Liberal Dan Radio 7/9/2014: Stephen VanderGast from Move the Middle

On the July 9, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Two weeks ago I was the guest of Steven VanderGast, host of Move the Middle on Blog Talk Radio. We had a really good discussion on several issues. This week I welcome him on my podcast for more of the same conversation. Any topic is fair game, so join the discussion.

I will also have headlines, tweet of the week, and more at 8pm Central on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Liberal Dan Radio 7/2/2014: Hobby Lobby and Freagle

On the July 2, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

The horrible ruling by the Supreme Court came down pertaining to Hobby Lobby and the mandate for employer based coverage to provide oral contraception. I will go into why this ruling was terrible. (Check out liberaldan.com and @liberaldanradio on Twitter to see some of my initial criticisms).

Then, in the second half hour of the show, I will have on Niki Papazoglakis, founder of Freagle, the virtual town square. We will discuss why she started this venture, what her plans for it are, and how you can help get it off the ground.

Those stories, headlines, tweet of the week, and more Wednesday and 8pm Central on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Some brief points on the oral contraception madate ruling

A) It ignores science. Science has not shown any evidence that oral contraception is an abortifacient (even in the extremely wrong definition of abortion that includes preventing implantation)

B) I don’t want ANYBODY’S religious freedoms trampled on but if one makes a claim that a pill causes an abortion as part of their legal filings they should be required to prove that before it is accepted as an argument before the court. If you say “x harms me and as such I shouldn’t be required to do x” shouldn’t you have to prove the harm done by x? Or are we now allowing people to claim harm when none exists?

C) It doesn’t matter how many kinds of pills Hobby Lobby provides. Other companies take an even more restrictive stance and would ban all oral contraception. This ruling allows that.

D) the decision of what pill a patient should use should be up to her and her doctor only. Hobby Lobby (and other employers) should have no say.

E) The birth control, and any other benefit obtained in lieu of pay, should all be considered paid, IN FULL, by that employees labor and that employees labor alone.

F) This is not about religious freedom. Had an Islamic group complained under the RFRA Conservatives would not have come out in support of them. This is about forcing Christian beliefs on others using government.

G) Previously the way that we dealt with a bad ruling (Lily Ledbetter v Goodyear Tire) we elected a Democratic Congress to support this President and enable him to deliver on a change to the law via the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. It is time to rally the troops and do this again. If we edit the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and require persons claiming harm to establish that harm is actually happening before requiring government to prove why the actions causing the harm are necessary then we can return the law back to where it should be.

Mary Landrieu, Healthcare, The Kochs and the real issue with the new anti-Landrieu campaign ad.

There is a new anti-Landrieu campaign ad. Megyn Kelly discusses it here. (The commercial is aired in the interview).

The first lie that Kelly brings up is the “keep your plan” lie. (Check out a previous Fat Man Rants to see why they are lying about the whole “keep your plan” comment by Obama). I have no need to debate that issue, again, here. I talk about it many different times.

Let us ignore for a second the fact that previous people who the Koch Brothers have trotted out as anti-Obamacare advocates have been proven to be incorrect in their statements on how they are suffering under the Affordable Care Act. Let us just assume for a second that everything he says in this video is true. What he is saying is that as a veteran of the armed forces who served two tours in Iraq, he is unable to get TRICARE or VA benefits. This would mean that he served less than 24 months and was not discharged for injury (according to the VA) . This would also mean that he is not currently on active duty or fall under any of the other categories that would enable him to receive TRICARE. This is just obscene. It is well known how we are failing our troops, especially those who served in combat. This is just another example of us failing our military. If you serve in one combat tour, let alone two, you should absolutely be qualified for the VA once you leave the military and move on to the private sector. There is absolutely no reason why we should be denying our troops these benefits on any sort of technicality. It is just wrong.

Now, as to the implied insult that the GOP is suggesting here about Mary Landrieu and how she is attacking a marine? Well, that is just silliness. If the Marine wanted to be taken seriously about this issue of health insurance and how it may have impacted him in a negative way, he would have used another avenue to spread that message than the Koch Brothers who have already been shown to present false information in their ads about Obamacare. When asked by the press, Schiff (the marine) has not responded to any calls for additional comments by nola.com. The Koch Brothers also wont say if Schiff tried to get a plan over an exchange, if he qualified for a subsidy, or to generally verify the information cited in the ad.

