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Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby KysenMurrin » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:29 am

Thing is, by making it a singular exception that doesn't touch on any other aspects of the healthcare mandate or any other religious concerns (and therefore, by the by, making it clear this isn't really about religious freedom at all), it seems like the decision is almost guaranteed to be challenged on an all-or-nothing basis in one direction or another.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:10 am

Koatanga wrote:That's interesting, both in that you say an employee (an actual person) has no religious right, but a legal person (aka businesses) do.

What a silly system that places the rights of fake people over real ones.
That would be interesting, but of course it's not what he said. He said a person doesn't have a right to expect to be paid for not doing his job, even when the reason the person isn't doing his job is because of a religious belief. Nor did he grant any rights to the business, beyond personhood which flowed through the owner.

I know, arguments are a lot more inconvenient when you can't just redefine the other person's position. Sorry about that.

I'm curious though, do you believe that government should be allowed to perform searches and seizures of businesses without a warrant? Why or why not...
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Ironshield » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:23 am

http://www.strangenotions.com/4-things- ... -decision/
PoV of a Catholic Lawyer. Interesting perspective on allowing corporations to have social aims.

On a lighter note...
Also running with the bulls while needing a hip replacement will probably result in significantly higher healthcare costs.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:06 pm

Fridmarr wrote:
Koatanga wrote:That's interesting, both in that you say an employee (an actual person) has no religious right, but a legal person (aka businesses) do.

What a silly system that places the rights of fake people over real ones.
That would be interesting, but of course it's not what he said. He said a person doesn't have a right to expect to be paid for not doing his job, even when the reason the person isn't doing his job is because of a religious belief. Nor did he grant any rights to the business, beyond personhood which flowed through the owner.

I know, arguments are a lot more inconvenient when you can't just redefine the other person's position. Sorry about that.


Well, what he said was

"an employee does not have a religious right to refuse the work asked of him by his employer, at least not without giving notice at the same time, or going to check the wanted adds."

Which is to say that, and i'll be very careful not to change the statement so I'll use a direct quote, "an employee does not have a religious right to refuse the work" (emphasis mine).

So no, I don't believe I redefined his position so much as paraphrased it accurately.

He went on to say

"I also don't think legal persons, aka businessses, have a religious right to refuse service (or mandate), but I recognize, as did SCOTUS, that there are some types of business which transcends legal personhood in some regards, because of the way the business was established, is owned and operated, and that the owner of a business, in those cases, has some rights"

So if I read that right, the business itself does not have rights, but the owner can express his religious rights through the business, meaning the business has, by extension, de-facto-rights of the employer.

I'm willing to concede I may have misunderstood that, but I do think I got it right.

Net result is employees have no religious right, but businesses, by extension of the owner, do. Which is what I said. Please correct me where I'm redefining.

Fridmarr wrote:I'm curious though, do you believe that government should be allowed to perform searches and seizures of businesses without a warrant? Why or why not...

Of course not. All properties and chattels belonging to the business are owned, through the articles of incorporation, by one or more individuals and are therefore protected by the Constitution from illegal search or seizure without due process of law.

I see where you're going with this, but I don't think it's a two-way street. The owner(s) of a business own all properties and chattels owned by the business, but the business does not own the prejudices or religion of the owner(s).
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:02 pm

Koatanga wrote:"an employee does not have a religious right to refuse the work asked of him by his employer, at least not without giving notice at the same time, or going to check the wanted adds."

Which is to say that, and i'll be very careful not to change the statement so I'll use a direct quote, "an employee does not have a religious right to refuse the work" (emphasis mine)...

So no, I don't believe I redefined his position so much as paraphrased it accurately...Please correct me where I'm redefining.
Will do... Suggesting that a person can lose their job by exercising their freedom of religion by refusing work that violates their religious beliefs, isn't even close to the same thing as saying that they have no religious right. And it's the exact opposite of your new quote.

By your logic the statement...a person does not have the free speech right to call their boss an asshole, at least not without giving notice or checking the want ads. Is the same thing as saying that people don't have freedom of speech. It's a massive difference and a significant redefinition the statement.

