Rage Against the Contraception Machine

Opposition to the birth control benefit in the ACA is becoming deranged. Conservatives who rail against what is simply a requirement that a full range of *earned* healthcare benefits be offered to female employees are acting like the Obama administration is perpetrating the greatest infringement of religious freedom since the beginning of time.

It’s nonsense.

Now, Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli is suggesting that people should be willing to go to jail to fight for the right to avoid providing healthcare to women.

Melodramatic? Yes. Also? Unnecessary since the ACA doesn’t provide for jail time. Just pay the fucking fines until you go out of business.

Kerrrist.

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44 replies
  1. 1
    Chris says:

    It’s the civil rights argument all over again. Once there was enough traction against in favor of desegregation, the argument stopped being “DAMN it, these people don’t have rights” and instead, they shifted to “sure, the law shouldn’t discriminate, but that doesn’t mean private enterprises shouldn’t be allowed to.”

  2. 2
    Mandalay says:

    Now, Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli is suggesting that people should be willing to go to jail to fight for the right to avoid providing healthcare to women

    Cuccinelli has not mastered the first rule of campaigning: don’t shoot yourself in the foot.

    The almost-as-odious McAuliffe must be grinning from ear to ear, running against an Attorney General who is opposed to womens’ rights, and in favor of flouting the law.

  3. 3
    John says:

    If you refuse to pay the fines, couldn’t you be jailed for contempt or something?

  4. 4
    SatanicPanic says:

    If they want to go to jail I don’t see why we shouldn’t accommodate them.

  5. 5
    Brachiator says:

    I am fucking tired of all these motherfuckers fucking with a person’s right to fuck in peace.

  6. 6
    pat says:

    I realized the other day that shooting a young girl in the head because she wants to go to school, and preventing women from getting the health care they need..

    is just a matter of DEGREE. Same fucking thing.

  7. 7
    ulee says:

    self promotion, what’s your notion?
    Picking up traffic outside attribution.

  8. 8
    scav says:

    test. fywp is now thread specific?

    ETA, no, it just is being the usual tease, twice in a row here only. typical.

  9. 9
    Redshift says:

    @Mandalay: Don’t count on it. This kind of crap is how Cuccinelli got elected AG; he’s not one of those who kept it under wraps until he got into office.

    I’m hopeful that things will be different this year, but since we have off-year gubernatorial elections in VA (lower turnout even than congressional midterms), it’s never a bad bet to rely on an energetic minority even if majority opinion is against you.

    In related news, Cuccinelli has announced that he won’t step down as AG while he’s running for governor, unlike the past six AGs who have run. Of course, since virtually everything he does as AG is to further his political ambitions, and not part of the actual duties of the Attorney General, this isn’t really a surprise.

  10. 10
    Zifnab25 says:

    Now, Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli is suggesting that people other than himself should be willing to go to jail to fight for the right to avoid providing healthcare to women.

    FTFY.

    “We need some martyrs up in here. Who wants to be the first to run the gauntlet for the sole purpose of fucking over your employees? Who has the sheer dedication to Team Evil, that they’re willing to screw themselves just to make their neighbors miserable? Any takers? Anyone? Come on guys!”

  11. 11
    Redshift says:

    While looking up how Cuccinelli’s various conservative witch-hunts are not actually part of his official duties (in Virginia, the AG’s role is not to be the state’s top prosecutor or to initiate lawsuits), I realized that his advice to his bishop may actually go against the duties of his office:

    One thing the Attorney General and the other attorneys on our staff cannot do is give legal advice to private citizens.

  12. 12
    LanceThruster says:

    Sweet Jeebus, protect us from your “followers.”

  13. 13
    LanceThruster says:

    Gawd damn, the Uhmurrkan Taliban!

  14. 14
    Mandalay says:

    @Redshift:

    This kind of crap is how Cuccinelli got elected AG; he’s not one of those who kept it under wraps until he got into office.