As you can read the response from Senator Landrieu, she does not attack Schiff in any way, shape or form. She just attacks the Kochs (and rightly so). Anyone who believes the ads they put out after they were previously embarrassed should remember the whole “fool me once, shame on you” line. Or perhaps the boy who cried wolf…

Liberal Dan Radio 04/02/2014: Hypocrisy Lobby

On the April 2, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

More discussion on the SCOTUS case about oral contraception and the Affordable Care Act. New information now shows Hobby Lobby is quite hypocritical in its issues is has with oral contraception being offered as a benefit in the health insurance policies it provides in lieu of salary.

I will also be having a conversation with Ronny Richards, candidate for Congress in Ohio’s second district as part of my #RetakeCongress campaign.

Finally, as a last minute addition, I will be talking about today’s Supreme Court ruling on “free speech” and campaign finance law. Just how dumb are the drab five?

All that, tweet of the week, headlines and more on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right. Wednesdays at 8pm central on BlogTalkRadio.

Liberal Dan Radio 3/26/2014: Hobby Lobby and Birth Control

On the March 26, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

I will discuss Hobby Lobby and their views on birth control. That is it. The entire hour will be devoted to the problems and flaws that the Hobby Lobby case has and the arguments made before the Supreme Court. See the previous blog post for more information on where I will be coming from on the podcast.

So tune in at 8pm Central and/or download the podcast afterwards.

 

What Hobby Lobby Should Have To Prove

I don’t believe that corporations should be considered people. As such they should not be considered to have faith, beliefs, or any sort of spiritual holdings that would be protected under the law. The feelings and beliefs of the owners should be considered to be distinct from the operation of the business. Sure, the owners can choose to serve certain markets by only producing kosher foods or by keeping closed on whatever day your religion feels should be the day of rest. But the corporation, in and of itself, should not be able to claim religious holdings.

But let’s just assume for a second that SCOTUS would be open to holding that the beliefs of the corporation cannot be considered distinct from the beliefs of the owners. This is a fairly conservative court and I can see that line of reasoning, as flawed as it might be, as being one that would potentially come up in a decision supporting the idea that a business cannot be forced to provide insurance that provides services or drugs that are in violation of the religious beliefs of the business owners. Remember, I equate premiums paid in lieu of salary to be no different than salary itself and as such any premiums paid should be considered as being paid for by the work provided by the employee and not as being paid for by the employer. So it is ultimately my assertion that any claim that a business is paying for oral contraception provided by health insurance received in lieu of salary is a false claim because it is paid for by that employee and that employee only.

However, if SCOTUS would come to a ruling that the Affordable Care Act could not require benefits provided in lieu of pay to violate the religious beliefs of the owners then the persons bringing such a suit (in this case Hobby Lobby) should be required to prove that they are being harmed and as such that the requirement that each plan provide oral contraception at 100% first dollar is, in fact, a violation of their belief systems.

So what is Hobby Lobby claiming here? Well, in their open letter they believe that the Affordable Care Act is requiring them to provide “abortion causing drugs”. To me, in order for them to not have their case thrown out, they should have to prove that the drugs that their employees get in lieu of salary are, in fact, abortion causing drugs.

The simple answer is that they obviously are not abortion causing drugs. Oral contraception does not work if you are pregnant. However, there is an archaic and often repeated belief that birth control pills can prevent implantation of an already created embryo. While this would not technically be considered an abortion, it would still be a violation of the beliefs of the owners of Hobby Lobby who would believe that artificial means of preventing an embryo from implanting would be morally equivalent to abortion and as such a sin in their eyes. Unfortunately for them studies have been done that show no such thing as being true. There is no evidence that oral contraception prevents implantation. Oral contraception only prevents ovulation or fertilization. So in order to not have their case thrown out and prove that they have been harmed by the Affordable Care Act, Hobby Lobby should be required to provide data that contradicts these studies in a meaningful way. They should be required to show that the law is, in fact, requiring them to cover abortion causing medications. If they cannot do this (which I suspect they cannot since I can find no contradictory study to the one sighted in the NY Times) then the case should be thrown out on its face. Hobby Lobby can prove no harm here because it cannot prove the drugs the plans provided for their employees in lieu of pay cause abortions. As such they can prove no violation of their beliefs.

*Made some minor edits, removing arguments about “standing” because I don’t want the argument to be about what standing is. The argument should be focused on what Hobby Lobby should be required to prove.

Liberal Dan Radio October 16, 2013: Insanity at all levels

On the October 16, 2013 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

The debt ceiling and government shutdown debates are supposedly coming to an end (at least in the short term). I am not holding my breath until the last vote passes as the President signs the bill into law. But why are we having this insantity?  Who is to blame? Is there shared blame? Some Conservatives are even saying that President Obama is to blame for all the divisiveness we are having in this country. Is that another example of insanity?

