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Posted on Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 9:37 a.m.

Congress should reject attempts to allow employers to deny insurance coverage for birth control

By Letters to the Editor

We should ask Congress to reject any legislation that would empower employers to deny insurance coverage for birth control.

In the case of the Catholic church using the issue to sound like a victim of religious persecution, let us remember that it has freely chosen to operate colleges, hospitals, etc. in the secular world, employing and serving many non-Catholics and receiving taxpayer subsidies. Hence I feel that the rules of our society must apply.

The Supreme Court has ruled that Native Americans and Amish cannot claim religious exemptions from the law. Conservative Justice Scalia wrote: "We have never held that an individual's religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with and otherwise valid law."

We are in the United States, not in the Vatican!

Nearly all sexually active women -- 99 percent of them -- will rely on birth control at some point in their lives. Birth control is basic health care that lets women take charge of their health and manage ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and other conditions. Denying women access to this basic health care is offensive.

Congress must stop trying to take private medical decisions out of the hands of women and health professionals.

Marina B. Brown
Ann Arbor



Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 2:19 a.m.

Where's the poll? You have them for such mundane topics as the "best bakery"?


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 8:09 p.m.

Why should my employer tell me what I can or cannot do with MY compensation? Can a kosher store manager demand that his or her employees not buy pork, since they "pay me salary"?


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 5:48 p.m.

@Anders, According to the IRS, health insurance is not defined as compensation. It is a BENEFIT, meaning a company can control which benefits they offer or not offer. Well, until Obama decided to step in that is.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

I do not like the idea of anyone, such as the Catholic owner of a business to force anyone to follow their religious beliefs by denying doctor requested medical care.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 6:46 p.m.

Everyone here seems to just be saying "oh my god, I don't want people having sex and doing immoral things and birth control contributes to that". What about women who are on birth control for other medical issues? There are plenty of health reasons to be on the pill other than preventing pregnancy. I'm on the pill for medical reasons that have nothing to do with preventing pregnancy, and I have to pay close to $50 a month because my insurance won't cover my NECESSARY medication for an actual HEALTH ISSUE


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

@aggatt, It is true, that a lot of medications help other ailments other than the one it was designed for. But since birth control pills were designed for stopping a pregnancy from happening, it is therefore classiffied by the FDA as such. If you have an issue with it you will need to take it up with the FDA and Obama.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

"let us remember that it has freely chosen to operate colleges, hospitals, etc. in the secular world" let us all remember who were the first people to open colleges and hospitals and other "social services", churches did.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

So then if you work for a Christian Scientist organization can they deny you ALL health care since they don't believe in it? I can't believe some of the comments here. They don't even look to be from this millenium.

Rork Kuick

Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

It's about discrimination. If an employer is morally against Cesarian section procedures, is that OK? What if they don't think women should get health insurance at all?

Hot Sam

Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 12:16 p.m.

News flash! If there is a choice between buying a condom and going all the way or not, the young man is going to figure out a way to buy the condom...


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 4:24 a.m.

In some places, such as Washtenaw County, a Catholic Hospital has acquired community hospitals in Chelsea and Saline (and I think other places, too). In that health system and in systems across the country, there are employees of many religious beliefs other than Catholicism. These are businesses that receive payments from Medicare and Medicaid (i.e. our tax dollars). In some places, health care workers don't have a choice about working for a non-Catholic medical center. As I recall, the health care compromise wasn't for Catholic Churches to provide contraception coverage. Amid this uproar about people, such as men, who don't use contraception paying for it via health insurance, where's the question about why people who don't have children or whose children are grown paying for maternity coverage? What's to keep employers from not covering cancer treatment or cardiac devices prescribed by doctors? What's to keep employers from not covering maternity costs since men don't get pregnant? Maybe an employer won't want to pay for transportation by Huron Valley Ambulance, ER xrays and bone setting, suturing, etc. if the injuries were sustained in a traffic accident in which the driver/patient was driving a little too fast. Who is judging who? Health care is too important for employers to be able to pick and choose what access employees could have and what access they'd be denied and unable to afford. It's been over 50 years since contraception has been at risk in the United States. Former President John Kennedy understood the separation of church and state. As a Catholic, he could follow the Bishops. Now we have many Catholic families choosing their own direction and it's often not what the Bishops preach about birth control.


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 3:40 a.m.

If health care is too important for employers to decide what they pay for, then end employer based health insurance and let everyone buy their own plan that meets their needs.

Joe Kidd

Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 4:09 a.m.