    Agreed. If I had to say something nice about Cuccinelli it is that he is a straight shooter, though I can’t find anything else good to say about him.

    OTOH, I can’t find one good thing to say about McAuliffe!

    This is for sure: regardless of who wins, the next governor of Viginia will be a massive asshole.

  15. 15
    Roger Moore says:

    I’m still baffled that Hobby Lobby is throwing a fit about Obamacare forcing them to offer contraceptive coverage when they had been offering it for years before the mandate. It makes even less sense than the usual wingnut outrage, which is saying something.

  16. 16
    Anoniminous says:

    Fortunately there is a maximum security solution.

    When there are a few problems it’s difficult to find solutions. When there are a lot of problems they start solving each other.

  17. 17
    Mister Papercut says:

    @Redshift:

    I’m hopeful that things will be different this year,

    Just like I’m hopeful that I can convince someone to hire me and I can peace the hell out of this state. In my heart of hearts, I know that, barring a miracle, neither is at all likely to happen.

  18. 18
    gelfling545 says:

    @Redshift: I imagine he’s not supposed to urge people to violate the law, either.

  19. 19
    gocart mozart says:

    “What I mean by that is, people need to see it play out all the way to its logical conclusion,” Cuccinelli said.

    I don’t think “logical conclusion” means what he thinks it means.

  20. 20
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Brachiator:

    I am fucking tired of all these motherfuckers fucking with a person’s right to fuck in peace.

    I feel it’s my responsibility to point out there is not a single factoid in that entire statement.

  21. 21
    Mandalay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’m still baffled that Hobby Lobby is throwing a fit about Obamacare forcing them to offer contraceptive coverage when they had been offering it for years before the mandate.

    I noticed a similar thing in reverse years ago, when the Catholic Church decreed that it was no longer a sin to eat meat on Fridays, and abstinence became optional. Catholics were outraged!

    ETA: And I just read that the meat ban has been reintroduced for Catholics in Britain: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....on-Fridays..html

    Perhaps if we ditch the ACA then Hobby Lobby will start offering contraceptives again…

  22. 22
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mandalay:
    I suspect that Hobby Lobby just hadn’t realized that denying contraceptive coverage was yet another way of fucking with their employees. Now that they realize it’s a possibility, they desperately want to deny contraceptive coverage just because they can. I think they’d still do it even if it weren’t a way of pissing off liberals.

  23. 23

    @John:

    I am betting no one would go to jail for not paying the fine. Instead their wages/tax returns/etc. would be garnished.

  24. 24
    Culture of Truth says:

    All this to protect sperm? I mean, I’m big fan of the little guys, but c’mon.

  25. 25

    Freedom expands choice, choices expand freedom

    One feature of Obamacare is the minimal definition of an insurance policy. (Without such definition, the Republican notion of interstate policy sales is a foolish surefire disaster.) Pregnancy is a medical condition; the ability to manage pregnancy is important. Being pregnant only when desired is certainly an aspect of management. A healthy planned pregnancy and subsequent healthy child is in society’s interests; hence the coverage in minimum definition.

    It’s an unfortunate post-WWII fluke that most Americans are insured through their employment – unlike most of the world. The employer offers the policy – not the care. The policy has coverages used or not used at covered’s discretion. Since a business cannot discriminate, all kinds of people perhaps work there. These people are presented with opportunities and choice – Freedom!

    A religious organization is free to have rules; their followers are also free to follow or not. A business follows civic laws that guarantee Freedom. Jobs are open to all religions. Religions are free to have policies. People are free to join a religion or not, and further, free to follow at their own level. Freedom all around.

    Republicans are making a phoney issue here. Freedom, defined as choice and opportunity, is being expanded.

  26. 26
    Culture of Truth says:

    If the Hobby Lobby doesn’t sell birth control then it is poorly named indeed.

  27. 27
    Culture of Truth says:

    If Aaron had liberated some sperm he would have had no problems.

