'
Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean questioned whether President Obama has the "legal authority" to carry out the Obamacare fix the White House outlined today:  “I wonder if he has the legal authority to do this, since this was a congressional bill that set this up,” said Dean of Obama's proposed fix.
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by:BigRat
ID: 39681457
The federal government has no rights or obligations under the Constitution to mandate any health related issues to private businesses.

Well obligations probably not, but rights, that's a different matter. Considering that the Supreme Court has ruled once that shipping dead bodies across state lines was illegal and then later that it was after all legal, there are lots of precedences regarding the federal government regulating private businesses.
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by:patriotpacer
ID: 39681464
Well obligations probably not, but rights, that's a different matter.

Quote the section of the US Constitution backing your argument.
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by:bergertime
ID: 39681484
">>Can the gov't force me to send my girls to the school?

The government does force you to send your kids to school."

No they can't, I can always say I home school therefore they can stay home.

Anthony, I can just here you a 200 years ago.  "But it's the law, regardless of right and wrong.  It's the law, now let me beat you some more.".

BigRat,
"There is a further aspect here, because the hospital is provinging care under a contract from the rape victims health insurer. (In Germany almost all hospitals accept all health insurers). "

There is no contract as this was an emergency, the hospital may not accept the insurance.   The person may not have insurance as they may be from another country.

"Now each member of staff could claim religion to justify the lack of help, but given that one member of staff does in fact help, the hospital would have no grounds to disiplinary action against a staff member because that member would not be acting within his rights, but exercising a discrimination."

Wow, you guys really would force someone who sees abortion as murder to actual do it themselves.  Regardless of your belief on when life begins, you really can't respect another's belief enough to keep from forcing them to do it.  Oh yeah, it's the law.
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by:BigRat
ID: 39681573
There is no contract as this was an emergency, the hospital may not accept the insurance.   The person may not have insurance as they may be from another country.

You obviously don't understand they way the system works in Germany. The very fact that they treat emergency patients makes them obligated contractually to the German health system. In the case in point, as distinct from hypothetical (and unrealistic) senarios, the person involved was a registered member of a major health insurer and carried the relevant membership card at the time of the incident.

Wow, you guys really would force someone who sees abortion as murder to actual do it themselves

Please stop being hysterical. That was neither said nor implied. Nobody is forcing anybody to do something beyond their beliefs. We are only insisting upon the fact that when you contractually agree to do something then you have to do it or resign from the contract.
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by:patriotpacer
ID: 39681596
Nobody is forcing anybody to do something beyond their beliefs.
Then what's the point of Anthony's question?

If Republicans passed a bill forcing muslims to do something against their "religion," liberals would lose their minds.  There'd be holy hell to pay.  

Given this is Christian based company, it's ok.
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by:Anthony Russo
ID: 39681615
>>Anthony, I can just here you a 200 years ago.  "But it's the law, regardless of right and wrong.  It's the law, now let me beat you some more.".

I'm sorry. What law was this to allow you to beat someone?

>>No they can't, I can always say I home school therefore they can stay home.

I stand corrected. I mean the government DOES force you to educate your children in an approved manner.

>>Quote the section of the US Constitution backing your argument.

There are laws outside of the constitution. In fact, most of them.

>>Howard Dean: I Wonder If Obama Has the 'Legal Authority to Do This'

Oh I see how it works. If I question something, then it must be considered true. Lets try it: "I wonder if pigs could fly?"  Now flying pigs are true!

>>If it's law and not up for debate, why do Democrats get to pick and choose which part of the law they wish to enforce?  

Rehashing this again. Democrats get to suggest changes and those changes get put up to a vote. Just the same way Republicans can do it.

>>The federal government has no rights or obligations under the Constitution to mandate any health related issues to private businesses.  

Correct. They do have the right though under Obamacare. The law that has passed.



Lots of great discussion here, but nobody seems to just answer the question posted:

If I owned a company and have religious conflict with surgery, do I have the right to withhold insurance coverage from my employees?

and if so or if not:

Since covering contraceptives are covered under the law, is a religious excuse reason enough for a company to be exempt from obeying the law?
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by:Anthony Russo
ID: 39681627
>>If Republicans passed a bill forcing muslims to do something against their "religion," liberals would lose their minds.  There'd be holy hell to pay.  
>>Given this is Christian based company, it's ok.

Absolutely not! I don't think any religious reason is justification to be exempt from a law that is in effect for those not under your religion.

>>Then what's the point of Anthony's question?

