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Comment: Re:Companies don't pay for healthcare, workers do (Score 1) 1317

by Entrope (#47358857) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

My questions are pertinent because they show that health insurance, like the buildings you mention, are chosen and paid for by the employer, and that the employer does and should have correspondingly broad freedom to choose the parameters of what they pay for. wickerprints made the frivolous argument that when health insurance is part of the employee's compensation package, the employer should have no say in what the insurance covers, and my questions were meant to rebut that. If I wanted to argue here against government meddling, I would take a quite different tack.

Comment: Re:How did anyone let this happen. (Score 1) 1317

by Entrope (#47356709) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

If you don't want religious views to influence society, move to China or somewhere else that effectively outlaws religious practice. Otherwise, expect others to think you are a loon for comparing an adult's religious beliefs to a two-year-old's security blanket, and an outright nutcase for calling that comparison "a very accurate view of a theological view on religion". (I say this as a non-evangelical atheist -- I am no fan of religion, but I respect people who make sacrifices[1] for their religious beliefs and try to judge/criticize each belief and practice on its own merits, rather than dismissing the whole edifice as unworthy of human belief.)

[1]- To be clear, I mean forgone benefits, extra effort, and the like, not ritual sacrifices. I think most people would take my meaning, but sometimes it is better to say these things directly.

Comment: Re:Can an "atheist company" refuse too? (Score 2) 1317

by Entrope (#47356565) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

Your exception swallows your rule. Insurance companies do not decide what to offer in many cases -- they may only decide what to cover for high-end, elective or other (usually less-used) categories of treatments. If you look at what is required by your state's EHB benchmark, you will probably be surprised how much insurers are required to cover. For example, in Virginia, I cannot opt out of coverage for "Over the counter drugs; drugs used mainly for cosmetic purposes; Drugs for weight loss; Stop smoking aids, Nutritional and/or dietary supplements", or even limit that coverage to generics -- every QHP in the state must cover even specialty drugs in those categories, with no limit. If I think chiropractic (chiropractice? chiropraxis?) is a crock, that does not matter -- my insurance must cover up to 30 visits a year.

On the other end, once the PPACA's tax on "Cadillac plans" kicks in, you can expect more expansive plans to start dropping off the market.

Comment: Re:Companies don't pay for healthcare, workers do (Score 1) 1317

by Entrope (#47356447) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

Who picks the health insurance company? Who selects which of the many plan options offered by that company are available to employees? Who writes the check to the insurer? Can you pay the same amount for the same plan if you buy it on your own? Have you ever heard of self-insuring companies?

The boat sailed long ago on employer-provided health insurance. Your tilting at windmills over semantics will not change that.

Comment: Re:Gee Catholic judges (Score 2) 1317

by Entrope (#47356355) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

The only way you get a 9% per annum failure rate for oral contraceptives is if you don't take them. If taken correctly, they are more than 99% effective over a year. (Don't believe me? Ask these people.)

But hey, if laws are okay just because they make good policy, let us continue. A well-regulated Militia, being essential to the security of a free State, every adult citizen should be required to buy a pistol, a long gun, and keep in practice with both; if they do not pass an annual marksmanship test, they owe a shared responsibility tax. You agree that this is well within the federal government's power, right?

Comment: Re:Can an "atheist company" refuse too? (Score 1) 1317

by Entrope (#47356301) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

As a matter of fact, HHS (the Federal Department of Health and Human Services) *has* issued regulations specifying which medicines (and other forms of treatment) insurers must cover through standard individual, exchange and small group health plans: every "Qualified Health Plan" must cover what PPACA calls "Essential Health Benefits". The mandate for larger employers to cover these has famously been delayed a few times, but might be enforced at some point, if the government can figure out how to implement and pay for a verification or enforcement system. If an individual does not have a qualified health plan, and does not meet the statutory exemptions, that individual owes the individual shared penalty mandate responsibility payment, or whatever it is being called this month.

Comment: Re:Can an "atheist company" refuse too? (Score 1) 1317

by Entrope (#47356193) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

That "may" account for about half of private sector employment in the US, and "maybe" 90% of private sector employees will get fired when they show up for work tomorrow, because they work in an at-will state or don't have a long-term employment contract. But just as most employers will not do that, most small employers do not have strongly held religious convictions about abortifacients being included in a comprehensive health insurance plan that the company pays for (in all or part) to cover its employees. The potential effect is not nearly as large as you make it out to be.

Comment: Re:But now... (Score 1) 1317

by Entrope (#47356063) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

Congress also chose not to exempt the PPACA -- or the regulations carrying it into effect, which is the specific status of the contraceptive mandate in this case -- from the RFRA, which they could have tried to do. (They probably would have lost the votes to make it law if they did try that, or perhaps they consciously chose to protect the rights of religious objectors. Whatever the reason, because Congress did not include such an exemption, the RFRA binds the PPACA and the regulations that implement it.)

Comment: Re:There's a net payback after a short time period (Score 1) 441

by Entrope (#47348749) Attached to: Researchers Claim Wind Turbine Energy Payback In Less Than a Year

You failed Econ 101, didn't you? There is an awful lot of hydrocarbon fuel in the ground, but it still costs more than $100/barrel to buy it. Abundant does not mean cheap, and that $100/barrel doesn't cover negative externalities (which are addressed by, say, European-style gasoline/petrol taxes that account for the difference in end-user cost relative to the US).

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