  28. 28
    Dave says:

    Many women take birth control pills to regulate their menstrual cycles so they can actually function as human beings and hold a job.

  29. 29
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    Ok, I just want to get my head around this.

    If someone goes to a Hobby Lobby job interview and the subject of remuneration comes up, would a health care plan be included in those discussions? Or is it a separate issue discussed at a later date?

    Can you knock back the health care plan in favour of more money?

    Is the only reason the company offers a health care plan to attract employees?

    Does the company negotiate a better rate than individuals get from health insurers?

    If so, isn’t Hobby Lobby just a health insurance broker for it’s employees with no more responsibility for what kind of health care the employees get than any other kind of brokerage?

    Also, how does Hobby Lobby know what elements of the health care package it’s employees actually make use of?

  30. 30
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    Can you knock back the health care plan in favour of more money? No.

    Is the only reason the company offers a health care plan to attract employees? Yes, it has been in the past.

    Does the company negotiate a better rate than individuals get from health insurers? Companies usually get a group policy for their employees. Group policies are cheaper and usually do not exclude people for a pre-existing condition.

  31. 31
    FlyingToaster says:

    @John: Accounts frozen, fines transferred to the treasury, accounts unfrozen many digits shorter. This usually happens after several months of dunning the company and after a court hearing where the judge writes the “Okay freeze the damn accounts” order.

    If they keep it up, they WILL go bankrupt.

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    A few answers that I’m pretty sure are accurate:

    If someone goes to a Hobby Lobby job interview and the subject of remuneration comes up, would a health care plan be included in those discussions? Or is it a separate issue discussed at a later date?

    It’s part of your compensation, so the fact that the company offers health insurance would be mentioned. You won’t know the full details unless you actually get hired and are then added to the company’s health plan.

    Can you knock back the health care plan in favour of more money?

    Nope. Some large employers (like mine) may be able to make multiple options available at different cost to the employee, but if you refuse the company’s health insurance, your base salary remains the same. I think my company takes about $25 pre-tax dollars out of my paycheck each week to pay for my share of the health plan.

    Is the only reason the company offers a health care plan to attract employees?

    Pretty much. There are also certain tax advantages that the company gets that they don’t get from paying salaries to employees.

    Does the company negotiate a better rate than individuals get from health insurers?

    Usually, yes, though some companies seem to have very bad negotiators.

    If so, isn’t Hobby Lobby just a health insurance broker for it’s employees with no more responsibility for what kind of health care the employees get than any other kind of brokerage?

    That’s how it should work, but employers in the US love to stick their noses into their employees’ business.

    Also, how does Hobby Lobby know what elements of the health care package it’s employees actually make use of?

    They may receive an aggregate number from their health insurance provider (i.e.. X number of employees used Y benefit) but they are not permitted to know specifics under US law.

  33. 33
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thanks for the replies.

    Trying to understand the US health system from the outside can give you headaches.

    I don’t suppose Hobby Lobby’s issues could be resolved by simply sending out a company email saying, “please don’t use contraception”? Then leaving everything else up to their employee’s consciences.

  34. 34
    Redshift says:

    @Mandalay:

    Agreed. If I had to say something nice about Cuccinelli it is that he is a straight shooter, though I can’t find anything else good to say about him.

    Unfortunately, the one good thing I can say about him is that he’s an excellent campaigner.

    OTOH, I can’t find one good thing to say about McAuliffe!

    Um, he’s not Cuccinelli?

    Actually the one thing I’ll give McAuliffe credit for is that after the last election, when he was a complete carpetbagger who though he had technically lived in Virginia, had never gotten involved in state politics, he has actually put a fair amount of effort into supporting Virginia Democrats in the past four years. Yeah, it’s completely in service of his own ambition, but so’s a lot of campaign work by politicians.