Koatanga wrote:I see where you're going with this, but I don't think it's a two-way street. The owner(s) of a business own all properties and chattels owned by the business, but the business does not own the prejudices or religion of the owner(s).
But then why would the owners be mandated by the government to buy a product, with what you just established is their property, that violates their religion?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:29 pm

Fridmarr wrote:Suggesting that a person can lose their job by exercising their freedom of religion by refusing work that violates their religious beliefs, isn't even close to the same thing as saying that they have no religious right.


I think you're splitting hairs, but I'll rephrase:

I think it's silly that a real person could be fired for refusal to go against his religious principals, but a legal entity can impose its religious principles on its employees in this manner, which suggests the religious principles of the real person are less important than the religious principles of the legal entity.


Fridmarr wrote:But then why would the owners be mandated by the government to buy a product, with what you just established is their property, that violates their religion?

Because the government determines the rules for doing business. These rules should be consistent for all businesses of similar type in order to provide a even playing field. An atheist business should not have to provide different insurance than a christian business because the atheist business cannot exempt itself from coverage on the basis of religious objection.

A scientologist company that didn't have to provide any coverage for medicine on religious grounds would have a competitive advantage over an otherwise equal atheist company because the scientologists would pay less for their insurance. This is a de-facto example of a government promoting a religion by giving it a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:59 pm

It's really not splitting hairs and there's no such imposition. I think the point is rather obvious by now, and I've kicked that horse enough.

Koatanga wrote:Because the government determines the rules for doing business. These rules should be consistent for all businesses of similar type in order to provide a even playing field. An atheist business should not have to provide different insurance than a christian business because the atheist business cannot exempt itself from coverage on the basis of religious objection.

A scientologist company that didn't have to provide any coverage for medicine on religious grounds would have a competitive advantage over an otherwise equal atheist company because the scientologists would pay less for their insurance. This is a de-facto example of a government promoting a religion by giving it a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Actually they wouldn't have an advantage because health coverage is a perk. They'd have a harder time competing for workers. Besides there's nothing stopping Hobby Lobby (or an atheist company) from refusing to provide health coverage just like a scientology based company. Who knows, maybe they would have stopped providing coverage if they lost.

And, "of a similar type" is a bit of a sticky wicket, but that's a topic for another day.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:33 pm

Fridmarr wrote:It's really not splitting hairs and there's no such imposition.

There is imposition when the religious beliefs of a company owner impact the treatment options available to an employee. Many medicines, medical devices, and treatments are prescribed for uses other than the original intent of the product. For example, one of the IUDs in question is a preferential treatment for excessive menstrual blood loss for people with low iron levels, such as people who have had a gastric bypass and have difficulty absorbing iron from food sources and supplements.

Yes, that's a very specific example, but it's one where the treatment has nothing to do with the religious objection but is nevertheless barred by the religious objection. Given obesity rates and the number of employees of Hobby Lobby, I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually a very relevant example.

Fridmarr wrote:Actually they wouldn't have an advantage because health coverage is a perk. They'd have a harder time competing for workers.

There are a lot of people who will take a job because they need the paycheck, regardless of the level of coverage. The point is to prevent companies from skimping on health coverage in order to gain or maintain competitive advantage.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:47 pm

I know it's a crazy idea, but you can get medical coverage, without it being paid for by your employer. The employees aren't forbidden from using those products. They can pay themselves, they can buy their own insurance on the exchange, or most importantly as it was cited in the decision, and the exemption to non-profit religious organizations already had proven, there is a very easy workaround the just covers them straight up without any religious freedom concerns.

Additionally, certainly some (if not many, given the nature of that company) of those women share the beliefs of the company, and don't want be part of funding the types of contraceptives they have an issue with.

Koatanga wrote:The point is to prevent companies from skimping on health coverage in order to gain or maintain competitive advantage.
There's no advantage. Providing less compensation is going to get you lower quality employees, you are at a competitive disadvantage unless you offer more salary to make up for it, at which point the employee can get their own coverage of their choosing.