In addition to stamping on religious rights I also find this law odd in that is seeks to provide free drugs to healthy people. Up to this, I was mistaken in believing the incorrectly named "Affordable Health Care Act" was intended to make health care more affordable to ill folks who can't or have trouble affording it. Silly me for thinking the most important section of the population that should receive primary attention are sick people, not healthy people. So now all the payments either in full or by co pay are now going to be taken up by the rest of us plus any new people coming of age to get contraceptives. I am not sure how much users put in the pot but all that is gone, to be covered by everyone else. I suppose that is a substantial amount. I suppose people who are seriously ill and having trouble paying for their medications are just tickled by this law. No drugs for you, we have to cover the sex lives of healthy people first. Oh and by the way, your prescription costs are going to increase so we can pay for contraceptives.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 3:52 a.m.

To those who don't want health insurance to pay for birth control pills and other basic health care for women, I wonder if you really know how hormonal pills work and that many women seek pain control and treatment for serious women's problems. Why should you pay for it? Why should women pay for ED pills for men? Why should women pay for insurance that includes prostate exams for men? We all pay for health care for diseases we won't get and we never know in advance which diseases we will get and which ones we won't get. The facts are that some people who have never smoked cigarettes get lung cancer. The fact is that some diseases occur due to reasons we don't understand. Some causes might be genetic. We don't know enough about it to stop people from getting sick. The comment about just saying "no" to sex ignores the fact that birth control is used by married women and benefits both men and women. Health care policies need to include coverage for women's health, men's health, children's health, etc.. It's the Democrats who want medical decisions to be between patients and doctors and keep Government out of people's bedrooms.


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 3:34 a.m.

It is the democrats who want the unelected Sec. of Health & Human Severices to decide what insurance companies will pay for and what medical services you will be entitled to. Part of Obamacare is "medical effective comparison" which means if the feds don't think a treatment is cost effective it can be denied. So much for medical decision being made by doctors and patients.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 12:23 a.m.

The comment section of Ann hits new low in this article.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 4:23 a.m.

I agree. Some of the reasoning is completely ridiclous. And those resorting to insults when they are struggling to support their ridiculous reasoning...

Ricardo Queso

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 11:43 p.m.

Clearly against the first amendment. Go ahead libs, pick a fight with the Church and the millions of Catholics who vote. I agree with previous posters. Keep your knees together and this would not be an issue. It worked for millions of years.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 4:28 a.m.

The majority of Catholic women use birth control at some point in their lives. It's a great majority. I've heard figures in the 90+ %. Don't confuse the Vatican directives with what Catholic couples actually do.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 10:41 p.m.

Irony = The same people against birth control are the same people against abortion. Go ahead and take away funding for birth control and see what happens to abortion rates. Maybe you would want to pick the lesser sin...


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 7:34 p.m.

Diagenes: Not true, the Catholic Church is exempt. This is such a pseudo-issue. The Catholic Church itself is backing away from contraception being evil. As for the governement "forcing" us to do things we don't want to do - that happens all the time. I'm taxed and I have to watch the money get spent on all sorts of things that I am morally against. I still have to pay my taxes. Regulating insurance seems very much the privy of the government.

Joe Kidd

Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 4:15 a.m.

Why are you guys only talking about Catholic opposition? Looky here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 3:25 a.m.

1Bit, The government is forcing the Catholic Church to pay insurance premiums to provide contraceptives to their employees. Contraception is often an optional rider on most insurance plans. Including this benefit drives up the cost of insurance. BHO decided to require the insurance company to provide coverage for contraception at no additional charge to religious organizations. Does the government have the power to compel a company to provide a product for free? Does the federal government have the power to compel an employer to pay extra for an employee health plan? I do not think it does and I certainly think it should not have that power.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 2:27 a.m.

No one is forcing the Catholic Church to do anything of the sort. Please stop the beating of the war drums and the gnashing of teeth. The government sets rules. That is its function. It is setting a rule for health insurance. That's it. The government isn't forcing anyone to use contraception. The government isn't paying for contraception. But the government is saying that access should be available through health insurance plans.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 12:23 a.m.

One correction to my comment, besides the letters I missed capitalizing, this is not about whether or not people who are Catholic are being forced to fund birth control (my last sentence). This is about whether or not the Catholic Church and the religious institutions it provides and runs are forced to provide birth control.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 11:46 p.m.