  35. 35
    Roger Moore says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    I don’t suppose Hobby Lobby’s issues could be resolved by simply sending out a company email saying, “please don’t use contraception”? Then leaving everything else up to their employee’s consciences.

    Absolutely not. They don’t want their employees making decisions based on their consciences; they want to make decisions for their employees based on their own beliefs. It’s the biggest thing to understand about the Galtian Overlord class; they want to live like feudal lords who have total control over their underlings. Maintaining that control is at least as important as any actual outcome.

  36. 36
    Redshift says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    I don’t suppose Hobby Lobby’s issues could be resolved by simply sending out a company email saying, “please don’t use contraception”? Then leaving everything else up to their employee’s consciences.

    Oh, they certainly could be, if their actual issue was “it’s against our religion for money we have any connection with to pay for contraception,” as they claim. But since their health plan covered contraception and they didn’t make a fuss until the ACA mandated it (weak-ass protestations that “it was done without the knowledge of the owning family” notwithstanding), it’s clear that their actual issue is that they want to cry “help, help, we’re being oppressed!” Appealing to employees’ consciences won’t help at all with that.

  37. 37
    Monkus says:

    Honestly, I’m not sure this man does actual Attorney General work. There’s no time, what with this and his fight against climate and fuel efficiency and gay rights nondiscrimination policies–and, well, homosexuals–and sex education and little kids of illegal immigrants the Roman goddess of bravery and military strength’s left breast.

    He’s got my vote in 2013!

  38. 38
    TS says:

    @Dave:

    Many women take birth control pills to regulate their menstrual cycles so they can actually function as human beings and hold a job.

    I find this a poor argument. Women are entitled to use birth control pills for birth control. In the 1950s they started using it for “regulating their menstrual cycles” because it was the only way many doctors would prescribe it to single women. The incidence of people needing such regulation rose dramatically.

    The pill provided the first opportunity in forever to allow women to control their own fertility. Previously the condom was the most reliable method of birth control which depended on men being willing to use that method.

    Catholic women in their millions did and do use the pill for birth control. It has been part of women’s health care for over 50 years – the sudden attacks of the Catholic Church and wealthy Catholics against women is related to not wanting a black President to be successful in providing universal health care in the US (something many others have tried and failed) – no other reason.

  39. 39

    Now, Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli is suggesting that people should be willing to go to jail to fight for the right to avoid providing healthcare to women.

    And I have no problem with throwing their asses in jail. Win-Win.

  40. 40
    RaflW says:

    Argh!

    Is there any rational reason that we cannot effectively define the current GOP as insanely retrograde and inhuman?

    Starve the poors. Rip off the olds that paid into SS & Medicare. Throw women back to the early 1950s. A gun in every pot! No voting for blacks and browns (or poors). A foreign nation dependent on subsidies sets our entire mid-east foreign policy.

    Except for a paid-for media circus and a few hand-wringing faux centrists, why is the Republican party treated with any seriousness whatsoever? ! ?!?

  41. 41
    rumpole says:

    ABL-

    Take a look at the briefs in the supreme court case that Thomas spoke up in. You’ll find something that I’d never seen (and that an experienced appellate advocate I spoke with had never seen): the George Mason Law Clinic, under the supervision of lawyers from WIley Rein, helping the state of LA execute an indigent defendant.

    Politics of the death penalty aside, I would love to see why it is that (a) Wiley thinks it’s OK for its lawyers to give pro bono time to the state, who can afford to pay its attorneys, and (b) why George Mason would allow its students to get involved. This seems to be in your wheelhouse.

    The brief is here: http://www.americanbar.org/con.....eckdam.pdf

  42. 42
    ABL says:

    @rumpole: That’s odd. I’ll take a look.

  43. 43
    ABL says:

    @rumpole: At Virginia, we had a defense clinic, not a prosecution clinic. I’ve never heard of such a thing. Weird.

  44. 44
    LanceThruster says:

    @RaflW:

    x2

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