Most of Obama's "Controversial" Birth Control Rule Was Law During Bush Years
The right has freaked out over an Obama administration rule requiring employers to offer birth control to their employees. Most companies already had to do that.
—By Nick Baumann
"Wed Feb. 8, 2012 2:10 PM PST. Pete Souza/The White HousePresident Barack Obama's decision to require most employers to cover birth control and insurers to offer it at no cost has created a firestorm of controversy. But the central mandate—that most employers have to cover preventative care for women—has been law for over a decade. This point has been completely lost in the current controversy, as Republican presidential candidates and social conservatives claim that Obama has launched a war on religious liberty and the Catholic Church.
Despite the longstanding precedent, "no one screamed" until now, said Sara Rosenbaum, a health law expert at George Washington University.
In December 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that companies that provided prescription drugs to their employees but didn't provide birth control were in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents discrimination on the basis of sex. That opinion, which the George W. Bush administration did nothing to alter or withdraw when it took office the next month, is still in effect today—and because it relies on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. Employers that don't offer prescription coverage or don't offer insurance at all are exempt, because they treat men and women equally—but under the EEOC's interpretation of the law, you can't offer other preventative care coverage without offering birth control coverage, too.
"It was, we thought at the time, a fairly straightforward application of Title VII principles," a top former EEOC official who was involved in the decision told Mother Jones. "All of these plans covered Viagra immediately, without thinking, and they were still declining to cover prescription contraceptives. It's a little bit jaw-dropping to see what is going on now…There was some press at the time but we issued guidances that were far, far more controversial."
"No one screamed until now"....
Can anyone splain this to me?
it might, IMO, have something to do with the fact that birth control is not vital to the health of anyone. There's a really easy and totally free way to avoid getting pregnant so where does company involvement come in? It's not necessary to the health of woman.
Oh, I get it: don't have sex!!
That's really behind it all, now isn't it?
Churches hate the sexual revolution....except for the male side. Need Viagra? No problem...could be useful when they are molesting those choir boys, eh?
Ooops, was that a no-no? Can't talk about that....must concentrate on women and sex.
For gods sakes!
"Catholic bishops are saying that federal laws shouldn’t apply to anyone who claims to have a religious objection to them. Houses of worship and other religious nonprofits are already completely exempt from the rule. It is only when religious institutions choose to go into business as hospitals and serve the general public that they are bound by the same laws as everyone else. Yet the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has promised a legal challenge."
What is this, the Spanish Inquisition??
Since when was the Catholic or any other church above the law? I'll never eat at a local crab feed again, then, because they might decide that they don't have to serve food that meets the health codes.
I want the churches and religions out of my government now. They can just give up the federal money and go their way if they don't like what the majority of us have to say.
As far as birth control not being a health issue, what is the air like on some people's planets?
That IS strange!
It's less strange, however, than the fact that liberals no longer speak out against war.
For me, it depends on who's leading them.
I wouldn't trust a neo-kook to shoot water pistols.
But I don't speak for other liberals, as we all only speak for ourselves.
I think that is what they hate! That people act and speak of their own free will and do not march to their sorry, deviant orders.
Isn't the truth that more neo kooks kill themselves and each other than they do defending themselves with their caches of weapons?
Lately yes they are figuratively killing each other...in the race for the nomination.
But one thing they all stand for:
Discrimination! No matter what the subject.
"A new bill introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a rising conservative star and leading contender for the Republican vice-presidential nomination in 2012, could cut off birth control coverage for millions of women who receive it through their health plans.
Rubio has sold his proposal—introduced January 31 as the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," or S. 2043—as a way to counter President Barack Obama's controversial rule requiring even religiously-affiliated schools and universities to offer copay-free birth control to their employees. But health care experts say that its implications could be far broader.
If passed, the bill would allow any institution or corporation to cut off birth control coverage simply by citing religious grounds. It has 26 cosponsors in the Senate; a similar proposal sponsored by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has 148 cosponsors in the House. On Wednesday, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed to repeal Obama's rule, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pointed to Rubio's bill as a potential model for doing so.
No entity has to cover birth control in a health plan if it can point to a religious reason for not doing so. And the entity itself is not required to have any religious affiliation. It could just be a plain old corporation. That means that if the middle-aged white guy who runs your company is religiously opposed to birth control, he can have it stripped out of your insurance plan—even if his Viagra is still covered. You could wake up the next morning and find you're paying full price for drugs that you once got for free or at much-reduced prices."
