Reader: Forget birth control -- where is the outrage over the ACA's other losses of choice?

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Last week five of the nine Supreme Court justices (Ruth Bader Ginsburg definitely not included) decided that "closely-held" corporations -- think Hobby Lobby -- can refuse to cover certain forms of contraception in their health plans if they are opposed to them from a religious standpoint. "When the Supreme Court decides that a corporation is a person with religious beliefs but a woman is not a person free to take care of her body as she chooses and sees fit, that's a problem for everyone," wrote Bree Davies in response -- and the comments have been flying eer since.

See also:
The Supreme Court's birth control ruling and why everyone should be concerned about it

But not in a direction that pleases Chris:

I don't understand how people can't see the hypocrisy of hating this particular Supreme Court decision but liking the ACA itself, which did far worse to the individual choices of tens of thousands of families. The mandated changes of the ACA meant tens if thousands of families (if not more) lost access to health plans and/or doctors they were happy with. Where is the outrage for that loss of choice?
Maybe readers are too busy being exercised over the Hobby Lobby decision to work up additional energy for the rest of the ACA -- but Chris, we're willing to predict that some people will get a second wind in response to your comment...


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63 comments
Dustin Friend
Dustin Friend

How do you know they use their own 401K? With the vast size of their wealth now, it would make more sense that they hire their own money managers and purchase stocks instead of using an expensive 401K option. Also, they are not directly investing in these companies, i.e. purchasing their stock directly, if they purchased index funds or mutual funsd, but indirectly via a fund manager or a computer program, both of which they would have no control over. There are also "socially responsible" mutual funds and money managers that don't invest in "sin stocks i.e. booze, cigarettes, the companies that you speak of... etc. There are over 7000 different mutual funds out there, like rule 37 of the internet, if you can think of a portfolio objective, there's a money manager doing it. On the flipside, the companies that provide these drugs also provide a slew of other drugs as well, so they would be several levels removed from any direct investment in abortificants and the like. It's improper just to automatically assume that they invest par-for-the-course like every day people, people with wealth tend to invest very different than people with smaller portfolios like you and me.

Lindsay Karson
Lindsay Karson

Hobby Lobby doesn't want to finance any possible abortions (according to their beliefs), so they won't pay for certain drugs/devices in their healthcare plan. But they do invest their own money (via their 401k) into the companies that make those drugs, thus financing the exact "abortions" they are against. How is that not hypocrisy?

Dustin Friend
Dustin Friend

Also, Lindsay Larson, you are correct, you can go to the individual companies outside of the exchanges and purchase health insurance, however, they will be your standard plans with lower deductibles and higher monthly costs than exchange plans. Which makes them unaffordable if you are in the income bracket that is Medicaid eligible. However, if you tried to sign up for health insurance online, through the exchanges, your name and number may already need in the system a Medicaid recipient, wherein you may get rejected upon application elsewhere.

Dustin Friend
Dustin Friend

Lindsay, it depends on a couple of things. Closely held corporations, in other words, like the Greens are the sole owners of Hobby Lobby, shootouts be able to make decisions about their company as they see fit, it is their company. In a publicly traded company that has hundreds or even thousands of owners of the company's stock, the rules change because now every decision that is made must be in the best interest of the shareholders and their thousands of opinions. So they should not be able to make any kind of faith based our morality based exemption from standard laws and rules. I also do think that once your company gets large enough, they should provide for some form of health insurance, but if you are a closely held or private company you should be able to have some say as to what that looks like, it is coming directly from your bottom line to provide those benefits to employees. In other words, if that money didn't go to health insurance, it would go to the owners pockets. So yes they absolutely should have some kind of day. Your second question, how do you know that Hobby Lobby is profiting from investments in said drug companies? In what regard, their 401k? If that is what you are referring to, a company gains absolutely no profit from a 401k, a 401k is the line item in the IRS tax code that allows for employees to contribute money from their paycheck, pre tax, into a retirement account. Company money cannot go into a 401k for the company's benefit, only for regular employees. And because of new ERISA laws, 401k funds must have target allocation funds (where each funds invests in other funds/ ETFs, so there may be thousands of individual holdings), and inexpensive index funds, where the S&P 500 index fund invests in the entire S&P 500. In many cases, the company itself is not paying for nor profiting in any way from these companies inside these funds. And it would be impossible to remove those companies from those mutual funds, target funds, and index funds. So it isn't hypocritical, but unfortunately most people don't understand how that system works, as it is incredibly complex.