This is not the 1960s. This is not a case of opposing contraception and trying to force that upon anyone. This is a case of those who believe that contraception is not in keeping with their own personal religious beliefs and who expect their religious hierarchy to hold true to that teaching and not give in to popular opinion being told by a bureaucracy that our religious organizations MUST contravene their teachings in favor of social and governmental policies decided in Washington. The last I saw, this runs wholly afoul of a particular document enshrined in the Capitol that is called the US Constitution and its 1st Amendment. If we don't take a stand now, then we can never recoil when society tells us we must provide condoms and contraception to children in our parochial schools, that we must offer abortion counseling in our charities. Soon we'll have monitors sitting in our churches reviewing the Sunday sermons to ensure compliance with politically correct &quot;laws of inclusion&quot;. This will no longer be a free nation but a mirror image of a China that suppresses religiously faithful and erects a puppet &quot;Catholic Church&quot; that holds no recognition of central authority or instruction but which survives the screening of the Communist Party. I don't want to live in that world--but that IS what is at stake here.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.

I am against abortion. I'm not against the use of all birth control. I have used it. I'm not catholic either. However, I am against forcing the catholic church to provide something that goes against their fundamental beliefs. And, I understand the Catholic Church's reasoning against some of it. I don't see being against some forms of birth control and abortion as qualifying as irony. The &quot;lesser sin&quot; would be for both men and women to consider both the positive and negative, emotional and physical, results/consequences of their actions and be prepared to share in the responsibilities and rights that go with that, equally, in a way that does not harm other human life. Also, not forcing Catholics to fund birth control does not equate to taking away funding for birth control.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 9:55 p.m.

What will happen if Mercy Int/IHA decide to go out of business instead of paying for products and services that violate their mission statements?

Martin Church

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 9:44 p.m.

Who started social programs, who started helping the poor. That was the Church. It was not the government. In fact the Government saw the people as a resource to be used and abused. Only the church has developed programs to help others, including education, health care and taking care of the orphans. What you are purposing is what failed in the old soviet union. the country failed to understand the basics of the human condition and is answerable to a high power. to whom is the government accountable to. NO ONE. we can not even remove people from congress who have failed us by not passing a budget. the bill of rights was Established for the express purpose of preventing the government from acting in the way this administration has. Health care is not the government's responsibility to provide or dictate for. and the Obama plan for the church to not pay for reproductive choice that leads to the death of an individual and force the insurance companies to pay for it is a smoke screen. All it does is not make it a line item on the bill but we are still paying for the extermination of humans in order to allow immoral behavior.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 9:12 p.m.

This contraceptive mandate does not equal to government &quot;entitlement&quot;, or hand outs. This is more like government mandate Ford, GM, Toyota etc to include airbags and ABS and stability control in all their models. Why no one ever argue: airbags and ABS stability control are not entitlement! ? If you can't drive without airbags, then do drive! ?


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 2:28 p.m.

Also forgot to add that in 2014, whether you are working or not you must buy health insurance. So if I am not working, I must have health insurance which includes the free birth control mandate by Obama. Under your logic Anders, since I am not working, who pays for it?


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

@Anders So when Obama said &quot;Neither employers nor employees will not pay for the drugs&quot; he is lying? Someone has to pay for it. Under your logic &quot;paid for by employees' labor effort&quot; you mean all I have to do is work and somehow birth control is magically paid for?


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 6:20 p.m.

&quot;The government is mandating it to be FREE.&quot; No you are wrong. The government is mandating it to be included in commercial products paid for by employees' labor effort, called health insurance package. &quot;Mandating the Catholic Church to pay for contraception, directly or indirectly, is restricting their religious beliefs. &quot; And mandating Jehovah's Witnesses' employees health insurance plan to cover blood transfusion? What if I own a car company, and my religious belief is against airbags?

Joe Kidd

Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 4:20 a.m.

When I see in the First Amendment, &quot;Congress shall make no law abridging the right of car manufactures,&quot; I will take your post a little seriously.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 3:12 a.m.

The government has the power to regulate a product sold across state lines under the commerce clause in the Constitution. Mandating airbags is perfectly legal. The first amendment to the Constitution says Congress shall make no laws restricting the free expression of religion. Mandating the Catholic Church to pay for contraception, directly or indirectly, is restricting their religious beliefs. Your auto analogy is not relevent to this issue.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 3:04 a.m.

@Anders, &quot;This contraceptive mandate does not equal to government &quot;entitlement&quot;, or hand outs&quot; The government is mandating it to be FREE. How is that NOT a handout? Or an entitlement? The taxpayers are picking up the cost of this. Did you not read the report last week that because of the EXTRA benefits that Obama has added to his health care law it will now cost us $111 billion dollars MORE for Obama's healthcare. Can you please explain how we are going to pay for this?

