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March 25, 2014 - 7:43am

Today's Poll: Should corporations have the same religious freedoms as individuals?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Dave Olsen
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I have not followed this case, but as an aside: my son-in-law will actually be present at these proceedings. His best friend who was also his best man, is an attorney and clerks for a judge in PA. I couldn't tell you which judge, but he is going to observe the proceedings professionally and he asked John, my son in law if he'd like to tag along! Who of course, said YES!!. It will be interesting to hear his experience. They are both libertarians.

Jeff Allen
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Answering the poll question on it's face value alone, I voted no. I disagreed with the SCOTUS ruling on Citizens United because I do not believe corporations are people. BUT, I also don't think a corporation should be forced to abandon the religious ideals of it's owners in order to conduct business as they see fit. Several things have to be clarified in the Hobby Lobby case that the MSM has failed to report. Contrary to the narratives, Hobby Lobby is NOT denying health coverage to it's employees as Sandra Fluke and MSNBC are asserting. Hobby Lobby is NOT even denying contraception coverage to it's employees. Hobby Lobby has stated objections to 4 abortifacients (a drug or agent that causes abortion) listed among 23 other birth control options that it's employees can choose to have paid for by their employer. Hobby Lobby has complied with the law, it objects to paying for something that we were told wasn't going to be part of the ACA to begin with. Promises and assurances were made to specific legislators that NO tax dollars would be used to pay for abortions in order to get their vote for ACA. What happened to the Hyde Amendment?
Second, when did contraception become the sole responsibility of the woman? Since a great deal of these Obamacare plans that are being touted by the White House for under $100 a month are heavily subsidized by my tax dollars, why should I have to pay for everyone else's female birth control? Did they stop making condoms? Did the price of condoms become so outrageous that the government had to step in and alter the paradigm of birth control? What happened to the liberal mantra - government stay out of my bedroom?
Hobby Lobby offers it's employees top notch health insurance plans with MANY birth control options. They also pay their employees 93% more than the federal minimum wage. They are only asking that if an employee absolutely has to have one of the 4 abortifacients they object to, that they pick up the difference. My suggestion is go to another retail chain that gladly covers those 4 options, good luck finding one that pays and treats it's employees as well as Hobby Lobby though.

bud prevost
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It truly is simple. A business should be able to do as it please, as long as it is lawful, moral, and ethical, with no harm intended toward a particular person or group of people. I have always admired the Hobby Lobby, as well as Chik-Fil-a, for closing on Sundays. It is not common for any business to forgo 15% of the week's potential business so employees can have a dedicated day off to rest, rejuvenated and happy employees make for better businesses.
As far as the ACA mandate, that is wrong to make anyone buy anything, for whatever reason.

C. M. Barons
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An employee's private health care plan should not be subject to cherry-picking by the employer. Choice in health care plans should have nothing to do with employers. If an employer wants to offer a benefit germane to an employee's health care, let it be a dedicated voucher, earmarked solely for health care premium payment- no strings attached. ...Neither should a bunch of pandering politicians have any say in what an insurance plan will and won't pay for. It's one thing for the jackasses to fiddle with Medicare, Medicaid and other public-funded health care programs; it's quite another to dictate private insurance- especially when their test is something as contradistinctive as religion.

Jeff Allen
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On average, employer sponsored private health care plans (HMO, PPO) are between 60/40 and 80/20 with the employer of course paying the greater share. When the employer puts up all up front costs to run a business, hires the employee, pays their wages, benefits, and the lions share of their health insurance, they sure should be able to cherry pick the non essentials.

Debbie Pugliese
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"......they sure should be able to cherry pick the non essentials."

Non essentials? Speak for yourself MISTER Allen.

Howard B. Owens
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A thought occurs ... if you're a Christian Scientist and believe in healing by prayer rather than medicine, should you be able to not provide health insurance at all to your employees?

Jeff Allen
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Why is female contraception an essential element in a health care plan? And I'll ask you specifically, when did contraception become the sole responsibility of women?

Debbie Pugliese
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Beside the fact that women should be allowed to have sex and NOT get pregnant (a condition in and which itself CAN be a health issue, as proven by just being a woman was enough to allow us to be charged more for our health care than men because we CAN get pregnant) there are many reasons oral contraception is an essential element in a females health care plan....

How about 3 days of light periods instead of 7 days of Niagara falls?

How about cramps that feel like a tweak as opposed to feeling like someone is TWISTING your ovary with a pair of vice grips?

How about knowing the exact day you are going to begin your menstrual period instead of having to wear a pad for 3 days before you could possibly getting your period on any given month because guess what, even though it is supposed to be a neat little "cycle" they have minds of their own and we then suffer from a tortuous prolonged period of "leakage anxiety".