Now, since this policy of Obama's was the same under Bush, can anyone explain why the R's and Bishops are now so against it?
The First Amendment prohibits government from making any law that interferes with the free exercise of religion. That's the problem.
I suspect the whole Obamacare law is about to be found unconstitutional.
Mitt Romney says that corporations are people. That being said, his corporation has pillaged, looted and destroyed many "corpeople". Doesn't that make him a serial killer? or least a serial rapist?
Churches are excempt from this rule.
It's only when they get into the public domain like education and hospitals, etc...which take tax-payer money--which includes women--that they cannot discriminate!
What you are advocating is women of all stripes and religions having to foot the bill for their own discrimination.
And..like a blogger asked yesterday: What if my religion is against war? Shall I then be allowed to remove my taxes from it?
What if my religion is against Blow-hards? Shall Russssshhhh still be allowed on the Public Airwaves??
Keep your religion in the church thank you.
Separation is in the Constitution too you know.
And why are "Right to Lifers" usually pro death penalty? Hmmm... Seems like a contradiction to me.
They decide which life matters....
Pro-Life until Birth!
It seems like a contradiction to pro-lifers that liberals don't have a problem killing an innocent fetus while at the same time deploring the death sentence for murderers. See? It works both ways. I'm just pointing out the other side - I'm against the death penalty. And although I think abortion should be legal, I think it should be rare.
"Separation is in the Constitution too you know."
No it isn't. "Separation of church and state" is not in the Constitution.
Well, is forcing women to give birth against their will in there? How about discrimination? I thought all people are created equal?
Ohhhh, that's right....all MEN are created equal. Women can take a back seat!
Viagra-yes, contraception, no.
Hey-- Viagra is for sex...so why the difference?
I shudder to say it.......sperm carries life.....oh my god we must criminalize masturbation
Viagra...the baby killer! Make a sperm and then destroy it. You are guilty of an aborted possible life. Noooooooo, but I'm a man......I matter!
The decision to have sex by law belongs to women. If the woman says no, that's it. Anything else is rape and prison.
Women can get pregnant, so they get to decide on sex, by law, so who is forcing women to get pregnant?
Weeellll, not according to Ron Paul. It has to be an "honest rape".
And errr, hate to be the one to tell you this,....but Birth Control prevents abortions.
If you are anti-abortion, you should be for birth control. NO?
You are forcing women to take risks that are un neccessary.....
and why? Because your church is demanding it. This is 2012...we have much more to worry about than womens PRIVATE LIVES.
Sorry, but the women I know are intelligent, decision makers, not cows in heat who just can't help themselves. As such, they know the consequences of sex, and accept that responsibility, rather than murder their own children.
And you were flat wrong about 'Separation of chuch and state' being in the Constitution, so what else are you wrong about?
by SparklingJewel 9 years ago
Jeanne Monahan, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, blasted the news as a “profound violation of religious liberty.”“The reality is that the HHS mandate forces women like me to violate our consciences by paying a premium to an insurer who will then provide free...
by Amy DeMarco 9 years ago
I take birth control pills for medical reasons. I have PCOS. Without it, my hormones would be imbalanced and I'd be at risk for uterine cancer. There are many women like me. I find it disturbing that those who oppose covering birth control don't know this and equally appalled that those...
by PJ Jones 9 years ago
I was going to try to do a Hub on this subject. But Iam very curious about what men have to say about this subject. Why do republican men want to take away needed health services for women? It's not just abortions..I understand , this could be a moral/ religious thing...but, basic...
by Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago
I read this was true and I just have to know if it is, please! Please provide links to prove what you say. Surely we are not going to be aborting babies ready to come into the world fully developed and healthy?
by cjhunsinger 7 years ago
Where in the Constitution is a women's right to birth control?In The United States of America our Rights are enumerated within the Bill of Rights and to my understanding such a Right does not exist.
by Rhonda Lytle 6 years ago
Is there really a war on women in the USA or is it a politically motivated means of division?Do you believe there is a war on women in the United States of America? If so, what do you think it is? Do you identify with the feminist goals of old or the ones of today and how would you...
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