Steve Scalise (R-LA) has an “alternative” healthcare proposal on his website that other Conservatives are also supporting. That policy, in and of itself, is insane. I will go into that explanation as well.

There is insanity  in other areas as well. Zero tolerance policies are another example of insanity. A high school teenager who did the right thing is one of the most recent victims of these insane policies.

Insanity even takes place in the air. A passenger on one airline was forced to purchase two seats. Listen to why this is insane in headlines and I will discuss it more in the show.

Have any more examples of insanity, call in (or respond to the Liberaldan.com blog post if you are not listening live and share your ideas).

All that, plus tweet of the week and words of redneck wisdom tonight on Liberal Dan Radio, Talk From The Left That’s Right.

Congressman Scalise promotes garbage GOP healthcare bill

Back during the healthcare debates of 2009 the GOP promoted a healthcare bill that was their “compromise bill” to the Affordable Care Act. (And when I say compromise I mean the bill that they wanted the Democrats to pass as a compromise to the ACA, some compromise). That bill was garbage. It seems that this bill resurrects all the bad from that bill while throwing out all the good that the ACA has to offer.

So, you ask, where can you read this horrible bill? Well right here.

So, what makes it so bad? Well, first of all it starts by repealing every single provision of the ACA as well as the “fixer” law that amended the ACA after its passage. What does this mean to you? Well, even Fox News lays out some reasons why Americans will love “Obamacare”. So you lose all that.

I have searched the bill that Scalise and other GOP members are supporting for the term “rescission”. It does not exist. So this means that insurers, under the GOP bill, would be allowed to cancel your policy if you are sick. Insurers should be required to insure you through your sickness. If they can just drop your policy if you are sick, it stops being insurance.

I searched the bill for the word “maximum”. See, the ACA prohibits annual and lifetime maximums. With this bill, that ban goes away. So an insurer can decide “hey, you have cost us too much money, go pay for the rest of your treatment by yourself”.

I searched for “existing” to see how the law deals with preexisting conditions. This bill would push individuals with preexisting conditions into high risk pools. This forces high risk insureds on the state without allowing the state to benefit from the pooling effect that comes with the inclusion of lower risk individuals. This plan would bankrupt the states. Anybody living in Louisiana should know how horrible high risk pools are. Congressman Scalise should be familiar with Citizens insurance. This was the property insurance of last resort for homeowners in Louisiana. It would be made available to those businesses that didn’t want to write business in certain areas of Louisiana. It was expensive and it was broken. Citizens did not get to offset its high risk policies with lower risk ones. It was automatically doomed to fail. Yet he wants to do the same thing with health insurance? That is not how insurance is supposed to work. In insurance you create large pools so that the losses from certain people are offset by the lack of losses from other people.

The previous bill allowed insurers to select a home, or primary, state where the insurer will be based. By selecting this home state the GOP sponsored bill would allow a company operating in state A to circumvent the laws of state B if it sells policies in state B. This is a violation of the 10th amendment. A state should absolutely be able to dictate regulations on the insurance products sold within its borders. This idea stems from the lie that Conservatives often repeat that a company should be able to “sell insurance across state lines”. I work for an insurer. I have written code specifically to handle insurance that the company sold in a state other than the state we are based. The only requirement is that the policies sold in other states needed to follow the laws of that other state. This is reasonable. The GOP suggestion is not.

The bill contains the following language:

CLARIFY USE OF DRUGS IN PREVENTIVE CARE.—Subparagraph (C) of section 223(c)(2) is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘‘Preventive care shall include prescription and over-the-counter drugs and medicines which have the primary purpose of preventing the onset of, further deterioration from, or complications associated with chronic conditions, illnesses, or diseases

This is clearly written to eliminate the idea that oral contraceptives should be considered to be preventive care. It is considered preventive care under the ACA. The GOP hates oral contraception (even though it prevents abortion). Go figure. This is just stupidity.

The bill imposes medical malpractice limits. For some reason the GOP thinks that reducing the possible money that one can get from a medical malpractice case will some how help insurance rates. It doesn’t and it also winds up hurting patients harmed by malpractice. Watch one example of how medical malpractice caps hurt people.

And of course, to make sure the bill doesn’t pass, the GOP included abortion language. Because nobody knows the body of a woman and its needs better than Congressman Steve Scalise.

This bill could very well pass the House. There is no way it passes the Senate. So why propose this garbage? Well, just to waste time I guess because the GOP in the House of Representatives are not doing anything else meaningful at the moment. So why not introduce a terrible bill to boot.