Lindsay Karson
Lindsay Karson

I agree with a lot of what you are saying, especially the need for discussion and a move away from polarization. There are 2 things I'd like to ask. First, do you think large corporations should have to provide healthcare insurance to their employees? Second do you think it is hypocritical Hobby Lobby profits from investments in drug companies that make the exact pills and devices they are refusing to include in their employee healthcare plan? Why is religion a factor when providing a service but not a factor when receiving profits?

Dustin Friend
Dustin Friend

Part of the problem is it isn't liberals that are this way, liberals have moderate views (i.e. have room for give and take just like moderates and conservatives do) but the issue is the Progressive liberals, which are like the Tea Party of the left, where they take lefty views, and go running so far to the left with them, and then refuse any kind of real discussion about it. This attitude of non-negotiation on both sides is what has made us so polarized. And this whole my way or the highway attitude doesn't help. It's okay to have disagreements about things, then have intelligent conversations as to why people feel that particular way. It helps all of us become more rounded people. However, wherever your feelings lie, that shouldn't be the end of someone else's rights. I don't necessarily agree with the Hobby Lobby decision, but it is the Greens' company, and with that they have rights to do as they will and as they see fit with that company as long as it is within the law. And honestly, we shouldn't be forcing people to pay for things they have religious objections to. That is where our feelings begin to infringe on others rights. The 1st amendment is a great example, I'd probably say that 99.99% of the people in this country feel that the Westboro Baptist church are hateful ignorant people, have we told them they aren't allowed to protest places and people and such? No. Do we as individuals go and stand up for the people they are picketing? Yes. This is similar to the Hobby Lobby ruling, we can disagree with them, but that doesn't give us the right to infringe on someone else's rights. That's my soap box.

Lindsay Karson
Lindsay Karson

That is just not true! The government does not force you to be on Medicaid. Ridiculous. If you want to pay for another plan, you have 100% freedom to do so.

Cynthia Mendez
Cynthia Mendez

Personally I think if Westword posts more of this liberal libel BS without acknowledging the other side I'm going to start guessing they were major contributors to his campaign and therefore the campaign of that useless pos Clinton.

Pete Copeland
Pete Copeland

Abortions for all!!! Boooo! Hmm, abortions for none!!! Booo! Hmm, ok, abortions for some...miniature American flags for others!!! Yaaay!

Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

and michael... not you, or any of your liberal buddies up there have been able to explain the high unemployment rate of thosr liberal states.

Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

^ = can't defend his liberal rhetoric with facts, so he pulls out the "fox news" excuse and runs home.

Michael Price
Michael Price

Never mind, I see all the Fox News cast all over your page now and refuse to argue with anyone so programmed.

Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

most of those are not farm subsidies? prove it. i can say unicorns are real if i don't have to prove it.

Michael Price
Michael Price

So there's bad examples on both sides of the aisle and you think "conservatism" is better? And most of those are not farm subsidies (even though they take those too and may not even have a field of whatever they're supposed to be farming) The assistance we are talking about here is SNAP. And yes, it's always been this way. The southeast is the poorest region in our country. This shouldn't be a partisan thing but since the dumbasses down there keep voting for these idiots like Corker and Blackburn and Rick Scott, all of the original confederate states are in republican control for the second time since the end of the Civil War.

Michael Price
Michael Price

This is no prototype Matt. This is the answer to republicans refusing to budge on healthcare altogether. They still can't come up with an alternative and although some of us had "great plans" before the ACA there are many that had none at all, thus placing the burden of their medical bankruptcies on us, the taxpayer. You pay for it in one way or another. Seems like that difference in opinion is made for some people by whichever biased news channel they watch. And yes, a single payer system is what we should've had. The ACA is designed to put more money in the insurance company's pockets.

Dustin Friend
Dustin Friend

Oh good, you can find anti GOP propoganda. I bet that took an entire 15 seconds on google. Oh look, I found some too.

WillieStortz
WillieStortz topcommenter

It amazes me how quickly people were willing to give up their right to make their own healthcare choices, in hopes that they might get a measly handout from the federal government. 


I would have given up my freedom of speech before I willingly gave up the right to make healthcare choices for me and my family.

Aaron Davidson
Aaron Davidson

Thanks for pointing that out, Dustin! Indeed, most people don't know that, if you're eligible for Medicaid (and EVERY person applies for it through the exchange), you don't get any other choice. They give you a "congratulations!" message, and call it good. It's incredibly bizarre. You can't refuse the Government handout even if you want to.