Sandy Castle

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

Agreed! If you don't want to follow the rules that other businesses must follow then don't go into business!!! This is America, every woman can make her own decision about birth control. If all employers are required to provide coverage for birth control, then the religious organizations must make the choice whether they want to BE a business!

Joe Kidd

Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

It is not a business issue. The issue is the govt telling a business, in this case insurance companies, that they have to provide a drug for free. I can't think of any other examples where the govt makes a business give there product for free.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 3:05 a.m.

Religious organizations could decide not to offer health insurance to their employees. These employees could then apply for subsidized coverage through the exchanges that are being formed in each state. This will dramatically increase the cost to the federal government. The arguement is not about following rules but about the free expression of religion and the power of the federal government.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 3:01 a.m.

@Sandy, Yes, every woman can make her own decision about birth control. And by all means let them! They can buy their birth control pills. Why does the government NEED to mandate that birth control is to be offered for FREE? If a woman wants birth control to be covered in her health insurance plan then let her pay for the extra premium for it. If a woman doesn't want it to be covered then she should have a choice for not taking it. But why am I being forced to pay for her free birth control pills? Do you want to start buying my condoms for me?


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 12:12 a.m.

They aren't a business. They are a religious organization. I don't think they should be a business.

Ivor Ivorsen

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

To: all conservative commentators, TeaPublicans, et al From: Me Re: Women, Sex, and Contraception in the 21st century Guys, I need your help! Please, if you could, do your best to... 1. State your positions on these issues as frequently, loudly and shrilly as possible. 2. Demand all current and future Republican candidates make awkward, contradictory, and profoundly silly statements on these issues. 3. Repeat points #1 and #2 as necessary. Your efforts on these points are already having a noticeable impact (see link below). Thank you! But I will not be personally satisfied until there exists at least a 20% gap between President Obama and Mitt Romney among female voters. WE CAN DO THIS! <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 4:04 a.m.

This controversy has brought out proof that many who are against providing these benefits for women don't even understand how contraception works. On this issue, it isn't just Democratic, independent, and sometimes Republican voters who support contraception, it's members of the Republican base!


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

Wait until the Feds decide that the Pill causes too many DVT's and will only cover condoms. Or you think your Nuva ring is the best and the Feds thinks it costs a tad too much for their plans, so they will only pay for sterilization.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 2:14 a.m.

wait till your private for profit insurer decides your no longer an asset on their books rather a liability because you got too sick. That's when they turn your file over to the crew who looks for a reason to dump you. Or you get too sick to work anymore and your employer lets you go and you can't afford to pay the COBRA to keep your insurance.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 6:17 p.m.

There seems to be a belief that the First Amendment is amenable to a balancing of interests as weighed by polls and surveys. The only question here is whether Congress and its bureaucracies can pass laws that trump the free exercise of religion. The First Amendment answers that clearly and succintly--Congress shall make NO LAW...prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Yet here we stand with an artificially framed counter argument that this has everything to do with gender-based health. Until now, if a person found the employment benefits of her employer lacking she could seek employment elsewhere. There's never been any issue with that. An inconvenience? Perhaps, but denial of a personal right? Hardly. The fact is no church or faith-based organization can tell anyone what to do with their personal choices. This law now requires faith-based NGOs to make a Hobson's choice to either comply with an unconstitutional law that cuts to the core of religious autonomy or get out of non-profit charitable work because it is too &quot;secular&quot;. That turns the concepts of choice and rights on its head and eviscerates the 1st Amendment solely to accommodate remote and hypothetical medical demands of hypothetical persons who are 1) unable to find employment in any other business, 2) in dire medical need of a contraceptive pill, 3) incapable of paying for what is one of the cheaper forms of medication, and 4) incapable of finding assistance at any Planned Parenthood clinic. Catholics, Jews, Lutherans, and others founded hospitals, orphanges, and other charities relying on donations of their faithful. They offered care in those communities where resources were lacking or non-existent. This is considered &quot;living the faith&quot; and is a tenet of faith. Now we're told unless we agree to worship on the new altar of government health care, our engagement in those &quot;secular&quot; activities is no longer welcome. What a poorer world this will be if that ha


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 9:37 p.m.