To point out the ridiculousness of using a religious reason to withhold coverage of a treatment or preventative based measure that is protected under the law.
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by:patriotpacer
ID: 39681643
Rehashing this again. Democrats get to suggest changes and those changes get put up to a vote. Just the same way Republicans can do it.
Great timing, Anthony.  
If Obamacare is the law, upheld by the Supreme Court, how in the hell are Democrats allowed to pick and choose which parts of the law they're going to enforce?  Under what authority, as Howard Dean said, can they do this?  Where's the vote????

BREAKING NEWS...

Online SHOP enrollment delayed by one year
the Obama administration today will announce a yearlong delay of online enrollment for small businesses looking to purchase health coverage through federal-run exchanges, according to an HHS notice obtained by POLITICO.
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Understanding your enemy is essential. These six sources will help you identify the most popular threat actor tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).

 
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by:BigRat
ID: 39681648
, but nobody seems to just answer the question posted:

I thought I did in the fourth paragraph of Id 39681400
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by:bergertime
ID: 39681678
"Rehashing this again. Democrats get to suggest changes and those changes get put up to a vote. Just the same way Republicans can do it."

Didn't Obama just give insurance company's  a one year free pass?  Who voted again?  Oh, I can hear you, law wasn't changed, they just have selected to not enforce it.  Ok so Obama passes a law, it's the law of the land, then elects not to enforce it.  And you think this is the way it's supposed to work?  Okay.

Bigrat, you said the hospital had to perform the procedure.  So by that argument, if it violated all the employees faith....what then.  Hospital is in violation of infringing on the victims rights?  It should be sued, shutdown?  Or forced.  

"We are only insisting upon the fact that when you contractually agree to do something then you have to do it or resign from the contract."

So the hospital should stop taking insurance that provides morning after pills?  Can they do that in Germany?  So you are saying hospital A does not accept my insurance, my wife gets raped and taken to hospital A and they refuse to take her insurance because they check her insurance and they don't accept it, hence not contract?  So they are in the clear not giving the morning after pill.  But if they did accept my insurance they would be forced by contract to give it?  Makes no sense.

Anthony,  I try not to post links, but do you really want me to post some to show where it was legal to beat your wife 200 years ago?


"Lots of great discussion here, but nobody seems to just answer the question posted:"

I thought I answered it, a place of business should have the right to offer whatever benefits to it's employees it thinks it needs to.  Regardless if it's a type of health insurance plan, vacation time, cafeteria on site, workout room.  As the employee has the freedom of choice to work there or not.  If a place of business does not believe in sex change operations, I believe they have the right to have a package which excludes it.  I know where I work, I looked at the health care package before I started.
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by:Anthony Russo
ID: 39681683
>>Online SHOP enrollment delayed by one year

As you mention yourself they are picking which parts they can enforce and when. That isn't changing the law at all. And it is not that democrats just get to pick. It's the presidents administration.

If you get a republican in the white house I'm sure he will change enforcement pretty quickly himself.

(Feel like answering the question of the post now?)

>>I thought I did in the fourth paragraph of Id 39681400

My mistake. I didn't recognize it within the post.
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by:patriotpacer
ID: 39681688
That isn't changing the law at all.

If you're in Cuba, China, North Korea, this dictator bull shit flies.  But not in the US.

If Bush had picked which laws he wanted to enforce and which ones he didn't, there would have already been an impeachment vote.
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by:Anthony Russo
ID: 39681727
>>If Bush had picked which laws he wanted to enforce and which ones he didn't, there would have already been an impeachment vote.

Really? Every administration does it.

NRDC Backgrounder: Bush Administration Plans to Limit Scope of Clean Water Act

July 11, 2003

Bush Administration Plans to Limit Scope of Clean Water Act

Early this year the Bush administration initiated a process to rewrite Clean Water Act rules to narrow the scope of the law. If the administration gets its way, thousands of streams, wetlands and other waters would no longer be protected by the law, allowing industry to dredge, fill or dump waste into them without a permit and without notifying the public. That would undermine efforts to control pollution and floods, and seriously threaten wildlife habitat and public drinking water supplies.

(Now do you feel like answering the question?)
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by:Anthony Russo
ID: 39681747
>>Anthony,  I try not to post links, but do you really want me to post some to show where it was legal to beat your wife 200 years ago?

It was also legal to own slaves. I wouldn't have advocated it though just like I wouldn't advocate beating your wife.

I however wouldn't say you should go vigilante and start killing all slave owners or wife beaters. Respect the law and abide by it. Thank goodness laws like that are gone now but the idea that we should just ignore the laws we don't like is BS. Just like the idea that a company can say that they won't cover your mandated contraceptive coverage for religious grounds. Also BS.
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by:patriotpacer
ID: 39681766
Anthony,  I try not to post links,
I post links.  Of course, even with proof, libs can justify anything.  