Joslyn Larned
Joslyn Larned

I guess since we were born in America we are just another piece of revenue? We HAVE to hold health insurance? We cannot be trusted with our own health?? LOL oh the fleecing of America!

Michael Roque
Michael Roque

"Since when does the government FORCE SERVICES??" Since everyone must buy car insurance if they own a car. Since everyone must pay taxes for services like police, infrastructure, and defense. Those are services that we are forced to pay. So if you want to call Obama a dictator then you have to do the same for every president we've ever had. Also, the ACA was available to be read by everyone before it was passed. It was online. Now I don't know if you are ignorant to how politics work, but we elect representatives to go to Capitol Hill and vote on these things for us. That's how democracy works. If you don't like it, then elect better representatives.

A Chris Heismann
A Chris Heismann

First off, Westword, thanks for making mine the comment of the day. Second off, way to try and put words in my mouth. I did NOT say the original Supreme Court decision on Obamacare was worse than this one. I said I couldn't understand the hypocrisy of many people in denouncing this decision as a "loss of choice" when the ACA itself represented a loss of choice for many people. Bradford - rather than sling names, why don't you try explaining why you think I'm full of shit? Did Obama say "If you like you health plan, you can keep it?" He did. Yet that turned out to be untrue for tens of thousands, as did his did his statement about people being able to keep their doctor. That translated to a loss of choice for a lot of people. So how is it not hypocrisy to denounce this Hobby Lobby decision over a loss of choice while completely ignoring the loss of choice the ACA itself causes?

Dustin Friend
Dustin Friend

Tell me again how today's government it's going do a good job with a single payer system?

Dustin Friend
Dustin Friend

During the 3.5 years of WWII that started with Pearl Harbor and ended with the surrender of Japan and Germany in 1945 under FDR (democrat) the US produced 22 Aircraft carriers, 8 battleships, 48 cruisers, 349 destroyers, 420 destroyer escorts, 203 submarines, 34 million tons of merchant ships, 100,000 fighter aircraft, 98,000 bombers, 24,000 transport aircraft, 58,000 training aircraft, 93,000 tanks, 257000 artillary pieces, 105000 mortars, 3000000 machine guns, 2500000 military trucks. We put 16.1 million men in uniform, in the armed services, invaded AFrica, Sicily, Italy, won the Atlantic, planned and executed D-day, marched across the Pacific and Europe, developed the Atomic bomb, conquered Japan and Germany. During that same amount of time, we couldn't build a functioning website for the ACA.

Joslyn Larned
Joslyn Larned

Personally I think insurance companies should stop treating people like little profit centers. You know they are banging banks behind the scenes. I'm not paying for obummercare. He can suck it. Along with all the idiots who keep this jack off on office. Since when does the government FORCE SERVICES?? I'll be paying nobody and sitting at home with my rifle smoking my mj freely, all the while insulting cops and anything else free speech allows. *insert sarcasm* this country doesn't need a dictator feeding us forced services, and yes it's forced cud one pays a penalty tax if they don't have it. Maybe it should be written by the people with info from healthcare workers who want to make a diff and not a buck. Maybe it should be voted on by the people so we can read it. Maybe if people weren't so concerned about the quick fix it would be easier.

Dustin Friend
Dustin Friend

How is it people think a governement run, single payer system has any chance of success? Tell me one government program that has had any long standing success? Medicaid? Social Security? Fanny and Freddy? HUD? TANF? I'm sorry, but I'd rather stick with the private sector running my health insurance

Riley Nolan
Riley Nolan

Haha agreed, I guess sarcasm doesn't translate through Facebook very well... Anyways glad I could get you fired up; maybe you can take all that energy you put into feeding your superiority complex and use it to shut up. By the way did you mean definitely because defiantly doesn't really make sense in that context? Maybe you should learn to think for yourself, and learn what the words you use actually mean...

Dustin Friend
Dustin Friend

Here's another interesting fact, did you know that statistically speaking, you can make statistics have any outcome you want? Here's the states where there are more people on the government's dole than there are in the private sector (in other words, more people using taxpayer money than paying in) CA, HI, NM, IL, KY, OH, MS, AL, ME, NY. 7 of these states have democratic governor's and democratic legislatures. Statistics are fun!

Matt Leising
Matt Leising

I don't think so Brian you are looking at the prototype and it's not working...

Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

and dusty... how many of those federal dollars are farm subsidies and not food stamps like you libs are trying to suggest?

Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

still doesn't explain why california, nevada, and illinois... all homes to liberal leaders have 3 of the highest unemployment rates. you're using unrelated liberal rhetoric to create side arguments.