If that is the case Sandy, then you need to contact President Obama and Congress to disagree with Obamacare provisions that allow excemptions for church run health plans. Then you will need to further disagree with his &quot;compromise&quot; of passing the contraceptive costs through insurance companies handling church affiliated plans. Please let us know the response.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 9:18 p.m.

If they are so religious, why don't they want to make the choice themselves? My friend is against abortion. But she's against abortion ban. She told me: why would people take away my choice to NOT get an abortion? The answer is easy: they are cowards, because they know when they can make choice, they will choose against their religious belief.

Sandy Castle

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

Requiring contraceptive coverage in health care packages has nothing to do with the &quot;free exercise of religion&quot;.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

Excellent post DennisP


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 5:54 p.m.

&quot; Denying women access to this basic health care is offensive&quot; No one is denying women access to birth control pills, you can get them 6 days a week at Planned Parenthood. Good Day


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

As of ten years ago all you had to do was answer Planned Parenthood's questions to their satisfaction and both the exam and birth control cost less than an insurance co-pay, if anything. They did give away condoms like free candy. In a candy jar on the front desk. So, they made it so those who said they had enough money paid and those who said they didn't, didn't pay. Unfortunately, not all of the basic human needs are provided for in the same way as birth control and abortion.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 6:14 p.m.

They don't just hand them out like free candy! Like any other health provider, they have you schedule and pay for an exam and can charge you on a sliding scale if appropriate.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 5:45 p.m.

Nobody should be paying for my birth control other than me. If an employer chooses to provide that &quot;benefit&quot;, than let those that want it try to work for that employer. The government needs to stop meddling in everything.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

Do you also agree that no one should pay for a person's decision to have a child as well?

Dog Guy

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

When I began my happy lifetime of living on your taxes, the lieutenant told me, &quot;If the government wanted you to have a conscience it would have issued you one.&quot; Following orders is necessary if government healthcare is to run with military efficiency. Although Ann Arborites love conformity, not all outsiders do. They must be gotten in line.

Stephen Landes

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

I sure hope your post is sarcastic.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 4:54 p.m.

If men were the ones taking birth control, there would be no issue.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 3:26 a.m.

@Sandy, Insurance does not cover Viagra. It is considered a lifestyle drug. Which means it is a choice. Not something you have to have to live or to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 11:31 p.m.

Sandy, I don't take Viagra or any of those products. The point is no law makes any faith-based employer buy insurance to cover it as far as I know. If there is, I would certainly oppose it. If an employer wants to pay for such insurance, that's a matter for the employer and employee. Just as it is right now regarding contraception and abortion. I certainly wouldn't demand that a law cover it any more than I would expect a law to require an employer pay for insurance for aphrodisiacs. And none of that has to do with the express language in the 1st Amendment. Congress shall pass no law restricting free exercise of religion which is the real issue. Not whether the argument exists only as a function of gender. There are quite a few women opposed to this as well. Your example is not on point.

Sandy Castle

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 7:59 p.m.

DennisP, insurance covers your Viagra.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 6:35 p.m.

&quot;If men were the ones taking birth control, there would be no issue.&quot; Thought that one up all by yourself, huh? You're right. We'd be expected to pay for it ourselves. The fact is that men's health is secondary today. The dominant spending in health care and health care research goes to women. See: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> That's ok. I don't complain as I love my wife and want her to have good care as I do all women. But, don't bring a bumper-sticker mentality to an important debate that requires depth and discourse.

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

so if men wore condoms they would be covered by insurance?


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 4:54 p.m.

The federal government has no authority under the Constitution to dictate that insurance contracts must provide this or any other coverage. Everything else is beside the point. Ron Paul said it best: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Of course, if people understood this they might then figure out that nearly everything the federal government does violates the Constitution. That would be dangerous. People might even start reading history and get even more ideas. The horror!

Silly Sally

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

This argument is not about a woman's access to birth control, or even abortion for that matter. It is about forcing a religious institution to buy it for its employees., These employees still have access to it, just not via their employer. If they do not like that, do not work for that employer. Should the feds force employers to sell ham at a Kosher deli? I might want to buy a ham sandwich? Is this not my right? Interesting reading is this: Google it The Parable of the Kosher Deli, by Catholic Bishop William E. Lori as he testified in the US House Oversight and Government Reform Com.opposing Obamacare's new regulation to force all health-careplans to cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that induce abortions.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 4:44 a.m.

While a kosher deli doesn't have to sell ham, neither does a supermarket have to sell any kosher food. So what's your point?


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 4:33 p.m.

Sex is an important part of my health. Who are these people who say something like, &quot;Just don't have sex&quot;? Is sex not important to them, to their health?


