Friday, July 18, 2014

Senate Vote

In the news this week, the Hobby Lobby case returned!

The Senate voted on a bill, which would have overridden the Supreme Court's decision concerning Hobby Lobby, by requiring all for-profit business to provide all 20 types of contraceptives. (The Supreme Court case ruled that Hobby Lobby only had to provide 16 types, due to religious objections against four of them).

The vote failed, by four votes. There were only four senators who did not vote along party lines. Three of them were Republican, while the other was the majority leader Harry Reid. I wonder why he voted against his own party's bill.

Political analysts believe the bill failed, because both parties are gridlocked against each other, and it's near impossible to pass any bills whatsoever because it went too far beyond its scope. That is, the Hobby Lobby case was about contraceptives coverage, but the proposed bill went beyond that and dealt with abortion coverage, too. Other analysts are saying the bill failed, because it didn't have the support of the leading Democrat.

People have been vocal on Twitter about the topic, using the slogan "not my boss's business". The argument is that birth control is a private matter, between a woman and her doctor. Her employer should have no say in the matter whatsoever. But if it's not her boss' business, why should her boss pay for it? Usually, when someone is financially responsible for something, they feel like they deserve to dictate what it's like. I can remember many times when my parents overrode my preferences, on the grounds that they were paying for something, so they had final control over it.

Maybe there can be a different middleman between people and their health care, besides employers. There are many people like me, whose employers have chosen not to provide health care, based on the type of work I do. If I had a choice between "no health care at all" and "health care which does not provide full contraceptive access", I'd take the latter.


Anonymous said...

They should just get rid of the middle man all together. You can buy condoms at a drug store--why not birth control as well? Wouldn't making birth control OTC with little regulation be an amiable solution?

Stephanie said...

In most cases employer's that offer health insurance pay a portion of the premium and the employee pays a portion. So, unless the employer is offering health insurance, at no cost to the employee, they shouldn't be able to dictate what benefits or drugs are covered.
Also, correct me if I'm wrong but don't Catholics believe that God has a plan for us and it's all "God's will" what happens to us? If so, then Catholics should not seek medical care at all. When God decides to give you a fatal disease you should just accept it and die as God intended. No medical intervention. No insurance. Accept God's plan.

Anonymous said...

Maybe some Catholics see the idea of God's plan that way, but I attend a Catholic school and we are not taught to believe that. I'm pretty sure there is a Christian denomination called Christian Science which believes that, but I, as a Catholic who attends a Catholic school and Catholic Mass every Sunday, don't believe that we should not seek medical care on the basis that an illness is God's will.
Personally, I find the Hobby Lobby decision to be a good compromise between the pro-life and pro-choice sides. I understand that many women use birth control for health reasons and not just preventing pregnancy, and they will still be covered based on the Hobby Lobby decision. The abortifacients are the only drugs not covered, which, if the woman is on birth control already, probably would not be required frequently.

Emily said...

My issue with the Hobby Lobby decision is that several religions and Christian churches applied for exceptions to the health insurance law (including the Christian Scientists mentioned above), but only the request about birth control was accepted. This is giving preferential treatment to one very specific form of one religion over others, and that isn't right.

An actual compromise on this issue would have been to let all religious institutions have an exception to the health care law for all of the religious reasons including cosmetic surgery, blood transfusions, birth control and the other issues that were brought forth during this case. If employees wanted more coverage, they should be given the opportunity to go on the health care exchange that was set up by the Affordable Care Act and pick out something else. But if they are choosing not to use the heath care coverage provided and can show proof that they are in fact following the law and getting some sort of health insurance then they should get a refund on the money that is automatically deducted from their pay to cover health insurance costs. Then everyone involved would break even.

Michael Gray said...

Catholics use medicine, and in fact, there are over 600 Catholic hospitals in the United States. One of the primary missions of the Catholic Church is to heal the sick and infirm, like Jesus commanded. (He also warned against people who heal the body but neglect the soul. That's a topic for another time).

Calvinism is the Christian group that believes everything happens according to God's plan. Calvin takes it to the extreme, where humans don't have free will. If they did, they would be able to act against God's plan. One nasty consequence of that belief system is that God purposely makes people in order for them to go to Hell.