Further even if that were true, all you've done is reverse the competitive advantage because religious organizations would be forced to opt out on religious grounds because no other option exists. In any event, once the real costs for companies kick in (remember, the Administration delayed that part of the act) more companies are going to stop offering insurance. Frankly I think that's a good thing, because this relationship of a person's employer being their health insurance provider, is beyond stupid, and ending that should have been a major tenet of healthcare reform. However, the cost structure will flow things that way over time.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:40 pm

Fridmarr wrote:In any event, once the real costs for companies kick in (remember, the Administration delayed that part of the act) more companies are going to stop offering insurance. Frankly I think that's a good thing, because this relationship of a person's employer being their health insurance provider, is beyond stupid, and ending that should have been a major tenet of healthcare reform. However, the cost structure will flow things that way over time.

At least we agree here. I also think it's moronic to have health care dependent on employers. It's a cost they don't need to bear, and something the government should provide along side infrastructure, law enforcement, and education.

Unfortunately, the insurance companies have a hell of a lot of both money and political clout, and will fight it tooth-and-nail the entire way so they don't have to give up their cash cow, but in the end the US should becomes somewhat similar to the rest of the western world with private insurance available for people who want private hospitalization and don't want to wait for treatment with the rest of the common folk.

Then maybe we can start working on the metric system and really drag the US out of the dark ages.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:01 am

Paying for secondary insurance when you're already living paycheck to paycheck is a ridiculous assumption to make.

"People can buy separate insurance on the marketplace"

Yeah, tell that to all of the full time employees here who rely on food banks and food stamps just to keep their families fed.

For example, using averages for my area

Assuming a person is working minimum wage 40 hour weeks at $7.90/hr
Gross income per month: $1,264
Net after-tax income: $1004.48 (according to http://www.paycheckcity.com/calculator/ - this does not include what you're already paying for insurance through your workplace )

So let's use round numbers here.
1 bedroom apartment average rental cost here: $450 (you can find them cheaper, but you risk having the meth lab next door blow up and burn your whole building down)
Average monthly electric cost (keeping air conditioning at 82 degrees in the summer): $130
Phone/cable/internet (cheapest available option): $80
Food for one person for one month, healthy diet (that is, something other than a lot of top ramen and dollar menu fast food purchases): about $150

So that right there is $810.

Now let's assume you require a car to get to and from work.
Monthly car insurance rate: about $40
Yearly registration for an older vehicle, let's say that's around $70-$80 (so about $7/month, keeping the numbers rounded)
About $3.50/gallon for gas, assume 7 miles each way to/from work on 20mpg car, cost to drive to and from work: $50/month

So that $810 in expenditures just went up to $907. Not including extra gas costs for errands that you can't do on your way home from work.

That leaves you with just under $100/month to budget for savings, pet food, toiletries, and everything else. Not to mention that I already didn't take into account the payroll deductions for employer-provided insurance to begin with (which at the casinos, is $22/week or thereabouts, so let's call it an even $80/month).

In the marketplace, if you already have insurance you don't qualify for insurance subsidies. So tell me again that "oh you can just go buy your own insurance" since employers that offer insurance generally offer insurance far cheaper than you can get anywhere else.

I'm quite frankly getting sick and tired of people assuming that others who are living paycheck to paycheck can "just go get their own insurance". It's not a reasonable option.

And on another note, electric bills of $240 aren't uncommon here in the summer. I enrolled on their "budget" plan, where they average out the cost of your electric bills for an entire year, then charge you exactly that much every month. Most people don't, because winter electric bills (during the "winter" months here from mid-November to January before we start seeing 90+ degree days in early-mid February) only run around $60-$80/month.

So I repeat: please tell me again how it's reasonable for normal people ekeing out a hand-to-mouth existence to go buy their own insurance plans.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:36 am

That's kinda backs up my post earlier about how much more expensive it would be for me to get my own health insurance, even the most basic one.