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

I couldn't agree more. What I don't understand is why people want to take away other people's choices. That's all this is. This isn't forcing everyone to take birth control. This isn't making them do anything they don't want to. But there are many out there that can't afford the pill. And even covered under insurance, it isn't FREE by any means. It make it cheaper, yes. So this gives people who want or need to take birth control easier and better access to it. And for those who think, well, if women just kept their damn legs shut this wouldn't be an issue. You sicken me. You should be ashamed of yourselves. If you think that is so right, go tell that to your mothers. Your sisters. Your wives and girlfriends. Oh, but then you wouldn't be able to have sex if they all did that. Now who's crying foul? Men will never have the worry about being pregnant. So they are the ones who should just say NO!


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 2:55 a.m.

Anders, employers pay the majority of the cost of group health plans. Many plans have an option to include prescription drugs, contraception, and voluntary abortions, (abortions that are not medically necesary). Mandating plans to include contraception or abortion drives ups the cost of insurance to the employer. The employer should have the power to decide the level of benefits offered to the employees. If an employee wants additional benefits not offered under their group plan they can buy it themselves. The larger question remains; is there no limit to the power of the federal government to compel companies to buy something?


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 6:06 p.m.

Btw.. same higher ups.. want to do away with PP


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

Here here!!.. Do you notice that never ever is male contraceptives mentioned. and they can walk away .. sadly as many do.. so who takes care of these babies that men make cuz they can't keep their man organ in their pants. I know.. let's make a government mandate that men need vasectomies . at 15!! right.. can't do that.. but they can make babies .


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 5:47 p.m.

It is not about choice. It is about the power and reach of the federal government. If women want oral contraception then let them pay for it themselves. No one is saying that it should not be available. Many health plans exclude different drugs from their formulary. Why is birth control so vital to women's health and not other drugs?


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

We're talking about one small part of a comprehensive health care program. Why the anti-big-government people want to dig their fingers into this is puzzling to me.

Sandy Castle

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

They're digging into it because it hinders their religious freedom...LOL

Stephen Landes

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 6:24 p.m.

Ask Obama -- his people raised the issue beginning with Stephanopoulus asking a question about it during a debate. No one that I know of running for office or focusing on repealing Obamacare has focused on contraception.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

I'm against government paid birth control (aka tax payer paid) and it's not for any religious belief. And I also support those who are against abortions, for whatever reason, not being forced to pay for something they are morally and ethically against. Birth control is no different - it's an ethics issue for many people.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 4:42 a.m.

Many are against people who have too many children. The number varies among people who oppose having too many children. Should we paid child birth expenses for someone's 8th child? Beyond paying for childbirth, are you willing to pay for that child's support? I donate to Food Gatherers. Do you?


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 2:52 a.m.

@Anders, Where have you been? Obama's birth control mandate requires it to be FREE. So, when Obama's health law takes full effect in 2014 and individuals MUST buy health insurance, majority of these individuals will have most of their health insurance premiums paid for or at least half of their health insurance premiums paid for by the government, which means us taxpayers. So, it is the taxpayers that will be subsidizing the FREE birth control pills. If a woman wants birth control, fine let her pay for it. It's her choice. But why must I have to buy it for her? Is there anyone out there that would like to buy me a box of condoms? Understand now?


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 9:31 p.m.

Please explain why the mandate has anything to do with &quot;government paid&quot;, please?


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 8:28 p.m.

Sh1, I didn't see anywhere that pest said they are against abortions.  Just that pest is against people being forced to pay for them.  Also, when you say &quot;You are against abortions.  What if I'm against childbirth?  You're  comparing apples to oranges (or life to death for that matter) Also, when you say, &quot;Since sex is inherent to our nature, telling women &quot;Just Say No&quot; is disingenuous at best&quot; you are contradicting yourself.  Covering  childbirth is the same as covering any measures that aide in protecting and valuing any human life.  Both the mother's and the child's.  Childbirth, sex, and the ability to say no are inherent to our nature and are natural processes.  Medical birth control and abortions are not.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

Craig, you make my point. Since sex is inherent to our nature, telling women &quot;Just Say No&quot; seems disingenuous at best.

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 5:46 p.m.

sh1, one can't possibly be logically against child birth. Its a propagation of the species thing. Its inherent in all living creatures.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.

You are against abortions. What if I'm against childbirth? Should I have a say in other people's health coverage?


