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.

Liberal Dan Radio October 9th, 2013: More On Obamacare Liars

On the October 9th episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

I will be continuing the discussion of the lies surrounding the Affordable Care Act. Some have popped up just recently in the last week and some have been around for a while. I will go over some of the newer ones (like people who try and compare premium costs with yearly costs) and some of the older ones (like the lie that Conservatives repeat that they must be right on healthcare if a majority of people polled oppose the law).

I will also go into a little bit of the government shutdown. Who is really to blame? Various opinions have been given and I will go over some of them here.

Those topics, Words of Redneck Wisdom, Headlines, Tweet of the Week and more, on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Liberal Dan Radio October 2nd, 2013: How to deal with the Obamascared

On the October 2nd episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

This eposide will be devoted to the Affordable Care Act, i.e. Obamacare.

What does it mean for you? What are the benefits? Are there any drawbacks? Is the law perfect? What would I change about the law?

But this just scratches the surface of what we can talk about when it comes to Obamacare. There is also the vast criticisms from the right wing about how bad it is. If the law was that bad, why wouldn’t the Republicans allow it to fall flat on its face?

And what are the lies out there? Conservatives are spreading all sorts of lies about the law and they need to be debunked. Is Congress and the Presdient really “exempted” from the law? Is that even possible? If not, where does that idea come from?

What about the idea that Obama lied about losing your coverage? What did he say? If someone loses coverage between the passage of the law and now, does that mean that Obama lied?

And that just scratches the surface. All of those topics plus headlines, the tweet of the week, words of redneck wisdom and more Wednesday on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Liberal Dan Radio 5/23/2013: DNA Ownership, Assault and Abortion

Thursday, May 23rd, on Liberal Dan Radio:

Does your DNA belong to you? A lawsuit has been filed against Myriad Genetics. Myriad claims to own the gene BRCA1, the same gene used to determine that Angelina Jolie has a higher risk of breast cancer than normal. It also claims to own the BRCA2 gene as well. Can one own a patent on a gene that your own body creates? Can one own a patent on a design on how to test for those genes? Can one own a patent on all forms of ways to test for those genes regardless of if they develop those tests or not? I will go over the myriad issues surrounding this case and what it means for individuals who are seeking to see if they are also at risk.

Also, a Florida high school student who is 18 has been charged with raping her 15 year old female classmate. Some are blaming the religious beliefs of the 15 year old girl as the cause of the charges against the older student. Is it really correct to make this a gay rights issue? Would religious parents have accepted it had the 18 year old student been male?

Finally, a new Planned Parenthood will be opening in New Orleans. I will go over the arguments made by those opposed to the opening of this new center and explain why they are horribly wrong.

Those stories, headlines, redneck words of wisdom, an update by Cool Mini Or Not and your calls on Liberal Dan Radio: talk from the left, that’s right.

The Reason Bobby Jindal Supports OTC Birth Control

In an op-ed, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal stated his support for allowing birth control pills to be made available over the counter.

He also stated that he opposes the requirement that insurance policies not only cover oral contraception but do so at 100% first dollar.

To some it might seem counter-intuitive to support increased access to oral contraception while also seeking to allow employers to not cover oral contraception in health insurance policies (that are paid for by the work of their employees).

However, by making oral contraceptives available over the counter, the pills would no longer be covered under an insurance plans prescription coverage. So not only would Jindal make sure that his religious fundamentalist buddies would get their way by allowing them to offer their employees insurance without oral contraception coverage, he would also end up making it harder to obtain birth control (especially for those women who cannot use the simple generic version of the drug) because it would no longer be covered at 100% first dollar .

When I first heard of his support for making oral contraceptives available over the counter I  refused to believe that he was doing so to increase access to birth control for women. All I needed was a little time to uncover the method behind Jindal’s madness. So for those people who believe that Jindal has all of a sudden become more friendly to women’s issues, don’t kid yourself. That will never happen.

Update: Other bloggers have also seen through this facade.

Why Bobby Jindal is not your Birth Control Buddy also points out that this is about reducing access to oral contraception and questions Jindal’s inclusion of age into the argument.

Update 2: It is a little disturbing that Think Progress believes Jindal is waking to popular opinion and is pushing for increased access to birth control coverage. He is, in fact, distorting popular opinion to push his radical right wing agenda of restricting access to women.