You may not understand any of these comparisons Jeff...but I promise you the females in this world know EXACTLY why it is TOTALLY 100% a an ESSENTIAL element in a healthcare plan.

Jeff Allen
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To your first point, oral contraception is not the only means of preventing pregnancy. In fact it is not even the most cost effective. Second, sex is not mandatory, nor is it a condition. It is an activity. One which comes with some responsibility.
As to the medical benefits of oral contraceptives, they are undeniable and as such "the pill" has been pretty much universally available in most plans...but like every other drug, with a co-pay. That way it was a user defined expenditure. Why should it be mandatory that it be provided free of any cost to the user? Why should a post menopausal woman, or a single male have to have it mandated in their plan driving up their costs? Why should those who by nature, never have a need for it be mandated to pay for others to have it when it is predominantly a lifestyle convenience choice (I grant you the medical benefits, but they are not the primary use of the drugs). Oral contraceptives are not even in the top 10 most prescribed drugs, I currently take 2 of the top ten, therefore they are obviously drugs that are more universally necessary than oral contraceptives and certainly more life essential since they are due to a condition and not an activity. So why should I have to ante up co-pays for them?

Debbie Pugliese
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1) What the hell business is it of someone employer what type of method someone choose to prevent pregnancy? Its NOT.

2) If sex is not mandatory why do i have to watch the stupid side by side bathtub commercial over and over and over and over and over. Being on a birth control pill IS a responsible way for a woman to have sex and not get pregnant.

3) Pretty presumptuous of you to think that women are the only ones having people "ante up" copays for them. Its not...

https://www.healthcare.gov/what-are-my-preventive-care-benefits/#part=1

....and I cannot speak for every woman out there but personally I am willing to pay a little more in the health premiums I pay once I hit menopause so a younger woman of childbearing age can have an easier time EVERY month for 12 months of EVERY year (with the exception of during pregnancy-which brings on its own challenges us female must face) for 35 years give or take a few while not having to worry about that extra couple hundred (more or less depending on insurance) dollars a year. Women are like that.....

Jeff Allen
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"What the hell business is it of someone employer what type of method someone choose to prevent pregnancy? Its NOT." Abortifacients are not pregnancy prevention, they are pregnancy termination
" Being on a birth control pill IS a responsible way for a woman to have sex and not get pregnant." That's wonderful, pay a co-pay for it and don't make people who don't ot won't ever need them be exempt from having to subsidize yours.
Number 3 doesn't make sense since birth control is now required to be free of charge in ALL plans.

Debbie Pugliese
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1) http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/02/22/172595689/morning-after-pills...

2) Of all things in this link....

https://www.healthcare.gov/what-are-my-preventive-care-benefits/#part=1

why is that the only thing you are worried about being a "freebie".

3) If number 3 doesnt make sense to you perhaps its because you seem to be under the impression that women dont pay healthcare premiums or something? Or you seem to think that Jeff Allen is the only person in the whole country bearing the cost of "free" contraception instead of spread out over EVERYONE because lets face it "free" contraception is a hell of a lot cheaper than "free" prenatal care and "free" delivery.

Good Night

Jeff Allen
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You're right, I am wasting my time anyway because it's "the law". That is until President Obama decides part of it needs to be unilaterally changed by his pen, then another part, then another part....

Tim Miller
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No... NO NO NO NO NO!!!!

Corporations are NOT people. Corporations exist to facilitate businesses and the economy. Individuals have rights, not corporations.

I will fight for the right of individuals to believe whatever nonsense they want to believe, whether it involves a deity, mother earth, xenu, nothing, etc. But religious freedom disappears the second somebody insists their superstition must be applied to others. The law of the land is that employers who are not religious institutions must provide the opportunity for add-on policies that include birth control coverage. As Hobby Lobby and other companies are NOT religious institutions, they must follow the law.

Hobby Lobby is not the only company that is "closely held" - Coca Cola is "closely held", as are many others (list from 2008: http://www.forbes.com/2008/11/03/largest-private-companies-biz-privates0...). These are for-profit businesses, not houses of worship. They have no religious rights.

Howard gave a great example about a potential health-care abuse. What if the Walton family joins a cult that holds as a tenet there should be no such thing as a minimum wage, or that children should work as soon as they could walk, or "spare the rod, spoil the worker"? Should Wal-mart then have the religious right to pay $3/hour? Employ children to clean floors? Beat those children and workers?

One more thing - Hobby Lobby's suit has NOTHING to do with "religious freedom" - it has everything to do with trying to screw over the political party their owners did not support: http://www.reddirtreport.com/prairie-opinions/hobby-lobby-provided-emerg...

Sadly, I believe the combination of ultra-conservatives and catholics on the SC will decide in a manner to allow Hobby Lobby's owners dictate their employees' health care based on their personal religious beliefs.

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