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

I would like to see the Federal Government completely out of health care. Barring that, I would prefer a single payer system, then employers would be relieved of any decisions. But, then so would any citizen of the US who is not part of the Government machine. We have the worst of all systems right now, where the government (at all levels) drives up the cost of health care. Nothing is free, if a new benefit is added to insurance (no matter what) the premium prices have to rise. Mental Health Care? Birth Control? Replacement knees? Open Heart Surgery? None are free, we pay for them. Each mandate adds to our cost of health care.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 12:57 a.m.

1bit and Anders - I am against the game that is played by the Federal Government, handing the states less money than the mandate costs. Medicare is a program that people now expect. If it did not exist, then people would have saved for a different program. I am tired of this half in/half out mess we have. Either give it all to the government or get the government completely out of health care. I don't care which, but the current system is a complete and costly mess.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 10:39 p.m.

&quot;I would like to see the Federal Government completely out of health care. &quot; DonBee: I didn't realize you were against Medicare. You can float that idea by seniors and see how it goes. And then you can tell them how they will afford their health care.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 9:28 p.m.

&quot;Single-payer health care is medical care funded from a single insurance pool, run by the state (reading: country).&quot; How can you support single-payer while against Federal Government involvement? Do you say &quot;state-run&quot; single-payer? There are multiple states, so it's multi-payers, not single payer.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

I agree with you and also think employers should be left out of health care. It makes no sense why they should have to provide that when they pay me a good paycheck that I can then use to purchase whatever I want. Just like how we all purchase our own auto insurance. You would avoid this whole problem with birth control (or whatever offends somebody else) with the added benefit that people would start to care how much their health care costs. When we start to care about the cost of individual procedures as opposed to just how much our copay is, costs will go down because we will demand that they do by shopping around to find out where we can get an exam cheaper, etc.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

I absolutely agree. The model of getting health care through your employer is a flawed model.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 3:26 p.m.

Maybe a more comprehensive law should be passed, allowing anyone to exclude coverage in their employee plans for anything they religiously or morally disagree with. Jehovah's Witness employers could exclude coverage for blood transfusions, Vegan employers could exclude anything traced back to use of animals in testing or production (pretty much everything medical), Christian Scientists could exclude everything save for maybe broken bones, Scientologist or Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster employers could cross off whatever coverage they object to (though I don't know that CFSM folks object to much of anything). Christians couldn't object to this because they're bound by the Golden Rule, and if they would have others offer them this right to reject coverage, well... We'll see how this goes.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 12:38 a.m.

From my understanding of this particular issue, correct me if I'm wrong, this about the Catholic Church and the institutions it runs being forced to provide coverage that includes birth control. Not about any person or employer who is a Catholic being forced to provide insurance that covers birth control. If I am understanding this correctly then some of your comments don't seem quite relevant to this particular issue. This is more an issue of the government telling a church they must provide something that goes against their fundamental beliefs that is neither a necessity nor something that can't be obtained through other means.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

wow.. sometimes when i read peoples comments.. I feel like they have read a whole different article...LOL and every comment below is so obviously from a man. Amazing, I think the whole train of thought of this being covered thru insurance has been lost in translations. Now, if this was males who didn;t get coverage for anything to do with their male reproductive parts,, you can bet this wouldn't be an issue.


Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 2:42 a.m.

@Kim S and @ Craig, No, most health insurance plans do not cover ED pills. It is considered a &quot;lifestyle drug&quot; and is not covered by MOST plans. If men want Viagra they are more than welcomed to pay for it out of their pocket.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

@Craig: Yes, ED pills are covered by insurance plans, and have been for some time.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

&quot;wow.. sometimes when i read peoples comments.. I feel like they have read a whole different article...LOL &quot; I couldn't agree more. I scratched my head pretty hard over trying to figure out how some of those connections were being made, and still can't for the life of me figure it out. Absolutely baffling.

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

I have no idea, but are all those erectile dysfunction pills we see advertised covered by insurance? If they are they shouldn't be. I am told one can get birth control pills rather cheaply from Planned Parenthood. Once upon a time as cheap as $5 a month I'm told. But to me the bottom line is somehow some way the ever escalating cost of health care needs to be reigned in. One thin that could help is to stop covering affordable &quot;discretionary&quot; items.

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

I am not Catholic, although I have many Catholic relatives. I am in agreement with the first 3 posts.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

The issue at stake is not about obeying laws, its about the power of the Federal government to compel people to violate their religious beliefs. Can the Federal government force muslims to provide alcoholic beverages to employees? Can it force Amish people to install electric lights in their homes? Is there no end to the power of the Federal government? Can it compel you to buy broccoli because it is good for you and is transported across state lines? (commerse clause) Where in the Constitution does it say that an employer must be forced to buy a product for its employees?