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Now, onto more "Law of Unintended Consequences"

http://www.becketfund.org/wp-content/up ... essors.pdf
Allowing a corporation, through either shareholder vote or board resolution, to take on and assert the religious beliefs of its shareholders in order to avoid having to comply with a generally-applicable law with a secular purpose is fundamentally at odds with the entire concept of incorporation. Creating such an unprecedented and idiosyncratic tear in the corporate veil would also carry with it unintended consequences, many of which are not easily foreseen.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/533/158

linguistically speaking, the employee and the corporation are different “persons,” even where the employee is the corporation’s sole owner. After all, incorporation’s basic purpose is to create a distinct legal entity, with legal rights, obligations, powers, and privileges different from those of the natural individuals who created it, who own it, or whom it employs.

The argument I saw was that if the SCOTUS has pierced the corporate veil in one way, it can now be pierced in the opposite way. If a company is not truly separate from its owners, the owners could be made responsible for its debts and other burdens, thanks to the precedent set by SCOTUS.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:55 am

Fivelives wrote:Paying for secondary insurance when you're already living paycheck to paycheck is a ridiculous assumption to make.

It is a ridiculous assumption, which is why no one is making it. Just because "buying your own insurance" is listed as an alternative doesn't mean that it is meant to apply to everyone. Obviously, for birth control, the solution already in place for religious non-profits is ideal. That's no additional cost on the employee and it's already in place. Implement it for these for-profit companies, and the problem is solved.

Buying your own insurance (un-subsidized) would be way more expensive than just paying out of pocket for even the more expensive types of birth control. So I wouldn't recommend buying your own insurance just for birth control in any situation. It would only make sense if your company only offered the lowest tiered plans and you expected to have exceedingly high medical costs, and even then it would depend on out of pocket maximums.

Until the fix gets implemented, a person in that position would likely choose less expensive birth control, work with a provider on a payment plan (earlier it was mentioned the cost was as high as 1k, assuming that's accurate, you can do payments as low as $20.00 a month which is less than the cheaper birth control if you are going to keep it long enough), or visit family planning or other similar local groups to see if you qualify for some assistance there.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:58 am

First off, Fridmarr is spot on in presenting what I wrote, so that whole can ha sbeen handled already.


@Fivelives
Yes, it is ridiculous, but the problem withusing that as an argumetn, is that it relies on the status quo, the premise is that it won't change.
Now if employers were banned from offering health insurance / benefits (taking that premise, so as to make sure it isn't offered anywhere, rather than spinning up a scenario where employers choose not to offer it, so ignore the feasability and legal problems with banning it in the firts place, if such exists).
Quickly employers would have to raise the wages to where it would de facto include health care via the private market - the alternative would be state or fed govt picking it up and having everyoe pay via taxes (socialised healthcare) - either would, for most be a better situation.

That being said, the problem with the "living from paycheck to paycheck" argument is that it really doesn't have much to do with healthcare or food prices or anything else, but with an "anti-social" employment situation, and unions being weak. The weaker the unions, the lower the wages for the lower tiers, and the higher the wages for the upper tier (relatively speaking) - some would argue that that si the ideal of the american dream, but really its just one of the most ignored downsides of capitalism.

EDIT:
The argument I saw was that if the SCOTUS has pierced the corporate veil in one way, it can now be pierced in the opposite way. If a company is not truly separate from its owners, the owners could be made responsible for its debts and other burdens, thanks to the precedent set by SCOTUS

Thats reductio ad absurdum, there are seperate laws controlling liability of owners in regards to the liability of the company.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:11 am

Nooska wrote:
The argument I saw was that if the SCOTUS has pierced the corporate veil in one way, it can now be pierced in the opposite way. If a company is not truly separate from its owners, the owners could be made responsible for its debts and other burdens, thanks to the precedent set by SCOTUS

Thats reductio ad absurdum, there are seperate laws controlling liability of owners in regards to the liability of the company.


Perhaps, but it find it interesting that the ones bringing this up are some law professors. *points at the becket fund's amicus curiae*
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