The first thing to note is that this is not a First Amendment case. The Supreme Court did not find the mandate unconstitutional. Instead the Court found that, as applied to closely held family owned companies, the mandate did not meet the requirements of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of1993, which passed Congress with a nearly unanimous vote in both chambers. However, in 1997 the Court found that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was unconstitutional in its application to state laws.

The law on which this decision is based requires that when a person's religious beliefs are substantially burdened by a law of general applicability, the government may impose that burden only when it can show a compelling interest and then only by using the least restrictive available means. However, this requirement can only be applied to federal laws and not to state laws by the 1997 decision.

That last wrinkle will turn out to be important in this case since twenty-eight states have a contraception coverage mandate in their state insurance laws or regulations. Ordinarily a Court decision of this type would automatically invalidate those laws, but not in this instance where the decision is based on a law that can only apply to federal statutes.

Will Hobby Lobby have to sue in twenty-eight states? It's not clear at all what the implication of this decision will be for state mandates.

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Read Hosea 13:16 "...and their women with child shall be ripped up..."  YHWH had NO problems with killing infants and fetuses, as long as their parents worshiped some other imaginary friend.

Nor does the buybull mention the 50% of fertilized ova that never do attach to the uterine walls, die, and are flushed out with the next period before most women even know they might be pregnant.  That is a FACT.

The gullible might say that's god's will, but I say it's god swill.

Here's an excellent blog post that Bree Ervin just added to "Think Banned Toughts."  Brilliant!

"I’m 3/4 of the way through 6 articles right now – Part 2 & 3 of the American Gun Culture conversation, a piece on teaching children compassion, a piece on immigration reform and Obama’s rumored executive action on that, a piece on being an askable adult and a piece on buffer zones and free speech.

I haven’t been able to work on any of them for the past couple of days because I have been blinded by rage. And… as much as I like preaching to, or screeching with, the choir from time to time, recently I’ve really enjoyed using this space to try to speak a little more calmly and clearly about issues that matter to me and to try to shed new light on contentious issues.

So… I’ve been doing some gardening, some cooking and when I could, some reading.

I’ve been trying to breathe and find my peace in the world...."


Read the rest.  She's an amazing writer.


That banned thoughts piece really is brilliant! Many thanks.

I don't see why employers should provide health insurance at all.  It leads to this kind of problem - the employer trying to control their employee's choices in health care. 

If working people were insured in the same way as unemployed people, it would decrease the financial problems with insuring everyone, because working people are generally healthier. 

It's about GROUP insurance...the larger the group/pool the lower the premiums.  Supposedly.  And not only are the employees insured, their families are covered, too (for an extra premium).  Used to be for just medical, then they added dental about 30 or 40 years ago.  Vision care is still not covered unless you need meds for glaucoma, or cataract surgery.

The insurance companies have the USA by the short hairs; we are the only industrialized nation that does not have a single-payer national health plan.

And if you are injured on the job, you might get 18 months worth of worker's comp, if you're lucky, and then you get tossed out on the street with the rest of the disposables.

"It's about GROUP insurance..." Agreed!

An illuminating comparison studying 11 countries' health care systems:

The US -- the only nation here without a universal single-payer system -- continues to spend more or less twice as much per person, with abysmal results, ranking last.

The best in this study: the UK's NHS (National Health Service).

(full size image)

It's interesting that while on objective measures the United States does poorly, the sentiment in the country seems to hold out against universal national health insurance.

Yes, but - if there's going to be group insurance available to anyone arranged by the government, why have employers doing insurance separately? 

If everyone, not just people who can't otherwise get insurance, were in the group insurance arranged by the government, then the premiums could be lower for that government insurance.

The insurance companies have the USA by the short hairs

Absolutely.  This was borne in on me recently when I temporarily had the Obamacare health insurance (until I found out the govt. plans are low-quality plans and don't cover almost all my medical expenses). 

When I had the health insurance, I found out the insurance co. gets paid a small fraction of what I was being charged as a self-pay patient!

At least, that's how it's worked with the allergist I've been getting shots from.  

He charges self-pay patients about 2.5 times as much as the patients with group insurance!

Not all doctors do this.  I'll probably be getting my shots soon from another allergist who charges self-pay patients maybe 30% more than insured patients, but not a ton more.

I've heard that self-pay patients at hospitals often are charged about 2-3 times as much as the hospital gets from insurance.

This seems blatantly unethical.  The doctors and hospitals who do that are trying to recoup the loss from the low prices charged insured patients, from self-pay patients!

In effect, what happens is that the insurance co. charges people who DON'T buy insurance as well!  It's a way of trying to bully everyone into these insurance plans. 

All these years I've gotten occasional self-pay discounts, and I thought I was being done a favor in exchange for less paperwork & getting paid faster - but nooo, it's likely that even with the self-pay discount, I was paying more than they get from insurance co's. 

And insurance co's dictate a lot of how medical care is done, it seems.  I have a good allergist in NYC, who doesn't belong to any group insurance plans.  Part of what enables him to be a good allergist is that he can do medical care his own way, he's not following the dictates of insurance co's. 

It's a horrible situation for bureaucracies to be running people's medical care to a large extent, in a paint-by-numbers way.  Medical care belongs in the hands of doctors.

If they have legally mandated health insurance, it should NOT be health insurance that is allowed to dictate people's medical care!  The health insurance should pay for what the doctor thinks is appropriate.   

However, I don't know why a single-payer system would be any better.  If there's a single-payer system, then the government is effectively insuring everyone.  Then you don't have any competition between insurance co's.

The Obamacare insurance plans available here did not seem significantly different. 

But competition is important in general to ensure efficiency and good service.  I do hear horror stories about govt-run healthcare.

Although large companies are able to negotiate with insurance companies to provide health insurance, small companies are not. Many smaller organizations are essentially self-insured—that is, the premiums they collect must cover their annual expenses or else they have to come up with additional funding out of their own resources. One difficult case can upset the apple cart.

Large companies are able to negotiate group insurance premiums that are much lower than an individual would pay and people are insured without a medical exam in most cases. For an individual premiums are higher and often people are rejected because of pre-existing conditions. Group insurance meant a lot to me personally—for most of my working years I would have been uninsurable because of a heart arrhythmia. With a wife and three children, one with asthma, the situation would have been difficult.

Large companies are able to negotiate group insurance premiums that are much lower than an individual would pay

The problem is, that results in hospitals and some individual doctors, seriously ripping off self-pay patients. 


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