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 6:09 p.m.

If an employer chooses (there we are again!) to have medical insurance one would hope it would be a well rounded coverage. My insurance covers birth control. It's not free, but around $25 a month. I think birth control is a pivotal part of a woman's health. I would hope that this said insurance would also cover your Viagra as well. To cover one and not the other seems rather biased. To me it tells me that a man's erectile dysfunction and therefore his sexual health is more important than a woman's. Or is sex not apart of anyone's health? If a man can't have sex, too bad! Right? But that's not how our society works. For men sex is good and great and it's their RIGHT to have as much of it as possible. No one brands a man a slut. So they come up with these pills to help out a man's &quot;virility&quot;. But when a woman can take a pill and not have to worry about being pregnant, the tables are turned on her. A woman has no sexual freedom even today. You further this dichotomy and it hurts not only women, but a society as a whole. What the federal government and President Obama respectfully want to do is equal the playing field. And if we all sent and said &quot;I don't want to pay for this!!&quot; not much would be done. I don't want to pay for all those people in prison either. But I do.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

Grimmk, You are right it is about choices. The choice not to have to buy something. The choice to be free from a federal government thats requires you to do something that violates your religious beliefs. The decision to have children is a personal choice. Should the federal government have the power to require you or your employer to buy birth control? We do not require companies to provide dental insurance. Why birth control?


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

I fail to see how your analogies correspond to this topic. Alcohol is a beverage. Not a medicine. Most employers would never allow their employees to be drunk while at work. Alcohol affects brain function. Birth control doesn't. Amish have full access to all our modern technology and they just choose not to use it. And that is what this is all about. Choices. Having the choice to use something or not. If you just take all choices away, then you are restricting people and not letting them choose for themselves. If you don't want to use electricity, that's fine! But if you do, go ahead and turn on a switch! Only dictators do this. I think not having a ton of kids is having the right to pursue happiness. It makes people have happier and healthier lives. It doesn't drain the bank accounts of the people nor the government. If you want to have kids, go ahead. If you don't, that's fine too.

Top Cat

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

Birth control has nothing to do with health care. Birth control is not a Federal issue. Birth control is not an entitlement. Every woman has free birth control at her command 24 x's called.....just say No !


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 4:17 p.m.

Birth control has a lot to do with health care. I'm on the pill for something unrelated to preventing pregnancy. I need it for an actual health issue, and I have to pay a lot of money to get this very necessary perscription thanks to people like you who don't understand how birth control works and how necessary it is


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

Clearly you haven't thought this through. I bet, seeing as your comment is full misogyny, that you wouldn't expect your wife or girlfriend to hold to this. Better yet, you say no! Why is it just women that have to say no? It takes two to make a baby, but it all falls upon the woman?! Where are you? Back in the 1920?! You comment is abhorrent. You imply that women cannot have the sexual freedom as men. They have to just sit there and be &quot;pure&quot; and never have sex. While men and go out and bang anything that moves that that doesn't make them sluts. But if a woman wants to? Whoa, hang up the phone. Stop this nonsense now! They can't do that! That would make them equal with men and that would make men sluts now too?! No thank you. Birth control is a health issue. Just saying no is a social issue. I hope you can just say no.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

When did America become a country where we are continuelly told that everything we want, the government will give us for free? Yes 99% of woman will use birth control in their life, but why does anyone think it is an entitlement? 100% of people will use food in their lifetime, should everyone get free food? When I was younger my parents taught me &quot;Nothing in life is free.&quot; It appears that now we are being taught, If we want it, the government will give it to us.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

I'm scratching my head, trying to figure out where &quot;When did America become a country where we are continuelly told that everything we want, the government will give us for free? &quot; comes from. When does a health care medicine equate to everything we want? When does insurance from a private insurance company as a part of compensation for our job become &quot;the government will give us&quot;? When does a insurance plan we paid for become &quot;free&quot;? Still scratching my head!


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

So you are okay with one part of an otherwise comprehensive health care program being singled out by employers?

Stephen Landes

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

Ms. Brown, Why are you content to take private medical decisions out of the hands of women and health professionals and put it in the hands of the Federal government? Whatever the government may seem to grant to you today they can regulate, control, and require or refuse in the future.

Silly Sally

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

Mrs Brown, you're not a lovely daughter...