Really? Every administration does it.
 I'm not sure how Bush rewrote the law?  You're grasping at straws.


The anti-American/Community Organizer/inexperienced wacko president has gotten away with every major scandal (IRS, Fast and Furious, Benghazi) but he won't get away with this "If you like your health care you can keep" lie/scandal.
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by:Anthony Russo
ID: 39681796
>>The anti-American/Community Organizer/inexperienced wacko president has gotten away with every major scandal (IRS, Fast and Furious, Benghazi) but he won't get away with this "If you like your health care you can keep" lie/scandal.

Still not addressing the question and just parroting your party talking points.

>> I'm not sure how Bush rewrote the law?  You're grasping at straws.

Exactly. He didn't rewrite the law. Neither is Obama.

>>I post links.  Of course, even with proof, libs can justify anything.  

Because you post sensationalist headline links that I dispute with logic. You tend to just drop the link, then maybe a snarky comment here or there lately.

Also I am Independent, and not a liberal even though I may be arguing liberal points here, and most times in our discussions. Post a question on Voter ID or raising the minimum wage and we can sing Kumbaya together in agreement.
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by:BigRat
ID: 39681890
Bigrat, you said the hospital had to perform the procedure

bergertime: I really do wish you'd really read what I write. I wrote that the hospital had no right to refuse to handle the patient. The refusal must come from an individual to be in line with the conventions on human rights.

If the hospital wants to refuse to handle patients according to the conventions of the insurance agencies, which in Germany are the Krankenkassen and what they have to provide, which is around 94% of their budget, is laid down by the Federal Health Ministry. They have a perfect right not to do so, but then they have no right to federal grants, nor indeed to provide any services paid for by the Krankenkassen. Ambulances, which are run by other organisations, wouldn't take you to such a hospital in the first place.
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by:patriotpacer
ID: 39681908
To point out the ridiculousness of using a religious reason to withhold coverage of a treatment or preventative based measure that is protected under the law
Treatment?  Please


I honestly don't want ANY of Obamacare delayed. NONE OF IT.  I want the law as written to go through fully.  It's time these Obamabots/"give me my free shit" voters receive the full blunt of liberal policies and the complete economic destruction that follows.  I'm tired of Republicans bailing Democrats out, only to get blamed later for stopping a train wreck.

Now the Democrats up for reelection are terrified.  This is why we're seeing delay after delay....UNTIL AFTER THE 2014 election.  If the law is a "big f*ckin' deal" as Biden says, then NONE OF IT SHOULD BE DELAYED.
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by:BigRat
ID: 39681919
Really? Every administration does it.

Absolutely. It started when President Jackson ignore the Supreme Court ruling and shifted the Florida Indians off their land. And it has been going on ever since. Just like every where else in this planet.

As the employee has the freedom of choice to work there or not.

Unfortunately this agrument has been used time and time again to exploit people. If you don't like working 14 hours a day you can find yourself another job. We collectively don't accept that type of argument any more. We might be infringing upon the "right" of one human being to "exploit" others for his own gain. An employer who is excluding options from his employees benefits because of his own personal tastes is effectively discriminating against employees who do not hold the same opinions.  It is the same as running a hotel and not accepting homosexuals as clients - along the lines of "you can always somewhere else".
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by:Anthony Russo
ID: 39681939
>>Treatment?  Please

Read carefully. It also says 'preventative based measure' which is what contraception is. Preventative of a much more costly condition known as pregnancy. Thats why many insurances have included it for a long time. I included treatment in reference to my surgery example.

Now...again...would you like to answer the question?

>>This is why we're seeing delay after delay....UNTIL AFTER THE 2014 election.

Are you kidding? If the rollout wasn't crap then there wouldn't be the delays. Don't you think of what you are saying when you spout out your party's drivel. The delay makes perfect sense since people cant sign up on the website. Why does that seem so hard to understand?
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by:patriotpacer
ID: 39681953
If the rollout wasn't crap then there wouldn't be the delays. Don't you think of what you are saying when you spout out your party's drivel. The delay makes perfect sense since people cant sign up on the website. Why does that seem so hard to understand?

Mandates are delayed.  Congress is given exemptions.  Unions are given exemptions. NOTHING to do with web site.

If you don't want my links - YOU look it up.  Find out for yourself which mandates have been delayed.  Who is given exemptions.  And then look up when the mandates are to resume.
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by:tliotta
ID: 39683008
A couple comments had me thinking...

Quote the section of the US Constitution backing your argument.

That's easy. Article I, Section 8, paragraph 1:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;...
The healthcare laws provide for the "general Welfare" of the United States and are enforced primarily through changes to the tax code. The Constitution places the obligation on a par with "common Defense". It's given in the first of a lengthy series of paragraphs, so it might be considered more important than, say, the power to "...coin Money, regulate the Value thereof," which is four paragraphs later.