Durty D Boarder
Durty D Boarder

Yep, single payer is the answer , not this morphed Heritage foundation / Romney care bastard child

Durty D Boarder
Durty D Boarder

Not only highest poverty rates , but least educated, most unhealthy, & most religious.... Those are facts also... Go ahead & look those facts up

Dustin Friend
Dustin Friend

Here's an interesting fact about the medicaid expansion that people don't know about, or didn't care to learn on their own. When you apply for insurance in the Exchanges, you actually apply for Medicaid first, if you are denied Medicaid, then you can go on to purchase regular insurance. However, if you medicaid eligible, then you do not pass go, do not collect $200, you have no other options but to accept Medicaid. Now, if you are a younger person, and, say straight out of college, or whatever, and are accepted into medicaid, if you then begin to make more money and lose your medicaid eligibility, well, then medicaid wants its money back, dollar for dollar of benefits that you recieved while you were on Medicaid. If you never pay those benefits recieved, then a running tab/lein gets placed on your social security number, and when you die, the Feds receive first rights to your entire estate, even before your spouse. Once again, this is the ACA taking away rights of people, if you are eligible in the medicaid expansion, then you lose your right to choose your health insurance, the states that didn't sign on tothe medicaid expansion were doing more right by their citizens by not forcing them into permanent government assistance.

David Thead
David Thead

Its an undeniable fact that poverty levels are higher the Republican run South, its also been shown that poverty levels are higher in the states that did not expand Medicaid.

Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

and brian... your graph there is bullshit because it provides no link to the actual data they used. believe me, you libs love that "poverty" argument as a way to not have to defend unemployment. it's like the boss saying "why are you late today?" and you answer back with "why didn't you put the office closer to my house?" while it does say "census" as its source... it doesn't say what paragraphs or sections they used and you libs know nobody has the time to sort through all that data to look at the real facts.

Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

^ lmao. i bet you though you were the first person to use "republikkkan" when you typed it. oh, and check out the unemployment rate of nevada, home to harry reid, and illinois, home to obama, before you post a bullshit false argument.

Brian Martinez
Brian Martinez

Exactly why we should have gotten single payer. I'm tired of my insurance rates going up because Republicans want poor uninsured people to go to the E.R. (where they cannot be legally turned away).

Dustin Friend
Dustin Friend

He pretty much hit the nail on the head, last October I recieved my "cancellation letter" that stated that my plan was no longer compliant with ACA guidelines. I had a $1000 deductible with $4000 max out of pocket with a 80/20 co-insurance and $20 office visits. But because it didn't include things like pediatric dental, it wasn't compliant (I don't have kids). This plan cost me $208 a month. When I went onto the exchanges, which is where I was told to go, the closest I was able to find was a $1500 deductible, max out of pocket of $6200, 4 office visits a year at $40 a piece, my doctor wasn't on the list, it was still an Anthem plan, my co-insurance dropped to 70/30, and it cost me $350 a month. But I got pediatric dental included. I was happy with my previous plan, I knew my coverage front and back from my agent. With the new plans, my girlfriend and I have to pay about $700 a month for health insurance, that's almost a house payment. My first condo that I bought, it's mortgage payment was $748 a month. How is this right? So that some fat bastard who doesn't give a shit about his health can get free diabetis medicine while he eats his 2nd double quarter pounder with cheese and washes it down with a diet coke? Or so that women can get the pill for free or nuva ring for free or free plan b or whatever? Or so that I can pay for someone else's oxygen because they smoked unfiltered camels for 50 years? There are very few who are uninsured strictly because of a health problem they have no control over, and I feel for those people, but most of the uninsured were caused of their own accord, I see it all the time in my business. So I'm sorry, but you can take your government mandates or your single payer BS and cram it up your pie hole. The Affordable Care Act has been the biggest case of governement fraud, and the worst part is, there are so many uninformed out there who just buy this crap wholesale without even taking a minute to look at what it's doing to everyday people.

ThePriceIsWrong
ThePriceIsWrong

 "Since when does the government FORCE SERVICES??"


Since everyone must buy car insurance if they own a car. Since everyone must pay taxes for services like police, infrastructure, and defense. Those are services that we are forced to pay. So if you want to call Obama a dictator then you have to do the same for every president we've ever had.

Also, the ACA was available to be read by everyone before it was passed. It was online. Now I don't know if you are ignorant to how politics work, but we elect representatives to go to Capitol Hill and vote on these things for us. That's how democracy works. If you don't like it, then elect better representatives.

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