From elsewhere in comments:

Should the government be able to force me to buy a product that I may not want to use?

Probably not, and I'm not aware that it does.

Tom
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by:patriotpacer
ID: 39685313
That's easy. Article I, Section 8, paragraph 1:
We were talking about the president picking and choosing which laws to enforce, as is done in Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, and China - not something typically done in the United States.  RE: that subject - what I find odd is they're not wanting to enforce their OWN law.  Rather, they keep postponing until after each election.  I wonder why?

The healthcare laws provide for the "general Welfare" of the United States and are enforced primarily through changes to the tax code.
Obama Budget Director Says Obamacare Mandate Fine ‘NOT A TAX’


Probably not, and I'm not aware that it does.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he is drafting a proposal to delay for one year the REQUIREMENT for individuals to purchase health insurance.  
Apparently Democrat senators view it differently.
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by:bergertime
ID: 39685749
BigRat, one of my good friends had an aneurysm 3 years ago.  He got a ride in an ambulance to the hospital, where they airlifted him to another hospital where he received life saving treatment.  But the first hospital refused to treat him for this as they claimed to not be equipped to do it.  Did they also break this contract?  His insurance covered the operation.  So why risk some one's life to fly them hundreds of miles to another hospital.  Shouldn't every hospital be required to provide every procedure that a persons insurance may cover.  Still makes no sense and thank god they flew my friend up to a place where his life was saved.

Amish case right now.....

'An appeals court ruling in October gave an attorney who's also a registered nurse limited guardianship over Sarah and the power to make medical decisions for her. The court said the beliefs and convictions of her parents can't outweigh the rights of the state to protect the child.'

How far do the states rights cancel out a parents?  If I get an aggressive form of cancer, there's a good chance I'll forgo treatment (of course this would have many factors) but I've watched friends and family spend the last two years of their lives in terrible pain due to the treatments that may extend life for maybe a year.  I also believe people have the right to terminate their own lives if they want to.

So I guess it breaks down like this in the Amish case, you feel the state has the right to take this teenager from her parents, force them to undergo chemo, which may or may not work, but will make her very sick for sure, and even if the chemo works, you are never cured of cancer, only in remission.  I think it's up to the family to decide.  I KNOW if it were one of my children, I would want that right, not.......whatever the nanny state knows best.
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by:BigRat
ID: 39685885
I don't quite see what a hospital not being equiped to do something has to do with a hospital REJECTING a treatment which is extremely straightforward to do, on religious grounds, when the hospital has in principle agreed contractually to perform all necessary treatments which patients might require. Clearly exceptions are understandable when, for example, doctors, medication or equipment is not at hand.

We live in a representative democracy, where we effectively give up the right for individual action in return for the safety by the whole. That starts with the "right" to take vengence - tthat gets substituted by a justice system. Similarly we as a society accept that minors may need protection from their parents - the obvious case is physically abusive parents. How far the state goes is in fact the result of pressure from the public, who, whenever anything happens scream "there ought to be a law against it" and suddenly there is one.

Personally I find the term "nanny state" abusive, for I know a couple of nannies who are very well trained and work for a London agency.
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by:tliotta
ID: 39694289
Apparently Democrat senators view it differently.

There are a couple points to be made. First, there isn't a "requirement" to purchase. Health care may be had in various ways, e.g., through employers. And you can choose not to have insurance at all, taking the choice to pay a higher amount through your income tax instead. Or there are hardship circumstances that might make it inapplicable for numerous individuals.

But that's all separate from an odd point that seems never to be discussed.

There have long been many other items that have effectively the same financial and tax results that almost everyone agrees are desirable. It seems as if the objections to this particular item is focused only on the words of the laws rather than the effect.

An obvious one is the {requirement} to purchase a home mortgage loan. Like health insurance, I can choose not to {purchase} it. The result will be that I'll pay a higher amount through my income tax payment. But nobody complains about that. The result is effectively the same; it's mostly that the words that describe it are different.

For a mortgage, we are 'rewarded' (it's good!) with a deduction. Result: lower taxes. For health insurance, we also will pay less than if we don't have it; but it's written up as a form of {penalty} (it's bad!). Either way, have it and pay less tax than if you don't have it.

My odd question about is why one is considered desirable and the other isn't. Why is one considered a requirement to be opposed and the other is thought to be a right we should fight for?

To be clear, I do realize that health insurance is written about as a requirement. It's just not clear why something like mortgages are not, even though the financial result is so similar as far as the taxing is concerned. It's a fine 'political' point that I'm trying to illustrate.

Tom
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